February 13, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 75  

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Casual guys and gals

By Lorraine Forster
Gazette Staff

Question: To have casual sex or not to have casual sex?

That is the question for women anyways, as most men seem perfectly comfortable with the idea. We all know that women are sexual beings, but why is it that when it comes to the thought of jumping into bed with a “random” for one crazy night in the sack, we don’t always saddle up? No pun intended.

If there are so many heterosexual men having casual sex, then there must be an equal amount of heterosexual women doing the same right? Casual sex, a.k.a. the one night stand, is sex without being in an emotionally committed relationship; however, for women this is usually a challenge to pull off.

For most women, the result of a casual night is usually a lot of psychological over-analyzing. In the words of Carrie Bradshaw from Sex and the City, the next morning a girl is usually left asking “does he like me, will he call again and the classic ‘where is this all going?’”

So why is it that as women we fight a psychological battle with ourselves over whether or not to have casual sex, while most men don’t give it a second thought? Well, first of all, women run the risk of getting pregnant, whereas men have been encouraged to “spread their seed.”

According to evolutionary sociobiological perspectives, a man who mates occasionally is not as likely to produce offspring as a man who mates often, therefore frequent mating to pass on their DNA is encouraged. Women, on the other hand were encouraged to nurture their offspring.

Secondly, it is thought that men hormonally possess a stronger drive for sex. Testosterone, the male sexual hormone, is known for activating sexual behaviour. Since women have about one-tenth the level of testosterone in their blood as men do, it follows that men would have a larger desire to seek out sex.

Thirdly, we just want to be loved. Canadian studies have shown that 77 per cent of male adolescents, compared with 51 per cent of female adolescents, approve of having sex with someone you like, but don’t love. Similarly, when asked the reason for having sex with someone, 52 per cent of females and 27 per cent of males said it was because they loved their partner.

Ultimately, in the eyes of a woman, a secure loving relationship wins over the casual, one night tryst with a stranger. This is not to say that women can’t enjoy the odd roll in the hay — no strings attached — but when it comes to casual sex, women haven’t missed the boat, we’re just riding a different one.

Understanding Human Sexuality: Second Canadian Edition



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