In the eternal debate over hookup culture and how it affects our well-being, we all heard the argument or the cited studies that casual sex or sex outside a relationship is a psychological detriment and. Well, it turns out that studies on casual sex have tended to exclude people who, well, actually really enjoy having casual sex. That might skew things a bit.
A study published earlier this month entitled "Who Benefits From Casual Sex? The Moderating Role of Sociosexuality" aims to address that by focusing on sociosexuality, which according to the authors is a "relatively stable tendency toward or away from casual sex, determined by a combination of heritable factors, sociocultural learning, and past experiences, and reflected in three key components: motivation for, attitudes toward, and past experience with casual sex."
Sociosexuality has a lot more to do with personal authenticity—if you're simply being consistent and true to your preferences and personality, wouldn't that carry psychological benefits? Well, basically. Ryan Jacobs at PS Mag has a great piece about the study. He explains:
When it came to those who were sociosexually unrestricted, having casual sex was associated with higher self-esteem and life satisfaction and lower depression and anxiety. "Typically, sociosexually unrestricted individuals (i.e., those highly oriented toward casual sex) reported lower distress and higher thriving following casual sex, suggesting that high sociosexuality may both buffer against any potentially harmful consequences of casual sex and allow access to its potential benefits," the researchers write.
So… whatever floats your boat. Got it.