Also, because it would be impolite to look at your phone when your date starts texting someone, you may be hesitant to even turn on your phone in the first place. But avoiding dating apps can leave you in the dark on this random potential new fling.
Research has found that people who meet through a dating app have more sex, and more happy sex, than couples who met through other traditional means (a bar, club, or perhaps even friends).
However, you shouldn’t go online dating blind to the potential risks of hookups. There’s a reason casual dating apps are not only gaining popularity; it’s because there are risks that you should be aware of. While it might be nice to meet someone through a dating app, it can become your free pass to seeing someone without feeling like anything more than an ATM — especially if you use the app consistently to have sex with a person you don’t love or even like.
Not that you shouldn’t have fun — people in relationships should still have fun, too. Just make sure that you’re having sex with the person you’re dating.
“It’s basically like a digital hall pass — you come into town, and that’s the day that you have free access to your nearest hot girl’s or guy’s crotch,” says Dan Savage, an author and sex expert.
There are many different risks that can come with casual sex, including the extreme risk of health consequences, that make seeking casual sex on a dating app a bad idea. But casual sex doesn’t have to be safe or even risky — sometimes it can be a fun experience in and of itself.
Just because casual sex has not only been legitimized in recent years, but veritably been made the social standard, doesn’t mean that it’s always super healthy. The ubiquity of porn, media examples, and above all, the swiping model of dating apps have all contributed to a society where hookup culture can be the default — “If having sex was once taboo, not having it is today,” says Washington Post columnist Christine Emba in her book Rethinking Sex: A Provocation. This pressure to hook up can lead to having — and even seeking out — sex when you don’t really, genuinely want it.
But that isn’t to say that casual sex is itself a problem — approached properly, if anything, it can be and is empowering, liberating, and most importantly, pleasurable. The key is knowing that you’re in it because you want to be (pun not
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“Nothing is really wrong with casual sex,” says Emba. “It’s not like going to the gym every day.” If you have sex with people you’re attracted to, and you do it because you love them, “you’re probably going to be really happy with it.” The key to a healthy sex life, according to Emba, is a level of openness and honesty with partners — things that the swinging scene might encourage. They may have a “romantic sexual idealism, whereas we’re mostly really pragmatic.”
“Hookup culture has swung so hard to casual sex that we don’t really see it as sex,” says Emba. “It’s more like it’s sex in its rawest form — it doesn’t really look like that, except when porn does, and probably, unlike reality, that’s the ideal.” That can lead to you going back into the same situation time and time again — “or having really poor choices.” Finding a long-term partner — and making a deep commitment to one — can be difficult if you’re so used to being sexual without consequence.
“There’s a part of the brain that is wired for casual sex,” says Emba, “but there’s also another side that has learned that having casual sex is healthy, and that if you don’t have casual sex, you’ll regret it.” She points to one study suggesting that people who have more sexual partners (casual or otherwise) have a higher stress response to unexpected events. “The ‘fight or flight’ stress response” is what makes it harder to establish healthy relationships down the line, which makes it even more likely that people will go back to their habits of casual sex.
Emba says there are some ways to combat the potential time-suck of casual hooking up, and there is no “one correct way.” Before you get into bed, take the opportunity to have an honest conversation with yourself about your goals. Realize that casual sex is not always the quick “Gimme” it’s made out to be, and that if you decide not to, you’re not “broken down.” Recognize that there’s a different kind of emotional decision-making in casual sex than there is in long-term, committed relationships — you might experience highs and lows that aren’t because of the person at the other end of the bed, but are instead because of how you feel about yourself. “It doesn’t have to be one or the other,” she says.
How to be happy


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