Is it okay for women to have casual sex?

Obviously the answer is yes, 100%. There should be no double standards when it comes to sexual conduct. Whatever men want to do, women should be able to do it too, if they want. But then here’s the thing, why is anybody actively seeking casual sex for its own sake? When alcohol’s involved, sure, sometimes, sex just happens with someone that you wouldn’t normally get involved with. It’s a mistake that you want to forget about. It might be a mutual mistake or it might be one-way. But the rest of the time, don’t we end up having sex with someone because we like them? And if you like someone, don’t you want to see them more than once?

Sometimes women defend their casual sex as something that women can do just as well as men. They might say they enjoy it; they might describe it as an awakening. They say it’s great because they can have sex with someone ‘without the other stuff,’ (i.e. a relationship). Whoever you are, if you are actively seeking sex without the other stuff then something has probably gone a bit wrong. It might be temporary; something you explore and learn from. Or it might be something which you never learn from or overcome and becomes a burden, holding you back.

Casual sex is often seen as simply a facet of being male. Sadly for them, it does seem to be more common among men but surely still a sign of dysfunctionality – something unlikely to bring fulfilment, whether you are male or female. So women who profess empowerment through casual sex are trying to claim equal rights to this territory. But what they’ve missed is that the territory itself is unwholesome. Bizarrely, many women will have experienced disappointment or upset because they got involved with a man who, it later transpired, only wanted to have sex, nothing more. Their response is natural and normal; why seek to numb the emotions? Why seek desensitisation?

If women aren’t careful, they merely mirror the behaviour of men who have treated them badly or judged them. In fact, you could say that they are adopting the doctrine of their perpetrator. This is the worst reaction to abuse – where the victim has carried out some cognitive reordering so that they are not only hardened to the behaviours that once caused them discomfort – they also unconsciously buy into the value system of their abuser, seeking self-realisation through imitation. They consider themselves correspondingly empowered.

So we should be careful when we promote these behaviours. Healthy humans enjoy wholesome connections with other humans. We have a responsibility to ourselves (and to future partners!?) to listen to and look after ourselves.  We’re all a lot happier when we treat each other in a fair and considerate way.