Are you comfortable talking about casual sex? Whether you’re having it or you’re not having it? Casual sex can be kept a secret, even between friends, or it might be the only thing the people around you ever talk about it. There is a lot of significance attached to the idea of casual sex.
Sex is different for everyone, but the pressure to conform is often so high that we hide what we are or are not doing. When it comes to discussing sex, casual or otherwise, there’s a big difference between broadcasting every detail of your personal life and having healthy conversation about sex.
Most of us enjoy casual sex.
No matter what you hear, women do have casual sex. And any woman having casual sex is not alone in the world. Between 60 and 80% say that they have had sexual encounters outside of committed relationships.
Casual sex is often assumed to be the product of too much alcohol, in which a woman goes home with someone she doesn’t even know and regrets it later. But that’s not the way that casual sex is really happening. Casual sex is proven to be more common with someone that the woman knows.
In the same vein, every casual sexual encounter is different. Some casual sex happens as a one time thing, but casual sex also happens as part of an ongoing arrangement that happens over a longer period of time. A singular culture of one-and-done casual sex doesn’t exist.
"When people talk about sex outside of a relationship, a one-night stand with someone you just met is typically the first thing that comes to mind. It is the most iconic notion of casual sex, and perhaps the most uncomplicated, clear-cut case. But it’s also the rarest form of casual sex" (Vrangalova, 2014).
Hiding casual sex is common.
When women are having casual sex, they often hide or downplay it because there are some negative stereotypes circulated in society and the media about women who enjoy sex outside of a committed relationship.
For a woman, she is feeling pressure to hide the fact that she has sex. Unless you are in another monogamous relationship or sex is against your personal values, there is no reason to feel ashamed of or hide your sexual experiences.
Doing so simply reinforces the double-standards that already exist about women who have sex. There is no opportunity to refute this type of double standard if casual sex had by women is hidden like a dirty little secret.
Not only does hiding sex make it difficult to change society’s perceptions of casual sex, it can also make it different to enjoy your sexuality. When you are not comfortable with the sexual experiences you are having, your enjoyment and your libido can both suffer.
Hiding NOT having casual sex is also common.
It’s not just women who are having sex that feel the need to hide it. Admitting having no sex can be just as anxiety-causing as admitting sex. Depending on the environment, a woman might feel it’s necessary to blend in with other people’s experiences.
Remember: everyone has different sexual preferences and experiences. Some crave sex more than others; some simply enjoy waiting for romance before sex.
Not having casual sex is nothing to hide In the same way that hiding casual sex does, acting like you have it can make sexual satisfaction more difficult because you are setting up a false reality.
Whether or not casual sex is a part of your life, it’s nothing to hide. Because your sexual experiences are about you.
Sex should be on your own terms.
Women should be enjoying their sex life on their own terms. When society decides when you should and should not have sex, you are no longer in control of your sexual experience and can feel pressured to act accordingly, and that’s something that women can help change.
Open discussion with others is key.
When sexually active adults talk about sex openly, sex once again becomes a healthy part of life and sexual well-being becomes easier to achieve. Talking about sex normalizes sex.
Open conversation about sex also helps people make more informed sexual choices. With more context for understanding sexual situations, people are able to think about things with information at hand. Conversation is important framework to have a healthy sexual life.
Being open about sex represents how comfortable you are with your own sexuality and your sexual encounters. Whereas secret sexual experiences can make you feel victimized, being open about sex makes sex feel even better.
Let’s erase guilt and shame.
Another way to help move towards a more positive sexual environment for women is to not judge other women for the consensual sexual acts they enjoy, either. When a woman knows she will not be judged for casual sex, she will be more likely to express her desire to have it.
It’s not up to the world to decide whether or not women have casual sex, but pressure from society may make it feel that way. Women are in charge of their own sexual experiences, and no amount of pressure can change that!