Have you ever had a one night stand? Yep? Well good on you, because apparently casual sex is good for your mental health. No wonder Samantha from Sex and The City was always so damn happy!
A new study released in The Journal of Sex Research suggests that the short term effects of sex, including satisfaction and joy, are just as apparent for women whether they’re sleeping with Mr Nobody or Mr Right. So even if you haven’t met “the one”, you can still get all the benefits of a healthy sex life, with 67 percent of women feeling “cheered up” on the days they have sex.
We all know that one night stands have a bad rep, with lots of pop culture portrayals showing women feeling sad or guilty the morning after. And the scientists who conducted the study actually set out to prove this notion: that girls have negative feeling about sex outside relationships. Showing that scientists don’t always know best (and they do these studies for a reason), their research totally proved their original hypothesis wrong! They found that, just like guys, women can really enjoy casual sex and feel great about it. It takes two to tango, as they say.
Sexologist and relationship expert Dr. Nikki Goldstein says the reason women feel more positive is because, “We are living in an era when women are taking back control sexually, they’re breaking gender stereotypes, such as all women want to be romanced and fall in love before sex. We’ve realised that we can go out there, have sex and it feels good.”
According to the study 93 percent of women feel physically satisfied post-booty, and 73 percent feel a thrill. And these numbers were across the board, not just for women doing it with their BF.
But does casual sex have the same positive affect for all women? According to Goldstein, “It can work for some people, but generally speaking it will always get complicated, someone will develop feelings and forget that the usual rules don’t apply – you don’t have to call someone you’re casual sleeping with. So it’s not the best long-term solution, but can be really good for women in-between partners or who are busy and want to experiment.”
She advises that women need to know the context of their sexual flings and understand their bodies, to ensure that it remains a positive experience for them: “Women need to know the risks and know their bodies. The same sex hormones are produced whether you’re sleeping with your boyfriend or someone casual, so you still might experience feelings of attachment.
“The biological side of sex is harder for women because of the way our bodies function and the way we’re taught to view sex. So we need to understand casual sex for what it is: a bit of fun.”
Surprisingly, even though they feel great physically, only 45 percent of women said they felt more attractive after sex. “Some women out there are having casual sex as a validation and that’s where it gets dangerous. Casual sex has its place if you want to feel fun and feel good, but women always need to learn to love themselves without things like this that will give instant gratification. If they can’t do this then they risk feeling shallow and unattractive afterwards, when the physically high has passed,” says Goldstein.
She also reminds all women that you’re not in a relationship with a guy you occasionally sleep with so, “as soon as it starts to get negative or doesn’t feel fun anymore, you need to end it.”
Also, we should all take the advice of our parent and “always use protection”, because apart from the obvious health benefits, the study showed that women who don’t are more likely to experience guilt and stress about their sexual health.
Tell us, how do you feel about casual sex?