Casual Sex Is Good For You
The term casual sex and the more informal term hooking up are often ambiguous and imprecise, as the phrases are used in radically different ways.
Casual sex or hooking up 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.
Others reserve its use for one-time encounters, promiscuity, or to refer to sex in the absence of emotional attachment or love.
The word wholesome is also loaded, especially when it comes to the topic of sex and relationships. It’sa wrong to rely on more subjective notions of wholesomeness which will vary based on a person’s individual beliefs.
I think it is possible to reach a slightly more objective notion of wholesomeness by defining wholesome behavior as something that has a positive overall effect on all people involved.
People will still quibble over what constitutes a positive effect, but at least we can be somewhat closer to agreement. One of the ways to get at the notion of “positive effect” in a slightly more objective fashion is to look at the effects of something on psychological health.
Casual Sex and Psychological Health
“Casual sex” has been studied to some degree in a scholarly setting, with respect to its effects on psychology; however, the scholarly literature itself is guilty of failing to make the distinctions described above.
As an example, a fairly recent and interesting study was published in an article titled Casual Sex and Psychological Health Among Young Adults: Is Having “Friends with Benefits” Emotionally Damaging?
This study made only a single distinction, between sex with a close, exclusive partner, and “casual” ones, defined as being a “casual acquaintance or close but nonexclusive partner”.
The study found that young adults who engage in casual sexual activities (as defined in the study) do not have any greater risk of harmful psychological outcomes than those who engage only in exclusive ones with a close partner. Source