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Is casual sex worth it?
July 28th, 2011
07:09 AM ET

Is casual sex worth it?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him at his website, GoodInBed.

To do it, or not to do it: That is the question of casual sex - at least as depicted on film.

In both "Friends With Benefits" (currently playing) and the previously released "No Strings Attached," casual sex is anything but casual. It’s carefully weighed, hotly debated, methodically scrutinized and, of course, comically miscalculated. As in most romantic comedies, the casual sex turns out to be quite committed and just a part of falling in love and living happily ever after.

In the movies, blind lust and romantic love often intersect seamlessly, but in reality, casual sex is often an emotional dead-end rather than an on-ramp to relationship bliss.

Anthropologist Helen Fisher describes love as a three-phase system:

1) Lust, in which we can attach to anyone.

2) Attraction, in which lust finds its focus and blossoms into romantic love.

3) Attachment, in which romantic love matures into a long-term relationship.

Casual sex is often an expression of Phase 1 (lust at its most unfocused), but, unfortunately, many people go into it with the false hope that it will lead to romantic love. And that’s where life does not imitate the movies.

That’s not to say that casual sex is a bad thing. It can be loads of fun, as well as a way of trying out new things and practicing your sex skills for that future special person. But casual sex isn’t always so simple.

As my colleague Emily Nagoski, author of the Good in Bed Guide to Female Orgasms, writes, “Especially when it comes to having sex with someone for the first time, the question of what it is you actually want when you want sex is very complicated indeed. Because what do you want, when you want sex? Do you want to get laid? Do you want a relationship? Do you want love? Do you want revenge? Do you want to rebel? Do you want to get pregnant? ... Then there’s the question of whether or not (and what kind of) sex will get you what you want. Sex will get you laid. Whether or not it gets you a relationship or love or revenge or rebellion or a baby is less certain, and so the decision becomes complicated.”

Casual sex has its risks and rewards, although the movies tend to focus more on the risk of falling in love than, say, the very real consequence of contracting a sexually transmitted infection.

As the authors of "Sex in America" write of their interviews with more than 3,000 people, “Although we find that large numbers of Americans have had a sexually transmitted disease at least once in their lives, there is nothing random about where the diseases strike … the people who are most likely to be infected share one key characteristic: They have many sex partners.”

As it turns out, if a man has two to four sexual partners in his lifetime, his chances of ever having contracted a sexually transmitted infection are about 3%.

As the number of partners increases, so does the risk. With more than 20 partners, his risk is about 28%, almost a 1,000% increase. The same rough pattern is true of women, with the spectrum of percentages increasing from 5% to 35%.

It should therefore come as no surprise that the more partners a person has had, the more likely it is that he or she has engaged with those partners outside of a monogamous relationship, and that his or her partner falls into a similar pattern of casual sex, thereby greatly increasing the risk of having come into contact with  a sexually transmitted infection.

Casual sex could trigger a domino effect of risky behaviors.

“The more partners an individual has,” according to "Sex in America," “the more likely he or she is to have sex with people who themselves have many partners, the more likely he or she is to have sex with virtual strangers, the more likely she or he is to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol during some sexual encounters, and while it is more likely that a condom was used, the rate of increased use of a condom does not seem great enough to offset the higher risks of infection.”

I’m not trying to scare anyone out of casual sex. As Dr. Alex Comfort had to say in his book "The Joy of Sex," “There is no occasion for panic, or for losing out on the joy of sex - simply informed caution.”

So is casual sex worth it? You tell me. Like the recent spate of movies, does it ever have a happy ending?

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soundoff (608 Responses)
  1. John

    "well then always use a condom"

    To paraphrase Morgan Freeman as Red, "I'd like to tell you that we always rap it, and that it always was safe, I'd like to tell you that, but life is no fairy tale world."

    Wrap it all you'd like and be as casual as you want, it will eventually come back to f_ _ _ you one way or another (no pun intended).

    July 28, 2011 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sean

      13 years and still waiting for my punishment.... /yawn

      July 28, 2011 at 11:44 | Report abuse |
  2. The Truth

    (I learned this in an ethics course and it only works If and only if you take away forms of protection from the equation) Its safer for the population if people have intercourse with Multiple partners rather than obstaining from intercourse. Think about it as a communal pool filled with only the people having intercourse. If people obstain from intercourse, then they arent apart of the pool and they arent going to get an STD, but also, they are not there to dilute the pool. When people obstain from intercourse, they are no longer diluting the population. All the people who are having intercourse are either going to get an STD faster, or have already contracted an STD because thats the only type of people out there having intercourse. We need to dilute this pool by having the population of people obstaining from intercourse enter the pool. The more people having intercourse who are clean and who were obstaining from intercourse, the less likely it is you are going to find a partner that is going to give you an STD.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Pastafarian

      Wow! That might be the most convoluted argument I have ever read – and a serious stretch! And btw, it's abstain, not obstain.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      okay abstain so I made a spelling mistake. Argue my logic, not my spelling.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
    • sbk

      This may be the dumbest thing I've read all morning. Also, learn to spell "abstain".

      July 28, 2011 at 10:47 | Report abuse |
    • Youre wrong

      That's a stupid argument. That means they would be diluting the pool on the initial jump. After that they will just increase the number of people infect with disease. What you state is only a short term solution while in the long run it will just mean that there are more people infected.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:49 | Report abuse |
    • Mac

      Hey "The Truth",

      Your logic is idiotic. I couldn't even begin to speculate the socio/phsyco- pathic mental mechanisms by which you arrived at your conclusions.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
    • sanjosemike

      Your argument is basically a Ponzi scheme. It depends on how many "new" people enter the pool. As our population is aging, the numbers of "clean" people entering the pool lessens. Also, the length of time a person remains "clean" is arguable and definitely finite. Those new people will eventually get disease too. No matter how you qualify your argument, there is still a good chance for getting an STD if you dip your stick into the pool.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      Here's a summary: The more people having intercourse, the more diluted the pool, the less likely you are to have intercourse with someone with an STD. Does anyone have a point besides "oh you're dumb" or "oh your spelling is wrong" because that just looks like you don't have a valid argument. I'm not saying this is my view, read what I wrote, I learned this in an ethics course a few years ago.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
    • Youre wrong

      and by the way this ethics course must have been at a community college

      July 28, 2011 at 10:52 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      "Absatin" idiot.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      You people and your spelling errors crack me up...who cares....listen to what he is saying not how he is saying it!!

      July 28, 2011 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      Chris, you are the idiot for not having a valid argument. Argue over spelling all you want, but you are the one that looks stupid! Plus, I said at the begining this isn't my view or logic, so you can wrongly hate me all you want. You're probably just scared I made a point you couldnt argue against, idiot.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Argument fail by "The Truth"...check.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:00 | Report abuse |
    • Locked

      It's a failure in logic. STIs (the modern term, as most are labeled as infections, not diseases) will still spread – a larger pool of active people just means there are more people to be infected. So even if you only have a certain % at first with STIs, the total number of people getting infections spread. Indeed, among active members the percentage wouldn't increase, but among the total population it certainly would.

      It's a somewhat foolish exercise anyway, as the conditions are too simplistic to mimic reality.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:01 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      Ethics course at Florida State University. Why would that matter though? Seriously?? Only one person has a good point to make against this? I thought you guys would have this logic torn apart already. I give the posters to much credit.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:02 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      The Truth – how stupid are you? In the comment above you clearly state "Argue my logic, not my spelling". Then you proceed to tell me that this is not your logic/view? Keep up the good work FSU!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:04 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      Locked: Ding Ding Ding, we have a winner! But look at this- the people that abstain aren't going out to have intercourse with multiple partners. Logic says they abstained for a reason, so lets assume they only have intercourse with a limited number of partners. Studies show that the smaller amount of partners you have, the least percentage you have of gaining an STD. So the abstainers enter the pool, dilute it, then leave it (assuming they found their 1 life long partner). The cycle continues, abstainers enter, then leave, then as time progresses new enter, and new leave.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:06 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      Chris, once again, no valid argument. You're wasting my time, but since you seem pretty dumb i'll explain things so you can go about your day. No, I didnt come up with this, no this isn't my view, but Yes I posted it- so let me refrase myself- argue my post, argue my writings, but I cannot take credit for this logic.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:09 | Report abuse |
    • Shellie

      Why was this a topic in your 'ethics' course? And was your 'Ethics' Instructor trained to speak on this matter? If you truly believe in this, try it out! In 10 years get back to me and let me know how it went! Good luck!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:10 | Report abuse |
    • Jeansus Christ

      Didn't you see the little red line under "obstain" when you wrote it? That generally means you had a spelling error.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:10 | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      I think your Ethics instructor needs to brush up on Probablities and Statistics before tossing out lame theories. It's entirely probable that two "clean" individuals will hook up and neither has an STD.
      Your assumption is flawed ("All the people who are having intercourse are either going to get an STD faster, or have already contracted an STD because thats the only type of people out there having intercourse."). With mulitple partners, the chances of contracting an STD improve, of course, but not to the 100% certainty you assume.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:12 | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      I see the logic, but I think people first need to think about themselves before the community.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:12 | Report abuse |
    • Me

      I don't want to sacrifice my cleanliness, sorry. Survival of the fittest!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:12 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      No shellie, I dont believe it myself. btw this wasnt a business ethics class, it was ethical teachings, meaning we learned about confucious and aristole. Jeanus Christ: I use I.E. not firefox, so no spell check before I post. Dave- statistics would say that with an increased population, probability lowers.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:15 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      Let me explain something to you "The Truth". "Refrase" is spelled r-e-p-h-r-a-s-e. You sir, are an idiot college kid pretending to be intellectual. Go FSU!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:16 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      Chris: You still have no argument do you? thanks and goodbye.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse |
    • Seriously?

      The problem with your logic is that in the end, it doesn't. Perhaps at first the 'pool' is diluted... but unlike adding more water to an actual pool to dilute the contaminent, STD's don't dilute, they're not passive... they SPREAD! So in the end, all those who formerly abstained are now sharing in the misery... The better solution would be to have more people abstaining, thereby letting the idiots willing to take the risk suffer because of their own stupidity...

      July 28, 2011 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
    • FatFreddy

      It is certainly be better for uninfected existing participants if other new uninfected participants join in. Self evidently true (in the short term), but not very interesting and so what? If overall frequency increases, the absolute spread among the whole population will increase. For the health of the whole population, lower frequency will keep more people healthier. Less fun though and most people behave based on personal preference rather than for the good of the whole population.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
    • RoBotTurKey

      first off your argument fails from the start since what we're talking about are diseases, actual living "organisms". so, the more people you introduce to a disease the disease grows...which is why there's a such thing as quarantining. So, it still stands that if you're looking for a partner who isn't infected or has never been infected with a STD then you should remove yourself from the intercourse pool and search in the abstinence pool or at least look for someone who is barely immersed in the intercourse pool. Because you can't over look the fact of people who've contracted a STD during their first time having intercourse.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Purple

      While this article focuses on STD's it says nothing about the potentially harmful relationships with psychopaths nor the developmentally challenged offspring created out of such relationships. After a certain point, most everyone who isn't a psychopath is probably hooked up. So regardless of STD's, common among psychopaths or those with antisocial personality, the pool is already about 25% full of psychopaths who will do nothing but harm. Quite a dilemma.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      Okay, I guess I'll comment and give my own answer as to why this argument is flawed: this is a utilitarian vs egoist argument, doing whats good for the population as a whole vs. doing the best for oneself. The logic is flawed because we assume the people who abstained never entered the pool before then left, No one uses protection, and the people already in the pool are having intercourse with multiple partners. There are to many assumptions and the argument is far to simplistic for it to work. It works on paper, and statistically it is correct- larger population, lower probability, but the logic doesnt work "real world".

      July 28, 2011 at 11:26 | Report abuse |
    • AGeek

      Holy crap. You've just described how homeopathic remedies work. You *cannot* "contaminate" with "clean". Colossal ignoramus!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • Jennifer

      Give "The Truth" a break. The argument seems to be purely logical/evolutionary, not moral or cautionary. And it makes sense in that limited scope. Like much logical argument, however, it lends little or no direction to the questions posed in the article above. So perhaps irrelevant, but hardly "dumb". Maybe I agree with Christian – some raw nerves (or other body parts) that got twanged?

      July 28, 2011 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      A FSU grad, a Miami grad, and a Florida grad are waiting to be executed by firing squad. The UF grad is first, and as he is waiting to be executed, he yells, "Earthquake!" The firing squad panics and runs away, allowing the Florida grad to jump over the wall and escape. The Miami grad is next, and as he is waiting to be executed, he yells, "Flood!" The firing squad again panics and runs away, so the Miami grad also jumps over the wall and escapes. The FSU grad is last. As he is waiting to be executed, he remembers that the UF and Miami grads had done, so he yells, "Fire!"

      July 28, 2011 at 11:30 | Report abuse |
    • Richard

      Regardless of whether thetruth is right or not, look at how pointless this all is without action.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:32 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      AGeek: with this logic you are contaminating the dirty pool with clean. You can dilute muddy water, with clean water.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:34 | Report abuse |
    • ndlily

      "The Truth" - this is where the term "textbook" case comes from. Actually, this is a college spin on the old parental argument of "if you're friend jumped off a cliff . . . " You would too, because it "dilutes the pool."

      July 28, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
    • Matrix

      Chaos or clean? You argument would quickly doom man. A clean pool to sustain our species is necessary for child rearing attachments!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      ndlily: You are correct! At any rate, I can't believe this made people so upset with me, even after my original post when I said this wasnt my view or logic. The people that logically answered and told me the flaws- I thank you. The people that told me I was an idiot need to read more thoroughly that I'm not trying to advocate everyone going out and having intercourse with each other. I even argued against my original post to try to show people How! lol

      July 28, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • Phillip

      Statistically it doesn't work out. Because those abstaining have a 0% chance of getting an STD however once they jump into the pool they have some % chance of getting an STD thereby increasing the percentage of the total population getting an STD. The error in your logic is that yes the previous pool of those that were having multiple partners will have decreased however the percentage of the total population getting STD's will increase since any % chance is greater than 0% chance.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
    • Last_Warrior

      @the truth: your logic is flawed in a mathematical and biological sense. Say you have a pool of 100 people, where 90 are infection free, 5 have an STI, and 5 are abstinate. The risk of infection is still about 5% for the 90 that are infection free. However, as time goes on the number of infected people will go up as the infected ad non-infected people mingle. The only people that will be 100% infection free are those that abstain. Now in a perfectly STI free world the only risk is pregnancy which is only 100% preventable by abstinence or a successful sterilization procedure. All other current forms of birth control have a percentage for failure.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:47 | Report abuse |
    • reality

      With logic like that you could have a future in government.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
    • For Real!

      Ok, I really can't belive that no one has ripped this apart yet, but maybe he's just trolling?

      One you can't dilute the pool because you either have an STD or not, I can't have 30% Herpes, thus your logic falls apart. The reason is that the system is stable, as you add more people to the mix there chances of contracting an STD will remain the same. And to spell it out if you have 5% infected out of 100 and you add another 100 to the mix, according to your logic this would dilute the odds to 2.5%, but they are not in the pool yet and once they are the odds will be 5% because some of the new people will sleep with infected people and maintain the 5%, only this time 10 out of 200 instead of 5 out of 100.

      And to counter your next argument that new people will behave differently then existing people, do you not this people in the pool already don't just go in for a dip and come out, or use protection? The population joining the pool, is going to be just as diverse as the one in the pool. If you want to change the % then you have to change the system via changing the parameters through education, society or technology/medicine.

      Well if you are trolling you did a good job

      July 28, 2011 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
    • Geo

      I love how Chris called out The Truth on a spelling mistake and in doing so, made one himself – Absatin not Abstain

      July 28, 2011 at 11:51 | Report abuse |
    • TRH

      You need to stop taking quack ethics courses and take some rudimentary mathematics courses. Your logic is flawed on many levels, and even a basic understanding of mathematical models would make this very apparent.

      The key issue that you're missing here is for more people to "enter the pool" as you put it, you have more instances of intercourse. More instances at a lower probability EACH sure, but more none the less. That increased instance of transmission even at a lower rate, will explode over time, until now the larger pool has a higher rate of transmission.

      And your counter argument about entering the pool and leaving doesn't work. That's pyramid scheme thinking to assume that you'd have a limitless supply of "diluters" to enter the pool once and leave.

      Every last bit of your argument is flawed mathematically. And, might I add, ethically.

      I hope you failed the course, becuase if your understanding of the situation is an accurate representation of what was being taught then the school should lose it's accreditation.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
    • BigMoney

      The Truth

      While Locked made a correct and valid point, their use of your magical key word 'logic' doesn't make it the only correct or on point response to your ridiculous argument. Yes, I know you 'learned' it somewhere else, but by posting it and you further its reach and in turn make it your own. If you don't wish to be associated with it, don't post it.

      sanjosemike–Made the best and most rational response. Your 'logic' of keeping the pool diluted only works if there are always substantially more clean people to jump in. As the number with infections increase you will need proportionally more to keep the ratios the same, and bring down the rates of infection. Like mike pointed out the population is aging so there will not be enough to jump in the pool. Much like a Ponzi scheme, or like how there is not enough young workers to pay into Social Security and support that aging population.

      Just because you learn it at school doesn't make it right, or even able to hold water.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:55 | Report abuse |
    • Math

      As some have already said that the outcome you desire is not possible with this approach. STD are biological contagions and there for the population is only as finite as their hosts. If you populate the "pool" with more partners/hosts quickly enough you might decrease the probability of contracting the STD initially, but unfortunately those new partners will establish multiple relationships with partners who are also highly connected (think of a spider web with the center representing patient 0 and all the nodes being parthner) eventuallying re-establishing or exceeding the the initial saturation point at a geometric rate. In short the only way to solve this problem is to remove the social/physiological behavior that the STDs exploit. It should also be mention that ethics does not mean logical; Logic is the process to deriving a established outcome versus ethics is a judgement of the means and that outcome.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:57 | Report abuse |
    • amused123

      Sorry, but it has no place in an ethics class. I can see right now, epidemiologists all over the world running around with their hair on fire. It is so flawed an argument that it doesn't even take into account mutation viruses. Hey, there this car; it runs on water!; MAN!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:58 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      The abstainers enter the pool after they make the decision to start having intercourse, not after they have committed the actual physical act. Which would make the statistics work perfectly.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      But hey, there were a lot of good answers that came out of this, it made you think! And thats what I was trying to do. Btw, statistics is not my strong point, nor is ethics, my degree was in geography, the only statistics I did was spatial data analysis.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      The argument is far to simplistic for it to be able to work. It assumes far to many things. And this is exactly what you would learn in an Ethics course. As I said before, this wasn't an ethical practices course, this was studying people such as Aristole and Confucious.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:12 | Report abuse |
    • MikeM_Ottawa

      I believe sanjosemike has touched on the essence of the flaw by calling it a Ponzi scheme. Take your analogy above but assume that only 1 person is infected. You have to assume a speed at which the infection spreads and this speed is exponential because as soon as a second person gets infected then the speed effectively doubles. So, if (on average) the infection spreads to every fourth partner and the infected person has a different partner every day then by day four there are now two people infected. Assuming the second person is also promiscuous then the rate has just double so that in 4 days there will be a total of 4 people infected. So, if you assume everyone in the pool is promiscuous then the only way the pool over-all gets safer is if there are at least 4 uninfected people who have entered the pool over that first eight days, or an average of 1 person every 2nd day. However between the 8th and the 12th day another 4 people are infected (total now 8) so for that period at least 4 more people must have entered the pool, or 1 person per day. So the number of clean individuals entering the pool must outpace the rate of infection within the pool for your argument to hold... this is unsustainable so the argument fails.
      However, one thing to note is that the population of the pool is not really a single population; it is two overlapping populations- one population of promiscuous individuals and one population of reasonably non-promiscuous persons. the rate of infection within these two populations will be markedly different because if you assume that the nonp-promicuous population has a different partner once per week instead of once per day then the rate of infection within that population would be 1/7th of the rate within the promiscuous population... it won't be quite that much less because there will still be cross-contamination from the promiscuous population (i.e. whenever a non-promiscuous person has a partner from the promiscusou population then the likelihood of infection will be significantly higher so the over-all rate for the non-promiscuous population will be increased as a function of the overlap between these two populations).
      So, what would really happen here is that the likelihood of infection within the promicuous population would approach 100% in a reasonably short time while the non-promiscuous population would likey remain pretty low because the "clean" people entering the pool would be sufficient to keep up with the slower rate of infection within the non-promiscuous population...
      By the way, that's pretty much what this study confirms... if you choose to be a member of the promiscuous population then the likelihood of becoming infected increases significantly...

      July 28, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
    • The Truth

      BigMoney "Just because you learned it in school doesnt make it right" Tell me where I made that outlandish statement please. And I claim posting this argument, read it, I just need to give credit were credit is do as to were I obtained this information. I don't like to take credit for other peoples work. Also, I don't agree with this, I made arguments against it. 🙂 sorry if I offended you bud

      July 28, 2011 at 12:20 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      "The abstainers enter the pool after they make the decision to start having intercourse, not after they have committed the actual physical act. Which would make the statistics work perfectly."

      Finally learned how to spell "obstain". Please take that and go tell all of your Nole buddies.

      July 28, 2011 at 13:59 | Report abuse |
  3. Jonboy

    I see alot of warnings for STD'S on the boards here, but no mention of another bummer in a casual fling. PREGNANCY

    July 28, 2011 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike

      Preventable in the same way as (most) STIs.
      Pregnancy is also 100% curable.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
    • dianee

      partial hysterectomy=no risk of pregnancy. 🙂

      July 28, 2011 at 10:53 | Report abuse |
    • Nick

      Mike, pregnancy is not a disease. Therefore, it doesn't need to be cured.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:54 | Report abuse |
    • Jonboy

      Preventable in the same way as (most) STIs.
      Pregnancy is also 100% curable.

      Not that I'm anti choice Mike- but curable if you can afford it and I'm sure if you had to go through an abortion as a man, you might rethink the effect it's going to have on the psyche, unless you are a complete psychopath.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
    • Jonboy

      AND, since it was casual, what if you never get updated that she's pregnant? until she shows up 5 years later, looking for child support.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Because pregnancy can be easily remedied

      July 28, 2011 at 11:01 | Report abuse |
    • Jonboy

      What do you do if she insists on keeping the baby Brian? after all, how well do you know this random woman?

      July 28, 2011 at 11:09 | Report abuse |
    • Vick

      I'm a woman who has remedied an unwanted pregnancy. It has had no effect on my psche, because I feel as though one should only bring an innocent life into the world if they can give it the care it deserves...people have no problem sleeping around, but when they get knocked up, all of sudden they are super self-righteous about having a child they cannot afford, and are not ready for, puh-lease!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:17 | Report abuse |
    • ChrisCfrom theD

      Then the article would have had to mention that movie "Knocked Up"...and who wants to relive that?
      j/k...but you are right, pregnancy is a real risk as well that is over-looked by many. If you can't see yourself having a kid with the person...why take the risk? A few minutes of pleasure?

      July 28, 2011 at 11:17 | Report abuse |
    • WookaWooka

      A baby... the worst STD of all...

      July 28, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
    • Mrs. Purple

      Jonboy – that's what vasectomy is for.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
    • U.S.Army-OverLord

      News Flash!!! woman can not get pregant from oral s*x 🙂

      July 28, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Well said Vick

      July 28, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
    • amused123

      curable? Now THAT's scary!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:59 | Report abuse |
  4. JimTX

    YES!

    July 28, 2011 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. H

    My now husband and I started out as "friends withbenefits" neither of us wanted a relationship we just wanted to get laid. It blossomed from a secret gettin it on thing to now a wonderful and amazing marriage.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Really

      Now lets ask your housband if he feels the same about your marriage.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:54 | Report abuse |
    • bigrick

      Really – why would you question this? Can't 2 people discover love with each other by starting out casual? I don't get it...what is so hard to believe about this...

      July 28, 2011 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    It's worth it until you get caught.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Rich

    If she has those legs, I'd say definitely yes.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob

      I was thinking the same thing....

      July 28, 2011 at 11:06 | Report abuse |
    • WookaWooka

      Wow... look at the legs on that... "yeah, he must work out"

      July 28, 2011 at 11:23 | Report abuse |
  8. Adonis

    Why wont my comments show up?

    July 28, 2011 at 10:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • hingedlwnb

      Huh? Did someone just say something?

      July 28, 2011 at 10:56 | Report abuse |
    • Name

      fail

      July 28, 2011 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
  9. nikkie

    hell no, they think its greener on the other side & it NEVER is and they'll never ever have a HappY ending!!

    July 28, 2011 at 10:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dianee

      some of us are not ending our long marriages. just having nsa fun. no harm.

      July 28, 2011 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
  10. ThereYaGo

    Upon awaking in the strange hotel room, I asked the girl that lay beside me, and looked like a mud fence by the way, who paid for the room. "You did", she purred as she ran her finger down my chest. "Good. Get out!!!" I haven't drank a drop since. 🙂

    July 28, 2011 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. hingedlwnb

    The article ends, "does it ever have a happy ending?" From my perspective, I have a happy ending every time. From her perspective, I have a happy ending every time.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Geezer

    Pump 'em and dump 'em. It's always a good idea.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • WookaWooka

      Nothing a short fall down a tall flight of staris can't fix.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
    • michigangirl

      GEEZER
      newsflash for ya – guys aint only ones doing the dumping ! girls get what they need and then kick em to the curb like trash !

      July 28, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse |
    • Geezer

      well that's the only way a cornfed girl from Michigan can get any

      July 28, 2011 at 11:52 | Report abuse |
  13. neutral

    No it is not at least for me. For men, if they are casual, they can get STD's that are not detectable and some STD's like HPV can be spread even if you use a condom everytime. Then men who don't realize they have it, then can give it to a women and there are 200 strains of HPV and a handful that are high risks and can lead to cervical cancer ONLY for women. I am in my 40's and only had 2 partners in my lifetime. I was in a very long term healthy relationship and then celibate for years because I didn't find anyone that I had much of a connection to. My 2nd partner gave me HPV which led to precancerous cells, not warts, but precancer in my cervix which I had to have surgically removed. So this article is also not totally accurate, not everyone who has an std has many partners. If you have HPV it does not mean you have had many partners. But if you have been with a man who is casual with many women or visa versa than you probably will get one of the 200 strains of it because 85% of the population has HPV. It is very common, so common they created a vaccine for it. Condoms don't protect you from it. As far as other STD's they are for people who have had many partners. For me, I was horrified to find out I had HVP when I had only been with 2 people and all my years had normal pap smears and no problems, but after the 2nd partner, I come to find out I have this thing I never heard of, HPV. Why my doctor didn't vaccinate me when they came out with the vaccine for it, before I had it, I don't know. I never even had to have insurance because I am so healthy. I then had to go and have all these biopsies, keep insurance I can't afford because of the check ups every few months and it personally stressed me out because I considered this for people with multiple partners and I barely had any.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • PthyMcGee

      HPV carried by men has been shown to increase testicular and prostrate cancer in MEN ONLY. See, I can shout about anatomical differences, as well.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:06 | Report abuse |
    • Locked

      ". So this article is also not totally accurate, not everyone who has an std has many partners."

      I don't believe the article says that. It says there's a lower chance (3% for 2-3 partners). Even a low chance can happen. And HPV is unfortunately almost everywhere; an estimated 75% of s.exually active college students have it. That means if you get with anyone but a virgin, you run a great chance of contracting HPV. On the plus side, most cases of it disappear within 1-2 years. On the not-so-plus side, without a vaccine beforehand, women run a big risk.

      The pill and some Gardasil should be a pre-requisite for any young woman thinking of becoming active.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
    • neutral

      PthyMcGee
      I guess because I wrote only in caps it seeemed like shouting. That is not how I meant it, I was told there is no test for man to know they have it and I didn't know it increased prostate cancer in men as well. I had not heard that. Good to know. Thanks.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • neutral

      PthyMcGee
      I guess because I wrote only in caps it seemed like shouting. That is not how I meant it, I was told there is no test for man to know they have it and I didn't know it was a rick in men as well. I had not heard that. Good to know. Thanks.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
    • JustEric

      How do you know it doesn't increase the chances for cervical cancer in men? Are you a doctor?

      July 28, 2011 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
    • kb

      @JustEric – Men don't have a cervix, as it's the entry to the uterus. *Nothing* can increase the risk of cervical cancer for men.

      July 28, 2011 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
  14. Joseph

    My wife and I met on Adult friend finder . com. We were a one night stand that went wrong or right depending on how you look at it. We have been together for almost 6 years now.

    July 28, 2011 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • U.S.Army-OverLord

      Wow that site works LOL I thought it was a scam. 🙂

      July 28, 2011 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • Alison

      Odd, you could have been my husband writing this. We met on the same site, about 6 years ago. Neither one of us wanted anything serious, but yet here we are. Best random decision I have ever made. Some people might think it is a bit crazy to intentionally meet someone like that, but it worked out for us.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
  15. michigangirl

    David in Corpus
    us girls dont wanna know where ur lil p* has been either ! as for the lock and key, u silly thing – the only lock and key is to the cuffs I place on my boy toys. ur key dont fit any lock – shorty !!

    July 28, 2011 at 10:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David in Corpus

      Kisses sweet girl, no hard feelings from me.

      July 28, 2011 at 14:36 | Report abuse |
  16. Sasha

    No- the risks these days are NOT worth it.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. JR

    Hit it and quit it.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DEADBEATDAVE

      STICK IT & AND KICK IT

      July 28, 2011 at 11:18 | Report abuse |
  18. Mya

    lol hell yea its worth it.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. dd

    Yes, it's worth it. Especially once you've both been tested and come back negative, sharing results with each other. Then... pretty much anything goes.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ryan

      How is that working out for you? Not sure that pick up line will work downtown. "Hey there, let's get tested."

      July 28, 2011 at 11:49 | Report abuse |
  20. Yeah.. right

    @The truth,

    Yeah, which school taught you this ethics course?

    This pool diluting theory is all crap and you should ask for a complete tuition refund.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • AGuest9

      The whole semester was likely a failure. Ethics classes don't teach logic, statistics, nor epidemiology.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:39 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      The Professor was just trying to get all the pretty young coeds in his class to join the "pool'. LOL

      July 28, 2011 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
  21. Mel B

    The risks these days aren't really worth it. I'm not a prude, but I'd rather be really picky and cautious for my health's sake.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Karen

    Yes it is. As long as you find a worthy partner it is ok.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. SleepingInSeattle

    I used to think so...then I ended up being a dad, with a woman i barely knew. Love my kid, hate his mom.

    ...and they said condoms would prevent that.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Karen

      It helps, but you have to wear them.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:13 | Report abuse |
    • SleepingInSeattle

      Oh you mean they're not meant to be blown up and used as decorations? Now why didn't somebody tell me that...

      July 28, 2011 at 11:17 | Report abuse |
    • AGuest9

      That's not just limited to one night stands. You can be married 16 years and wake up one morning and realize that you no longer recognize the person you married, and the kids make better companions than she. Go figure!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse |
  24. oneSTARman

    I thought Ian was a MAN'S name.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. J Johnson

    Why doesn't the article just say "Yes!" and nothing else? These opinion pieces are getting too wordy.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. careful

    My sister in law works at HIV lab and believe me this article makes so much sense. When they get blood results of infected person man or woman that person just starts screaming on the phone and get mad at the call center lady who informed them of their HIV dieses. Why can't you control your desires in the first place if cannot control that then go have HIV have fun rest of the life. few minutes of fun can lead you to lifelong misery.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • So true ...

      No kidding; it is as there are separate worlds; one, people think they can do whatever they want without risk; the other one, reality. If I hear the argument "i got tested and I am negative to everything" I'll scream. Most people don't realize, many STI's, such as Herpes or HIV, take up to 6 months to show up on tests. It doesn't matter that you have it in writing; if you did the deed last night, getting tested next week wont tell you anything. And things such as Herpes can be transferred even with a condom. Maybe we should make it mandatory that people volunteer at clinics and/or labs so that they can learn what reality is.

      July 28, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      Good points about the HIV. However believing marriage or assumed monogamy will prevent this any more than a condom will. You are fooling yourself.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
  27. TC

    "The Truth" takes criticism poorly. He's commented more on his own article than any single reader.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The Truth

      So apparently there is a new definition for criticism? Being called an idiot is NOT criticism.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
  28. James Morales

    Note to self: Do not send kids to FSU

    July 28, 2011 at 11:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. juncture3

    You guys go ahead and share the herpes and Hep C. I'm all set.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. The best ever!!!

    The best brains I got was from a nice dancer named diamond. I put that girl through college. Knowning the risks involved I'd had to say I'd do it again LOL 😉

    July 28, 2011 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Christian

    He makes some great points. And all the angry people disagreeing with him...well...did Ian strike a nerve of truth with you all?

    July 28, 2011 at 11:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Prippi

    I think "casual" used in this context is kinda like "low voltage" used to describe lightning. But maybe that's just me.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. grammy for me

    They tried to make me have casual S*x,
    I said NO, NO ,NO

    July 28, 2011 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. hope you all get STDs

    You people are sick! I hope you all catch something you immoral idiots.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The Best Ever

      You first... hater!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:35 | Report abuse |
    • Geezer

      can't get laid huh?

      July 28, 2011 at 11:36 | Report abuse |
    • Sean

      With a name like “hope you all get STDs” and you are calling others immoral idiots?

      July 28, 2011 at 12:54 | Report abuse |
  35. puritan

    how 'bout ABSTINENCE until Marriage???

    July 28, 2011 at 11:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Geezer

    There's nothing better than glazing the starfish of someone who haven't had before.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Eric P

      LMAO!!!!!!!!!

      July 28, 2011 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
  37. John

    Yes

    July 28, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. brian

    Buncha English nerds lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 28, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. horndog

    Wow I am surprise the actual risk is so low. I am going out tonight to get some!

    July 28, 2011 at 11:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Chris

    "okay abstain so I made a spelling mistake. Argue my logic, not my spelling." – The Truth. All of a sudden you disagree with your logic because everyone else has a valid argument against you? Give it up.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • The Truth

      You dont like "the truth" do you? LOL

      July 28, 2011 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
  41. I got it

    So as long as I throw people in a pool I wont catch an std?

    July 28, 2011 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Common Sense

    Good way to get HIV,HPV,HSV,Hep A,B,C...ect

    July 28, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Chriss

    "okay abstain so I made a spelling mistake. Argue my logic, not my spelling." Stop changing your position just because people have proved your idiotic FSU theory worng.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Chrisszzzz

    I WINNNNNNNNNNNN

    July 28, 2011 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. EBONY

    No its not worth it. Too many risks of STD's.

    July 28, 2011 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Toby

    Those heels! what brand?

    July 28, 2011 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Chrisszzzzss

    Keep trollin trollin trollin trollin, YEAH!

    July 28, 2011 at 11:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. brian

    People who critique spelling NEED A LIFE!!!! By the way kiss my big fat (_)(_)!!! omg i capitalized need a life dont think i'm stupid hehe

    July 28, 2011 at 11:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. ndlily

    My husband and I were "friends with perks" for a very long time (six years), with no expectations. We both were virgins and older and curious. And it worked out wonderfully because I found a great man to share my life with. In August, we'll have been married for five years. My sister is another story. She has tried the same thing and she scares me because she keeps ending up with guys that are none too faithful and none too careful. I think it comes down to a simple matter of judgment, knowing what you want, being realistic in your expectations, and picking the right person (while be willing to accept the consequences of something going wrong).

    July 28, 2011 at 11:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joseph

      You guys worked out because you were both virgins......virgins always fall in love with the person who took it....just happened that you were both virgins.....now thats a receipe for trouble.

      July 28, 2011 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
  50. Satan

    I'm lovin every minute of this...slurp..slurp..gurrrrrrr

    July 28, 2011 at 11:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jebus

      You and me both brother!

      July 28, 2011 at 12:59 | Report abuse |
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.