A recent study was just published in Science of US, reporting that there are some psychological benefits associated with casual sex. Self esteem and confidence levels can increase, and a general improvement in overall mood are only a few of the healthy benefits casual sex can give us. Since the study is still in its early stages, there are still several questions that remained unanswered regarding casual sex,
These questions concern sexually active men and women of any age, and as researchers continue to study the effects of casual sex the answers will hopefully be discovered.
1. How does aging affect the benefits of casual sex?
Many studies focus on sexually active men and women who are in their early twenties or still in college. While there has been quite a lot of research done on this age group, including how casual sex could affect them later in life, there is still relatively known how aging can play a role. Society’s perceptions can also affect sex and peoples’ attitudes towards it. Older men and women can often be judged as immature or having social problems if they are still engaging in casual sex when they are in their 40’s or older, and aging also effects sexual desire and response. How aging and society’s perception affect casual sex has yet to be determined.
2. Are all casual sex arrangements created equal?
We already know that there can be different meanings behind casual sex encounters. One night stands with strangers, are typically different they casual encounters with friends or even former lovers. Even though these encounters can produce individual sexual reactions, there is still no clear evidence on how or if they affect us differently psychologically. Not even researchers can agree on whether the feelings are identical in each sexual encounter.
3. What are the long term benefits and drawbacks of casual sex?
With the majority of all studies only following sexually active couples for a period of one year or less, it is impossible to know if there are any drawbacks or benefits to having emotional sex. Some researchers suggest that as long as the sex is consensual and both individuals understand that it is not the start of an exclusive long term relationship there are not any drawbacks. While it is also not the having an active sexual life is necessary for overall general health, it is still not known if these same benefits apply during casual sex.
4. What accounts for the gender gaps in casual sex?
It is common knowledge that men enjoy and participate in casual sex more often than women, it is not known if this is due to society’s expectations or simple a biologic need to reproduce. Another difference between men and women is their ability to achieve an orgasm, and this could also be contributing to the gender gap in casual sex. Men can normally achieve an orgasm faster than women, and an estimated 70 percent of all men who engage in casual sex have a climax. This is compared to only 40 percent of women who have experienced an orgasm due to casual sex. More studies will need to be conducted to answer this question, though it will probably take years before there is even a tentative guess.
5. Are the large race or culture differences?
There is very little information available to answer this question, since the majority of people studies were middle class white college students. While there is nothing wrong with study this pattern of behavior, it also limits the information available for other ethnic races. There is no way to answer this question, since an answer or a guess at this time would be considered inappropriate. What researchers are currently speculation based on the studies that have conducted, is that there might be chance that economic status is the largest factor in who is enjoying casual sex.
While there is so much that researchers do not know about engaging in casual sex, they do know that it can be healthy and natural. Instead of trying to find all of the benefits or spend hours researching unanswerable questions, relax with a friend and enjoy the sexual encounter. You might be surprised at how good you feel once you stop worrying about having all of the answers.