Casual sex has a bit of a bad rap these days, and this is put down to some particularly prudish attitudes within psychology that seem to focus their research on things like the social stigma or forming feelings with your no-strings-attached buddy.
But the science seems to have forgotten that some people are just horny, and want to have sex.
A study done by professor Zhana Vrangalova of New York University found that those who engaged in casual sex for their own fun, enjoyment and sexual exploration, had higher than normal levels of self-esteem and satisfaction and lower levels of anxiety.
This study which was published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science looked at the influence casual sex had on the participants well-being, (self-esteem, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety) over a 12-week period.
The participants who had a desire for casual sex, and then went out and got laid, reported having higher levels of self-esteem, lower levels of anxiety and depression and greater satisfaction in life.
It’s often assumed that women will be negatively impacted by casual sex as opposed to men, because of gross responses such as slut-shaming: however significant research says this is not the case.
The researchers found absolutely no difference in responses when it came to gender, meaning both boys and girls felt more satisfied and had higher self-esteem when they had casual sex.
What is clear is it all comes down to why you are having that one-night stand. The research suggests that both boys and girls will feel the psychological benefits of casual sex if they are making an autonomous decision.
Autonomous reasons include: experimenting or exploring your sexuality, believing the sexual encounter to be a valuable learning experience or as simple as you just find the other person really, really bang-able.
However, if you’re having sex for revenge or you were hoping that this casual encounter will lead to more, that’s when the science says your self-esteem will be impacted and it could up your anxiety levels.
Casual sex is completely fine, in fact it’s good for you, if you’re there for fun and sexual exploration.
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