Casual sex isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

“So I guess that’s a no for brunch later?”

As babies, when we see strangers we get scared and cling to our mommies. As toddlers, we’re told not to talk to strangers or (God forbid) take their candy. And now, as adults, we think we should be able to sleep with one we meet at a bar and feel OK about it the next day. But if we’re honest with ourselves, having sex with someone you barely know is just kinda gross.

For my latest book — “Are All Guys Assholes?” — I traveled around the country talking to guys about (among other things) casual sex. Overwhelmingly, they described it as unsatisfying, disappointing and something that left them feeling empty. The men and women I coach now echo the same feelings. And yet, in moments of weakness while longing for human connection, many continue to do it.   

The truth is, the physical act of sex is pretty unappealing. At the time, sex feels sexy because it’s more than the physical act; you’re mixing in romantic feelings and arousal. The romantic feelings are important here — they’re the things that cloud your judgment in the most wonderful way so that you think that when the object of your affection burps, farts or snots all over themselves it’s “cute.” Take out the romantic feelings (because you can’t have them for someone you barely know) and take out the arousal (which ends after an orgasm) and you’re left with simply the act of sex and a strange sweaty body — not the human connection that probably motivated you in the first place.

The point of this article isn’t to be judgmental, make you feel guilty or ruin your plans for tonight. It’s to encourage you to pursue the types of relationships — sexual or otherwise — that make you feel good. When you’re young, single and living in a city there is so much pressure to be living your “glory days” to the fullest. But sometimes our idea of “fun” doesn’t translate to actually being fun, and we owe it to ourselves to recognize the difference.

— Amber Madison is a Manhattan-based relationship expert and dating coach. She is the author of “Are All Guys Assholes?” for which she traveled the country, spoke to over 1,000 men and discovered that the answer to this question is no. You can follow her on Twitter @ambermadi or online at www.ambermadisononline.com


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