Casual sex

Casual sex is sexual activity that takes places outside a romantic relationship and implies an absence of commitment, emotional attachment, or familiarity between sexual partners.[1][2] Examples are sexual activity while casually dating, one-night stands, premarital sex, prostitution, or swinging.

Social norms and moral concerns

Attitudes to casual sex range from conservative and religious views, the extreme of which may result in imprisonment or even capital punishment for sexual relations outside heterosexual marriage, to liberal or libertarian (libertine) views, the extreme of which is free love.

In the United States, in the 1920s, "petting parties", where petting ("making out" or foreplay) was the main attraction, became a popular part of the flapper lifestyle.[3] Because automobile ownership boomed and the number of options for dating venues, such as movie theaters and jazz halls, increased significantly during this time, parental involvement in the courtship process began to decrease. This allowed for casual hookups to become a more common occurrence in the teen and young adult dating experience.[4] Automobiles began to be referred to as "brothels on wheels" for this reason, which raised a lot of questions about the younger generation's diverging morality.[5] The young adults of the 1920s found the Victorian era sexual script and moral codes to be oppressive, and thus the liberated flapper and vamp personas were born. The emerging movie industry furthered progress in the rebellion against Victorian era morals because films started depicting women owning their sexuality, a trend that has continued into current cinema.[6] Women became sexually liberated through their adopted flapper and vamp identities, as well as through progress made in contraceptive and family planning methods.

Sexual revolution

During the sexual revolution in the United States and Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, social attitudes to sexual issues underwent considerable changes. The advent of "the pill" and other forms of birth control, the Women's Liberation movement, and the legalization of abortion in many countries are believed to have led to a wider practice of casual sex.[7][8][9] This is also due, in part, to the younger generation's rejection of their parents' dating and matrimonial ideals, and the rise of college party culture.[10] In response to this insurgence in the 1960s, single women were denied access to birth control pills by their healthcare providers.[11] This type of pushback is consistently observed throughout studies of the evolution of American sexual morals and beliefs. Younger generations are encouraged by their elders to engage in sexual activity only if it is within the bounds of marriage and is for procreative purposes.[12]

Most religions disapprove of sex outside marriage (see religion and sexuality), and the consequences range from very serious to none. Also, marriage is defined in quite different ways in different cultures, for example, with "short-term marriage" (see Nikah mut'ah) a cover for prostitution, or polygamy.

Swingers in the lifestyle engage in casual sex with others for a variety of reasons. For many, an advantage is the increased quality, quantity and frequency of sex.[13] Some swingers engage in casual sex to add variety to their otherwise conventional sex lives or for curiosity. Swingers who engage in casual sex maintain that sex among swingers is often more frank and deliberative and therefore more honest than infidelity. Some couples see swinging as a healthy outlet and a means to strengthen their relationship. Others regard such activities as merely social and recreational interaction with others.[14] A swinger party or partner-swapping party is a gathering at which individuals or couples in a committed relationship can engage in sexual activities with others as a recreational or social activity.[15] Swinging can take place in various contexts, ranging from a spontaneous sexual activity at an informal social gathering of friends to a regular social gathering in a sex club (or swinger club), private residence, or other pre-arranged location such as a hotel, a resort, or a cruise ship.[16][16]

In the United States, one-time sexual encounters among college-aged students are growing increasingly common; nearly 70% of people in this age group have partaken in casual sex at least once because of their newfound adult identities and freedom to explore their sexualities.[12][17] Men and women are found to engage in very similar casual sex conducts, despite popular social beliefs. Most young adults in this age group believe that their peers are having a higher frequency of casual sex than they actually are, and this is due to vocabulary choice. For example, using the term "hookup" denotes that the sexual activity, whether it is vaginal sex, oral sex, or sexual touching, is casual and between unfamiliar partners.[12] However, it is vague and does not detail what specific sexual activities occurred. This is especially distorting towards others' impressions because 98% of college hookups involve kissing, 81% of hookups involve more than kissing, and only 34% of hookups involve penetrative sex.[12][18][19] Studies have also linked this common misperception of peer hookup activity to media and pop culture portrayals of casual sexual encounters.[12] Television and movies project distorted depictions of casual sex because they also commonly portray people who have just hooked up as emotionally satisfied and physically pleasured while simultaneously emotionally detached, which is not always the case.[20]

Legal issues

The legality of adultery and prostitution varies around the world. In some countries there are laws which prohibit or restrict casual sex.

In some Islamic countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan,[21] Afghanistan,[22][23] Iran,[23] Kuwait,[24] Maldives,[25] Morocco,[26] Oman,[27] Mauritania,[28] United Arab Emirates,[29][30] Sudan,[31] and Yemen,[32] any form of sexual activity outside marriage is illegal.

Religious views

Although some religious views look upon casual sex negatively,[33] individual views on casual sex vary based on personal traits such as autonomy.[34] Religious people and non-religious people mostly have similar feelings when it comes to having casual sex, with a bigger difference in attitude taking place between men and women.[35]

Prevalence

Research suggests that as many as two-thirds to three-quarters of American students have casual sex at least once during college.[36][37] On college campuses, casual sex may occur almost anywhere. The majority of hookups happen at parties. Other common casual sex venues are dorms, frat houses, bars, dance clubs, cars, and in public places or wherever is available at the time.[38]

Collegiate holidays and vacations, especially spring breaks, are times when undergraduates are more likely to purposely seek out casual sexual encounters and experiment with risky behaviors.[39] This is due to the availability of alcohol and uninhibitedness of spring break venues.[12] One study reported that about 30% of collegiate spring breakers, whether they are in a monogamous relationship or not, have penetrative sex with a person they meet during their break.[40] A 1995 study of Canadian students who had traveled to Florida for spring break, found the key elements of a spring break vacation to include a group holiday with friends traveling and rooming together, a perpetual party atmosphere, high alcohol consumption, sexually suggestive contests and displays, and the perception that casual sex is common. Overall, there was a perception that sexual norms are far more permissive on spring break vacation than at home, providing an atmosphere of greater sexual freedom and the opportunity for engaging in new sexual experiences. Of the 681 students who completed a questionnaire after the break, 15% of males and 13% of females had engaged in casual sex during the break. Nearly 61% of men and 34% of women who had casual sex over the break had slept together within 24 hours of meeting.[41]

Related terms

General

A one-night stand is a single sexual encounter between individuals, where at least one of the parties has no immediate intention or expectation of establishing a longer-term sexual or romantic relationship. Anonymous sex is a form of one-night stand or casual sex between people who have very little or no history with each other, often engaging in sexual activity on the same day of their meeting and usually never seeing each other again afterwards.[42]

"Friends with benefits" and "booty calls"[43] describe a situation in which a person has sex with someone they generally consider a friend or someone they are fairly close to. They are not in an exclusive romantic relationship, and probably never will be.[44] The involved parties may have a degree of emotional attachment but do not want, for whatever reason, to have "strings attached".[45] However, a 2011 study published in The Journal of Sex Research found that two out of five single women and one out of five single men in "friends with benefits" relationships hoped that their relationship would eventually turn into a full-fledged romance.[46] This stands in contrast to swinger couples who are already in committed relationships and are only seeking compatible friends with whom they can engage in recreational sex.

Recreational or social sex refers to sexual activities that focus on sexual pleasure without a romantic emotional aspect or commitment. Recreational sex can take place in a number of contexts: for example, in an open marriage,[47] among swingers (where sex is viewed as a social occasion),[15][48] or in an open relationship.

Hookup

A "hookup" (colloquial American English) is a casual sexual encounter involving physical pleasure without necessarily including emotional bonding or long-term commitment; it can range from kissing (for example, making out) to other sexual activities. Hooking up became a widespread practice among young people in the 1980s and 1990s. Researchers say that what differentiates hooking up from casual sex in previous generations of young people is the "virtual disappearance" of dating, which had been dominant from the postwar period onwards. Today, researchers say, casual sex rather than dating is the primary path for young people into a relationship.[49] With the use of apps becoming more common it has become easier to hook up or meet others for sexual activity.[50] With students, studies have shown that the group most likely to engage in casual sex is white middle or upper-class heterosexuals. Black and Latino students are less likely to hook up, as are evangelical Christian students and working-class students. Data on gay and lesbian students show mixed results, as some research shows that they engage in hookups at the same rate as heterosexual students, while others suggest that it occurs less due to college parties not always being gay-friendly, as most hookups occur at such gatherings.[37][49]

A study of hookup culture at the University of Iowa found that waiting to have sex does not contribute to a stronger future relationship. Instead, the study found that what mattered most was the goal individuals had going into a relationship. Individuals who started by hooking up tended to develop a full relationship later if that was their goal going in.[51] Another survey revealed that the number of first dates that most college-aged students have been on is about half of the number of hookups they've had.[52] As of the recent decades, it has become a common dating practice for people to candidly talk about their casual sex encounters and personal views on the subject as early as the first date or meeting.[12] Another study showed that condoms were used in only 69 out of every 100 penetrative sex hookups.[18]

Commercial sites

Many specialist online dating services or other websites, known as "adult personals" or "adult matching" sites, cater to people looking for a purely sexual relationship without emotional attachments. These can provide a relatively anonymous forum where people who are geographically close but in totally separate work and social circles can make contact.

Tinder is a free smartphone dating app that boasts over 10 million daily users, making it the most popular dating app for iOS and Android.[53] In this app, users can either swipe right (which indicates interest) or swipe left (which indicates disinterest) on other users in hopes of matching each other. If both users swipe right on one another, they are a match, and messaging can be initiated between parties. This app is used for a variety of reasons, one of which is casual hookups. Men are more likely than women to use Tinder to seek out casual sexual encounters.[54] This is attributed to men, in comparison to women, placing sexual pleasure at a higher level of importance and using social networking sites to fulfill this need.[55] However, overall, more users are motivated to use it to find romance rather than sex. Despite this, there is a social concern as some believe that the app encourages hookups between users.[54]

See also

References

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Bibliography

  • Ehrenreich, Barbara, Elizabeth Hess, and Gloria Jacobs. Re-Making Love: The Feminization of Sex. Doubleday, 1986 (ISBN 0-385-18498-0)
Casual Sex?

Casual Sex? is a 1988 comedy film about two female friends who go to a vacation resort in search of perfect men. It was directed by Geneviève Robert, and stars Lea Thompson, Victoria Jackson, Andrew Dice Clay, Jerry Levine, and Sandra Bernhard.

Casual dating

Casual dating or a casual relationship is a physical and emotional relationship between two people who may have casual sex or a near-sexual relationship without necessarily demanding or expecting the extra commitments of a more formal romantic relationship. Motives for casual relationships vary. There are significant gender and cultural differences in acceptance of and breadth of casual relationships, as well as in regrets about action/inaction in those relationships.Casual dating may or may not entail partner-exclusivity. In each case, the relationship's dominance in the lives of those involved is being voluntarily limited, and there is usually a sense that the relationship is intended to endure only so long as both parties wish it to. Casual relationships sometimes include mutual support, affection and enjoyment, which underpin other forms of loving relationship.A casual relationship is sometimes referred to as a "no strings attached" relationship.

Cruising for sex

Cruising for sex, or cruising, is walking or driving about a locality in search of a sex partner, usually of the anonymous, casual, one-time variety. The term is also used when technology is used to find casual sex, such as using an Internet site or a telephone service.

Do Me, Baby

"Do Me, Baby" is a 1981 ballad performed by Prince, from his fourth album, Controversy. Although it was credited as being written by him, it is alleged to have been written by his former bassist and childhood friend André Cymone. It was released as the third and final US single from the album. It was later included on his 1993 compilation The Hits/The B-Sides. The song was notably covered in 1986 by R&B singer Meli'sa Morgan, whose version reached number 46 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Dogging (sexual slang)

Dogging is a British English slang term for engaging in sexual acts in a public or semi-public place or watching others doing so. There may be more than two participants; both group sex and gang banging can be included. As observation is encouraged, voyeurism and exhibitionism are closely associated with dogging. The two sets of people involved often meet either randomly or (increasingly) arrange to meet up beforehand over the Internet.In September 2003 BBC News reported on the "new" dogging craze. They cited the Internet and text messaging as common ways of organising meetings. The original definition of dogging—and which is still a closely related activity—is spying on couples having sex in a car or other public place, and the term had been in use on Britain's railways for many years. It would have been well-known at least as far back as 1951.There is some evidence on the Internet that the "craze" has begun to spread to other countries, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, and Sweden.

Glory hole (sexual slang)

A glory hole (also spelled gloryhole and glory-hole) is a hole in a wall, or other partition, often between public lavatory cubicles or adult video arcade booths and lounges, for people to engage in sexual activity or observe the person in the next cubicle while one or both parties masturbate.Glory holes are especially associated with gay male culture, and anal or oral sex, but may also be used by bisexual or heterosexual men, or by men who do not identify as gay, bisexual, or heterosexual. The partition maintains anonymity. Some gay websites offer directories of glory holes.

Glory holes are sometimes the topic of erotic literature, and pornographic films have been devoted to the uses of glory holes.

Hogging (sexual practice)

Hogging or sweat hogging refers to the practice of groups of men who target overweight or obese women, typically for sexual encounters. Unlike fat fetishists, men who participate in hogging are not necessarily sexually attracted to obese women's bodies; they aim to take advantage of a female's stereotypical low self-esteem or to derive amusement for themselves and their friends by engaging in sexual activities with women who are overweight.

Hookup culture

A hookup culture is one that accepts and encourages casual sex encounters, including one-night stands and other related activity, without necessarily including emotional bonding or long-term commitment. It is generally associated with Western late adolescent behavior and, in particular, American college culture. The term hookup has an ambiguous definition because it can indicate kissing or any form of physical sexual activity between sexual partners. The term has been widely used in the USA since at least 2000. It has also been called nonrelationship sex, or sex without dating.

Most research on hookups has been focused on American college students, but hookups are not limited to college campuses. Adolescents and emerging adults engage in hookups for a variety of reasons, which may range from instant physical gratification, to fulfillment of emotional needs, to using it as a means of finding a long-term romantic partner. Media reaction to hookup culture has been dismissed as moral panic. The recent introduction of mobile hookup apps and websites have shaped hookup culture, especially among gay men.

I Get Around (Tupac Shakur song)

"I Get Around" is the second single from 2Pac's second album Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z., and features Shock G and Money-B of Digital Underground. It was produced by Shock G. Allmusic notes that in the song 2Pac "brags about his sexual conquests".

Little Red Corvette

"Little Red Corvette" is a song by American musician Prince. Released as a single from the album 1999 in 1983, the song was his biggest hit at the time, and his first to reach the top 10 in the US, peaking at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. It was also his first single to perform better on the pop chart than the R&B chart.

The song combines a drum machine beat and slow synth buildup for the verses and a full rock chorus. Backing vocals were done by Dez Dickerson and Lisa Coleman and the guitar solo was also played by Dickerson. In the song, Prince narrates a one-night stand with a beautiful but promiscuous woman (the "Little Red Corvette" of the title); although he enjoys the experience, he urges her to "slow down" and "find a love that's gonna last" before she destroys herself. In addition to the title, he uses several other automobile metaphors, for example comparing their lovemaking to a ride in a limousine.

A 12" dance remix of the song was released to accompany the single, and it continues where the album version fades out. The US single was originally released with the album track "All the Critics Love U in New York" as the B-side, while in the UK two separate single releases had it backed with "Lady Cab Driver" or "Horny Toad". Separate UK 12" releases had the song paired with "Automatic" and "International Lover", or "Horny Toad" and "D.M.S.R.". Later, it was released as a double A-side with "1999", thus peaking at number two in the UK in January 1985.

The single was released with another 1999 track, "Let's Pretend We're Married".

On Prince's 2006 compilation album, Ultimate, the dance remix of "Little Red Corvette" was a featured track.

Following Prince's death in April 2016, the song re-charted on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart at number 29. It rose to number 20 one week later. It has sold 1.08 million digital copies in the United States.

No Strings Attached (2011 film)

No Strings Attached is a 2011 American romantic comedy film directed by Ivan Reitman and written by Elizabeth Meriwether. Starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, the film is about two friends who decide to make a pact to have "no strings attached" aka a casual sex relationship, without falling in love with each other. The film was released in the United States on January 21, 2011.

One-night stand

A one-night stand is a single sexual encounter in which there is an expectation that there shall be no further relations between the sexual participants. The practice can be described as "sexual activity without emotional commitment or future involvement".

Promiscuity

Promiscuity is the practice of having sex frequently with different partners or being indiscriminate in the choice of sexual partners. The term can carry a moral judgment if the social ideal for sexual activity is monogamous relationships. A common example of behavior viewed as promiscuous by many cultures is the one-night stand, and its frequency is used by researchers as a marker for promiscuity.What sexual behavior is considered promiscuous varies between cultures, as does the prevalence of promiscuity. Different standards are often applied to different genders and civil statutes. Feminists have traditionally argued a significant double standard exists between how men and women are judged for promiscuity. Historically, stereotypes of the promiscuous woman have tended to be negative, such as "the slut" or "the harlot", while male stereotypes have been more varied, some expressing approval, such as "the stud" or "the player", while others imply societal deviance, such as "the womanizer" or "the philanderer". A scientific study published in 2005 found that promiscuous men and women are both prone to derogatory judgment.Promiscuity is common in many animal species. Some species have promiscuous mating systems, ranging from polyandry and polygyny to mating systems with no stable relationships where mating between two individuals is a one-time event. Many species form stable pair bonds, but still mate with other individuals outside the pair. In biology, incidents of promiscuity in species that form pair bonds are usually called extra-pair copulations.

Slut

Slut is generally a term for a woman or girl who is considered to have loose sexual morals or who is sexually promiscuous. It is usually used as an insult, sexual slur or offensive term of disparagement (slut-shaming). It originally meant "a dirty, slovenly woman", and is rarely used to refer to men, generally requiring clarification by use of the terms male slut or man whore.The first recorded use of the word was a reference to a man, in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales, in which he is referring to the man's untidy appearance.Slut-shaming is a related term, referring to the act of drawing attention to a person's promiscuous behavior for the purpose of shaming them socially. From the late 20th century, there have been attempts to reclaim the word, exemplified by various SlutWalk parades, and some individuals embrace the title as a source of pride.

Sociosexual orientation

Sociosexual orientation, or sociosexuality, is the individual difference in the willingness to engage in sexual activity outside of a committed relationship. Individuals with a more restricted sociosexual orientation are less willing to engage in casual sex; they prefer greater love, commitment and emotional closeness before having sex with romantic partners. Individuals who have a more unrestricted sociosexual orientation are more willing to have casual sex and are more comfortable engaging in sex without love, commitment or closeness.

Swinging (sexual practice)

Swinging, sometimes called wife swapping, husband swapping or partner swapping, is sexual activity in which both singles and partners in a committed relationship engage in such activities with others as a recreational or social activity. Swinging is a form of non-monogamy and is an open relationship. People may choose a swinging lifestyle for a variety of reasons. Many cite an increased quality and quantity of sex. Some people may engage in swinging to add variety into their otherwise conventional sex lives or due to their curiosity. Some couples see swinging as a healthy outlet and means to strengthen their relationship.The phenomenon of swinging, or at least its wider discussion and practice, is regarded by some as arising from the freer attitudes to sexual activity after the sexual revolution of the 1960s, the invention and availability of the contraceptive pill, and the emergence of treatments for many of the sexually transmitted diseases that were known at that time. The adoption of safe sex practices became more common in the late 1980s.

The swinger community sometimes refers to itself as "the lifestyle", or as "the alternative lifestyle".

The Naked Director

The Naked Director (Japanese: 全裸監督, Hepburn: Zenra Kantoku) is a Japanese semi-biographical comedy-drama web television series co-directed by Masaharu Take. Based on the non-fiction novel Zenra Kantoku Muranishi Toru Den (全裸監督 村西とおる伝) by Nobuhiro Motohashi, it tells the story of pornographic film director Toru Muranishi. The series premiered on Netflix on August 8, 2019. It stars Takayuki Yamada as Muranishi, alongside Shinnosuke Mitsushima and Tetsuji Tamayama. On August 15, 2019, Netflix renewed the series for a second season.

Threesome

In human sexuality, a threesome is sexual activity that involves three people at the same time. Threesome can also refer to a love triangle, a three-way romantic relationship. Though threesome is most commonly applied to a casual sexual activity involving sexual activity among three participants, a threesome may also be found in a long-term domestic relationship, such as polyamory or a ménage à trois.A threesome is a form of group sex, but involving only three people. It may occur more frequently in private situations, such as spontaneous sexual activity among three friends, or arranged in a community of like-minded swingers or planned as a once-only experience; and rarely in anonymous settings, such as at orgies or other sex parties. Among swinging couples, one of the two partners is often the driving force and the other is more passive-supportive of the addition of additional sex parties. Some couples use a threesome as a way to develop a love triangle (ménage à trois).A threesome is a common element of sexual fantasy. It is commonly depicted in pornography, but very rarely in mainstream cinema.

Trade (gay slang)

Trade (also known as Chow) is a gay slang term which refers to the casual partner of a gay man or to the genre of such pairings. Men falling in the category of "trade" are not gay-identified. Historically the motivations may at times include a desire for emotional fulfillment and admiration, but the term often refers to a straight man who partners with a gay man for economic benefit, either through a direct cash payment or through other, more subtle means (gifts, tuition payments, etc.). Trade originally referred to casual sex partners, regardless of sexuality as many gay and bisexual men were closeted, but evolved to imply the gay partner is comparatively wealthy and the partner who is trade is economically deprived. Examples of this include wealthy Englishmen finding partners among deprived Cockneys in 1930s London. More modern usage has centered on any casual sexual encounter between men, and as an adjective to refer to any male considered masculine and/or sexually appealing.Often, the terms trade and rough trade are treated as synonymous. Often the attraction for the gay male partner is finding a dangerous, even thuggish, partner who may turn violent. That is not to say that people necessarily desire to be physically hurt, but the danger of seeking a partner in a public park, restroom, or alleyway may be exciting. Another variation is in comparison to regular trade, rough trade is more likely to be working-class laborers with less education and more physical demands of their work, therefore with a body developed naturally rather than in a gym. They may have a less polished or cleancut style than an office worker or professional businessman.

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