We live in a society where monogamous dating is no longer the “norm.” While it’s nice to meet someone you can see yourself spending the rest of your life with, the time before meeting this special person is no longer spent waiting idly for them to come sweep you off your feet. Instead, we’ve become more open to casual hook ups. But still, there are those who are unsure about the hooking up scene, and some who still sadly judge others for choosing to be part of that lifestyle. However, there are plenty of benefits of having sex and hooking up. Fooling around with someone you’re not dating may not be for everyone-and that’s completely fine! But for those who are open to the idea and have a positive attitude about making that choice, there’s benefits and important information to know about hooking up.
Not being in a committed relationship and being open to the idea of having a casual hook up means you’re able to shamelessly flirt with any person you choose. There’s nothing holding you back from flirting with them and seeing where it can take you. Having this freedom has been found to boost a person’s mood, increase their self-esteem, and even reduce stress.
The benefits to casually hooking up doesn’t stop there, however. Studies have also found that those who take part in casual sex have reported to having a higher self-esteem, lower anxiety, and less distressed about their overall life. Studies have even found that having an orgasm can improve a person’s health. When taking part in this lifestyle, you also have a chance to explore who you are as a person. Casual sex allow a person to understand what they enjoy and don’t enjoy in sexual relationships, and for those who are questioning their sexuality, casual hook ups gives them the chance to explore their sexuality further and have a better understanding of who they are as a person.
There are precautions to be taken while having casual sex however. While being with a committed partner means you typically know their sexual history and what to expect from them, you may not always have that information with the individual you’re about to have sex with. Contraceptives are always important to consider. Being on birth control is always a positive as it protects against unplanned pregnancy 99 % of the time (the one percent defective rate accounting for possible human error). However, birth control doesn’t protect from sexual transmitted infections, and it’s always smart to be extra safe by using a condom, especially when you’re not 100 % sure of your partner’s sexual past.
If after sex, you realize that a slip-up was made (you didn’t use a condom, you’re not on birth control, etcetera.), Plan B, which can be found at many of drug stores, is always an option. Plan B, if taken up to 72 hours after sex, can reduce the risk of an unplanned pregnancy by 89%. If it is taken 24 hours after sex, it then becomes 95% effective, after this the effectivity decreases. There is a downloadable coupon to receive $10 off Plan B that does not expire. However, be warned; studies have shown that Plan B becomes less effective in women weighing 165 pounds, and unlikely to be effective at all when women who weigh more than 175 pounds use it. As long as you’re being smart when hooking up with a potential stranger, however, and continue being safe, these risks should not hold you back from wanting to have consensual sex with someone.
Despite what past ideologies and even what some people may have told you, the most important thing to know about hooking up with someone casually is that it doesn’t make you an immoral person, and it doesn’t give someone the right to slut-shame you. Whether you have a one night stand, a friend with benefits, or a casual fling, as long as you and the person you are with are happy with the status of this relationship, then you aren’t doing anything wrong, and you shouldn’t allow those who are against it to shame you for wanting this. So go ahead and allow yourself to enjoy having a few casual hookups; it’s beneficial to your health, and overall, it can be a gratifying experience.