I was recently involved (in a very small way) in a conversation on Twitter about casual sex.
It started with this tweet:
*This tweet seems to have been deleted, so I couldn’t embed it and you won’t be able to click over to the conversation.
This is something that’s been rolling around in my head recently, for a variety of reasons.
I responded with this tweet:
There were more tweets in the conversation, but the original questioner (wisely?) deleted the tweet that kicked this off.
But still the question of what casual sex is bad wouldn’t leave my head.
Here’s the short version:
There’s no such thing as casual sex.
There are so many things tied into what society currently wants us to believe is merely a simple physical act.
I really don’t think it’s that simple.
First, as a Christian you are sharing something with any number of people, that God intended for you to share only with your spouse.
But maybe you’re not a Christian, and that doesn’t influence you.
Some people believe that you share energy with a person that you are physically intimate with.
You absorb some of theirs, they absorb some of yours, and you carry that person with you.
The more people you have sex with, the more this builds.
There’s even the possibility that DNA from sperm of men a woman has slept with even remain with her and have other effects on her life.
At any rate, I maintain that there is no such thing as casual sex, as the emotions involved are too strong for most people to remain neutral toward the person they are sleeping with, and therefore stay casual.
Casual Sex Affects You Mentally and Emotionally
This will admittedly be more anecdotal than scientific, but we’re going to go with it.
How many people do you know that sleep around (aka, have causal sex) and are well-adjusted?
How many people do you know that have sex with a lot of different people and you could consider well-adjusted?
Fair or not, society tends to take a negative view of women who have casual sex with a lot of different men.
But what about men?
There is certainly a double standard.
We (wrongly) assume that men have less emotional capacity than women.
This means we assume that men are not affected by casually sharing a connection as significant as sex in the same way that women are.
We (as a generalization about society) also assume that men won’t get attached emotionally to a woman as a result of sex.
I think both of these assumptions are wrong.
If this is true, there’s probably some level of dark triad personality at play.
Even when a man seemingly has no emotions attached to sex and sees hooking up as something of a game, chances are good there are a couple of things going on:
- He’s lashing out at someone or something
- He’s harboring some guilt about it or hiding the fact that it is having an emotional impact.
I think this blog post from RooshV is pretty interesting and one of the things that also got me thinking about this subject.
Roosh is fairly well known in the manosphere (which is admittedly a small corner of the internet world) and has travelled the world trying to have sex with lots of women.
He’s even written several books on the topic.
He’s equally reviled by feminist types and admired by the men who study “game.”
By the standards of many men, his life is awesome.
Travel and Sex.
But now he’s 40 and realizes what he has likely missed out on.
Not only that, but it seems he’s starting to realize that even though he thought he was unaffected by his behavior, that wasn’t actually the case.
At the height of my casual sex phase, when I was sleeping with numerous women per year, I was also attacking feminists and “sluts” with a level of hostility that I wouldn’t use today. Why was I so heated and angry while receiving bountiful sexual pleasure? Shouldn’t I have been praising the type of woman who gave me commitment-free sex? It took me a long time to realize that attacking those women was a way of relieving my guilt from sleeping with other women.https://www.rooshv.com/casual-sex-creates-guilt
I suggest reading the post.
Casual sex goes against our nature, and this creates guilt.
Casual Sex Affects Your Future Relationships
On a different note, I read another short blog post that hit on this topic very well.
Using the analogy of taking a jeep off-road, the author paints a picture of all the dents, and dings that happen each time, no matter how careful or skilled the driver was.
And so it is with your sex life.
Again, we’re not being scientific with this, because these are things that you intuitively know are true, even if you don’t want to admit it.
You give and take a little bit from each person you’re with and vice versa.
I would suggest that there’s no way to get out of that situation.
The author of the above-referenced blog post likens it to “off-roading your sex life.”
And while individually, those dents and dings seem harmless, they are there, and you bring them into all your other relationships with you.
Eventually, you may bring them into a relationship that you want to be permanent.
Likely with a person who has dents and dings of their own (such is the current state of our culture).
While this is not necessarily insurmountable, and again, we’re programmed to just say all of this is ok, and “the past is the past,” and such.
But often some dents left more of an impact than others.
Whether it’s alpha widow syndrome or worse, sexual abuse that affects your ability to enjoy sex with your spouse.
Or maybe it’s something as simple as expectations for frequency or behaviors that were developed while in another relationship.
Perhaps one person’s past makes the other uncomfortable and subconsciously it bothers them and creates resentment.
Regardless, you don’t make it out of your past encounters unscathed.
There are effects, even if they are unseen.
And when one or both people in a relationship bring their individual dents and dings together into a relationship and marriage, things can get complicated.
This is not to say insurmountable, but in many cases more complicated than necessary which is a result of sharing that which was intended for one other person.
How Did We Get Here?
I think there is something important to understand here, and that is that our culture and society are all promoting casual sex (a casual sex funnel, if you will).
As I read the disappeared tweet thread, there were responses along the lines of (these are all paraphrases of course):
“I think it’s ok for people to get together just to satisfy their urges.”
“As long as the people are emotionally stable, not on drugs or alcohol, and understand what is happening, casual sex can be beautiful.”
“People that think casual sex is bad are nerds and aren’t having sex at all and are jealous.”
It’s difficult for me to be judgmental because a few years ago I probably would have said the same thing.
When I was a 20-something, I thought the same way.
It’s all around us every day too.
Advertising sexualizes every product to sell more of it.
Garbage sitcoms and “reality” TV show people engaging in casual sex with no consequences (or consequences that are conveniently wrapped up in 21 or 42 minutes).
People (especially women) are encouraged to not to settle down in their 20s but instead, just have fun.
People are encouraged to focus on degrees, careers and making money, rather than having a family.
They’re told that you can always start a family later when they’re “more established.”
In addition, contraception is readily available to mitigate the natural consequences of having sex.
And while this certainly has it’s place, I doubt whether the best use of it is sex with as many people as possible without consequence.
Probably the worst way society encourages casual sex is with the normalization of abortion.
Why Does This Matter?
There is a theory I hold to that I’ve seen floating around that makes this significant.
Roosh explains it well and I’ll use his example.
We all have a limited number of people that we can bond with emotionally.
Each sexual encounter removes a little bit of this adhesive, just like taking a piece of packing tape off a box and putting it back on eventually removes the adhesive from the tape.
Eventually, it will not stick anymore.
Each time we sleep with another person, we use up a little bit of that ability to bond.
We use up some of the adhesive that allows us to emotionally connect with another person at a significant level.
Sex removes the adhesive from women at a greater rate than men (though both are affected).
After some number of people, we lose our ability to truly emotionally pair with another person.
This is among the reasons that so many people are getting married later, or not getting married at all.
You leave a bit of yourself with each person you have sex with.
Eventually, there’s nothing left.
I never thought that reading that deceased tweet would get my wheels turning so much, but obviously, it did.
And I’m not an anti-sex puritan by any means.
I think people should have all the sex they can find the energy and time for… within the context of their marriage.
And my purpose is not necessarily to tell people what to do or dictate behavior, but maybe provide a little bit of the opposite perspective from what everything in society is telling them.
Particularly the unmarried, childless 20-year-olds who think there couldn’t possibly be anything harmless about unattached sex with as many people as possible before they “settle down.”
But really, there was something far more significant (to me) that I had in mind.
And that is my children.
If getting married changes a person’s view on “casual sex,” then having children blows it up completely.
I can’t imagine telling my daughter that having sex with lots of men would be “empowering.”
I can’t imagine telling my sons that part of the fun of your 20s is seeing how many “notches” you can accumulate.
In my view, that would be terrible parenting and contributing to the degeneracy of a society that, frankly, doesn’t need any more help.
So my contention is that there really is no such thing as “casual sex”, as we were created and wired to create emotional bonds with other people, and sex is too emotionally charged to approach casually.
Doing so will likely create internal dissonance that will eventually affect either your ability to invest yourself in a permanent relationship or the permanent relationship that you are in.
So that was a big topic and I’m sure you have thoughts on it!
Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.