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A casual relationship is a physical and emotional relationship between two people who may have a sexual relationship or a near-sexual relationship without necessarily demanding or expecting the extra commitments of a more formal romantic relationship. A casual relationship differs from casual sex, which has little or no emotional element, and different from a one-night stand, as the relationship extends beyond a single sexual encounter. Related terms are friends with benefits and fuck buddy. There are significant gender and cultural differences in acceptance of and breadth of casual relationships,[1][2][3][4] as well as in regrets about action/inaction in those relationships.[5]

A casual relationship may be part time, or for a limited time, and may or may not be monogamous. The term encompasses friendships between people who enjoy each other's physical intimacy but do not aspire to be long-term, and may or may not involve parties who desire temporary relationships purely for hedonistic purposes. In each case, the relationship's dominance in the lives of those involved is being voluntarily limited, and there is usually a sense that the relationship is intended to endure only so long as both parties wish it to.

To the extent such relationship include casual sexual contact, the relationship is generally focused on fulfilling sexual desire rather than romantic or emotional needs.

Motives for casual relationships vary, and should be distinguished from casual sex, which is a specific type of casual relationship. Casual relationships sometimes include mutual support, affection and enjoyment, which underpin other forms of loving relationship.

Contents

Popularization in the United States

Although this sort of relationship is often portrayed as a relatively new phenomenon, the phrase "friends with benefits" was around for many years before it was popularized for a younger generation in the mid-1990s by the Alanis Morissette song "Head Over Feet" and a decade later in the television series Boston Legal.

The television series Sex and the City focused further on casual sexual relationships.

Since the popularization of the hookup culture, a few researches have examined the phenomena as it pertains to college students. For an in-depth look at the relationship between the hooking up and spirituality, see Sex and the Soul[6] by Donna Freitas.

Casual sex

Casual sex is any of 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, while some use it to refer to sex in a casual relationship.[7][8]

While providing a sexual outlet, the practice of casual sex often carries negative connotations. In some sexual relationships among teenagers in the U.S., the predominant activity is not penetrative sex, but rather oral sex and mutual masturbation. Many teenagers feel that this reduces the risks associated with sexual promiscuity, such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases. Some medical authorities – such as Bonnie Halpern-Felsher, a professor of pediatrics – suggest that teenagers do not view oral sex as "real sex" and use it to remain in a state of "technical" virginity.[9]

See also

References

  1. ^ Chara PJ, Kuennen LM (February 1994). "Diverging gender attitudes regarding casual sex: a cross-sectional study". Psychol Rep 74 (1): 57–8. PMID 8153236. "Abstract: Students at five educational levels ranging from seventh graders to college seniors were surveyed regarding their attitudes about the acceptability of casual sex. A striking developmental contrast was found: males became increasingly accepting of casual sex; females were consistently opposed to casual sex at all educational levels'.".  
  2. ^ Cubbins LA, Tanfer K (June 2000). "The influence of gender on sex: a study of men's and women's self-reported high-risk sex behavior". Arch Sex Behav 29 (3): 229–57. doi:10.1023/A:1001963413640. PMID 10992980.  
  3. ^ Welsh DP, Grello CM, Harper MS (August 2006). "No strings attached: the nature of casual sex in college students". J Sex Res 43 (3): 255–67. PMID 17599248. http://www.sexscience.org/uploads/media/JSR_43-3_Grello.pdf.  
  4. ^ Gwen J. Broude, 'Male-Female Relationships in Cross-Cultural Perspective: A Study of Sex and Intimacy' Cross-Cultural Research, Vol. 18, No. 2, 154-181 (1983) Abstract: Societies are neither entirely consistent nor entirely arbitrary in their patterning of heterosexual relationships. This research suggests that sexual relationships, nonsexual intimacy, and male sexual orientation are not highly related to each other.
  5. ^ Roese NJ, Pennington GL, Coleman J, Janicki M, Li NP, Kenrick DT (June 2006). "Sex differences in regret: all for love or some for lust?". Pers Soc Psychol Bull 32 (6): 770–80. doi:10.1177/0146167206286709. PMID 16648202. "Abstract: within romantic relationships, men emphasize regrets of inaction over action, whereas women report regrets of inaction and action with equivalent frequency. Sex differences were not evident in other interpersonal regrets (friendship, parental, sibling interactions) and were not moderated by relationship status".  
  6. ^ [http://www.amazon.com/Sex-Soul-Juggling-Sexuality-Spirituality/dp/0195311655 Sex and the Soul on Amazon.com
  7. ^ casual - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
  8. ^ casual sex - Definitions from Dictionary.com
  9. ^ Halpern-Fisher B University of California at San Francisco [1]

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