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Casual sex. While it's not for everyone, it can offer some of the most exciting and highly-charged sex old and young adults can enjoy. Where sex within a long-term relationship creates intimacy, consistency, a deeper understanding of each other's bodies, and exactly what works for both, a casual hookup or one-night stand can bring about high levels of anticipation, thrill, sexual ecstasy and a considerable boost to your ego.

A casual hookup can deliver some of the biggest thrills in our sexual history. Sleeping with a few new (or many) women (or men) will provide a far more varied palate and teach you new and enlightening things about every person you sleep with.

In this article, we'll explore the best ways to navigate casual sex and hookup culture, ensuring you get the best sex possible from your efforts while retaining a virtuous reputation, which can inevitably lead to even more casual sex.

What is casual sex?

Casual sex is the kind of sex that happens outside of a committed relationship. It often happens between strangers without an emotional connection, but it's certainly not limited to any specific interpretation or occasion.

Casual sex is the kind of sex that happens outside of a committed relationship.

It can happen a single time or over an extended period; it can be between friends (although those can lead to complications and need stronger boundaries) or even between people who can't abide each other.

Ultimately, it's an opportunity for those who'd like to enjoy many of the benefits that sex delivers without the commitment and responsibilities of a relationship or marriage.

What should it be?

It should be fun, free from pressure, empowering, and exciting, but it should also be respectful and considerate.

It's a great way for those with no intention of having children, getting married, or being monogamous to enjoy the thrills and intimacy of sex, have fun, feel empowered, live out a fantasy, or feel less lonely.

Who's having casual sex?

There are many reasons to engage in no-commitment sex, and as long as they're consensual and respectful, it's up to you to decide where you draw your line.

This article in the Journal of Sex Research determined that while young people aren't necessarily sleeping with more people or having more sex, there has been a slight shift towards casual sex instead of that within the structure of a long-term relationship or with a regular partner.

However, despite living in a freer, more open sexual society, mixed views exist on what constitutes correct behavior. As far as we're concerned, you are the only person who gets to decide that.

What are the benefits of casual sex?

You don't have to be a professional athlete to enjoy playing sports, and so it goes with sex. Many prefer to use the term recreational sex to casual sex, as the word casual suggests an ill-thought-through, respectless act.

For many, casual sexual encounters deliver the following feel-good factors:

  • Boosts confidence and self-esteem

  • Lowers anxiety

  • Can deliver incredible orgasms

  • It provides excitement, variation, and unpredictability

  • An opportunity to explore fantasies

To enjoy such benefits, those involved must fulfill a selection of prerequisites: for example, all parties should feel safe, relaxed, open to each experience, and able to engage in each act without judgment.

Conversely, casual sex isn't for everyone, as this study into sociosexuality and a stable orientation towards casual sex examines. If your belief systems or social views don't align, or you're using it as a coping strategy instead of purely for recreation and pleasure, then it's probably not for you or a good time to ask yourself why. It could do more damage than good.

Showing respect, building trust, and being a gentleman all lead to successful casual sex, just as they do in a long-term committed relationship.

Despite those engaging in casual sex agreeing that all feelings should be left at the door, it doesn't mean they will be. Showing respect, building trust, and being a gentleman all lead to successful casual sex, just as they do in a long-term committed relationship.

How and where to are you most likely to find casual sex opportunities?

Tips to become more succcessful at getting casual sex

Diagram of the Tips to Find Casual Sex Opportunities

  1. Be confident

    Confidence is attractive, yet there's a fine line between confidence and arrogance. A great deal of confidence comes from knowing yourself and the ability to be open and honest about who you are.
  2. Be the best version of yourself

    Even if you're not planning to be husband or boyfriend material, you must still be attractive to potential sex partners. Whether with a sparkling personality, wit, physical fitness, dress sense, or just how you carry yourself—working on your fitness, hygiene, wardrobe, sense of humor, and intelligence all go a long way to being interesting, exciting, and attractive.
  3. Be sexual and flirty

    When conversation flows freely and seems to be heading in the right direction, complementing a possible partner or telling them you're attracted to them is a bold move they'll likely appreciate.

    There's a fine line between confident and creepy, so make sure you know the difference and stay on the right side of the line. Don't overdo it; dropping a few sexy hints and suggestions here and there should be enough to create interest.
  4. Keep it fun

    Diving too deep or quickly is enough to put potential partners off, so keep it light and friendly. The whole experience should be fun—not just the sex—so keep chats light and simple.

    Ask questions where your partner can talk about themselves; we all appreciate when someone shows genuine interest in us, but this time, don't dig too deep—it's a perfect opportunity for small talk that leads to sexual activities.
  5. Keep your intentions clear

    You must be clear about your intentions; gaining enthusiastic consent is a surefire way to ensure you're both on the same page. If you're not, cut your losses and move on.

Dr. Justin Lehmiller of sexandpsychology.com uncovered several studies revealing that friends-with-benefits situations are often seen as a stepping stone to romantic love for many men and women—although the scales were tipped towards women being the most hopeful of such a change.

Dr. Justin Lehmiller Quote


If you think a potential casual sex partner is looking for a more serious or committed long-term relationship, make sure they know you're not. You can do this with tact and kindness to avoid uncomfortable conversations; you may even earn a little respect for protecting their feelings.

Another interesting article published in the Sexuality & Culture Journal highlighted that women tend to encounter more negative emotional outcomes than men and engage in the experience through different motivations. This is another strong reason for men to be clear in their intentions, helping avoid misunderstandings and retain the highest chances of a positive outcome.

Where – Finding suitable casual sex opportunities

  1. Bars and clubs

    Bars and clubs are standard social environments, ideal for meeting new people. However, not everyone is there to pick someone up, so while being confident, don't forget to tread carefully, avoiding any uncomfortable interactions: in other words, read the room.

    You'll need some of that confidence we spoke of earlier, as finding an 'in' and talking to strangers without appearing creepy or desperate takes practice. A few drinks will help with confidence, but too many can soon tip you over the line and impact decision-making and performance later in the evening.
  2. Hookup and dating apps

    The Internet has a vast and dedicated corner for online dating and casual hookups. If you're using online dating apps, be clear about the type of partner you're looking for. Many users will be looking for something lasting and serious, so if your intention is just sex, make sure they know.

    Finding casual partners on hookup sites isn't always as straightforward as you'd imagine. With more options for sexual partners, you'll have to stand out from the crowd. You'll still have to appeal to possible hookups just as you would in traditional online dating—so creating a fun, frisky, and friendly profile is essential, just as having a selection of photographs that bring out your best features is.
  3. Casual sex clubs and events

    Once seemingly dark and cloak and dagger, tracking down sex parties and hookup events would have meant knowing someone in the know; however, the Internet has changed all that. Events are available for every type of swinger, fetish, and sexual taste.

    Such events are, despite being a perfect location for finding casual sex partners, more appealing to the outgoing and confident. The more introverted, reserved, and inhibited will be better suited to more traditional environments.
  4. Parties and social gatherings

    Parties are good places to mix with wider groups of people, and the same rules as in bars and clubs will work here. A little confidence will go a long way, but openness and honesty will keep everyone informed of the facts and awkward misunderstandings at bay.
  5. Through friends and social circles

    Your friends know you better than anyone, so if anyone can set you up with a suitable casual sex partner, they could be a great option. Of course, there's no need to broadcast what you're doing, as a little discretion goes a long way to protect everyone's privacy and reputation, yet, a few casual conversations could uncover a healthy pool of interested girls or guys.

Hooking up with a close friend may seem incredibly convenient, but remember, as a friend, you'll regularly spend time together in the future. You'll continue to see them as they engage with further potential casual or new long-term partners. Even when we believe we're not emotionally attached, such situations can lead to jealousy, so be prepared.

A casual hookup doesn't have to be a one-night stand

When you find hookups that work well for you, why wouldn't you want to repeat the experience? Well, the more sex you have, the more chance there is of deeper feelings developing.

With any intimate act, we create oxytocin, the neurotransmitter designed to develop attachment, so you may have to work harder to remain unemotionally involved.

With any intimate act, we create oxytocin, the neurotransmitter designed to develop attachment, so you may have to work harder to remain unemotionally involved. Retaining emotional boundaries may require honest conversations about how you both feel and if the sex is still worth pursuing.

Six successful casual sex tips from our experts

1. Be prepared

  • Physically – Whether it's a one-night stand or regular casual sex, you should ensure you're fit, healthy, and able to deliver for you and your sexual partner. If you need ED medication to perform, make sure you've got it and take it at the appropriate time.
  • Mentally – Any hiccups or embarrassing moments during casual sex may not seem such a big deal, but those with low self-esteem may not bounce back as easily. Hooking up with strangers takes a different mindset, so being mentally prepared for what's ahead is just as important as it is physically and practically.
  • Sexually – If you're going to achieve the greatest sexual satisfaction that casual sex offers, you should aim to be on top of your game. Sexual stamina is something that concerns a lot of penis owners and affects both partners during sex.

    It's a common issue with sex therapists and counselors, so what can you do to get match-ready?

WHAT TO DO

REASON

When it comes to premature ejaculation, it is important to address performance anxiety

  • Mindfulness, communication, and working on self-esteem will often help.

Desensitize the penis using appropriate lubricants and creams

  • Wearing a condom, or masturbating before sex.

Vary your positions during sex

  • This is to give the penis a break and a chance to reset.

Retrain your penis during solo masturbation

  • Taking your time, prolonging sessions, and using techniques such as 'edging' will help extend the time you can spend having sex before climaxing.

Use sex toys designed to delay orgasm

  • Whether it's a penis or cock ring designed to aid premature ejaculation or a penis sheath intended to desensitize the penis, such additions can add substantial time to your pleasure.

  • Some penis rings come with vibrating clitoris stimulators, which can help to level the playing field.

Spend more time on foreplay and non-penetrative sex

  • This gives you more time to acclimate to the excitement and increases your partner's arousal and anticipation.

Evaluate and address unhealthy masturbation and porn habits

  • Excessive porn use creates unrealistic expectations; give it a break for a few weeks, and you'll notice how much more attractive the women you sleep with become and how much more tuned into them you'll become.

For a deeper look at sexual stamina and further information into the above pointers, we covered the topic in our knowledge center, 'How to last longer in bed – 50 sex experts share their tips.' It's a really interesting article, a great read, and full of practical information.

  • Practically – Whether you plan to bring a new sex partner home or not, be prepared that it might be your only option. With that in mind, you should make every effort to make the men or women you bring home comfortable and relaxed. Be sure to clean all areas of your home, not just the bedroom, and put clean sheets on the bed with enough pillows. Again, have clean towels for each of you, and it doesn't harm to have some good coffee in for your parting breakfast (if they stay over).

On top of that, ensure you've got plenty of condoms, lubricant, and any other sex toys, devices, or sprays you might use (assuming you've discussed that they might make an appearance and it's okay with your 'date').

2. Be nice

On the topic of staying over, don't be in a rush to get them out of the door when it's over. Some will want to stay, and others won't. If you go back to their home, you can decide, or if you use a hotel or neutral space, you can make that decision together.

On the topic of staying over, don't be in a rush to get them out of the door when it's over.

There may be fewer romantic feelings involved with casual sex, but remember, everyone you sleep with is a person with real feelings, so treat them as such and never as a conquest. The more partners you have, the more you'll learn just how much being a gentleman garners respect from the women (or men) you're sleeping with.

3. Be safe and use protection

As crucial as birth control is in casual sex, it's not the same as protection. The best way to protect yourself from STIs is by using condoms, so it's essential to have a selection ready to go. Keeping one in your wallet 'for an emergency' isn't enough. That particular condom will likely be crushed to within an inch of its useful life, so make sure you've got a box of suitable and in-date options ready to go.

The Journal of American College Health revealed some staggering statistics regarding college students engaging in casual sex without a condom.

In this study into condom use during hookups involving vaginal sex, according to the American College Health Association’s National College Health Assessment, 46% of students reported having vaginal sex in the last 30 days, yet less than half of them claimed to have always used a condom or used one most of the time during the previous 30 days.

STIs in young adults aged 15 to 24 account for 64.3% and 49.7% of all chlamydia and gonorrhea cases in the US. That should be enough warning to stay safe during sex with a short-term partner, whether a one-night stand, sex with benefits, or other hookup situations.

4. Keep things light – the setup, the conversation, and the sex

Casual sex encourages casual behavior throughout the entire experience. Just as you don't want to hear about a short-term prospect's problems and issues, they don't need to know about your work stresses or family dramas. Keep those conversations for your friends or your wife/long-term girlfriend when you're ready for one.

Keep the conversation light and fun. Ask her about herself; she'll love that you're interested, but keep topics easy and accessible.

If your chat leads to sexual tastes and practices, what you want from the night, or the type of dirty talking that will build anticipation and get you both in the mood, go for it.

Remember, anything that helps your partner relax into the occasion is what you're looking for. So keep it light, keep it fun, and keep it easy.

In the same way, keep the setup light. Don't invite your partner to anything that looks remotely like a date; a few drinks to set the mood is good, but dinner, a trip to the theatre, or a romantic stroll in the countryside (unless you're both aiming specifically for some al fresco excitement) should be kept for your future girl- or boyfriend.

Finally, if it's your first time with a casual partner, keep the sex casual and comfortable too. Unless you've discussed it in advance and are meeting purely to fulfill your most wanton desires, fixations, and fetishes, keep those wild fantasies and kinks for a little further down the line.

5. Know the difference between casual hookups and relationships

To ensure a casual relationship, know the difference between casual and dating. The premise of casual sex—without the responsibilities or complications of a relationship—should be just that: casual.

To ensure a casual relationship, know the difference between casual and dating.

It's almost impossible to prevent yourself from developing some emotions and feelings while sharing something intimate, so setting boundaries and keeping the behaviors most likely to fuel such feelings to a minimum is essential. Deep conversations, cuddling, spending time together away from the sex, dinners, dates, family gatherings, social events, and hanging out should all be left to dating and relationships.

6. Have fun and enjoy it

You're both there to enjoy yourselves, so make sure you do. If you're confident enough to bring a stranger home for sex, you should be confident enough to ask her what she likes and how to satisfy her. It's a great opportunity to engage in the kind of wild, no-judgment play you might not be confident trying with a long-term partner; just be sure you're both on the same page, and it's all entirely consensual.

If you ever feel that you or your partner is developing feelings outside of what's expected from casual sex, address them before things get weird or someone gets hurt. Hoping for something more when it's clearly not going to happen isn't fun for anyone.

Summary

Be honest, discreet, kind, and sexy, and you should enjoy all the highs casual sex delivers. Most people have thought about it at some point, and many men benefit from it as a continuing lifestyle indefinitely.

Be honest, discreet, kind, and sexy, and you should enjoy all the highs casual sex delivers.

It can be one of the most freeing and rewarding sexual opportunities you face as a single guy, so seize the moment if it aligns with your beliefs and values, and do it properly. Keep things respectful, consensual, safe, and, above all, casual!

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