The casual sex myth

A new scientific project aims to demystify stereotypes about hookup sex (it’s not just for uni students).

Casual sex in the media is often portrayed as uni students hooking up under the influence, or Sex and the City-era women acting promiscuously, but IRL it’s not quite like that. Then again, we’re so used to only sharing casual sex tales with our friends that most women have no idea about how it plays out for the rest of the population.

Sex researcher and NYU instructor Zhana Vrangalova is behind a new scientific project aiming to demystify the notions surrounding casual sex. She’s just launched a website called ‘The Casual Sex Project’, where people anonymously submit their hookup stories to share with others.

She told The Huffington Post, “There is so much talk about the hookup culture these days, about hooking up completely replacing dating on college campuses and young people in general...”

In the hope of clearing up these incorrect stereotypes – like the idea that casual sex is linked to depression in women, and the harsher criticism women are subject to for engaging in it – Vrangalova has provided a safe, non-judgemental place for people to talk about their experiences.

“…most rarely get to hear about specific casual sex experiences other than those of their closest friends, and thus have a very limited idea of what that may entail,” she added.

To participate, each person fills out a questionnaire detailing the sexual encounter, what it involved, whether it was consensual, what contraception was used (if any), the good and bad parts of the experience, and whether it was a positive of negative one overall.

Some revealed rather interesting responses when detailing their hookups (and trust us, they get very detailed):

She’s found that most people who’ve participated haven’t regretted their casual sex encounters, “There is such a plethora of activities, feelings, hopes and expectations, partner configurations and behaviours, outcomes, circumstances… I hope this project will help people see these nuances.”