The Science Behind Casual Sex (And Why You Shouldn't Feel Bad If You Have It)

Like most things sex-related, some people love casual sex and some hate it — it all depends on you, what you want, and where you are in life. But, in general a lot of us wonder is casual sex unhealthy?

According to 2014 research conducted by the Kinsey Institute’s Justin García, people are now, more than ever, don't want to give up the possibility of having a ton of sexual partners during their “prime energy years.” Because of that, the age in which they finally become ready to establish long-term commitments come later on in life. So, a lot of people are having casual sex. But is that necessarily a bad thing?

Let’s look at some downsides. According to studies, casual sex can be psychologically damaging. As a 2014 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found why you choose to do it can have an impact on your mental health. According to the study of college students, people who only had hookups were found to have higher levels of depression or lower levels of self-esteem than those who didn’t do hookups. Those who hooked up because they wanted to feel better about themselves or hoped it would lead into something more were found to have more physical health symptoms than those who hooked up to have a good time.

And, according to the newest episode of, “The Science of Us,” casual sex is probably not as unhealthy as you may have thought. Here’s why:

1. Casual Sex Can Actually Improve Quality Of Life

According to the video, it can not only help people feel better, but it can also help them de-stress.

2. It’s All About Sociosexual Orientation

In a recent study of college students, the way people felt about having sex outside of a relationship played a role in determining how they felt overall. Not the act itself.

3. If You’re Into Casual Sex, Then It’s A-OK

As the study found, students who were cool with having sex outside of a committed relationship reported having higher well-beings after they had sex.

4. If You’re Not Into, That’s OK, Too

The study also found that not being into casual sex didn’t negatively impact students as much as previous studies have found. Though, they did note a lack of data on that end. Because in reality ...

5. People Who Don’t Like Casual Sex …

I mean, obviously, right?

If you’re into it, then great. If you’re not, don’t do it. It’s as simple as that.

Check out the video in its entirety below:

New York Magazine on YouTube

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