Monday, October 14, 2013

Three cheers

Congrats to Women's Health for having a very decent article about casual sex (friends with benefits, no-strings-attached, whatever the fuck you want to call it) in their November issue.

I was completely ready to hate this article because the deck mentioned "significant drawbacks" to these types of relationships. (Also, I'd like to give a shout-out to this site for helping me sound intelligent about the different parts of a magazine article in these past two entries.)

Then the article actually took me out of this mode:

And put me into this mode:

Here are some of the awesome things they mentioned:

Casual sex works "when you're in a good place with your job, social life, and personal life, and all that's missing is sex."

You can not be having sex but be otherwise completely happy with everything else in your life. Sex is not something around which anyone should base the entirety of their existence.

"To make the most out of casual sex, you need trust, reasonable expectations, and clear communication. You need to know that the experiences will stay between the two of you, and that you're in a safe zone."

Ah, communication. I love that it's brought up early and often in this article.

...also advises discussing your sexual history in the beginning.

This is not advising going into specifics or doing a numerical comparison with your partner. This is just advising being safe and doing one's best to not get STD's.

The men studied reported more positive and fewer negative reactions to sex-focused relationships than the women (though on the whole, the female view was more positive than negative).

HUGE. Fucking monumental. Normally when I see this statistic quoted, they leave the parenthetical statement out completely. It's usually made to sound that women have nothing but negative reactions to sex-focused relationships. The inclusion of the fact that women have positive views as well, but just not to the same percentage as men, is amazing.'s important to check in with yourself often to make sure it's working.

In addition to communication between the two people, it's awesome to see a focus on the lady self-reflecting and being honest with herself about whether this is what she's really looking for.

If you want more than sex, let him know. And if he doesn't feel the same, end it.

This is not to say that you can't ever reconnect with this person and have some sort of relationship that goes beyond just having sex with each other. (Yeah, even me, the hardest of hearts, holds out a tiny hope for utterly stupid romantic love sometimes.) This is about in that exact moment not trying to negotiate your way into a relationship that makes either of you unhappy. If you want more than sex, and he doesn't, you're going to compromise on one end of the spectrum that either you don't want or he doesn't want. And that's a shitty basis for a relationship. Get back together when you're both on the same page.

If you believe only sluts do this, you won't be happy.

This is a fantastic point included in a larger discussion on not judging yourself. I'd also like to point out that it's equally important to not judge other women who are in these types of relationships.

If you can have sex only when you've had two or more drinks in your system, it may mean you're not as comfortable with it as you might think.

Worth mentioning. Not only in the scheme of "sex-only" relationships, but in relationships in general.

It's important to be truthful about what you want from the romps.

Ah. Not only communication, but honest communication.

...the most important thing is your level of enjoyment - or obligation.

Again with the self-checks. I love it.

Whatever way you want to push your sexual boundaries - be direct.

With all the focus on communication and honesty, I'm willing to go there with this article. It advises letting your partner know that you want to push some limits, but also to be very clear and direct about the limits you do have. And if something you wanted to try turns out to be not your cup of tea, talk about that, too.

Finally, sex is what this matchup is all about, so you should feel free to have lots of it.

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