Believe it or not casual sex can help us deal with emotional and physical rejection. This claim was first made back in 2012 by several psychologists studying the long term effects casual hook ups can have on a person’s mental health. There were of course both positives and negatives to having multiple sexual partners on a regular basis just as there are on having a single sexual partner on a long term basis. But whereas a bad break up in a long term sexual relationship can take months – sometimes years – to get over, the rebuff from a casual sex partner toughens the mental barrier we all naturally have towards the act of being rejected.
Rejection is painful
No one likes to be rejected. Whether we are rejected at work over a job or an idea, or by friends or family who no longer wish to see us, it is painful. No matter how you look at it, even when you think have become the most emotionally tough person in the world, a simple act of rejection can reduce you to the level of a child all over again.
Sexual Rejection can be intensely damaging
When we are rejected sexually, the wounds this causes can take a long time to heal. Sometimes the scar tissue becomes permanent and it only takes a little prick to reopen old wounds. But when we are engaging in casual sex or open relationships, being rejected doesn’t hurt as much as it does when we are in a long term committed relationship. This is because we have not formed as close a bond as we do with one partner as opposed to several. When we decide to stop having sex with a fuck buddy it is far easier to talk to the person about it. As a result the feeling or rejection is diminished greatly. It becomes more like talking to a friend about the fact that you can’t see them as much as you used to.
Yes the same feelings of loss and sadness can occur, but they are nowhere near as intense as they are if you were breaking up with someone you’d be going out with for four years as an example.
The positive effect
Being rejected in this manner enables you to become better able to deal with rejection in other areas of your life. Instead of crying over it, you become better able to analyse your feelings and ask intelligent questions of yourself. What is it about this relationship that stopped the other person from wanting to continue with it? Am I all that this person needed sexually? These questions are hard to ask usually, but the very casual element of casual sex enables you to ask them with a level of maturity and clarity that we just can’t access when we come out of a long term relationship.
Critics of casual sex will say that this merely makes us robotic animals bowing to our base instincts and running away from emotional commitment. Actually evidence suggests that indulging in casual sex can often aid and strengthen a long term relationship as the casual sex has enabled us to explore our sexuality in a more fluid environment. We know what we like and don’t like and this enables us to select a more sexually compatible partner in the long term. The casual rejections because they are small and less significant, enable us to deal with criticism of ourselves in the long term and can make us more rounded individuals emotionally and sexually.
What do you think?
Have a look at all the people you hooked up with. If you can analyse the end of each casual relationship and ask yourself if it has helped you to become clearer about yourself and what it is you want from a sexual relationship. We would love to hear your thoughts on this.