Abi Polding argues that casual sex can never work, unless we get rid of the double standards & stereotypes surrounding sex that exist at the moment.
Casual sex – it’s something that goes on all the time at university, and something which many of us will engage in at some point in our lives. However, studies have shown that “women who sleep around at university are ‘more likely to become depressed’”. There are also widespread double standards when it comes to casual sex which lead to an unfair amount of pressure and guilt being placed upon women who choose to have a lot of sexual partners. So why shouldn’t we be allowed to engage in whatever sexual behaviour we want without being judged…?
Sex is something that definitely involves communication, trust and an agreement of what both people want. The problem is that these things really need to be decided on before, and when sex is casual and spontaneous, often one person will see it as more serious than the other, leading to a lack of mutual agreement and, ultimately, meaning that one person gets hurt. These days, it’s often women who seem to get hurt by having casual sex.
I feel that this is due to the double and unrealistic standards in place when it comes to sleeping with people on a casual basis. If a woman sleeps with a lot of men she’s generally seen as a slut. If you need proof of this you only need to look at the kind of opinions being circulated in popular culture today, or even around the people on a university campus. If a man sleeps with a lot of girls he’s often respected by his peers, or seen as a “lad”, someone to be looked up to.
Because of this, girls often have a fixed idea that they need to try and limit their number of sexual partners, or risk being judged by others. Having casual sex is something that could therefore make them feel guilty, and possibly unhappy with the decision they made. Feelings of regret will only contribute to unhappiness, and often girls can feel trapped from this. Basically, casual sex can sometimes lead to you feeling a bit rubbish.
So is there a way to have casual sex as a woman without getting hurt? Biologically, the hormones that are released when we have sex completely work against us, making us form an attachment to our partner without us even realising it. Oxytocin is released during sex, making us “lower our defences and trust people more”, and women produce more of this hormone at the time. Bearing this in mind, it’s easy to see why situations like “friends with benefits” are widely considered not to work. If having casual sex works for you, then great. But for many, it doesn’t seem to end up being ideal.
Sex can be great as long as it’s consensual, safe, and both people agree what they want. The best way to have a happy sex life if you’re single is to make sure you consider what you want before going into anything you may regret later. Personally, I don’t think casual sex can ever work, unless we get rid of the double standards & stereotypes surrounding sex that exist at the moment, and unless both people are completely sure what they want – and let’s face it – at this point in our lives none of us are really 100% sure, right?
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