Flip Side: Casual Sex

first_imgToby Hill is out to have fun and get laid The guilt that can accompany casual sex suggests that there is something inherently amiss with it. If we consider where we have received such an instinctive reaction from though, one source seems salient: a religious code, initially intended to perpetuate the survival of a small Middle Eastern tribe a couple of millennia ago. To believe such morality still holds decisive relevance for modern society necessitates a faith in the existence of an omnipotent God, whose commandments must be taken without question. Thus – if today we reject belief in an all-knowing God, then this entire moral value system must crumble; we can no longer talk of the simple ‘immorality’ of casual sex, or invoke our instinctive feelings against it. We’ve seen a similar process occur with homosexuality.So! We need other justification if we are to condemn casual sex without a fundamentalist faith. And such concerns do, of course, exist; pure sensual pleasure rarely comes without a corollary …A popular suggestion is that sex should be a highly emotional act between two loving individuals, and that to reduce it to a tool to induce sensual pleasure is to demean it. Of course, this conception of sex – as a high form of emotional communion – is almost certainly preferable. However, why can’t we just accept the existence of two types of sex? One – animal-like and of only momentary importance; the other, imbued with feeling and thus of lasting significance. To say the first demeans the second seems an arbitrary judgement; surely it is equally probable that the contrast between the two serves to emphasise the value of relationship-embedded sex.A second problem is that of risk. Clearly, one reason that the sexual ethics of deceased societies are of less relevance today is that we have contraception. Safe sex! Of course, no sex is ever entirely safe. There is risk, but many of our recreational activities are risky. As long as this risk is accepted by two consenting adults, then surely it should be their choice whether or not to take it. Really, there can be no reason for anyone today to criticise another for their sexual promiscuity. Rebecca Lacey warns of the dangers of irresponsible sexWhat springs to mind when you think of casual sex? Drunken fumbling at the Bridge leading to more? Perhaps the casual arrangement known as ‘f**k buddies’ or ‘friends with benefits’. The term implies sex without a purpose, detached from any ties. But can you really describe anything about sex as causal?Most Christians would teach that sex should only be within the security of marriage. The Roman Catholic church goes even further and argues that sex should not be causal even within marriage. Men “commit adultery with their wives by desiring sex for its mere pleasure and the satisfaction of instinct”. Sex should be for the purpose of procreation, pleasure is secondary. I’m not saying that you should be married to have sex. I firmly believe in the pleasures of good sex and the freedom of women to enjoy their sexuality. This has obviously become much easier since the development of the pill in 1967. But the idea of ‘casual sex’ is a fallacy. There is no such thing as sex with ‘no strings attached’. Alcohol-fuelled one night stands, often leave a horrible, nauseous feeling of regret at being used the morning after – the type of sex Cosmopolitan editor Lorraine Candy once termed ‘McSex’, cheap, meaningless, greasy. It isn’t possible to detatch emotions from sex. The chemistry agrees: oxytocin and vasopressin, hormones which enter the bloodstreams of men and women after orgasm, increase feelings of bonding and love towards your partner. The increasing acceptance of casual sex in our society may also have contributed to the worrying rise of STDs and abortions: now one in four people will have an STD at some point in their life, and the abortion rate in Britain rose 3.9% from 2005-2006. Chlamydia, which has few or no symptoms and so often goes undetected, can lead to infertility in both men and women, damaging women’s fallopian tubes and leading to sperm damage and inflammation of the testicles in men. Casual sex also takes away the intimacy that you can achieve when in a stable relationship. Worrying how you look and trying not to think about how many other people have slept in the bed you’re in just don’t compare to relishing the lustful, passion-filled sex that feels so good perfected in a loving relationship. last_img read more