Dating apps like Tinder have totally changed the way we hook-up. These days, it’s all swipe right, exchange a few flirty msgs – maybe send a few photos – and you’re on the path to meeting up with a total stranger and possibly scoring yourself multiple rounds of THE SEX.
With <100 days till balmy nights, promising night life, free-flowing alcohol, and more free time with which to browse Tinder, or better yet, meet new m8s IRL, we wanted to ask the question: is hooking up with randoms good for you?
Yes, is the short answer, according to Sex Therapist and Director of Sexual Health Australia, Desiree Spierings, who’s here to talk us through some of the benefits.
[But first, an important message from our expert: Don’t forget to remember to use protection, ok? It’s important not to forget to remember that.]
SEX IS BETTER WITH A STRANGER
It’s a common sexual fantasy (especially for women) and Desiree says hooking up with a stranger has all the potential to live up to what we imagine. “Often in a relationship or when we know the person, we tend to worry about their sexual satisfaction and it [sex] has a certain meaning attached to it, like love or connection. But when sex is just for sex, then you can focus on yourself and your own sexual pleasure and get really into it.”
THE STAKES ARE LOWER, SO THERE’S LESS ANXIETY
Hooking up with a stranger is an spontaneous, adrenaline-fuelled event, so neither person has the time nor chooses to mull over it. “It is not as if a relationship status is depending on it,” explains Desiree. “If afterwards, you never see the person again (here’s hoping!), you tend to care less about the outcome.” So, if it’s the best sex you’ve ever had, great, but if it’s not, nothing is lost, which takes the pressure off.
IT CAN BE A SEXUAL RE-AWAKENING
When making out with someone unfamiliar, Desiree says it’s a lot easier to “let go”, enjoy and experiment. “Most of us tend to stay in control of our sexual expressions [and] there are also stigmas attached to certain sexual behaviours” so we might not get to try everything we want or even ask for it for fear of judgment, rejection or simply, change. Doing it with someone that doesn’t know you has the potential to redefine the sexual experience and allow you to discover new things.
A SELF ESTEEM BOOSTER
Research shows that casual sex can be great for your wellbeing if you’re doing it for the right reasons, like wanting fun and enjoyment, wanting to explore and learn about your sexuality, and believing it’s an important experience to have. If you’ve mentally checked all those boxes, then your sexual escapade could lead to higher self-esteem and life satisfaction.
Knowing you’ve still got game is a nice ego-boost, too.
Bypassing the stages of courtship and dating and getting straight into the physical is one of the bonuses for both parties in a casual hook-up. Sometimes you just want sex.
Unsurprisingly, there exist naysaying studies that argue the immediate gratification of casual sex ultimately leaves you sad and empty, but most of these refer to the intention of wanting a longer-term relationship. If you’re not planning on that, there’s no reason why one-off rounds of coitus can’t just be a shortcut to satisfaction.
YOU COULD FALL IN LOVE
Warning: sometimes this happens when people do intercourse. “Some people fall in love and then have sex, others have sex and then fall in love,” says Desiree. This may count as a health benefit of hooking up with a stranger, but, you can take it or leave it.
GO FORTH, ENGAGE.