Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Casual Sex Ed

For those reading this who are exploring casual sex for what may be the first time, welcome.

Whether voracious or sated, you are whole, unbroken

Your orgasms are medicine and magic, use them well

Be a lifelong lover to yourself, let others join you

Always, always: celebrate your miraculous body

(adrienne maree brown, Pleasure Activism)

It wasn’t love, and it wasn’t a relationship; it was just sex. But it was beautiful. I had let it all wash over me: the desire this man felt for me and my body, the intimacy of a candlelit bedroom in a small, old apartment downtown, the power I felt in letting him touch me, experience me that night. Alone together, in a private hour, pleasure at the forefront, humans at their most vulnerable. 

Having grown up in purity culture, I was told that casual sex would ruin my chances of having a deep and intimate connection with my “future husband.” 

I would suggest that the opposite is true: exploring my sexuality, whether with others or myself, has only enhanced the beautiful sex I have now with my life partner. What I felt that night during my casual encounter was freedom, bodily autonomy and limitless love for myself and my capacity for pleasure.

Casual sex doesn’t need to be intimate, beautiful or even super pleasurable to be legitimate. 

There’s nothing wrong with two (or more!) consenting adults (or folks within an appropriate and legal age range of each other) engaging in casual sex to get off or just enjoy touch with others. However, no matter how “casual” the sex is, it should always be respectful and, obviously, consensual. 

For those reading this who are exploring casual sex for what may be the first time, welcome. May this time of exploration be fruitful, healing, pleasurable and powerful for you and those you encounter in your journey.

I humbly offer you some tips to support this navigation:

  1. Your safety and comfort are paramount. Remember that consent must be freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic and specific (FRIES acronym). 
  2. Checking in about sexual health is mature and sexy. You can ask “Have you been tested recently?” or “Are you aware of your current sexual health status?” No matter what the answer is, it’s always a good idea to use a barrier method to reduce the risk of STI transmission (e.g., condoms, dental dams, gloves). Take care of your beautiful body by getting regular STI tests. Reach out to sex-positive clinics for more information to learn how to protect your health. 
  3. Have a safety plan: there’s always some risk when engaging in sex, which is inherently vulnerable, with someone we hardly know. In the past, I’ve let friends know what I’m up to, planned check-in phone calls and shared my location. 
  4. Practice solo sex: learning what makes your toes curl on your own time will make it easier to find this level of pleasure and orgasm with sexual partners who are engaging with you for the first time. 
  5. Own your autonomy and ask for what you need and want. None of us are telepathic, and it’s hot to let someone know “This feels good,” or “Can you try this?” Incorporating sex toys, like butt plugs or vibrators, can also assist in finding pleasure in new and creative ways. 
  6. Be honest with yourself. Catching feelings happens, and it’s okay. Maybe the other person(s) feel similarly; maybe not. Communication is important. We don’t owe others a relationship because we’ve had sex with them. It’s okay to kindly and clearly state your boundaries and walk away. 
  7. Have fun. This is supposed to feel good. If it doesn’t, reach out to people you trust or professionals for support. 

Have fun, be safe. I love you.

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