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Casual sex: Proceed with caution

You won’t know how you feel about casual sex unless you’ve tried it. It has its good points – you get to have sex, obviously, and not just maintenance sex, but sex you actually really want. Hot, reckless, this is a bit dirty and I love it sex. Not that you can’t have all that with a partner – it’s just there’s no talk of plans for lunch with his mother at the weekend or who can be in tomorrow morning for the grocery delivery afterwards. Just wanting each other physically has its charms and when it works, casual sex can be very empowering. You’re two adults taking what you want. It’s selfish. And sexy.

But then there’s a thing, which makes it a bit complicated, as things tend to do. It’s a hormone called Oxytocin, released by a woman after sex and designed to make her feel trust and attachment. You know, because of babies and whatnot. That complicates things for some women by the very nature of it being something instinctive at grassroots, not the whimsy of romance. So if you do start to feel attached to your casual sex compatriot, the point is that it’s completely normal. It’s not clingy, it’s science. It suggests that casual sex has a finite lifespan – and perhaps the way to not go mad is to know when to get out. Or when to be brave and suggest this could be a relationship after all.

Because actually there is something sort of brave about casual sex. You’re still opening yourself up to all the emotional possibilities of being intimate with someone, even if you think you’re not. Perhaps it’s just as much about being honest with yourself about what you want. And if that turns out to be a rampant no-holds-barred sex-fest where he’s dressed as Zorro and you are a lascivious senorita who is having problems with her corset that need addressing, then good for you.

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