Casual sex

Casual sex

Casual sex refers to certain types of sexual activity outside the context of a romantic relationship. The term is not always used consistently: some use it to refer to any extramarital sex, some use it to refer to sex in a casual relationship, whereas others reserve its use for one-time encounters, promiscuity, or to refer to sex in the absence of emotional attachment or love.

Related terms

A hookup (colloquial American English) is casual sex activity that could consist of manual stimulation, oral sex, or sexual intercourse. An extended hookup sometimes refers to prolonged instances of casual sex interactions. This is a situation in which the involved parties occasionally meet for casual sex multiple times, always without a long-term commitment. This is a casual relationship specifically for sex and without any emotional aspect.

Social norms and moral concerns

Many religions consider sex outside of marriage to be immoral (see Religion and sexuality). People's ideas about casual sex range from conservative religious views (chastity) to liberal views. During the sexual revolution in the United States and Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, social attitudes about sex underwent considerable change. Divorce and abortions became easier to obtain.

The term "hookup" gained popularity and attracted media attention during the late 1990s and has been widely accepted by Generation Y-ers.

One-night stand

One-night stand is a single sexual encounter between individuals, where at least one of the parties has no immediate intention or expectation of establishing a longer-term sexual or romantic relationship.

Anonymous sex

Anonymous sex is a form of one-night stand or casual sex between people who have very little or no history with each other, often engaging in sexual activity on the same day of their meeting and usually never seeing each other again afterwards.

Commercial sites

There are many specialist online dating services known as "adult personals" or "adult matching" sites which cater to people looking a purely physical relationship without any emotional attachments. The Internet provides a relatively anonymous forum whereby two people geographically close but in totally separate work and social circles can meet and "blow off some steam" without any expectation of an emotional relationship.

See also


  1. Ehrenreich, Barbara, Elizabeth Hess, and Gloria Jacobs. Re-Making Love: The Feminization of Sex. Doubleday, 1986 (ISBN 0-385-18498-0)

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