5 Things You Can Get From Casual Sex Besides An Orgasm

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We all seem to agree that young women are embracing hookup culture as fervently as their male peers. But according to a recent study led by the Kinsey Institute’s Dr. Justin R. Garcia, college aged females are twice as likely to orgasm during a sexual encounter with a committed partner than with a non-committed one. Basically, even though women are a lot less likely to climax during a “hookup,” they’re engaging in the behavior anyway.

There are a lot of factors to consider in making sense of this pleasure gap. Thanks to erections, the mechanics of a penis are generally easier to decipher than those of a vagina. It follows that the average woman would face more barriers to orgasm than the typical man. When two people excuse themselves from the constant give and take that defines a relationship, there’s also less impetus on both sides to work towards keeping each other happy. So a relative stranger is less likely to invest as much effort in satisfying a woman as her long-term partner might. By way of being young, it’s also safe to assume that the men and women in question are somewhat inexperienced—in terms of knowing their own bodies, how to communicate what they want, and how to get each other off. (It’s not as if we learn any practical skills during Sex Ed in this country).

If not the ultimate sensual reward, however, what drives women towards no-strings-attached heavy petting and beyond?

After pondering my collegiate sexcapades and the carnal decisions—from good to questionable and downright terrible—that marked my early adult life, I can’t say that hypothetical climaxing was ever a major part of the equation when weighing the pros and cons of going home with an admirer. My thought process went more like this: Is he as drunk as I am?…Will he notice that I didn’t shave my legs?…Does it matter that I hooked up with his best friend last semester?…Will he expect morning action on top of whatever happens tonight?…Is this a walk of shame suitable outfit? Truth be told, the kind of excitement that prompted me to hook up was rarely of the arousal variety.

Every scenario must differ, but I would argue that there are at least five elements jostling for contention in the minds of nubile young women considering an indiscriminate romp. Hence this list of things you can get from casual sex besides the chance to showcase your O-face:

1. Self-confidence

It is almost always flattering to be propositioned. I say this as someone who has blushed automatically upon delivery of the most laughable lines, including:

  1. “I’ve slept with 99 women and I’d like the 100th to be special,” and
  2. “Are you a BMW, Mercedes, or Porsche type of girl? ‘Cause I’ve got all three.”

It doesn’t usually matter if you’re uninterested in the person behind the baiting; attention is proof of desirability. Assuming that the mating dance referred to as a hookup involves some mutual display of admiration, the process should thus prove validating. Even the least vain among us is susceptible to deriving satisfaction from the awareness that someone finds them worthy of pursuit (i.e. sexy), even if only temporarily. Who doesn’t love an ego boost?

2. A Memory

In spite of what your local Catholic priest might tell you, fleeting sexual encounters aren’t completely devoid of warmth and intimacy. It’s possible to share a special moment with a relative stranger—to create a memory that will endure long past the time you can recall the name of the person you made it with. Sometimes, in fact, a brief dip in the sea of short-lived affections is exactly what one covets.

3. Experience

Is it sensible to expect sexual proficiency by fornicating with one individual over and over and over and over? Top athletes master their sport on multiple surfaces, the best musicians play several instruments, and the finest artists tamper across mediums. Practice may not make you a sex god, but there’s something to be said about honing your skills by testing them out on a few different models of the human body. After all, the human form varies a lot—in appearance, taste, smell, hairiness, feel, and functionality. Sure, you’ve undressed amongst your peers in countless locker rooms, and you’ve been watching Internet porn since your were a tween. Still, it’s hard to appreciate the full extent of anatomical diversity (especially when it comes to the opposite sex, if that’s your thing) until you’ve experienced your share of analog naked playtime. Hopefully, the reward of such exposure is an appreciation for the beauty in our differences, and a grasp of the remarkable scope of possible sexual stimuli. I may be unqualified to guess what the antidote to sexual timidity is, but I sincerely doubt it’s prolonged virginity.

4. A Reputation

The risk of accumulating experience in overdrive—for women in particular, courtesy of the Madonna-Whore Complex society refuses to shake—is the accidental acquisition of a moniker such as whore, slut, player, or something along the lines of sexual napalm. Depending on your ability to filter insults, gossip can be upsetting. Luckily, denial is a powerful weapon. Alternatively, you can always own your reputation (or your “number”) rather than shy away from it in the name of seeming purer, a charade that perpetuates the pervasive slut-shaming problem.

5. An STI/STD

Science indicates that we’re not biologically inclined to be monogamous. It might seem unfair, then, on the part of Mother Nature, that those who have more sexual partners are statistically more likely to contract a sexually transmitted infection or disease—through the swapping of spit and other fluids, or (beware the tyranny!) the PG-13 rubbing together of skin. As a biologist friend pointed out in regards to this seemingly despicable contradiction, however, all living organisms—even microbes—are programmed to survive and replicate. That is the essence of life, and we cannot fault bacteria or infectious viruses for their enthusiasm to thrive any more than we blame ourselves. If you were fortunate enough to be born, the reality is that there are a lot of STIs and STDs out there. The good news is, there’s also a lot of free condoms. TC mark

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