November 21, 2013
Women and the New Casual Hookup
Have you had casual sex in the past week? Month? Year? How did it compare to the sex you’ve had with a long-term partner? Chances are, it wasn’t quite as good. But what classifies as a “good” or “successful” casual encounter?
A recent article published in the Globe and Mail reports new research findings indicating that women are less likely to orgasm during casual sex than in intercourse during a serious relationship. My question is: Is this news? The answer: Not exactly.
As the article states, “Like generations before them, many young women […] are finding that casual sex does not bring the physical pleasure men more often experience.” What is news, however, is the way in which women are embracing casual sex. Despite both their statistical misfortune with regards to “the big O” and the relentless one-sided gender, women seem to be opening their minds to the idea of a casual hookup now more than ever. This in no way means women are more “slutty” than ever. Research simply implies that women are becoming equal partners in the field of casual sex.
This female desire for casual sex may be suprising. After all, an American survey of students at 21 universities over five years found that only 42% of women experienced orgasm during their last casual encounter involving intercourse. This pales in comparison to the 80% of males who got to have their cake and eat it too.
Why is it, then, that women are still interested in increasing their counts for casual sex? Debra Herbenick, a researcher at Indiana University, suggests that women seek out casual sex not necessarily to reach orgasm but simply for the thrill of spontaneity. Good for them! For too long, society has dictated that the casual straight hookup must end with the woman dramatically orgasming and the man coming on every surface he can find (thanks a lot, porn!). What about an alternative?
It seems that, with the slight adjustment of the old attitude that casual hookups are null if they don’t end in a wild orgasm, women have begun to change the game. For Kim Huynh, a 29-year old from San Fransisco, “the physical aspect of a tryst with a relative stranger was gratifying, she said, even if her chances of reaching orgasm were limited.” Despite statistics saying that it’s less likely for women to orgasm in an uncommitted sexual encounter, women seem to be saying that they don’t care; it’s the thrill of getting on the field that really makes it all worth it – come what may.