The Search For Casual Sex

I spent about an hour and a half today reviewing profiles of both men and women on OKCupid. Today’s search was a little different. I did a search strictly for men and women who select “casual sex” as a dating option.

I’ve done sessions with people who are getting back in to the dating scene. They want to date but they’re not quite ready for something serious. I advise them to create two different profiles. One for long term dating, one for casual dating/sex. I explained that they wouldn’t be taken seriously by anybody who might want a relationship should they select casual sex as an interest.

Here’s something that the women noticed. They received a number of email responses to their casual sex profile. Duh. Many of their responses came from men who presented themselves in their own profile as seeking a serious relationship. The men admitted that they were open to a casual relationship but felt that women might judge them if they are upfront about that.

I contacted a few of the women on OKC who posted an ad looking for casual sex (as well as long/short term dating)  and asked them about their experience. As expected, they all received  a number of emails that sounded like letters from prison inmates. Most of these women stated in their profiles that they weren’t looking for a one night stand. They were looking for something “consistent” and ongoing,  just free of obligation or commitment. Unfortunately, as we know, many men will agree to whatever the woman requests if it means getting laid. A couple of the women said that they learned how to sniff out the one offs pretty quickly. They wanted to meet right away, they didn’t ask them any questions. It was all very impersonal.

It seems the most successful way women seek casual sex online is to present themselves as looking for a relationship or at least a date. That way they can weed out many of the more socially inept horndogs. Then, once out on the date, they let things unfold naturally any then either propose the guy go home with them or wait for the guy to make an overture and so he can think it was all his idea. I have to say that I think this is the best course of action.

The trick, it seems, is getting these men to get together again. Not in a month or a couple weeks, either. Sooner. This is where many women stumble. People say that if the sex is good the guy will return. What they don’t say is that the guy will return eventually. Not right away. Sure, it might start off consistent. But it would quickly deteriorate in to the occasional last minute text every 2-3 weeks asking them to get together. So the only option the woman has is to go back on line and develop a stable of lovers that she can rotate.

Here’s the other hurdle that women seem to have to overcome when seeking casual sex online is that they immediately get classified by many guys (but not all) as “damaged goods.”  It’s understandable that some men might look at their ads and wonder if the profiles in this category are akin to items in a discard bin at a department store. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have the same impression of some of the the male profiles in this category. Most of the men were simply…undesirable. Not because they liked sex or were seeking it. I’m talking more about their overall look. They appeared worn. Overweight. Just physically unattractive. Have they been weeded out of the dating pool or did they remove themselves? That wasn’t something I ever wanted to find out. But if I’m thinking that about the men, it made me wonder if men had similar thoughts about the women with a similar pursuit.

It seems as though if people are honest about their intentions, they are damned if they do or don’t. In return for being honest, they are judged. But the question is….are they being judged unfairly or incorrectly? Are these men and women cast offs of sorts? Rejects? Damaged in some way?

Is it possible to find what many women call a “consistent” casual relationship or is that a myth?

Do men even want that or would they prefer “consistent” casual sex with multiple partners?

Isn’t it possible for a man or woman to seek both casual sex and a relationship? Or does it have to be one or the other?

If you’re a woman or man who has sought casual sex online 9especially on OKCupid), how do you screen out the clingers or possible one offs who will never contact you again?

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19 Responses to “The Search For Casual Sex”

  1. Wade Says:

    After my divorce I put up a profile on OK Cupid. We had what was a mostly sexless marriage at the end and I was honest about looking strictly for casual sex.

    I looked through the profiles for women seeking casual sex. There were a few who seemed sane and were attractive but all in all it was a scary lot. Many were chubby or overweight. I spoke with a few and they seemed skeptical and combative. I met up with two women and had sex with both. The sex was good but I found myself not wanting to spend much time with them before or after.

  2. Angeline Says:

    I’ve set out consciously, intentionally, seeking something casual (I thought) a couple of times in the 6 years since I’ve been divorced. I really, *really* didn’t want to get tangled up with someone again, I just wanted sex and some physical closeness, the human touch. “Damaged goods” perfectly describes where I was. The fact that I knew I didn’t want to get burned again and thought I was rising above it in no way means I was actually capable of it. I attempted it, and it mostly went really well, but that’s more a testament to a couple of great guys, who *were* capable of walking that tricky line of genuine caring and kindness, without long-term intentions. I was not, however much I wanted to be. I believe (women) have to be pretty settled, stable and content with your life to truly be casual about a relationship that includes sex.

    I think the thing to remember is, we’re all a little damaged and broken. As long as you don’t inflict that on someone else, as long as you keep moving forward and up and improving yourself, as long as you treat each other well, you’ll both get something out of even a casual relationship. Although it might take months or years to see that. I think it would be a mistake for anyone to start thinking of themselves as broken as if that’s a permanent, static thing. It certainly can be, but it can also just be a phase that you will come out of, if you keep getting up in the morning and trying to get better, be better.

  3. 20somethingnutbar Says:

    I had a bit of an emotional episode last year and just kinda SNAPPED in October. I just moved from a small town to the big city and I really wanted to have sex something awful, I was really lonely and sexually starved.

    I was still fairly new to the online dating scene, so I was really apprehensive about the type of people I wanted to meet for casual sex. In the end, I decided to seek out married men as my best option. Why? Well, my logic dictated that married men were likely more sane than the average Joe looking for a noncommittal roll in the hay (after all, SOMEONE had to find them attractive enough to marry), and it pretty much guaranteed that our relationship could never become anything serious, for obvious reasons. So I bummed it on Ashley Madison for awhile, and had a few random flings with married men on Craigslist.

    I also posted an ad on POF, looking for “Casual Encounters”. The replies were STAGGERING, to say the least, but in the long run, about 98% were just one word “Sups” or “hi” with the occasional phone number BBM code thrown at me; the other 1% came to me with explicit promises of sex and cock shots (no thank you), and of the last 1% that I even bothered to reply back and agree to meet, I slept with none of them.

    I got fed up with it all at the beginning of this year and decided to change what I was looking for was “Dating”; surprisingly, the 50 messages a day dropped off in a heartbeat. And while most of the men I met were eager to arrange a repeat meeting, at that point I realized I couldn’t date “like a dude” and have tons of tons of casual sex. Also, I didn’t like to share.

  4. Barbara49 Says:

    In my own opinion casual sex is dangerous, both physically and emotionally…

    1 Corinthians 6:16
    Sex is as much spiritual mystery as physical fact. As written in Scripture, “The two become one.” Since we want to become spiritually one with the Master, we must not pursue the kind of sex that avoids commitment and intimacy, leaving us more lonely than ever—the kind of sex that can never “become one.”

  5. DC Phil Says:

    This is what I noticed on OKC when I did a search specifically for casual sex:

    1. it’s rare that women mention it, for the reasons you mentioned about weeding out the “socially inept horndogs” (and you could say the same thing for women seeking LTRs as well, but that’s another story

    2. those that did mention it either were physically unattractive (at least to me), fake profiles, unattainable women (e.g., “just in town for the weekend/show/etc.”) who probably were attention-whoring, or bisexual women leanings more towards women instead of men

    (1) makes perfect sense, akin to a guy not putting on his profile that he’s a high-income earner for fear of getting inundated with gold-diggers. (2) is trickier. On the bi thing, the one three-monther that I mentioned put on her profile that she was “bi” and told me that she had dated women a couple of times in the past. (Never again, she also said . . . way too much drama.) So, I’d say that she was flirting with the idea, but was hetero.

    As for me and casual sex and relationships, I prefer both. I’ve had only one one-night stand in my life and it didn’t go off too well. I’ve had more “sex on the first or second date” situations than one-night stands, mainly because those are the situations I seek and I’m not out bar-hopping, hoping to get laid that same night.

    In general, women find it more difficult to compartmentalize sex and LTR “love” relationships than men do. Though they might say they want (and crave) hot monkey sex, they don’t want it with just anyone. As I told a female friend of mine some months ago, “You want a dick, but a dick with standards.”

    • DC Phil Says:

      Also, a guy I know has a good strategy to follow on OKC. (Dunno if it would work on POF or Match or one of the other sites.)

      He scans the women’s profiles and pays close attention to their answers on the sex questions. He also looks for signs if they’re adventurous or not. So far, he says, he’s had good success with this strategy — and it makes sense.

      Not sure if it would work for women seeking men for casual sex, but worth a try.

      • Trish Says:

        Interesting. I’m on OKC, and generally avoid answering the majority of those questions. To me some seem too personal for me to put that out there. I would answer if someone is clearly interested in a date. But not if I get an email that blatantly asks me if I’ll do this or that, etc.

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        What strategy? If she’s answering sex questions on her dating profile, she’s probably pretty relaxed about sex, Not exactly rocket science. More like common sense. As far as the signs of being “adventurous” I call bullshit unless she’s saying in her profile she likes pulling a train.

        This is not game or strategy. This is common sense.

  6. Trish Says:

    Sorry…forgot this post was about how to go about setting a profile if one was looking for a casual partner. And if this matters, my profile is mostly conservative and still I generally get a fair number of emails asking if I’m looking for something casual.

    • DC Phil Says:

      Because you’re a woman. The fact that you have a pulse means that you’ll get these messages. :)

      Men don’t have this problem. If anything, we’re lucky to get one or two messages per month from older women who are clearly unattractive and desperate.

  7. Saj Says:

    I think a safer and more reliable way of going about it is to develop friendships online first. I was able to make quite a few friends that lasted for years through email and instant message and sometimes phone correspondence.

    Sure this takes longer to develop if your looking for sex asap but the odds are better that it would be a true respectful FWB situation where you enjoy each other but know that you would both be no good for a relationship. Also most reasonably attractive woman should have enough single male friends she can call upon for this without having to resort to online I would think.

    As for judging for long term relationships I just like like minded men period. I value selectivenes and value men who are that way too. Guys on the prowl just aren’t attractive and seem less mature to me but women who take sex and intimacy far less seriously probably will have different opinion of these guys.

    • Crotch Rocket Says:

      “most reasonably attractive woman should have enough single male friends she can call upon for this without having to resort to online I would think.” Exactly. If a woman needs to look further than her phone’s contact list to get laid, she’s doing something seriously wrong. Heck, I’m a guy and things should be much tougher for me on that front, but I’ve still got several female friends that are happy to hop in bed when we’re both single–and they know that’s all it will ever be. It should be even easier for a woman.

      I really wonder about people, both male and female, that have few or no friends of the opposite sex.

      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        Also most reasonably attractive woman should have enough single male friends she can call upon for this without having to resort to online I would think.

        Exactly. If a woman needs to look further than her phone’s contact list to get laid, she’s doing something seriously wrong.

        Oh please. Spare me the bravado. For one, even if a woman does have a few guys she can call, it’s not always a given they’re a)available b) single or c) what she’s looking for at that moment. Breaking: women like variety too.

        It should be even easier for a woman.

        Not if she’s actually prefers good sex versus just sex. Sorry, but finding a guy who’s really good in bed as opposed to passable isn’t a cake walk. Getting laid isn’t the challenge. It’s finding someone who’s actually good at it and that you’re compatible with that’s the hard part.

  8. TG Says:

    I’m very busy in this life. Hell, I really should be sleeping instead of writing this, but I’ve been coming across this site for a long time, and this is the first article where the timing is perfect for me to chime in.

    I’ve not had many relationships (34 years old, two kinda long relationships, lots of dates and e-mail correspondence that’s all but completely gone from my mind). The ones I’ve had: all broken women who sought me out. Sure, some I pined for, a couple I knew a very long time, but the others wrote to me either answering my CL ad or writing to my okCupid profile. I’ve had ZERO luck when I’ve sought someone out myself. I’m not classically attractive, but that’s where the Internet helps – I’m smart and awesome and funny and cavalier – a regular, modern-day Cyrano. Going to bars and clubs (especially when not a drinker, especially in LA) is an exercise in futility (not that it’s stopped me – just struck out every time).

    So while I’ve been casting my nets to bring in a keeper who meets my standards, I’ve been reeled in by these other women who never appreciate what they have in me. And it hurts. It downright kills me inside. Girls who break their own hearts in a real-life version of characters who imagine entire relationships in minutes with other characters they’ve just met.

    My last full-on ex left me two years ago today. When this other girl and I met up last Fall, I knew she was another broken one, and, of course, I fell in and out of love, and we were great lovers for all of a few nights. I realized that’s what I wanted – I’m busy. I want a lover for when I need to recharge my batteries. I’ll care and give a shit and be awesome for her, and not just make booty calls, but it would take someone really lining up with my goals and meeting my standards for me to get married. Now, do I like the idea of sharing my lover? Not really, but I’m in this mode of “I’ll take what I can get.”

    I don’t consider myself young anymore. I’m a fantastic lover, and I genuinely get recharged if I’ve taken a lover, and am jealous of those who get to release with a lover and not be tortured alone. I know I’m really up against it being both a man and not classically attractive and wanting to take a lover. If only I could broadcast the women I’ve slept with so new women could think, “Oh, he’s slept with cute girls. Maybe I should, too.” The original article this post has inspired was female-centric, and I’m with the poster I’m replying to about women just needing a pulse to bring someone in, but only so far as to agree that most women will get laid whenever they want to.

    My advice, for men and women: just go and screw and be safe about it. Old, young, ugly, hot – take a lover or two until you find that one person who you’d drop everything for. And the unattractive lovers will make sure you’re having a good time first and foremost because they’re ever so thankful to have a chance. I know I am.

  9. Crotch Rocket Says:

    “Is it possible to find what many women call a ‘consistent’ casual relationship or is that a myth?” My gut reaction to the question is that if it’s “consistent”, then it’s not all that “casual”. “Casual” means you get together whenever you both feel like it; “consistent” means some sort of obligation to do so regularly. The term I think you’re looking for is “short-term relationship”, i.e. you’ve got some level of obligation to each other but no expectation that it will get more serious. (Though, despite what the name implies, this may end up lasting longer than many LTRs.)

    “Do men even want that or would they prefer ‘consistent’ casual sex with multiple partners?” Again, if there’s multiple partners, how consistent is it? Also, by the way you frame the question, it appears that your “casual” relationship comes with an obligation of monogamy, which is not what comes to mind when I think “casual”. And, in answer to your question as posed, I think most men would prefer the option of multiple partners–even if they don’t (or aren’t able to) exercise it. What are you offering in return for the man giving up that option?

    “Isn’t it possible for a man or woman to seek both casual sex and a relationship? Or does it have to be one or the other?” I know it’s possible for me; I’m looking for a relationship, but in the meantime I still have needs to be met, and the simplest and most honest way to do that is via casual sex. I think most American women are too conditioned by society to accept that, though, so instead they get into (and stay in) faux relationships just so they can get laid in a socially-acceptable way.

  10. AmazingNate Says:

    As much as I’ve heard all about women who want love and emotion with sex, it just doesn’t convince me. There’s too much evidence against this: where is the meaning and pure love in a woman having casual sex with a guy she just met at a club? Where is it in a woman sleeping with another woman’s man? Where is any romance and emotion in a woman having sex with a guy in a car or in a public place and liking it just because it’s kinky– and don’t tell me because it’s what he’s into? Where is the romance, passion, and emotional depth in a woman engaging in a threesome, lesbian “experiminet,” or rough, raw, deviant sex act? Where is any meaning and romance in a woman’s fantasies of being sexually violated, or in any real sex where she is abused and degraded and finding that erotic? Where is it in middle-aged women who have flings with younger men? and the list goes on.

    They can try to convince us all they want, but women generally only care about “meaningful” sex with love and emotion when they want to care about it. And we can come up with excuse after excuse for the casual conquests– after casual sex they feel so “empty” and “unfulfilled,” still want something more, have casual sex because of some kind of emotional trouble, or do it for the guys, or whatever. I’m not convinced because their is too much in reality to goes against all this and proves that women can and do seek sex for no other reason than carnal pleasure for the moment, and many will do it again and again.

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