casual sex : Gay & Black Glossary

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casual sex
Sex without commitment or love, usually for one time only.
It takes patience to appreciate domestic bliss; volatile spirits prefer unhappiness.
~ George Santayana (born:1863-12-16 died:1952-09-26 at age:88)

Introduction

This essay is about the advantages and disadvantages of casual sex, not the morality of it. Since I am a homosexual male, I will talk primarily from that point of view, though I suspect much of what I have to say would equally well apply to heterosexual casual sex.

Present Day Advantages

Present Day Disadvantages

Ironically, the very advantages of casual sex can also be the disadvantages.

Historical Advantages

book cover recommend book⇒The Selfish Geneto book home
by Dr. Richard Dawkins 978-0-19-929115-1 paperback
birth 1941-03-26 age:75 978-0-19-929114-4 hardcover
publisher Oxford University 978-0-19-157406-1 eBook
published 2006-05-25 978-1-4558-3162-3 audio
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Explanation of how individual genes compete for survival, giving rise to the great complexity you see in plants and animals. Layman’s guide to how genetics and evolution works. Dawkins looks at this process from the gene’s point of view. Successful genes spread throughout the pool of plant and animal carriers and can live millions of years. Read first chapter.
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Biologists thinking along the lines of The Selfish Gene have discovered how nature selects for people who are basically monogamous but fool around surreptiously a little on the side. There are Darwinian advantages to adultery for both males and females. The advantages may not apply to gay males, but since gays have the same basic brain wiring, philandering comes naturally to homosexuals too.

The advantage of philandering for the male is that for a minimal investment of time and effort he can get other males to raise his children for him. The advantage for the female is she can get temporary access to a prime male, one with superior genes, giving some of her children an edge. She would not be able to attract such a superior male as her permanent partner. She risks having her husband discover the deception and him killing her baby and possibly her as well.

In the bonobo apes, sex is used primarily for social bonding and easing tensions. Sex also serves this same function between men who have casual sex with other men. Men who have sex with other men rarely come to blows with each other. Even if they are married, the weak bonds formed through casual sexual encounters with other men give them social access to higher status males they otherwise would have no contact with.

Up until very recently, if a homosexual person were discovered, he would be killed. He could not very well openly set up housekeeping with a long-term partner. He had to keep his encounters anonymous. To this day in gay circles, sex is far more common than giving out even first names. Last names are rarely divulged.

Historical Disadvantages

In previous times there were no cures for gonorrhea or syphilis. Latex condoms had not yet been invented. If you had even a small amount of casual sex, almost guaranteed you would become infected. Having casual sex was even more of a death sentence than having bareback (no-condom anal sex) with an HIV-infected partner is today. No wonder it was presumed that God Himself severely frowned on it.

The same argument against casual sex applies today, especially for immune-compromised individuals. Besides the usual STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases), there are parasites such as amoebas and pin worms easily passed via rimming and non-STDs such as hepatitis and tuberculosis that are passed during intimate contact.

Casual sexual encounters can lead to emotional entanglement which breaks up existing long-term relationships. I can’t think of anything more painful than going through the breakup of a long term relationship, especially the first one. I was still pining 20 years after my lover left in 1975.

Cruising

Seeking casual encounters outdoors is called cruising. It is more subtle than the equivalent heterosexual game because the other males may be either:
  1. Your suitor.
  2. The object of your desire.
  3. Your rival.
Another man may even play all three rôle s for you simultaneously or none at all. For heterosexuals, the rôle s of potential rival and object of desire are clearly delineated by gender. The cruising game can be played for sensations, but habitual cruisers play for power. It is a status game where you get points for youth, beauty and attitude. Relative pecking order determines who has to approach whom, or who blows whom second if at all.

Summary

Casual sex is great fun for the young. I feel sorry for today’s condom-wrapped young who missed the great fun of the bare-backed orgies at Wreck Beach in the 1970s. However, casual sex is a bit like candy. It tastes great, but does not sustain you emotionally. I had thousands of casual encounters in the 70s and early 80s, prior to the AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome) scare, yet I remember precious few of the details.

I have read all kinds of books on how to sustain a long-term relationship, yet still have no idea how to get one started. I have been single now for five years. I think I have succumbed to rising expectations. My lovers of the past were so handsome and desirable, that I still feel I should somehow hook up with someone now who is as physically attractive as they were.


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