Casual Sexual Relationships

October 26, 2011

On Monday, I ran into a friend who recently wrote a really good piece on friends with benefits.

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the term fuckbuddy – someone who’s a friend and you also sleep with. This arrangement is supposed to come without much emotional attachment. However, Not Only Sex attests that sex creates some sort of emotional link even if you weren’t planning on it.

I’m not a sexologist, but I do have some practice in this area, so here’s my take on it. In my experience, there are three types of casual sexual relationships.

Type 1: Frida Kahlo (Salma Hayek) + Tina Modotti (Ashley Judd), Frida

Type 1: One-Night Stand. You meet someone in a bar/club/gym/biochemistry conference. We make a judgment on whether someone is attractive within minutes of meeting them. However, if you meet someone at a biochemistry conference somewhere in the middle of rural France, you know it’s unlikely you’ll ever get to know them well on a mental/emotional level. Maybe you don’t even want to get to know them because you have commitment issues, or your pet bunny went to live on a farm, or who knows. So you go to your hotel/bar bathroom/rooftop in Buenos Aires and hook up. I would classify this as similar to masturbation. Sometimes you just need a release. Sexual chemistry or sexual frustration needs to be very high in order to take on the risk presented by an unknown partner. If for some reason the intended hook-up doesn’t happen, you’ll be disappointed for the rest of the night (worst case scenario) or until you meet a new attractive enough barmate (best case scenario). Emotional commitment: 0% – 5%.

Type 2: Buffy (Sarah Michelle Gellar) and Faith (Eliza Dushku), Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Type 2: Fuckbuddies. This is a continuous sexual relationship with someone you don’t have an interest in getting to know all that well. Sexual chemistry and/or sexual frustration can be medium. This is more of, “well, I don’t have anything better to do tonight, so I might as well” situation. I’ve seen this happen with co-workers on long business trips that have very few common interests but are equally frustrated, or between people who were planning on having a one-night stand but then decided, “hey, that wasn’t too bad, I could do that again”. However, people tend to start caring about the well-being of their fuckbuddies at least on the level of asking how work went that day. Under this scenario, when a fuckbuddy refuses you, it’s a bigger psychological disappointment. Typically you’ll start evaluating your own attractiveness, reflecting back on the last sex you had together, etc. The next morning you’ll wake up and forget about it, though. Emotional commitment: 5% – 35%.

Type 3: Santana Lopez (Naya Rivera) and Brittany Pierce (Heather Morris), Glee

Type 3: Friends With Benefits. Again, a continuous sexual relationship. The difference between this scenario and the earlier ones is that here, you actually cared about the person as a friend before you started hooking up. This typically makes for the most emotional sex, somewhat similar to what you would have in a relationship. But this is also where the problems may arise with one of the parties feeling more than the other. It can work if both parties, for example, just got out of relationships and still have romantic feelings for other people but need both sexual release and friendly affection. But, this scenario is the trickiest to make work. Emotional commitment: 35% – 60%Anything higher – beware.

Be aware which type of a casual relationship you are entering and ensure that the other person feels the same. Then, enjoy! 🙂


12 Responses to “Casual Sexual Relationships”

  1. Anonymous said

    Ok there is a critical flaw here or at least was… You originally had 0% for One-Night stand, 5%-30% for Fuckbuddies, and 40%-60% for Friends With Benefits you left out 0-5% and 30-40% intervals. This is very bad. It’s like a bad facility structure!!!

  2. pamelane said

    Lol I loved this post! I’m not usually one for casual sex… don’t give it up unless I REALLY like you, but since it’s been a while I might have to reconsider! Thanks for outlining the different types here! 🙂

    • Thanks for reading and for commenting!

      I think if you start REALLY liking someone, though, that crosses over from casual sex into the territory of serious attachments. Which has its own complications, no?

      • pamelane said

        Yes for sure it does…I suppose for me to have just casual sex it would have to be a one night stand and she’d have to be either smokin hot or I’d have to be too drunk to even remember it.

  3. […] Which casual sexual relationship is the one for you What sex and finance have in common […]

  4. I feel that at the end of the day casual is never really casual (as much as we sometimes lie to ourselves that it is) but you are right the best thing is to go in with a clear definition (:
    Also I wish Santana would do more to Britt than just lean on her shoulder (;
    Great post!

    • I agree re: Brittany & Santana, would be nice to actually see a kiss there!

      As far as casual dating, I do believe in it, but if you keep seeing the same person for a long long time and sharing a bed with them, some attachment is bound to develop, no?

  5. Austin Faber Olaferdaso said

    If I hadn t done it myself and they had just been put on my plate there is no way I would have thought them to be anything special.

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