Tell me about your casual sex sprees
November 29, 2012 5:40 PM   Subscribe

Ladies -- have you ever gone on a casual sex spree? How did it work out?

This question is asked to the women because there is less of a cultural norm around this kind of behavior for women. I am 33, got out of a sad relationship a few months ago, and I'm just finishing a hellish slog through grad school. I find myself wanting to have a lot of casual sex.

I haven't acted on it, but I know that I could easily put up an okcupid profile, even semi-anonymously, and get plenty of dates. I am pretty good at closing the deal on sex (it's not exactly hard if you are somewhat attractive female). What I have in my mind is just to get out there and have sex with ~20 men over a period of a few months. I would have sex once or multiple times as I felt like it, and as they agreed to, but I'm not looking for a relationship immediately. I might even do it semi-anonymously, by using a nickname instead of my real name, or putting the profile up one town over, and keeping my details mostly private. I obviously wouldn't have sex with someone I met if I wasn't attracted to that person.

Have you ever done this? How did it work out?

(In case anyone asks, my motivations are to get some new experiences into my consciousness, to do something very physical, to face head-first something that has given me fear and sadness for a while, to live, to shake things up, to get out there in a very tangible way, etc.)

(And of course this would be with condoms and birth control pills.)

I would love to hear about your experiences.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (24 answers total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

Don't do anything to them that you wouldn't want done to you- men are people too. Be honest about what you're looking for. Don't turn off your creepdar even if you just want to hook up- people can change once they get you alone. Make sure you actually at least LIKE the person before you fuck them, or at least don't actively DISlike them. If you really want to keep it casual, don't sleep over. Use this as a chance to admit/explore things you've been too embarrassed to bring up in relationships. Use it as a chance to be selfish in bed and ask for exactly what you want.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:55 PM on November 29, 2012 [5 favorites]

I did this in my late 20s. I spent a summer on Match and OkCupid and slept with a number of different men, one of whom I casually dated for a couple of months after the "spree". I did not have any pregnancy scares, did not get any STDs, didn't feel badly about myself.

However, I had a lot of really bad sex. That's the only thing I got out of it, was stories to tell at parties about, "this guy I dated one time who did (insert bad sexytimes story here)."

I'm sure there are people who have had much better experiences, but for me, it was much better in theory than in practice.
posted by Argyle Sock Puppet at 5:57 PM on November 29, 2012 [24 favorites]

I am a guy, but I will weigh in to say that this is totally fine and cool, but you need to make sure that every person you have sex with knows what the deal is, i.e. that it is a casual, one-time sort of thing. It is not cool to trick anyone into thinking you are someone that you are not or are looking for things you are not and use them for sex.

If everyone knows what's up and it's consensual, then go for it.
posted by Lutoslawski at 6:04 PM on November 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

Interesting. See, in my personal experience, I spent the time from 20-25 single, able to find sex (I had f-buddies coming out of the woodwork a lot), but none of them ever translated into anything other than a fling. It was frustrating at the time, but now that I've been in a relationship for the past 2 years, I realize that I'm glad that it happened. I would say that your situation is rare and that the other side (flings and one night stands and the like) are way more common. Also, OKC is the breeding ground for those types of flings, it seems. I spent quite a bit of time on there. I still kinda miss the ongoing personality matching quiz system.
posted by camylanded at 6:13 PM on November 29, 2012

I did this and it was great. There's nothing wrong with enjoying your body and feeling free to experiment sexually. I would suggest that you also think about some things you've always wanted to try (sex in a particular way, particular place, a fantasy scenario, with a certain kind of person, etc.) and take this as an opportunity to try some things you've always wanted to do! Someday, you'll be a grandmother rocking on the porch (or rocking in a club?) and you'll look back and smile...
posted by 3491again at 6:14 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you feel like you need it, you need it. I am glad I did this after my "major" breakup, and I knew when I was done and ready for a relationship again.
posted by DoubleLune at 6:16 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Also I should say, I spent the time from 18-20 in a relationship....
posted by camylanded at 6:21 PM on November 29, 2012

I have no issue with this sort of thing but from some comments, it seems to do and want this is to get over a relationship that did not work out...way back in my time, we called this the candy store phase, sampling all the appealing goodies in the place. Alas, it does get tiresome after a while.
posted by Postroad at 6:34 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

I know a number of women - and may or may not BE a woman, ahem ahem ahem - who did this following bad breakups/divorces, and each and every one of them found it refreshing, empowering, fun, etc. None of them - or, er, US - have anything but good things to say about their/our Own Personal Slut Phases. Just use protection, stay on the up-and-up with any partners, be safe in all of the non-latex ways, and have a good time.

Only one caveat: the only NON-good memories I have from this time are when I secretly hoped a casual thing would become non-casual and, surprise surprise, it DIDN'T. Keep it casual in your head, too, and you'll be a lot happier.
posted by julthumbscrew at 6:36 PM on November 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

I (kind of) did this when I split up with my first serious boyfriend at 23. (Although I didn't think of it as a 'spree' as such).

I'd casually have about two or three on the go at the same time (any more than that and you don't have time for your friends/yourself, you end up frazzled trying to keep track of it all). Then if I met someone in a club at the weekend and I felt like it, well it wasn't like I had any reason to turn that down.

What happened was this: for me, spreading your attention over many people raised my standards. For example, if one guy is being an arse on your date on Monday, and you have two other dates that week with nicer men and a couple emails/texts from other interested parties, the 'I must give this guy who seems to be a douche a second chance' goes straight out of the window. There's no reason to humour any bad behaviour at all. So any entitlement, or casual cruelty was met with a big LOLOL. And for me, someone who was always worrying about whether I was good enough, the focus changed to What Do They Have To Offer Me? Which was another good thing, as it made me think about my needs (which I'd never done before), and how I wanted a relationship to go, when I was ready for that.

The ones I had an ongoing thing with I told, and told them they would never be my boyfriend. The others I didn't bother. It was around this time I found out that all that stuff about men only wanting casual sex and being so good at separating it from emotion was just false. At some point almost all of them said they wanted me to be their monogamous girlfriend. I think a lot of them weren't used to someone not wanting to be with them, and that lack of validation was really unusual and upsetting. I do wonder how many of them would've wanted that if I'd have actually said I was looking for a partner - people want what they can't have.

I also ended up in a lot of situations with depressed mid-30s men who'd just come out of LTRs who wanted me to sit for hours while they cried and told me all the problems with their ex, which it's not up to me as a new or casual partner to put up with. I found this incredibly rude and tiresome. They really needed the services of a prostitute.

Yes, a lot of bad sex, but some really hot sex too, and the knowledge that there really are lots of people out there, you have lots of choice and no need to feel trapped. When I met the person who would become my boyfriend it was like a bolt out of the blue. I knew I had to stop seeing everyone else immediately. I'm so happy with him and now extremely monogamous. No regrets!
posted by everydayanewday at 6:38 PM on November 29, 2012 [37 favorites]

1.) Be honest - with yourself and others

2.) Be Safe.

3.) Be safe.


I did exactly this and I came out the other side, unscathed. I'm still amazed.

Well...not really:

- holy moly, AMAZING experiences
- fun!
- made me understand my sexuality and what I like
- made me better understand the dating world
- I really got to be comfortable with myself - this was and continues to be priceless.

- Some of it sucked. Actually...a lot of it. Even the good sex - either our environment or situation or whathaveyou. Meh.
- I felt bad about myself a lot of the time - not valued enough for a relationship and soforth
- I got sick of doing laundry twice a day
- It got frustrating! Seriously! When you figure out what you want and random sex is what you get and that's not what you want, it gets
- So many dudes think that they are like, a gift to the world. The answer is no. And they're not open to suggestions which is even worse.

PLEASE, MeMail me for more info.

Be careful! Of your physical health but more importantly - EMOTIONAL heath.
posted by floweredfish at 6:44 PM on November 29, 2012 [8 favorites]

i did this a few times from 17-24. it can be a lot of fun. it can be lonely. it can be empowering. it can be suddenly dangerous. keep your standards up, trust your gut, and always make sure someone knows where you are when you meet someone new.

sex with lots of people won't "fix" you, but it can absolutely be liberating and help you get into a headspace to fix yourself.
posted by nadawi at 7:12 PM on November 29, 2012

This was basically my 20s, with a brief repeat at 33 immediately before I hooked up with my husband (who was also a casual fling.)

Sex can be casual but people are not disposable, so my personal rule has always been to only fuck people I like and to treat them like I like them. I always arranged to meet people in public places like a bar and got a read (attractive? nice? smells good? promising kisser?). Second meetups were specificly nudity-included. Casual sex is pretty low-risk as far as naked reindeer games go IMHO, so that makes it easy to be really honest about your parameters.
posted by DarlingBri at 7:19 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Came here to say exactly what Argyle Sock Puppet said; the sex was just bad. The guys could have been the nicest men in the world, but the fact that were willing to immediately have sex with someone they'd never met before showed that they were interested in getting their own rocks off, and nothing else.

One guy literally didn't answer me when I asked him how he liked living in X city; another did not listen at all when I told him at least three times that he needed to not rub so hard and/or please move his hand to a slightly less sensitive location. A third didn't say one word during the whole ordeal, not a smile to show that he was enjoying it, a look to see if I was enjoying it; nothing at all except very robotic up-and-down motions. It was creepy, the way they all acted as if I, the person, wasn't there at all.

Physical compatibility usually comes with mental and emotional compatibility.
posted by sockerpup at 7:48 PM on November 29, 2012 [12 favorites]

I did this after my divorce, in my late 20s. It was a helluva time and I loved it, even the crazy times, the bad sex times, all of it. Be honest, be safe, have fun.
posted by upatree at 8:14 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, I've gone through this a few times between LTR's and while manic (we won't talk about the manic phases). But while there are bad parts to having a lot of casual sex partners, I found my experience to be pretty darned good.

Seriously, they were freeing experiences. I had a great time, I really did. So did my partners... well most of the time. I won't lie, there were some duds, but for the most part, it was fun. Empowering is the word a lot of women use. As other posters have said, be honest -- with yourself and anyone else involved. Don't lead others to believe you want anything you're not willing to give them. Define to yourself what you belief casual sex means. Does it mean a one-night-stand with someone whose name you don't even remember? Is it a casual hook up after a couple of dates? Is it someone you hook up with once in a while for sex (a fuck-buddy)? All of the above? None of the above? You have to know what you're looking for so you don't confuse the guys you're talking to.

Above all else, be safe. If you have a friend you trust with your personal life, let them know where you're going, who you'll be with, and always have them check on you after a date. It's just common sense. And use protection. Casual sex is fun and good, but man, it's a dangerous world out there... in more ways than one.
posted by patheral at 9:08 PM on November 29, 2012

I am male but know many women who did this (as I have too). The majority had a lot of fun, learned a lot, met interesting people, and regret nothing. A smaller number felt that it was negative, on balance: fun yes, but accompanied by too much emotional frustration, bad sex, objectification, loss of sexual confidence, compulsion. YMMV.
posted by ead at 9:15 PM on November 29, 2012

I have it on good authority that everything everydayanewday (and everyone, really) said is spot on.

Same source says that one of the things with casual sex is, since there isn't necessarily a deep well of warm fuzzies, or extended attraction on which to rely, things might tend to go in a more gymnastic direction. And there isn't the time, always, to learn about individual preferences (especially if the other person's not a great communicator). So skill becomes more important, or more obvious, anyway. But totally worth doing (I hear).
posted by nelljie at 9:27 PM on November 29, 2012

My partner did that a year or two before we met, almost exactly what you are considering. We've talked about it a lot, and for her it was... ok. Great in some ways, not so great in others. Whatever she wasn't happy about at the start, she wasn't happy about at the end -- it certainly didn't solve any problems for her or magically make her a different person.

She eventually decided that it wasn't working for her and went to the opposite extreme, taking a total break from dating for a long time. We met and she went straight for it; I doubt she would have had the confidence and self-assurance to jump in so totally if she hadn't spent time at both extremes.

There were some pluses, like that it took away any shame that she had about sex and nakedness, and gave her a self-confidence in herself that I appreciate every day. But there were some negatives, like the mountains of bad and unsatisfying sex that people above have described. She had to deal with both inappropriately clingy guys and stalker guys. And while she never had a serious problem, guys trying to push and cross boundaries was a constant issue.
posted by Forktine at 9:37 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Take it one guy at a time. No number is inherently bad. Be up front with everyone.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:42 PM on November 29, 2012 [2 favorites]

Argyle Sock Puppet and I had similar experiences, but for me it was 20ish. A couple good things happened, no bad things happened, a lot of mediocre things happened.
posted by jorlyfish at 9:46 PM on November 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Set boundaries. Know your limits. YMMV but I steered clear of intimate talk and affection. Don't sleep over. Have fun!
posted by pink_gorilla at 9:48 PM on November 29, 2012

I did this for a few months, kind of. I hung out in hipster bars and picked up grad students. I intended to one-night-stand them but it turned out kind of date-y. I am not sure why. I was honest with everyone about my sex and love lives. It was a blast. I remember that time period extremely fondly.
posted by anthropomorphic at 8:32 AM on November 30, 2012 [1 favorite]

I did this when I left my now-ex-husband - we had had a mediocre and unexciting sex life for 7 years, and I when I left, I wanted to explore the kind of sex I was interested in that my ex wasn't (BDSM-y stuff). I decided on Craigslist instead of OKCupid because I felt like it was the most straightforward way to connect with people where it was absolutely clear that it would be no-strings-attached, without having to go through some kind of dating behavior. And I found it really fun and rewarding, way more so than I expected. What worked for me was being really explicit about what I wanted, and only pursuing people/scenarios that genuinely excited me. At every point, I would ask myself, "Is this fun? Do I feel good and energized by doing this?", and would only go forward if that was the clear answer.

I also found it really helpful to make sure I only met people who a relaxed, friendly vibe when interacting with me. I had a lot of casual sex in my 20s before I got married with guys who didn't seem to like women all that much, and boy, that wasn't very fun. So friendly and respectful was my non-negotiable bottom line, and it really paid off - I have had so many positive encounters where all parties walked away really happy, and I found it amazing to finally make my own pleasure and enjoyment a priority.

(A caveat, though - it can be hard to have mindblowingly intense sex with someone multiple times and maintain emotional detachment. I had so much fun with my first hookup that I wanted to meet him again and again, and within weeks I was absolutely hooked. I was amazingly lucky that we wound up being compatible outside of the bedroom, and we transitioned into a live-in real relationship over time, but it would have been really easy to fall head-over-heels with someone great in bed who didn't return the feelings, or who might be a good sex partner but not relationship material. So just be aware of how quickly attachment can happen when you're flooded with all those endorphins.)

I hope you have a great time exploring!
posted by Neely O'Hara at 10:22 AM on November 30, 2012 [4 favorites]

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