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casual sex

Casual sex is obviously quite different from married sex.  Sex with a stranger does not carry the same degree of vulnerability or depth of feeling and has no implication of commitment.  At best, there may be a promise of tomorrow, but many people who enjoy and regularly indulge in casual sexual encounters do not want more than the moment brings.  The kick for them is the freedom, the looseness, the fun element.  Casual sex may be a one-night stand or a short-term relationship.

Casual sex can take the form of a short-term relationship, that is, one which starts off with no particular goal or purpose, or one which is based initially in love and romance but doesn't last.  These alliances may or may not involve living together.  They need to be distinguished from marriage and other long-term, committed relationships.

Couples often tell me that they have terrific relationships when they're living together but that things fall apart as soon as they get married.  Does this suggest that we behave differently when we find ourselves in a binding legal and emotional commitment?

De facto marriage is common in Western countries.  For a range of reasons, people sometimes prefer just to live together without the benefit of traditional marriage.  This arrangement can last just as long, and arguably, work better for many couples.  Yet, even today, marriage is still popular.  It is the ultimate ideal and, in a world where we're left with so little to believe in, it is still a shining beacon of hope that many reach for, hoping that they will be different — that, for them, it can work. Even some gay couples are opting for marriage.

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