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Casual Sex Can Lead to Love

Was happy to stumble upon this recent article and study, as I’ve had a few notable arguments and debates with women I’ve dated over this subject. But once again, science has gone and shown what most of us (with experience) already knew: that relationships created from random hook ups and casual sex are just as likely to succeed as relationships that wait to have sex and have a “courting” process.

Personally, I believe very strongly in sex before commitment. You would never buy a car without test driving it. Why would you ever date somebody without sampling the goods? It’s crucial to see if you have any sexual chemistry or not. There have been a few times where I’ve had really great emotional chemistry with a woman and we really liked each other… but when we got into bed, it just didn’t work.

You can read the article and the scientific study here: http://www.salon.com/life/broadsheet/2010/08/23/hook_up_relationships/index.html

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7 comments to Casual Sex Can Lead to Love

  • Did you click through all the links to the orginial study? It’s not nearly quite that positive as the Salon article made it seem.

    “The question is whether it’s the type of relationship that causes lower quality or whether it’s the people,” he said. “The finding is that it’s something about the people.” People with higher numbers of past sexual partners were more likely to form hookups, and to report lower relationship quality. Through the acquisition of partners, Paik said, they begin to favor short-term relationships and find the long-term ones less rewarding.”

    “In an analysis of relationship surveys, UI sociologist Anthony Paik found that average relationship quality was higher for individuals who waited until things were serious to have sex compared to those who became sexually involved in “hookups,” “friends with benefits,” or casual dating relationships.”

    I get the whole “try before you buy” thinking, but if you want a LTR you’re probably just going to get hurt looking for a LTR from a hook up unless you’re lucky.

    It would seem best to have a composite approach. Don’t have hook ups, but try sex before getting married.

  • Read it again: “But when he controlled for people who had zero interest in having a relationship, that difference disappeared.”

  • It is absolutely true. Other research has hinted at this, most notably an article called ‘Pluralistic Ignorance and Hooking Up’, and also work by my favorite researcher Helen Fisher (a really brilliant woman) has confirmed what Entropy is saying.

    On an interesting side note, there is a 50% chance that when a one-night stand occurs that one of the partners is hoping for more than just that one night, men included, just incase you’re curious.

    Personally, I back up the idea that it is better to have sex before entering into commitment. I know some people would prefer otherwise, and that is fine, but from my own personal discussions with women ranging from early 20′s to late 30′s, the majority agrees with us.

    I LOVE emotional connection, most of the time more than sex…but I would never commit to a woman today without having been physically intimate with her. I think the physical chemistry side of things also speak volumes about the emotional side of things, so yeah, I’ll connect emotionally first before sex…but no commitment will take place til afterward.

    Thanks for posting this.

  • Helen Fisher is the shit. Her research has changed my perspective on relationships more than just about anyone.

  • "45"

    Entropy, you are the thinking man’s PUA. Every post is interesting and thought-provoking.

  • Sure the relationships that resulted from the hookups that succeeded. But what about all the times someone formed a deep attachment to a hookup partner and the other person just said “this was just a hook up” and left the other hanging.

    I’m just saying that the Salon article made it seem like it was all easy and safe, where the original article was a little more middle of the road.

    Agree that Helen Fisher is awesome, you may like her here http://bigthink.com/ideas/18575

  • modernguy

    The question is what is the nature of the emotional connection between the two people? Marrying a virgin who’s never known another cock and to whom emotional life and sex are inextricably intertwined is different than having a long term relationship that may break off any time when you’re not as ‘compatible’ any more or she feels the gravitational pull of a bigger cock than yours. One you can count on (more or less) the other is a toss up.

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