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Discomfort is natural, which is why we avoid intimacy and sex in the first place — that and the fact that our marriages tend to have trouble surviving them, and we’ve all had bad experiences. Our sex lives are our biggest experience of intimacy, but since that’s such an intimate and personal one, we tend to be leery about the subject.
But not only do casual sex and hookups make us feel on edge, it can also negatively affect our health and the health of others. Studies in China, the UK, and the US have found that casual sex can increase the risk for STDs — namely bacterial vaginosis, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV — even if a person has an effective condom. Intimate sex with a casual partner reduces a woman’s ability to naturally heal her vagina and introduces bacteria that are as dangerous to a woman as certain drug-resistant strains of Staphylococcus aureus.
That’s not to say that hookups lead to STDs every single time. But they are a risk, and one that can be eliminated by taking some safety measures. As hard as it can be to say, reducing the number of partners a person has is probably the best way to prevent STD infections, at least that we know of. Studies have shown that having a monogamous, long-term relationship can even decrease your STD risk — no, really, we’re 100% sure of it. What does this mean for someone who is already having casual sex with more than one person? It’s important to be cautious in your sexual activities, and to do so using the resources of the hookup app.
Casual sex can also affect our moods. So, where do casual sex and hookups fit in your relationship plans? Think about it this way: Having casual sex means putting your feelings on hold while you follow the whims of your body, your moods, your urges, and the potential for pleasure. It can be freeing and fun to not feel compelled to act on things that you really don’t want to act on. But with casual sex comes risk. In romantic relationships, having sex with someone new is a powerful, liberating way to bond — and for partners to know what they like and don’t like. But it can have a different effect if a person enters the relationship with a casual sex history, or if sex is made into a chore.
How to go about casual sex
Whether you’re seeking long-term love or casual sex, the decision to go
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Wanting something casual doesn’t necessarily mean you want casual sex. But here’s what it does mean: you’re more willing to have sex with someone than you are to make a relationship commitment. You’re a woman who feels dirty or unhappy with your connection to your partner, so you’re happy to jump in bed with a man or group of men for the night. There’s no time for a relationship that doesn’t feel worthy to you.

And while there is overlap — you probably didn’t feel any kind of deep connection with that guy you slept with and still wanted to sleep with again — there’s also a big difference. A commitment to a one night stand isn’t necessarily because you think you can never commit to someone or that you’ll never want anything more. It may just be because that night feels incredibly right — you’ve been with someone enough to know what this person is like, but you still crave more or aren’t willing to give yourself more of a chance to see what will work.

It’s natural and it is OK if you really don’t want it to be about a relationship or a new long term relationship. You’re not lowering your standards, you’re simply making them a little more flexible. You know what works in the bedroom and you’re willing to work with that on a regular basis.
And if you are looking to start something more serious, or if someone seems to be treating you better than a stranger, you know that you can always stop it.
Is casual sex OK for couples?
There’s no wrong way to play it. Trying new things isn’t a huge problem for any couple and doing something purely for fun doesn’t mean that you’ll want to do it again with this person or anyone else. Casual sex is about finding someone who is willing to keep up with you and who you want to keep up with. You don’t have to rule out casual sex entirely, but don’t make it your only source of sex. You aren’t required to put up with poor behaviour from your partner. In fact, having an open relationship where you’re okay with having sex with anyone you’re interested in is far more empowering and rewarding than having sex with just one person. You are in control of how you use casual sex and whether or not you want to have it.
If you and your partner have a more traditional relationship, you should talk about how you feel. This doesn’t need to be a conversation about more casual sex, but it could be. If it comes up that you


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