why one-night stands, hook-ups, and casual sex can still come with intimacy
It’s not necessarily equally appealing to everyone the idea of having hook-ups and casual sex. We totally get that! Arguably, for most of us, we don’t like the idea of having sex that lacks commitment or consistency. For others, they love the idea of ‘no strings attached’ and the freedom that comes with that. What both perspectives have in common is, when casual sex is thought of, we usually associate it with simply sex and nothing else. According to a new study though, casual sex might have a little more to it.
Published at Indiana University’s Kinsey Institute, casual sex was found to be just as much about intimacy as it is about the physical sex. What the study looked at was college students’ sexual habits and their intimacy or affectionate behaviours showed during sex. Although researchers found relationship sex carried with it far more intimacy than casual sex, the amount of intimate action in casual sex was higher than predicted. Some examples of intimacy in sex included acts like cuddling, spending the night, eye gazing, and engaging in foreplay.
These findings say a lot about why some one-night stands, hook-ups and casual sex can lead towards more intimacy and in some cases, sustained relationships. There’s nothing wrong with desiring intimacy in casual sex. In fact, most people seem to prefer it. There appeared to be no gender differences in the need for intimacy, although women were found to be more affectionate overall. Interpretations of casual sex are also somewhat inaccurate, at least if this desire for intimacy is to be believed.
For those that aren’t having it or who are new to casual sex, their thoughts and ideas about it usually come from media. Just because it shows something in a movie or on Netflix though, that’s not necessarily accurate to what actually happens when the door shuts and the lights dim. For the vast majority of students in this study, those who preferred casual sex were more likely to desire intimacy and affection in an encounter. This tells us that everyone wants to find intimacy in sex, whether that’s on a physical level, mentally, spiritually, or on some other level.
Naturally, the connection between intimacy in sex and casual sex may complicate the relationship. After all, if the line in the sand between romantic sex and casual sex is scattered, possibilities of things leading to a relationship are increased. And, it happens. Like, a lot. For this reason, being upfront and clear about what you’re expecting in your casual sex encounter in addition to what you’re open to beyond the encounter is important.
Now not every casual sex encounter is going to be this intimate, beautiful experience. As long as you state upfront the expectation though, there’s no reason you can’t have it. And, if you want to have a more primal urge-driven casual sex encounter, give it a go with a willing partner!
Whether casual sex is intimate for you or not, it doesn’t have to be and you’re not required to behave in any sort of special way towards your partner. That’s the great thing about sex. As long as you have a consenting partner and as long as you’re comfortable, sex can be anything. If all you’re looking for is a physical connection, it’s out there. If what you want is a more intimate version of casual sex, that’s out there as well.