Casual sex

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For the film, see Casual Sex?. For the song, see Casual Sex (song).
"Booty call" redirects here. For other uses, see Booty call (disambiguation).

Casual sex or hooking up are certain types of human sexual activity outside the context of a romantic relationship. The term is not always used consistently: it may refer to extramarital sex, sex in a casual relationship, one-time encounters, promiscuous sex, or sex in the absence of emotional attachment or love, which can include prostitution and swinging.[1][2]

Other terms sometimes associated with casual sex include recreational sex, social sex, nonrelationship sex, no-strings-attached (NSA) sex, physical relationship, or sex with no games.[3] Recreational sex or social sex refers to sexual activity which focuses on sexual pleasure without an emotional aspect or commitment. Recreational sex can take place in a number of contexts. It may, for example, take place in an open marriage,[4] among swingers where sex is viewed as a social occasion,[5][6] or in an open relationship. It can also take place in a casual relationship.

Social norms and moral concerns[edit]

World-wide attitudes to casual sex range from conservative and religious views, the extreme of which is capital punishment for sexual relations outside heterosexual marriage, to liberal or libertarian views, the extreme of which is free love.

In the United States in the 1920s, "petting parties" became a popular part of the flapper lifestyle, which diminished after the end of the Roaring Twenties.

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 is believed to have led to a wider practice of casual sex.[7][8][9] Most religions disapprove of sex outside of marriage (see religion and sexuality).

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.[10] Some swingers engage in casual sex to add variety into 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 means to strengthen their relationship. Others regard such activities as merely social and recreational interaction with others.[11] 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.[5] 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.[12][13][13]

A study of hooking up at the University of Iowa found that waiting to have sex doesn't contribute to a stronger future relationship. Instead, they 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 on if that was their goal going in.[14]

Legal issues[edit]

In some countries there are laws which prohibit or restrict casual sex.

In some countries, such as Saudi Arabia, Pakistan,[15] Afghanistan,[16][17] Iran,[17] Kuwait,[18] Maldives,[19] Morocco,[20] Oman,[21] Mauritania,[22] United Arab Emirates,[23][24] Sudan,[25] Yemen,[26] any form of sexual activity outside marriage is illegal.

The legality of adultery and prostitution varies around the world. There are also laws in regard to sex involving minors under the age of consent.

Religious views[edit]

Prevalence[edit]

Research suggests that as many as two-thirds to three-quarters of American students have casual sex at least once during college.[27][28]

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.[29]

Related terms[edit]

Casual sexual relationship[edit]

A casual sexual relationship, casual relationship, or casual dating, 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.[30] People in a casual sexual relationship are sometimes referred to as "friends with benefits". The involved parties may have a degree of emotional attachment but do not want, for whatever reason, to have "strings attached". In practice, however, there are often "strings" to these relationships among singles. A 2011 study published in The Journal of Sex Research found 2 out of 5 single women and 1 out of 5 single men in "friends with benefits" relationships hoped that their relationship would eventually turn into a full-fledged romance.[31] 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.

Hookup[edit]

See also: Hookup culture

A hookup (colloquial American English) is a sexual encounter between friends or acquaintances that might consist of manual stimulation, oral sex, or sexual intercourse. About one-third of hookups involve sexual intercourse.[28]

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 having a relationship.[32]

Students likeliest to hook up are 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. The data are mixed on gay and lesbian students: some research says they hook up at the same rates as heterosexual students, but other research says they do it less because college parties, where most hookups happen, aren't always gay-friendly.[28][32]

One-night stand[edit]

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[edit]

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.[33]

Friends with benefits[edit]

Friends with benefits is where two people have sex with someone they generally consider a friend or someone they are fairly close to. They are not in an exclusive romantic relationship with that person and probably never will get into a relationship with them.[34]

Commercial sites[edit]

Many specialist online dating services or other Internet websites, known as "adult personals" or "adult matching" sites, cater to people looking for a purely physical 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.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ casual - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
  2. ^ casual sex - Definitions from Dictionary.com
  3. ^ "Lifestyle Definitions". Swinger Social Network. Retrieved April 27, 2012. 
  4. ^ Jenks, R. (2001). The Lifestyle: A Look at the Erotic Rites of Swingers, by Terry Gould. Journal of Sex Research, 38,171-173.
  5. ^ a b Bergstrand, Curtis; Blevins Williams, Jennifer (2000-10-10). "Today's Alternative Marriage Styles: The Case of Swingers". Electronic Journal of Human Sexuality 3. Retrieved 2010-01-24. 
  6. ^ Recreational Sex : An Insider's Guide to the Swinging Lifestyle, by Patti Thomas. ISBN 978-0-9664398-0-9.
  7. ^ The Pill and Sexual Revolution Retrieved: 2010-03-28.
  8. ^ People & Events: The Pill and the Women's Liberation Movement Retrieved: 2010-03-28.
  9. ^ FDA Approves Abortion Pill Retrieved: 2010-03-28.
  10. ^ Wojick, Helen. "Pros and Cons of Swinging". The Swinger Blog. Retrieved April 27, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Why Swing?". Retrieved 4 October 2012. 
  12. ^ "Advice on Swingers' Clubs". Swinging Heaven. Retrieved 5 October 2012. 
  13. ^ a b Goodman, Hallie. "Happily Married Swingers". Redbook. Retrieved 2 July 2013. 
  14. ^ "Hookups' Can Turn Into Meaningful Relationships, Study Suggests". Science Daily. August 23, 2010. Retrieved May 23, 2011. 
  15. ^ "Human Rights Voices – Pakistan, August 21, 2008". Eyeontheun.org. 
  16. ^ "Home". AIDSPortal. 
  17. ^ a b "Iran". Travel.state.gov. 
  18. ^ "United Nations Human Rights Website – Treaty Bodies Database – Document – Summary Record – Kuwait". Unhchr.ch. 
  19. ^ "Culture of Maldives – history, people, clothing, women, beliefs, food, customs, family, social". Everyculture.com. 
  20. ^ Fakim, Nora (9 August 2012). "BBC News – Morocco: Should pre-marital sex be legal?". BBC. 
  21. ^ "Legislation of Interpol member states on sexual offences against children – Oman". Interpol. Archived from the original on 15 December 2007. 
  22. ^ "2010 Human Rights Report: Mauritania". State.gov. 8 April 2011. 
  23. ^ Dubai FAQs. "Education in Dubai". Dubaifaqs.com. 
  24. ^ Judd, Terri (10 July 2008). "Briton faces jail for sex on Dubai beach – Middle East – World". The Independent (London). 
  25. ^ "Sudan must rewrite rape laws to protect victims". Reuters. 28 June 2007. 
  26. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Refworld | Women's Rights in the Middle East and North Africa – Yemen". UNHCR. 
  27. ^ England, P. and E. F. Shafer, and A. C. K. Fogarty (2008). The Gendered Society Reader: Hooking Up and Forming Romantic Relationships on Today’s College Campuses. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 531–47. ISBN 019512586X. 
  28. ^ a b c Hamilton, Laura; Armstrong, Elizabeth A. (23 September 2009). "Gendered Sexuality in Young Adulthood: Double Binds and Flawed Options". Gender & Society 23 (5): 589–616. doi:10.1177/0891243209345829. 
  29. ^ Social Psychology and Human Sexuality, Roy F. Baumeister (ed) (2001) ISBN 978-1841690193. Especially, Reading 7 - Casual Sex on Spring Break: Intentions and Behaviors of Canadian Students by Eleanor Maticka-Tyndale and Edward Herold and Dawn Mewhinny. p.174ff.
  30. ^ Belle, Heather; Michelle Fiordaliso (2009). Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Ex*. Sourcebooks Casablanca. ISBN 1-4022-2923-2. 
  31. ^ Lehmiller, J. J. (2012). No strings attached? Many "friends with benefits" are hoping for romance. The Psychology of Human Sexuality.
  32. ^ a b DeLamater, Edited by Laura M. Carpenter, John D. (2012). Sex for life From virginity to viagra, how sexuality changes throughout our lives. New York: New York University Press. pp. 129–130. ISBN 0814772536. 
  33. ^ Anonymous Sex - The Body
  34. ^ Bogle, Kathleen A (2008). "Hooking Up: Sex, Dating and Relationships on Campus", p. 118. New York UP, New York. ISBN 9780814799697.

Bibliography