Guys Just Want Casual Sex… Or Do They?

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I really enjoyed this piece Salon.com, challenging the idea that guys just want sex as often as possible, and with as many women as possible.

Any time science can challenge conventional wisdom, I’m all for it.

And, to be clear, I’ve bought into the conventional wisdom as well. Part of being human means believing that lots of other people are just like you. But apparently, when I was single, I was in a minority of men who could be classified as Casanovas. Says Andrew Smiler, author of “Challenging Casanova”:

“Research typically shows about 15 percent of guys have three or more partners in any given 12-month span. If you follow those guys over time the number of guys who have three or more partners a year for as long as three years, that drops to about 5 percent. So there are definitely some guys out there who are doing it – but it’s really a small percentage of guys. By contrast, if you look at guys who are very religious, that’s about 15 percent of guys, and most of them really are devoutly religious, really dedicated to their partner. There’s way more of that than guys that are having three partners per year for three years.

Fair and interesting point. However, I do think that Smiler hasn’t necessarily considered some other factors in determining that men aren’t that sex-oriented. Namely:

50 million American men are married. They don’t do so at gunpoint.

1) There would be more men who were “Casanovas” if those men were able to BE Casanovas. In other words, I think lots of men would like to have sex with more than three women in a calendar year, but don’t have the confidence, wherewithal, opportunity or “game” to be able to do so.

2) Smiler’s definition of Casanova depends on men sleeping around for 3 consecutive years. Well, what if a guy sleeps with ten women in 2010, has a girlfriend thru all of 2011, and sleeps with 20 women in 2012? Apparently, he’s not a Casanova.

Thus, if a player ever gets a girlfriend, it negates him from being a Casanova.

So while I still very much believe in my edict that “men look for sex and find love,” Smiler echoes my sentiment that even if guys LIKE hooking up, ultimately MOST men are looking for one partner.

“When we interview adolescents or undergrads, the girls really have the impression that guys are just interested in sex, that they’re not interested in relationships. What we know is that most guys do get into relationships, they enjoy relationships, they do a lot of things in relationships that are not about sex and they’re not doing them just to put up with them in order to get sex. Guys get something out of relationships; they like relationships.”

It’s true. 50 million American men are married. They don’t do so at gunpoint. They do so because the benefits of monogamy are greater than the cost of giving up being a Casanova. So if you’re a woman who is convinced that men are all about sex, think again. If a man is sleeping with you and not committing to you, it’s largely because he doesn’t want a long-term relationship with anyone right now or he doesn’t want a long-term relationship with YOU. It’s not because he’s some sort of single-minded sexual sociopath.

Men are all about feelings. Try to understand us and you’ll get the most out of us.

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Comments:

  1. 21
    RW

    @Greg
    *high five*   I had initially thought the same but it is apparent from comments on this blog that there are many women who do enjoy casual sex, probably making it a 50/50 split or even 60/40 or more in favour of casual sex.   Times are a-changin’ my friend!   But it is very refreshing to hear from someone who cares.
    @Karl
    At the risk of sounding preachy and utopian (I intend neither), yes, I do care about your needs if I think I am in danger of hurting you by fulfilling my own (unless it’s life and death, then I may win :P).   It’s a given that as a general rule, I don’t care about you more than I care about myself because let’s face it, I’d have to be a martyr and I am far from that.   BUT, even after just a few drinks at the bar, if I suspect that fulfilling my needs (or wants as the case may be) might end up hurting you, I find it my moral duty to check first.   I am not directly responsible for you or for your well being but I feel that I owe you that much.   I am not suggesting that women should relinquish responsibility for their sexual and emotional well being.   I am simply replying to the specific comments you made.   More caring in the world never hurt anyone!

  2. 22
    Karl R

    Karl S said: (#20)
    “I always find it baffling that a man would be *more* likely to leave a woman if she is willing to have sex early. I’d try and hang on to someone like that!”
      
    Read the comments  this thread or this thread for some examples of this behavior. There clearly are men with this attitude. There seems to be lots of hypocrisy in their beliefs.
      
    I’m in a poor position to explain it, since I find it equally puzzling. As best I can tell, that attitude  was more common  the 1950s (and earlier). The advice my sisters got  from my parents (who got married during the 50s) certainly reflected this sort of double-standard.
      
    RW said: (#21)
    “if I suspect that fulfilling my needs (or wants as the case may be) might end up hurting you, I find it my moral duty to check first.”
      
    Relationships (including casual flings)  have a good chance of hurting one or both people. Under the same circumstances, I’d assume that it’s highly likely that at least one of us will get hurt (with equal likelihood that I’ll be the one hurt). I assume that you have the same right to take that risk as I do.
      
    That said, I’ve tried to ensure that my partners always had the opportunity to make informed decisions … but I didn’t expect them to be equally forthcoming.

  3. 23
    Ruby

    RW #21
      
    “I had initially thought the same but it is apparent from comments on this blog that there are many women who do enjoy casual sex, probably making it a 50/50 split or even 60/40 or more in favour of casual sex.”
      
      
    Especially considering that this is a blog for women looking for serious relationships, I’m not sure where you are getting such a high number. And I’ll remind you that there are some women, not unlike the majority of men, who can enjoy casual sex, even if they are ultimately looking for a serious relationship. I agree with your second paragraph, however, even though women can’t always expect men to act in their best interests.

  4. 24
    RW

    @Ruby
    Seems to me that a good number of women on this blog are fine with casual sex.   I’m not saying they actively pursue it or that it is all they want.   But given a hot guy and the right circumstances they would sleep with him without any sort of pre-defined commitment or pre-formed emotional bond. I would be very happy to be wrong but I get the feeling that I am in the minority in general, both on this blog and in today’s dating world.   I came to this conclusion from comments, cited articles, etc.   Perhaps we should take a poll.   Ladies? 😀
      

    1. 24.1
      Converge

      I see it like this,

      you got good women, (don’t sleep around very early)

      slutty women, (will sleep around anytime with anyone)

      and women who are after something. (will sleep with you early ONLY if she can gain something from you such as you are a HOT guy one night stand, or a RICH guy, or a FAMOUS guy.   Basically, this is just a subsection of the SLUT category.)

      Women with good behaviors and morals will not sleep around on a very first date.

      1. 24.1.1
        Katie

        I was about to respond to this with sarcasm, but decided to go direct-route so that the message is not lost or diluted.

        Your attitude is childish.

        Women with good behaviors and morals will not sleep around on a very first date.

        I’m going to assume that you’re not a hypocrite, meaning that you refuse to sleep with women on a first date because you have “good morals”. Please confirm. Confirm  that you do not attempt to initiate sex on a first date ever.

      2. 24.1.2
        Katie

        And I’m speaking as a moral and principled  slut btw.

        1. Converge

          Katie, I absolutely will not sleep with a woman on the first date. In fact Katie, I refuse to even KISS a woman on the first date.   Maybe at the end of the second I might. I am completely serious.

          My last experience which nicely presents my reasoning: Girl invited me over to her place on second date. Remember, I haven’t even kissed the girl yet. I went to just talk. She invites me into bedroom to fuck. I decline and leave her due to her behaviors and motives not aligning with what I was looking for.   I was looking for love, she was looking   for “lust.”

           

          Fast forward only 6months and she is pregnant by some new dude. And here’s the kicker: posting baby sonogram photos to Facebook tagging this new stranger who she is proudly “starting a family with”. Also I should mention she already had 2 kids with 2 different daddies.   So this will be the third   any third daddy.

           

          Case in point: she had bad behaviors and a bad personality and likely has some severe self esteem issues to do these things. If it wasn’t for me identifying her behaviors as being “unsound” I might have been stuck paying child support for a woman who clearly was NOT into ME but something I had.

           

          The point is to label the “behaviors” as something that align with behaviors that you yourself express. This is about comparability. I, for instance, am VERY glad that I spotted that girl’s behavior that I mentioned because it showed that she was not GENUINE!   Who would have thought that not sleeping on the first 2nd date would have literally saved me a MILLION DOLLARS of child support and allowed me the opportunity to continue my search for someone who wanted ME and not what I had.

          You have genuine interest and you have short term lust. Which do you want to be dated for?

        2. Converge

          Katie, what should a guy do who is looking for a real commitment?

          I must admit that I agree in that you cannot make blanket statements about everyone and the words I utilized were LOADED.   So the word slut in and of itself is wrong to use. It was my mistake and I was childish by not clearly articulating my post and writing quickly based on my emotional state at the time. I should have pointed out BEHAVIORS and not the terminology.   You are correct that it was wrong of me to say it that way.

          To be more specific with what you quoted me saying in bold: what I am trying to express is that women who have sex early are into sparks of lust and on AVERAGE display a certain set of behaviors which are different on AVERAGE from women who have sex later on.

          Katie, you probably ARE a principled and moral person, however, I don’t believe that MOST people who behave as yourself are though.   Life has shown through experience that it’s a numbers game.   If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck and sounds like a duck, there really is only a small chance it is not going to behave like a duck. Most people fall in categories and it saves TIME by judging people in categories. Can a successful committed relationship by 2 morally sound people be had when they met each other in a 10 way gangbang?   SURE!   But it’s not likely.   (Extreme silly example just to make a point.)

          How should a guy who seeks commitment and not lust handle dating?   Is there any advice you can give that would help someone like myself become better at finding the type of girl that I’m looking for?

        3. Katie

          @ Converge

          Most people fall in categories …

          No.

          People fall somewhere between extremes  in a  spectrum.

          Not just one spectrum actually.  But MANY spectrums that describe MANY aspects of personality. Arrogant to insecure. Selfish to selfless. Sensitive to galvanized. Confident to conflicted. Open-minded to opinionated. Extroverted to introverted. Intelligent to dull.

          You get the picture. An individuals ethics/morality/personality include many spectrums.

          But an individuals ethics/morality/personality  are  NOT  a  set of  laundry bins, darks in one and lights in the other. The way you describe it sounds like you’ve designed a mental  bin for  good/moral/loving    and another mental bin  bad/immoral/slutty nympho. You’re describing a cartoon, not an individual with that kind of caricature description.

          You’re not a hypocrite. You seem principled in fact.  You hold yourself to your standards you set for others. That’s admirable, even if your standard seems misguided.

          And you’re not arrogant, because you acknowledge errors in your own writing  and ask for opinions from people with different views than yourself.

          So why have you  turned  individuals into such caricatures?

  5. 25
    Henriette

    @RW24 – I’d happily take a poll, especially one in which women could write in a comments section as well as voting.   I suspect that we’d see great variety in women’s attitudes, even amongst those who answer alike in a poll.

  6. 26
    Kurt

    I personally don’t know many guys in my circle of friends who have ever had sex with three different women a year on a consistent basis unless they really lowered their standards.  
      
    I personally think that women are far more likely to sleep with a lot of different men than men are to sleep with a lot of women.   I know some women who chase after men who clearly don’t want them and sleep with a lot of guys a year, perhaps even a new one every month.

  7. 27
    hespeler

    Kurt 26,
    Agree.   Out of all my friends, I have one that sleeps around (he doesn’t even that much anymore) but he has no standards when it comes to getting laid he just “needs to f#$*” as he puts it.
    Some of my friends are not too attractive physically and don’t have options and some are good-looking put together guys but still opt to not just take whatever is there at the moment.
    The biggest misnomer to me is the prevailing attitude that there are so many beautiful women out there.   I guess there are just as there are a lot of really good-looking guys but they’re spread out and how many will you actually have access to?
    Women are infamous for the “no chemistry” line but the truth is men struggle with finding chemistry as well.   And since men are very visual and focused on looks it only stands to reason that we put a high standard on it and most of us will be forced to compromise that standard eventually.  
    There is a harsh reality here – when relationships peter  (sp?)  out or when a marriage’s sex life begins to falter there is a good chance that the physical attraction was never that strong  for at least one of the parties.   Of course there are other reasons that cause romance to die even when the couple is highly attracted to eachother but lack of physical attraction is something we don’t like to admit to in a lot of cases.
      

  8. 28
    Ed

    Probably most men in their 20s and 30s would like to be cassanovas but either they can’t pull it off or they’re scared of the risks (STDs, pregnancies, false rape accusations).  

  9. 29
    Dimples

    well, I seemed to only meet the ones that don’t want a relationship with me. When I agree to not want a long term it’s like I rejected them. I only date guys that I would potentially want a future with not just randomly.  

  10. 30
    jo ann

    At the moment I don’t need a stable relationship I’m still busy with my tjings but i need casual sex bcs sometimes i feel i need somebody and is hard i’v been alone for a while but sometimes I need to have fun I’m 30

  11. 31
    chris60

    Sexual attraction is only one part of a relationship and it can take time to realise whether you are compatible on many levels. Rushing into sex or holding out makes little difference if you lack shared interests or there are glaring problems such as addiction or abuse that will make a healthy relationship difficult to achieve. Loneliness is compounded by being with the wrong person for the wrong reasons, and the time and energy put into a new relationship can be off-putting if you have other personal goals. Sex is just one factor in a long list of why people may avoid commitment.

    1. 31.1
      bongstar420

      I don’t see how “loneliness” has anything to do with sex. People choose to be emotionally dependent on their sex partners. Literally everything but sex is obtainable from friends.

  12. 32
    hehe

    Not true. Remove sex from the relationship. And men wont even get married. I cant imagine any man getting married to a woman who anatomically lacks a vagina

    1. 32.1
      bongstar420

      There is a whole lot more we wouldn’t be doing aside from getting married.

    2. 32.2
      Skye

      Not lacking vagina, just unavailable to disrespectful men.

  13. 33
    Tina

    I was dating a guy casually and we were sexually exclusive however he just ended a serious relationship before we met and said he wasn’t emotionally ready for anything serious. Said it had absolutely nothing to do with me because he could see himself being serious with me if we met at a different time. We did end things because I was ready for something serious and was catching feelings. But he told me he definitely didn’t want to sleep around that’s why we were exclusive. The problem was that he was very detached and did not want to spend much time together, he also became frustrated with me for wanting more. That’s why we ended it. So I honestly do believe that not all men want to sleep around, they just don’t want to deal with the emotional aspect of a relationships just yet. Eventually they will though.

  14. 34
    Bill

    Most women nowadays just can’t even commit to just only one good man anymore.

    1. 34.1
      bongstar420

      Its more profitable to use a few these days

  15. 35
    bongstar420

    I’d rather not opt for casual sex, but as long as a) monogamy and   b) I have to do things for her/benefit her in some way, I’m going to opt for casual sex.

  16. 36
    Ron

    It is most of the single women nowadays that really like sleeping around with so many different guys all the time.

  17. 37
    judy

    Ron 36 – well aren’t you the lucky one? And I hope those different guys have a lot of energy. Do the mathematics. If single women are sleeping around with so many different guys all the time, looks like someone is busy. (:o) Both sexes, folks.

    Happy F Christmas

    1. 37.1
      Converge

      A single woman can’t sleep with a 100 different guys?   Cmon now, that is totally possible.   Why would you even try to say it is not?

  18. 38
    Ron

    Judy 37, first of all it is most of the women nowadays that are the biggest cheaters of them all for your information since i am one of very few men out there that can commit to just only one woman if i was that lucky to find a good one today since most of them just like sleeping around just like i said with my last comment with all different kinds of men every chance they get.   And it is real fact that women do cheat way more than men do these days since they have commitment issues since i had this happened to me already. It is you women that have a very serious problem today and not many of us men at all that really would know how to be very faithful had we met the right one which they really don’t exist anymore like they once did years ago.   I can’t take any responsibility for what other men do out there that take advantage of women when there are a lot of us good men that are not like that at all which is why many of us are still single today when many of us aren’t to blame at all since many of us Aren’t single by choice.   Many sad women nowadays that just don’t know how to be faithful anymore to their men.

    1. 38.1
      judy

      Ron, I am one of those faithful women.   It’s important for me to be able to make a commitment.   Faithful women do exist, truly.

      Wishing you every success in finding one.

      1. 38.1.1
        Converge

        Judy, seriously, where can we meet women like you?   Where do you go for dates?   I assume you aren’t using Tinder lol.   Please let us good guys know where to look for you.

  19. 39
    Ron

    To Judy, Thank you for your support.

  20. 40
    Princess Sadie

    At this point in my life I rather be by myself than have a man to have sex with me with no commitment . I’m looking for something more solid because I refuse to cheat myself out of been married for some   causal sex because some guy don’t want to commit to me. No committed you can keep it moving…

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