Having casual sex is nowadays a common occurrence among young people across the globe. It today’s world, we are no longer controlled by old believes and traditions, making us more open towards sex. In fact, nowadays young people like to experiment around and almost nobody has sex with just one person in their life after getting married. And with dating Apps such as Tinder at our disposal, finding a casual hookup is easier than ever before.

Although having casual sex is normal to the younger generation, it’s not a surprise that elderly people find it hard to accept. In fact, there was a time that more and more people started to question themselves whether the so-called hookup culture we’re living in today actually is a sign of a society in decline. Nowadays, both young and old people seem to become more accepting of this open lifestyle and change in sexual behavior. However, although it is now commonly accepted by society, the real question remains: is it good for you?

Whether it’s for casual fun or with a life partner, we all know that having sex or using a sex toy such as a realistic dildo is good for your health. In fact, it is even advised to have a certain number of orgasms every month in order to keep both your mind and body healthy. So, without a doubt, sex is good for you. But, does it make a difference whether you’re having sex with your life partner or with a stranger who you’ve just met in the bar? 

Although this might sound like a silly question, there has actually been a lot of research performed on this topic. The first studies were aimed at undergraduate students and assumed that people who regularly engage in casual sex suffer from lower self-esteem than people who don’t. After analyzing the results of these studies, it became clear that people who often have casual sex exhibit no psychological difference from people who prefer a serious relationship. Based on this, it was stated that young people who engage in casual sex do not suffer a larger risk of bad psychological outcomes compared to people who are committed to a boyfriend or girlfriend. So, this means that there is nothing to fear, right? And that we can safely engage in casual sex with anybody we want? Well, not really!

A similar study published in the Journal of Sex Research examined young adults who engage in casual sex as well. The conclusion of this study was, however, not as positive as the ones conducted before. In fact, this study found that there are negative associations between casual sex and a person’s psychological wellbeing among the participants. The study furthermore found a positive correlation between casual sex and psychological distress. It is important to know, however, that the reason why people engage in casual sex please a crucial role in whether this action may have a negative effect on a person’s psychological wellbeing. 

There are two main motivators for young people to have casual sex. First, we have autonomous behaviors which are based on your feelings towards somebody and feeling attracted to him or her. These behaviors can furthermore be based on a curiosity to explore yourself more sexually. Secondly, there are non-autonomous reasons. These include being drunk or having sex with somebody to get revenge on an ex, for example. The study has shown that people who have casual sex for autonomous reasons do not suffer from any negative effects afterward. Having casual sex for non-autonomous reasons, however, often leads to psychological distress.

After analyzing all the information above, can we safely state whether casual sex is good or bad for us? Based on the outcomes of previous studies it can be stated that the answer to this question is highly personal. Whereas some people may enjoy having casual sex without being affected, others may not take it that lightly. To most people, it depends on the main underlying reason why you’re having casual sex. If you’re doing for non-autonomous reasons, casual sex certainly can leave a negative mark on you. When doing it for fun in a healthy way with a person you feel attracted too, however, casual sex can truly be a valuable experience for you both.