Your Call: Is Casual Sex Really That Great?

We get a lot of advice questions coming in at EMandLO.com, but sadly, we just can’t answer them all. Which is why, once a week, we turn to you to decide how best to advise a reader. Make your call by leaving your advice in the comments section below:

Dear Em & Lo,

I haven’t had sex in 8 months (typing it out just now is painful enough), and the reason for this is that I have never had a one night stand. The last time I had sex I was in a relationship; all the times I’ve had sex I have been in a relationship (3 relationships in total). A part of me is happy that I haven’t had a lot of sexual partners, but at the same time I almost feel like I am missing out on something. I feel like I am so strict and I hold sex in such high regard that it might be good to shake things up a little bit. I’m just torn. Are one night stands and/or fuck buddies really as great as some make it out to be?

Single Digit

What should S.D. do?


  1. I dislike casual sex. I had a one night stand last year and completely regretted it. We barely knew each other (second date) and it was just sloppy and strange. To me, its not hot to meet up with someone just for sex or go out to a bar or club and take someone home. I would rather have sex with someone and have it mean something, than “hey, I’m horny and so are you, let’s relieve each other.”

    As frustrating as it may be to go months without sex, my toys help me out just fine in the meantime. Of course toys are NO comparison at all to an actual man, but I refuse to engage in meaningless, empty sex again. Not to mention the risks you run of diseases and that sort of thing because after all, if you barely know this person, how do you know if/when they’ve been tested? In my experience, the best sex has been with men who I also had an emotional connection and friendship with, or some type of relationship besides sexual.

  2. It depends who you are. Some people get off on the whole “stranger” aspect while for others it’s a nightmare. Some people are more uninhibited than others, and more so with certain people than others. Don’t do it having high expectations. And if you have some doubts in the back of your mind, it’s probably best to listen to yourself rather than regretting it later. Casual sex isn’t for everyone.

  3. I think you should pick a friend of a friend of a friend. That way, you already know them so you will be more comfortable. Then hook up with him and then never call him. It’s a one-night stand and leave it at that. Fuck buddies never work out, the woman develops feelings most of the time. men are better at separating sex and love. so again, do him, and never call.

  4. Personally, I find casual sex with strangers unappealing, potentially risky and unnecesary, so I would not suggest it. Rather, I’d suggest buying some good sex toys and making more efforts to meet Mr Right.

    If you really would like casual sex, then I would suggest that rather than just picking some guy, having sex and then not seeing him again you take the time to find and make friends with a nice and safe man with similar sexual tastes who is in a similar situation or who perhaps has some reason not to seek a relationship. There are heaps of them on dating sites (at least where I am). With a bit of practice and chatting online you can learn to choose between the sincere, responsible and safe men and those that are sleazy and just out to exploit women. Respectful men can make better lovers than those that are sleazy, disrespectful and just talk about sex. (***Beware falling in love with men that are not available for a relationship***) One final additional safety measure in case you decide to go ahead – have a wingperson on speed dial on your phone in case you need rescue. Good luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. I’m going to slightly adjust Dannie and Anon’s advice a tiny bit. About that “should” thing. Definitely don’t have sex because you think it’s something you’re supposed to do.

    There are really two kinds of shoulds to avoid. First is the “I’m really horny and lonely or just tired of not having sex and people say in this sort of situation one >shouldshouldshouldshouldshould< have a lot of casual sex.")

    I think it's a good idea to avoid both kinds of shoulds. The first kind which is the sort of "Others are doing it so I might as well try it," and the second kind which is more judgmentally and implies social or personal malfunction if you don't.

    Sounds like you're looking at the first kind.

    Once you resolve that then Anon and Dannie, Kate and the rest's advice comes in handy. You can try causal sex because other people like it. Or you could instead try it because you really want to have someone that close to you, have the contact and the sights and smells and feelings that go with it. Not as a substitute for love, and not as a way to scratch an itch, but just as something you want for itself.

    If you can do that then, and be really clear with yourself and (as Kate wisely says) with your temporary partner, then even if its not the same as what you expected, you’ll still come away feeling good about your decision.

    Or one final way to put it. Taking the “should” out of it shifts your reaction from “well, people say that should make me feel better” to a much more powerful and useful “let’s find out if this makes me feel better.” If you think it should, but it doesn’t, you’ll be left thinking you did something wrong. If instead you try it to see if it works for you, then if it doesn’t you’re not left feeling you made a mistake, you’ll be more able to chalk it up to experience and try something different.

    Oh, and by the way, I think I’ve framed all this in terms of “you might not like it.” And that’s fine since a little caution is always warranted. But there’s at least as good a chance you’ll enjoy it.

    Good luck!


  6. Casual sex is awesome!

    I’m going to echo things said by a lot of people above – don’t have sex because you think you “should” and feel free to change your mind if someone is not turning you on. Be safe!

    Most importantly be very explicit and up front about what you want and about what your boundaries, and if someone can’t give you that, or is trying to push your boundaries, leave.

    Have fun! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  7. I think there is a lot to be gained from casual sex, with this single requirement; you have to be in total control of your situation. Be picky and choosy. Be upfront with the man saying, “hey this is just sex. I don’t know you, don’t want to be friends, don’t want to know about your family, this is a physical thing, period.” And if he tries that emotional crap the next day, cut him off ASAP and move onto the next one.

    I also think this is the time to experiment, try out things you never have but are curious about. If its just about sex and not about emotion you will have pretty strong shell on. This is a great time to figure out who you are sexually w/out emotion getting in the way.

    Most importantly, be safe. Always use condoms, no dark alleys, always drive your car to and from, buy your own meals, and don’t drink so you are in control of yourself.

  8. I can’t contribute much to the weigh-in on casual sex, but I will say this: be careful with your reasoning for doing it. If you feel like you -should-, simply because you haven’t and that makes you feel like a sex prude, I would say don’t do it. Only do it if you find someone with potential, and you are really into it; casual sex, unlike relationship sex, is all about opportunity. So if you’re forcing the event to happen…it’s not going to flow right. If you’re simply horny, there are ways to address that other than sleeping with other people. But if you truly want the experience, feel adventurous enough to take the risk, and desire it without any pressure, I would say go for it. Just be smart. Always be smart.

  9. Could range from ew-yuck awful to mind-blowingly awesome. In my mind the reward is worth the risk.

    I have a couple tips:

    1. Don’t pick a douchebag. You run the risk of bad sex no matter who you pick, but giving it up to an immature dickhead who lacks respect for you or women in general can mean the difference between an awkward encounter and a sickening one.

    2. Douchebags and bad boys are not the same thing. A guy can be a bad boy and still respect you and women in general. They’re better seducers, and you want a guy who’ll get you in the mood, right? That said, slick-talking bad boys can be disappointingly crappy lays too.

    3. The best indicator of his prowess in bed is not his seduction game. It’s his hands. Go to third base with him – that’s still fignering, right? You can cut it short if he doesn’t know what he’s doing. Use the ol’ “I’m not that kind of girl” excuse.


    1. Nice guy/crappy lay = awkward
    2. Douchebag/crappy lay = sickening
    3. Bad boy/crappy lay = disappointing
    4. Douchebag/great lay = wild ride, hang on!
    5. Bad boy/great lay = Aaah. Nice n’ casual.
    6. Nice guy/great lay = Probably will become your new boyfriend.

    Good luck! Like I said, the risk is worth the reward. Don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work out the way you want.

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