The Science of Casual Sex

By Dr. Sari Locker

Maxim, Sex Column, Originally published in Maxim magazine 2007

Whether you’re a serial monogamist or a veritable Johnny Apple-loins, you may have had “casual sex.” (Research reports that about 70% of people have.) Wear a condom and read this before you do it again.

Triple Crown

Most casual rolls in the hay involve a lot more than rolling. A recent study found that vaginal intercourse alone accounts for just 12 percent of all such encounters. Intercourse plus manual stimulation accounts for 49 percent, and 32 percent go for the trifecta (manual sex, oral sex, and intercourse). For women who need varying forms of stimulation to achieve orgasm, this is good news.

Know Me, Know My Bedroom

If no-nonsense nookie is what you’re after, skip the bar scene and phone a friend. According to the Journal of Sex Research, two-thirds of the people who report having casual sex say it happened with someone they previously knew. Are your friends with benefits out of town? Then go on spring break, where 21 percent of men and 17 percent of women “casually” close the deal every year.

Was It Good for You?

Casual sex is by no means a surefire orgasm recipe, even for guys. A study in the Journal of Sex Research found that just 88 percent of men and 49 percent of women actually climaxed during such encounters, compared to 96 percent and 70 percent, respectively, in committed relationships. What does this mean? That yes, sex with a significant other may be more satisfying more often.

No Regrets

Studies have shown that women are less likely to regret an impromptu fling if they feel satisfied sexually afterward. What does this mean for you? That if you want her to feel good about the hook-up psychologically, then it’s in your best interest to make it feel as good for her physically as possible. In other words, aiming to please cuts down on the remorse factor (and may makes you a better lover, too).

The Next Illogical Step

Most women don’t equate a romp in the sack with a walk down the aisle: Over 52 percent surveyed believe their most recent casual encounter to be “just a one-time thing.” Want a repeat performance? It could go either way: Around 16 percent of women though it was “the beginning of a casual sex relationship,” while 18 percent thought it was “the beginning of a romance.” Neither is necessarily a bad thing...

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Sari Locker