Gender, Videos

Why We Need To Rethink Casual Sex

May 24, 2019 by Justin Lehmiller

The way we think about casual sex is all wrong, as Dr. Terri Conley argues in the TEDx talk below. Conely walks us through some of the key findings from her program of research and challenges a lot of popular ideas on the subject.

For example, much has been said and written about gender differences in casual sex, with the longstanding assumption being that women aren’t really into it—that they naturally dislike casual sex. However, Conley’s research suggests that women do very much want and enjoy casual sex—they just don’t want it under the circumstances under which is it commonly offered, in part, because those circumstances often fail to prioritize female pleasure.

Conley also explores people’s beliefs about monogamy versus consensual nonmonogamy, and how people tend to think monogamy is inherently safe whereas consensual nonmonogamy is inherently risky. However, her research shows that the way people practice monogamy is imperfect and that high rates of cheating and infidelity undermine its presumed health and other benefits. At the same time, people who practice consensual nonmonogamy take a lot of precautions to protect their health and safety.

To learn more about other common sex myths and misconceptions, check out the full video below.

Watch more videos on the science of sex here.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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