Why Your Casual Sex Life Might Actually Be Good For You
By now you would think that humans would have accepted that two different opinions could serve different people just fine, but sometimes we need hard scientific fact to back us up. When it comes to sex, one hot topic of debate is whether people are wired for casual sex or if that’s more like devil’s play. Article after article about the “hook up” culture calls this generation out for being too busy sleeping around to settle down. But is it possible that we’re doing it right?
Well one fun team of researchers decided to find out if casual hooking up is really ruining everyone’s life, or if it isn’t at all. Their research was approached differently than a lot of the previous studies on the topic, and what they found was that it basically depended on your opinion about casual sex to begin with. If you’re into it then it can actually be very, very good for you.
To measure this, they gathered information to determine people’s level of “sociosexuality”. Your sociosexuality is basically how open or closed you are to casual sex based on factors like your past experiences and belief systems. (Enter religion, that asshole that cheated on you, your mom.)
Not surprisingly college students were used as the sample for the study, and out of the 371 participants 42 percent of them had what was considered casual sex over the research period of nine months. Those students who were more sociosexually unrestricted were actually found to have higher self-esteem and less anxiety thanks to their habits of getting it on with their f-buddies.
Interestingly, the people who were more sociosexually restricted didn’t actually show a decline in their well being if they had casual sex. They just didn’t see a bump in happiness quite like the most promiscuous of the crew. (Further research might be needed however, as the sample was smaller.)
While striking and notable, this research does not mean that anyone should be calling off relationships and campaigning to their neighbors for more free sex. There are some notable personality characteristics associated with the people who are more sociosexually unrestricted, which include extroverted and attractive, but also impulsive, sexist, manipulative, coercive, and narcissistic. Sweet. And on the flip side of course, there are plenty of positive emotional benefits for the coupled up monogamous lovebirds of the world as well.
Studies have also found that when people do experience regret around their sexual decisions, it usually has to do with the fact that alcohol was involved. Cue everyone that’s ever woken up with a feeling of doom in the pit of their stomach to match their raging hangover when they’re not quite sure who’s bed they’re in.
Conclusion: Try not to drink too much, have sex when you want to.
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About Kate Ferguson Kate Fergus is a Los Angeles local and freelance writer for a variety of blogs and online magazines. When she's not writing, the UC Davis graduate is focused on pursuits of the entertainment industry, spin class, and hot sauce.