Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Redditors on Casual Sex

I haven't posted here in a while, but I thought you might be interested to see this. It's a smallish sample, just 93 comments on a Reddit thread, but I found it somewhat surprising, as did other women there.

I came across a very interesting thread on Reddit. The poster is male:

Has anyone else had casual sex and realized it wasn't for them?

I've had a few one nightstands and - most recently - an acquaintance that I hooked up with... and it's occurred to me that casual sex doesn't work for me. I mean, it's fun to have but afterwards I feel like "blah".

Maybe it's because I've never had a mind-blowing good time, or maybe it's because I enjoy having a girlfriend, I don't know.

Anyone else feel like this?

Reading the comments, I was surprised at the number of comments from men saying it really doesn't work for them. I went through and tallied up the numbers as best I could:

FemaleMale ?
Like Casual562
Dislike Casual16253
Prefer FWB46
Pro-Poly1

A few guys expressed that it's better than nothing, so they continue to have it when they are not in a relationship. Only a couple of people on the thread have not had casual sex and would appreciate the opportunity.

The comments from the women who like casual sex were particularly interesting, and in keeping with my belief that a small minority of women are just wired differently:

tangledlight

If casual sex with the same person involved cuddling (fucking LOVE cuddling), I would never want to have a boyfriend. I want to be able to ring someone up, have a good night and some cuddles, and for them to go home the next morning without drama. I have someone I currently do this with ... or would more often, but he sucks and doesn't like driving out my way often, since I'm without a vehicle.

J973

Nah. I love sex with my husband, don't get me wrong, but I could have been a hooker, as far as my feelings towards sex/emotions anyway. I completely do not need emotions with sex. I just need physical attraction and a bottle of liquid courage.

Pannanana

I had a period in my life where all the sex I was having was casual.

Context: Late junior high until my early twenties - had two significant relationships in that time frame - all the rest were one day/night stands. During that time, I also came out as a lesbian to my whole family, and was celibate by choice for 2 years.

I didn't really know what I was doing, I was just... having sex. Yes, I did get pregnant. The very first time I had sex, I was 13, and got knocked up.

I had a FWB from 8th grade until right before soph year of high school, taking time out for my first significant relationship.

Currently, I am in a 5 year long relationship. Been swinging for 2 years. Half-open relationship for a month or so.

ssnakeggirl (F)

I enjoy casual sex, but it seems that most people don't. If you don't think you will like it then don't do it. Do whatever works for you :-D

CaptainHooker

The one-night stand with strangers, I got that kind of "bleh" feeling because it felt cheap and nasty. But having a fuck-buddy...I found it was the best thing for me. I don't do relationships, or commitment and that stuff, not right now because of my own personal issues I haven't quite worked through, but still want sex...It really is just a personal thing. I'm a female and I hate the relationship, cuddly commitment stuff.

Swiftysmoon

I'm still not sure how I feel about it honestly. My boyfriend and I have played with the idea of an open relationship and swinging because of our personal views on sexuality. I didn't necessarily dislike it, but it wasn't amazing either. I did learn that I'm really good at not letting it change my relationship with someone, since we've really only done any swinging with people we know and trust.

Here are some interesting comments from the guys:

lemur84 (M)

Yup. One night stands are great for an hour or so (longer if you count the build-up, where you are the conquistador and she your coy strumpet) but I tend to feel horrible the next day. Devoid of even lonliness or ennui.

Doesn't stop me doing it though. I like to touch vaginas, y'see.

ryanman (M)

I'd love to see how many people agree with you (and me). I was so excited about casual sex, but for the most part it's been severely underwhelming, sometimes during and almost all the time afterward.

Shandd (M)

I'm a dude and I've done the exact same thing. Lately that is all I've been getting was casual so i'm working on it, but it is super tough.

ARDad (M)

Before I met the woman that is now my wife, I had some one night stands, and some one FWB relationship. I found that, without exception, sex is just...plain?...without any emotional feelings attached to it. It's something that is hard to put into words, those of you that know the feeling, back me up on this. It just feels more intimate.

YoohooCthulhu (M)

Ehh, it can be good in the right situation. I won't say I seek it out (like most people, I think a casual/FWB thing is more comfortable), but I'm not dead set against it, and I'm sure it'll happen again. Atypically, all the experiences have been fairly good sex/positive--it's just that they were with girls that I wasn't particularly into as people who got entirely too intense afterward :-/

basilobs (M)

Yep. This is me. I feel filthy if we're not seriously into each other.

FlintsDoorknob (M)

I really wish I realized it sooner. That never works out. For me, the fact that I don't have someone exclusive to me, or really cares about me really messes with my head. I have casual sex with a friend, but I regret rushing into it.

IM_ON_A_ZEPPELIN (M)

Casual sex is so meh. FwB is slightly better, but I'd rather have a meaningful FwB, i.e. a relationship.

The Pensive (M)

I've done the casual sex thing a little bit, and I completely agree with you.

It was...nothing special for me, because half the fun I get out of sex is making the woman that I'm with feel really good. I can't make myself give as much of a fuck about that if I'm just doing it with someone I don't care very much about, and as a result I care less about the entire activity.

Stevenj214 (M)

I've had a lot of casual sex and it doesn't work for me either. It's pretty much just a slight step up from solo masturbation. Sex with someone I actually like and respect is a thousand times better!

SenseiSparky (M)

yup....but that doesn't mean i wont keep trying if i get single again.

thebope (M)

A lot of times if I have sex with a girl I don't care about I'll just cum really quickly. But if its a girl that I'm absolutely infatuated, well... lemme just say, it goes a lot better because I actually want that girl to feel well you know? Its not some random I don't care about and just want to cum in

MrFuddlesworth (M)

I'm right there with you. (Little Back story) Im a 23 year old male and I never really got in to the whole casual sex thing. I had a girlfriend from high school all the way till Junior year of college. Then hooked up with one girl my senior year. After that I had a girlfriend after I got a job for a little over a year. We broke up and I've been single for about 8 months now. Hooked up with one of my neighbors causally but just never really got into it.

I know for me I've noticed that I seem alot more confident in the bedroom when its with someone I care about, rather then someone I'm just fooling around with. Plus your right with the whole afterwards thing, usually its an awkward just laying there for a few minutes then one of us being like "welp, good game. see you next time." After a few times, even though it felt good and was pretty decent sex, I gave up on it cause I decided it just wasnt for me. Me and my right, or on special occasions left, hand are doing quite fine looking for ms right currently. fingers crossed for both of us eh?

FrankieWalrus (M)

I don't really feel sexual attraction properly until I know someone well, so were I to initiate sex with a stranger it'd be pretty horrendous.

Tralan (M)

I'm like this. I use to man-whore it up a long time ago when I was younger. Not because I was particularly horny, but mostly because I was trying to be cool. I mean, it was cool to be getting laid... but afterwards I was still single, lonely, and as you said, none of it was mind blowing. I did have a FWB for a while, and it was cool. She was a great person and I enjoyed hanging out with her as much as I liked fucking her, but because that's all it was: either friends, or fucking, but no intimacy, it got stale. As sappy as this sounds, I like being with someone. It makes the sex so much better when I care about her, and she for me. And, I like spending time- both friendly and (non-sex) intimate- with a person.

Now that I have neither, however, I am totally willing to bang a random chick for just a little companionship cries in the corner

doctorsound (M)

It beats no sex, that's for sure. But, at least for me, it tends to get emotionally messy really quick.

swishcheese (M, original poster)

It beats no sex for sure - which is why I still do it here and there.

Brandon91245 (M)

Yeah the moment she brought her other boyfriend over and preceded to kiss him in front of me. Felt emotionally sick for a long time after that.

And that's how I discovered that casual relationships don't work for me.

darkotter (M)

I wholeheartedly agree with you here. In fact it's got to the point where I some girls have started undressing because they assume that I must be up for casual sex, and I have just refused.

Having said that, like other people here, I have had better experiences with FWB style things, if you are specifically looking for sex without a girlfriend. Other than that, I quite agree, I would much rather have a girlfriend.

ackmon (M)

For me casual sex is sometimes better than masturbation but often not.

trashed_culture (M)

I think it has to be with the right person. It can be very difficult to find someone who is mutually attractive, but not serious SO potential.

I've had some bad FWB and some great FWB. I've never had a one night stand either, but I've 'dated' women who I realized too late that I just wasn't interested in. No wonder the sex wasn't that great.

xix_xeaon (M)

If all it is is pure physical sex, then I enjoy masturbating way more, and it requires much less effort too. I really don't understand why other guys put in so much effort to have "just sex" with girls - they must be really poor masturbators.

Having sex with an other person is all about the intimacy for me, and for that to work it has to be with a person I know and like. Also, for me FWB and GF kinda flow into each other.

The female responses were pretty much what you'd expect - it doesn't work for most:

lazysundae (F)

Casual sex with the same person is great. But the thing is, I always end up developing feelings for them, which, 100% of the time (for me), doesn't get reciprocated. :(

wickedtinkygirl (F)

I had one guy I planned on having a casual thing with, or even just a one night thing....yeah almost 5 years later we are still together :) I guess casual doesn't work for me either

statusisnotquo (F)

Every casual sex experience I've had has left me feeling mostly unsatisfied. The sex is pretty consistently mediocre, especially since it seems like most guys don't really care if their one night stand gets off, too. Plus, I'm way too much about the emotional closeness of the experience. Casual sex is just physical, and it just doesn't do it for me. I've had a couple good experiences, but not many.

Meeeeh (F)

Yup, my feelings exactly. But then as a long time single person, the pressure to " get some" every so often pushes me to do it again, only to go back to square one :-/

jennaraetor (F)

Casual sex isn't for me. I don't like the feeling of, "I don't like you enough to call you tomorrow" or "I wonder if he liked me enough to call me tomorrow". I'd rather wait until I give a few emotional fucks about a person to decide if we should give each other a physical one.

JaneRenee (F)

I have a couple times. Each time I ended up trying to make a relationship out of it. I wasn't comfortable with it being casual. So I just don't do it anymore. :)

thisisnotmyrealsnyo (F)

I completely agree. I've been doing the casual sex thing for a while now, and it's better than going without, but I feel like when there's no emotion there, the experience is so much more... routine. It's like - ok now we're making out, here comes the foreplay, etc etc, but when you're with someone you care for and really respect, every little thing has significance - finding out what their breath sounds like hitched in their throat, discovering that they like to be kissed behind the ear or on the neck or back, coming across little physical quirks and scars and birthmarks and inexplicably finding all of them sexy or adorable. The experience is so much more heightened and fulfilling to me.

adelaidelaide (F)

I already know it isn't for me. If there's no intimacy and commitment with the man I want to sleep with, it's impossible for me to get into it. I'd make the most terrible hooker.

taratara (F)

Only times I've had casual sex have been pretty unfulfilling, mostly because one or the other party develops feelings the other party doesn't.

apetts13 (F)

I feel the same way. Its fun until after then I feel like its not worth it.

heatb0t (F)

I totally agree. Half of my number was recurring, relationshipy sex and half is casual sex. Casual sex has its place and usefulness, but overall it's pretty blah. It pales in comparison to sex with feelings involved.

Two thoughts:

1. I continue to be surprised, and encouraged, by the number of men who prefer relationships to casual sex.

2. If it feels like crap, stop doing it.

13 comments:

Vox said...

1. The informative thing, of course, would be to track preference for relationships vs casual sex by age and perceived objective sex rank.

2. D'accordo. It's remarkable how many men and women simply cannot or will not accept this simple advice.

Markku said...

2: Ah the Bob Newhart approach.

Daniel said...

1. Precisely. My assumption that among the pro-casual crowd of women, the percentage of fluid dumpsters who are relatively young and homely should be quite high.

Barring that, I don't think it is terribly difficult to guess the age range, history and physical attractiveness of the volunteers.

Tangledlight doesn't have transportation - or, more significantly, a man who provides it for her.

J973 is a frigid drunk.

Pannanana started on the carousel very early and is running out of time and options. A five year relationship that cycles, three years in, to swinging, is actually a 3 year relationship, followed by a two year break-up, and an 18-month messy resolution.

And leaves Pannanana seven years older and sexually repugnant to the majority of her dwindling prospects.

ssnakeggirl is an immature hedonist admitting sluthood. Good for her.

CaptainHooker is an emotional mess rationalizing why her buddy won't leave her feeling cheap and nasty as soon as he gets a real girlfriend.

Swiftysmoon is under the impression that she is 100% owner of relationship outcomes. Hope that works out for her.

Odds that any one of these is over the age of 35 are zero. Given the married one's history, I'm guessing she married near the age of thirty, but not quite, and is five years into the relationship.

She's my guess at the oldest. Lowest sex rank has to be close between Pannanana and CaptainHooker.

Anonymous said...

Funny, I actually recognize some of those names. Actually, that is probably more sad then funny.

Susan Walsh said...

@Vox
The informative thing, of course, would be to track preference for relationships vs casual sex by age and perceived objective sex rank.

Agreed. I hate it when I find something interesting that is totally unreliable. Just an interesting snapshot, really.

@Daniel
Your characterizations cracked me up. Very creative, well done.

King A said...

Why is this phenomenon so surprising? It seems to consistently baffle, as though the sunrise were an original and perplexing event forgotten daily in the prior night's darkness.

When you treat sex as a pastime and your body as a public playground, all kinds of idiotic rationalizations are backwards-generated to justify the inevitable abuse. Random policies invented in thin air rush forth to fill the vacuum left by the absence of social-sexual etiquette along the moonscape of the post-sexual revolution.

What's interesting isn't that more guys say this or more girls say that. What's interesting is how everyone has their own little way of justifying casual sex without addressing the deepest reasons for their unease -- when they aren't flat-out denying the disquiet as ambiguous and therefore immaterial. Occasionally the unease is admitted, as in the Reddit forum cited. But the papier-mâché god of Sex As Mere Athletic Event must never be prodded or probed. They tiptoe up to the idol in awe but avert their eyes and never ever touch to find it flimsy and hollow.

Sex is nuclear power. Casual sex is breaking contain, as if every raging fratboy and slutwalking bimbo can be trusted to carry around their own fissionable uranium codpiece without fatally irradiating themselves and the culture. Every other theory of harmlessness is a species of denial that, when its provenance is examined, was conjured to reinforce some preposterous tabula-rasa ideology or another.

Anonymous said...

A study worth sharing with friends both male and female:

A study conducted by McMaster University's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she is in her menstrual cycle. For example: if she is ovulating, she is attracted to men with rugged and masculine features. However, if she is menstruating or menopausal, she tends to be more attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his chest with a bat up his ass while he is on fire.

No further studies are expected on this subject.

John Robie said...

"1. I continue to be surprised, and encouraged, by the number of men who prefer relationships to casual sex.
2. If it feels like crap, stop doing it."

I too am ofen surprised by the number of men who prefer relationships to casual sex. And I totally agreed with stopping things that feel like crap. Only thing I wonder about though is if using Reddit as a sample pool for anything dating-related, considering the amount of self-declared "Forever Alone" guys it attracts.=P

Anonymous said...

Its reddit...

You really think that people able to be engaged in casual sexual hookups [read: alphas, and hot chicks] are going to be posting there?

Anonymous said...

And also

"I continue to be surprised, and encouraged, by the number of men who prefer relationships to casual sex."

Most men are betas; you should not be surprised by this.

[see above about who is really having casual sex hookups and who is just talking about it on the internet.]

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