Students can learn personal preferences through casual sex

Opinions Columnists | Journalism senior

Hooking up is a great way for college students to learn more about themselves and find self-confidence.

Casual sex and one-night stands are frequently looked down upon by some conservative factions. Those who participate in casual sex are often shamed for their lack of commitment and “loose morals.” Lack of commitment, however, is perfectly okay in college. Going to school and possibly working a job is an enormous commitment on its own. Add to that the stress of a serious relationship, and it is often too much for some to handle. For those who desire the stress-relieving benefits of sex without the burden of shouldering another person’s emotions, casual hook-ups are perfect.

It takes a certain level of confidence to engage with someone sexually when not in the comfort of a relationship. Getting turned down, having awkward experiences and mustering up the courage to put oneself out there are all common occurrences when seeking casual sex. These incidents can be mortifying, but they teach important life lessons about self-acceptance and learning to take life a little less seriously. If approached with light-heartedness and an open mind, each potentially embarrassing situation can be fun in its own way, even if the end goal of getting laid is not actually reached.

Hooking up also provides the opportunity for body exploration. Each body is entirely unique, which is easy to forget when the media is saturated with specific, airbrushed body types. Experimenting with different people’s bodies in an intimate way serves as a refresher that all body types are possible, and body type does not necessarily dictate the quality of the sex. A huge muscular man might be sexier than a chunky hairy one, but that does not guarantee sex with him will be more satisfying. The chunk could outlast the hunk by hours, and nobody would ever know if they only pursued the body type the media says is most aesthetically pleasing.

Additionally, casual sex offers a chance to familiarize oneself with different sexual styles and preferences. A girl could have some wild fantasies, but when she actually gives them a shot, it might turn out she does not actually want to get it on in an elevator. Maybe being sandwiched between two other humans is not as appealing as it seemed in the dreamer’s head. No one would ever know if their fantasies translated into reality without some degree of experimentation. Other people’s sexual fantasies can be tested and added to the repertoire. All of these different experiences eventually come together to weave a rich tapestry of knowledge about one’s self and preferences, which can then be shared with another person in an intimate way.

Safety is imperative, of course. Protection should always be used, and both parties should agree and consent to whatever is and is not allowed. I am not advocating unprotected, reckless sex. However, as long as mutual respect, communication and caution is there, hooking up can be fun and exciting. Now go get your freak on, Bobcats.