Friday, March 8, 2013

Must Read Article "Is No Strings Attached Sex' an Oxymoron?'

I just read a very important article on Hooking up Smart called, 'Is No Strings Attached Sex' an Oxymoron?' It details recent research about the psychological consequences of engaging in casual sex, something the casual sex advocates seem to conveniently overlook. By casual sex I mean sleeping with someone you barely know, or someone who has made no indication that they care about you or want to have a relationship with you (e.g., one night stands, sleeping with someone before getting to know them, just having sex with someone with no strings attached). I don't mean simply having sex with someone before you are married because at this point most people don't have a problem with that and I never said I did (as long as you are not too young and doing it with too many people etc.).

There is no such thing as truly safe sex and casual sex DOES have consequences, maybe not for everyone, but for enough people that they should be warned about it. Being informed means having enough information about the pros and cons of something so that you can make a well informed choice. Telling women that casual sex is great as long as you use protection is ignoring the potential cons...the psychological effects of casual sex.

"It’s clear that positive feelings from a hookup diminish over time. Also, unsurprisingly, women express far more regret and other emotional consequences than men. Still, it’s clear that about A QUARTER of women enjoy hooking up and cite no ill effects." This means that 75% of women either do not enjoy hooking up or 75% of women experience ill effects of hooking up! So should you pay more attention to the minority's experience (25%) or the experience of the majority (75%) when making a decision?

"Another study identified two types of sexual encounters that were particularly predictive of regret: engaging in penetrative intercourse with someone known less than 24 hours and engaging in penetrative intercourse with someone only once…Campbell (2008) found that men had stronger feelings of being “sorry because they felt they used another person,” whereas women had stronger feelings of “regret because they felt used.
"In a study of 394 young adults followed across a university semester, those with more depressive symptoms and greater feelings of loneliness who engaged in penetrative sex hookups subsequently reported a reduction in both depressive symptoms and feelings of loneliness (Owen et al., 2011)...At the same time, participants who reported fewer depressive symptoms and fewer feelings of loneliness who engaged in penetrative sex hookups subsequently reported an increase in both depressive symptoms and feelings of loneliness (Owen et al., 2011)." It's basically saying that for this sample, women who feel depressed and lonely are the one's who find hookups enjoyable, which is what many of us already thought.

"Misperception of sexual norms is one potential driver for people to behave in ways they do not personally endorse. In a replication and extension of Lambert et al.’s (2003) study, Reiber and Garcia (2010) found that 78 percent of people overestimated others’ comfort with many different sexual hook-up behaviors, with men particularly overestimating women’s actual comfort with a variety of sexual behaviors in hookups." In other words, people, especially men, are assuming that most people are okay with hooking up, but they are overestimating this. They assume that most girls they meet will be okay with casual encounters and will act according to that assumption which is bad for the girls who don't want those encounters and are looking for love/relationships instead.

"People who hook up are more likely to have concurrent sexual partners (Paik, 2010b). Moreover, in a sample of 1,468 college students, among the 429 students who had engaged in oral sex, anal sex or vaginal intercourse in their most recent hookup, only 46.6 percent reported using a condom (Lewis et al., 2011)."

"Alcohol use has also been associated with a type of hookup: The greatest alcohol use was associated with penetrative sexual hookups, less alcohol use with nonpenetrative hookups, and the least amount of alcohol use occurred among those who did not hook-up (Owen, Fincham, & Moore, 2011)."... “Alcohol may also serve as an excuse, purposely consumed as a strategy to protect the self from having to justify hook-up behavior later (Paul, 2006).” So basically, if you need to be really drunk to hook up then maybe you shouldn't be doing it. If you wouldn't do it sober then you don't really want to do it.

"Men reached orgasm more often than women. In first-time hookups, 31 percent of men and 10 percent of women reached orgasm; in last relationship sexual activity, 85 percent of men and 68 percent of women reached orgasm." So if you really want to have enjoyable sex, it's better with a partner! Everyone knows this except that 25% who keeps saying hookups are great. Even they might not be having orgasms, maybe they think it's great because they feel less depressed and lonely after.

Very interesting article!


  1. Thank you for this article. I get so annoyed with people who claim that most people would enjoy casual sex and that something is wrong with you if you don’t desire that type of activity. How many movie, sitcoms and real life stories are there about people who have had casual sex ONLY because alcohol was involved? Like I have said before many of these people are the least satisfied or satisfying. If a man has many sex partners and encounters tells me that he is not that great of a lover. Even paid Gigolos have repeat customers. LOL. As for women I believe it is to fill a void. Maybe it’s something they think they can’t get based solely on love and respect and if they don’t have repeat interest maybe they are lousy lovers as well.

  2. I have decided that I will be reading your posts at your blog for now on. I'm not sure what it is about BB&W but I understand and read better when I'm at your blog.. maybe it's the ads?

    But anyway this is very valuable to know!

    Have you read this one at BlackFemaleCulture?

    It's funny because I was going to ask if BFC if it was more about the bad things about casual sex or reputation because I was thinking maybe it's that.. maybe it could be that nobody has to know how many guys you have slept with if you are doing your business cleverly and not putting yourself on blast i.e. telling your girlfriends about it, or doing it carelessly. But this post answered my question!! Casual sex and hooking up isn't doesn't make you feel good in the first place and it almost always has alcohol involved.

    But I still think the women who want marriage later.. but still want casual sex now.. should think about doing their business more privately and cleverly.. and keep their mouths shut and NOT tell their girlfriends.

    1. I personally do not promote sex outside of marriage but if you are going to engage in casual sex don't do it with the neighborhood males. Once you have sex with just one of them it's like having a Bulls eye on your Back.

    2. "Have you read this one at BlackFemaleCulture? "

      Yes I did read that one and I agree. Ruining one's reputation is one possible consequence, but the affect it has on how a woman feels about herself is even more important. A woman can move to a whole new place where no one knows her reputation but she could still feel horrible about what she has done.

      I agree with you, women need to be discreet! You don't want to get a reputation otherwise people may treat you poorly. You could have a bad reputation forever. Avoiding a bad reputation is of the utmost importance because people will use that to get in the way of your happiness. The same goes for a bad reputation about the quality of your work in your career because it can follow you around for the rest of your career.

    3. That makes sense to me.