Casual Sex

Rachel Goodchild

Rachel Goodchild is a New Zealand based speaker, coach, trainer, social networker and dating expert. She is the author of Eighty Eight Dates and also writes a blog at

You know I’ve really thought about whether I should even write this article. It’s problematic on SO many levels. There’s the mother factor. She doesn’t read alot of what I write but you know if she does read anything I write, it’s going to be THIS one. There’s nothing worse than your mum thinking you’re skanking out. !

Then there’s the fact that the minute you write about it people assume it’s what you do all the time. I often joke I’m the nunniest dating expert ever and to a certain extent that’s true. I’m a big advocate of not “putting out” on the first date, and in fact, like to draw out the whole process of jumping into bed for as long as a marathon session of Battlestar Galatica or some such nonsense (you know the best way to ruin your love life forever is to mention either Star Trek or Galactica. Cruel really). To even admit to just one on here is a little scary- which when you think about it is pretty ridiculous as a very large proportion of people have had at least ONE. And there is still this thing that I learnt when I was writing my dating book- in general men bring up sex early to make sure that women don't freak out, and women freak out as soon as men bring it up, so any woman talking about sex in an article is automatically thought of as "up for it" with anyone. At any time. Which is really not true.

However talking about casual sex IS important. To talk about dating and NOT talk about casual sex or one night stands is a little like trying to not talk to an elephant when it’s standing on your toe. It’s going to come up- even if it’s just a matter of having to be prepared for a lot of "no way!"as you go.

But I think there are ways to have really good casual sex. At least no “wake up in the morning and try to chew your arm off” sex.

So this is my own list. It might not be fully inclusive, but I think it covers the top points...

1. If you’re not feeling emotionally resilient, you’re a train wreck waiting to happen. I’ve had friends who’ve had periods in their lives where sex is the way they band aid up their heart while it’s hemorrhaging everywhere else. If you’re having sex with randoms, waking up, regretting it, then doing it all over again week after week, you’re not doing anything good for yourself.

2. If you’re completely blotto, catch a taxi and go home ALONE. I had a friend the other week that woke up next to someone, and had no memory of how she got there. Which also means she can’t remember if they used condoms. Sex is good enough to have when sober, or slightly relaxed with one glass of wine- and you’re more likely to have it with someone you actually find pleasant! I also have a good friend who texts me when he's drunk enough to realise the "twos" are looking like "tens." It's at that point we need to get him home!

3. If you really like the guy or girl, and they suggest sex, then you probably shouldn’t risk it unless there is a relationship around it. Otherwise feelings are going to get worse. If she’s your top crush, and you’ve not gone on a date, but suddenly wants to get in your pants, it’s bloody tempting. But it’s really not going to do your heart any good. The reverse is true. If you know she likes you, and you just take advantage of it it's not fair. Just don't. Finda girl who's up for it who isn't going to get her heart broken when you really don't want to call the next day.

4. It’s best to verbally set up some rules before you have sex. ONS’s with mates are far more problematic as you both have to have a fair amount of emotional maturity to cope with the next day pangs. Setting good boundaries is really important for your own emotional health

5. Always, always, always use protection. Carrying a condom is important and it's really not cool to expect the girl to take charge of the contraception or to try and "slip it in" without one. It’s far less painful than her announcing she's pregnant, or getting checked for STI’s and discovering it wasn't a clean connection.

6. A good ONS is someone you aren’t going to be embarrassed to see again socially. Our lives are full of accidentally bumping into people. Make sure anyone you sleep with is mature enough to be pleasant with socially after. Sex with a grown up is far better than sex with a 12 year old trapped in a 30 year old’s body. And post sex chatting is nice and good. A wham bam thank you mam approach makes everyone feel seedy. It’s ick. Quite frankly.

7. Have sex with someone completely attracted to you. And vice versa. That’s the whole point really isn’t it? You want to feel good after it. If you pick well you’ll be feeling sexier, happier and more attractive for days.

8. If it’s something you are doing with randoms on a very regular basis take a look at why. For some it’s a stage in their life (I have referred to it as the “skank year” in the past. Some friends has said they probably had a skank decade) But if it’s the only thing making you feel good, it’s probably good to take a wee break for a bit. Everyone needs a good hobby. Compulsive random shagging is perhaps not the healthiest hobby you can have.


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  • Richie says
    Realistic & down-to-earth article - thanks! I especially appreciate point 3 & 4. Made me realise I could possibly be doing things a bit better here...

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