Guys Just Want Casual Sex… Or Do They?


I really enjoyed this piece, 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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  1. 41

    The most absurd and frustrating thing about this research is that they appear not to discuss women at all…

    How many female casanovas are out there? I would bet there are quite a few. Women have infinitely easier access to sex, and the reality is that women love sex. Yet no one bothers to even investigate that side of the equation…


    And this research is absurd, since it leaves the women’s side out entirely, it also says less than nothing about how many men might have tremendous sexual desires, but cannot fulfill them… indeed, the articles about casanova men and single men in general saying they don’t have that much sex always shift to saying how much porn they end up watching. That seems to indicate that men want to have lots of sex, but get completely fucked over because women would rather only fuck 5% of super hot/wealthy men…

    Yet no one is willing to talk about this openly it seems. It’s ridiculous!

  2. 42
    Jayson Payane

    46   years old. Have never had a one night stand or a casual fling in my life and never will as a man. Why?

    1) Sex is apparently a far more emotional experience for me than it is for many other guys.

    2) For those who desire a true relationship, sex is putting the cart before the horse. It deludes couples into believing they are closer than they actually are because they act they just did was evolutionally designed to create kids. Our bodies become engulfed in oxytocin, and we believe we are closer to our mate when in fact it takes close to 16 months to really know a person a trust and trust them. It’s very much why almost every student has shown that premarital cohabitation leads to higher divorce rates. It has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with the fact that it takes incredible, unbelievable emotional maturity to live with a relaitonship partner day by day. Again, you delude yourself into feeling you are closer than you actually are. Moreover, couples often need space after arguments or when deciding whether they truly wish to spend the rest of their lives with such and such a person. You cannot do that if you can smell the person’s armpit every day.

    3) I feel and will always feel that the more that people engage in casual sex, the more prone they are to cheat. Because it proves they do not value the emotional value of sex. Look, as a male, even though I didn’t engage in one night stands at 22, I expect any future relationship partner to engage in that sort of behavior at that age. We all do wild things. But at 43, I would be very concerned. And I feel I have a right to feel this way because I don’t hold a double standard. If I were a woman who was 46, and I met some guy who slept with some gals at 43, I’d be apprehensive too. At some point you need to grow out of this stuff.

    4) While I do not believing in saving myself for marriage, I don’t wish for any partner to know that I had sex with anyone I did not genuinely care about. It’s just a personal thing.

    5) If people feel I am unmasculine for holding my views, to hell with them. I have better things to do than to uphold antiquated gender stereotypes that I believe have more to do with psychology that determinism.

  3. 43

    The problem with any of this research is if you don’t fit into the sterootypes and gender roles as a heterosexual male or female, you feel like a dork or that something is wrong with you. There is NOTHING THAT IS WRONG WITH YOU. The world consists of INDIVIDUALS. The sooner we understand this, the less killings, abuses, and trauma that will exist in society. If you want to adhere to all this antiquated crap and let society go to hell, be my guest, but I will not be joining parade. Every man, woman and child is DIFFERENT. Gender has little to do with it. It is a societal construct.

  4. 44
    James Randall

    I have zero interest sleeping with with a girl who doesn’t care about me in anyway, shape or form as a person, and frankly, I do not not get the thought process of any who desires casual sex. You’re risking your life. i knew a man woman who got pregnant a chick who did not want a child because her fling’s birth control busted and her flu virus destroyed her birth control pill. There no such thing as safe sex. You better make make sure your partner is trustworthy. But people don’t care. 18 years of raising a kid??? So what. The pleasure was better. Totally selfish.

  5. 45
    Zack S.

    This is such B.S. I will only sleep with a woman who I have a deep committed relationship with, but also a high level of communication, trust and emotional intimacy with. Do you know that according to RAINN, 1 in 9 men are molested in their childhood? Unlike women, men avoid sex when they are molested as a child. They need trust. I am sick & tired of men acknowledged as only being crazy sex machines.Some of us are scared of sex. Men who have been molested often avoid sex out of fear. Other men fear sex. They only get meaning out of sex when they do it with a female who genuinely loves them. The fear disappears when they are with a partner who feels their goes beyond being sex machines.

  6. 46

    They are physically good looking people in this world, yes. But I am not turned on by strangers sexually and I do not engage in casual sex/fwb. I wish casual relationships didnt exist at all. As a highly sensitive empath, theres a lot more happening under the service both emotionally and spiritually when sharing your body with someone and as such, sex can be transformative and intoxicating with the right loved one or robotic, cold, shaming and depressing with the wrong one. I want true love, marriage and a life partner to grow old with. Not shallow interactions. I find that many people are not thinking of it or experiencing it as deeply as I am. So I just choose to stay single and abstinent until the day that divine intervention sends me someone that is spiritually, physically, mentally, financially and emotionally prepared to be a proper life partner. Casual sex to me is empty and a severe waste of emotional well being.

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