Cosmopolitan June 2018 - Page 86

love & lust THE FINE ART OF HAVING CASUAL SEX Hey, enough trash talk about millennials being the hookup generation. Plenty of single women have been seeing and having sex with whomever they want, whenever they want, at least since Cosmo’s beloved late HBIC Helen Gurley Brown wrote the book on it (Sex And The Single Girl, 1962). Back then, it was controversial for women to casually date or have uncommitted sex. But today? It should be anything but. Pop culture is full of women getting theirs with no strings attached. Issa Rae’s character on Insecure juggles what she calls 86 COSMOPOLITAN JUNE 2018 a ‘hotation of men’. And on The Bold Type, journalist Jane Sloan expands her sexual experiences by periodically hooking up with a sexy co-worker. Real women are also in on the action. 40 percent of singles in the US have dated more than one person at a time, and 55 percent have had a friends-with-benefits arrangement, according to Match’s eighth annual Singles in America survey. “These days, millennials are extending periods of casual and pre-commitment dating in order to explore their options,” says Match’s Chief Scientific Adviser, biological anthropologist Helen Fisher, PhD. This can be a stealth strategy for eventually finding your spouse (if you want one) without missing out on potential candidates. “You’re also learning about yourself and putting your life in order, so that if you do FOR MORE GREAT STORIES, VISIT COSMO.IN walk down that aisle, you know what you’ve got, you want what you’ve got, and you can keep what you’ve got,” says Helen. For those uninterested in long- term love, playing the proverbial field can just be pure fun. “Hooking up can make you feel alive, happy, and satisfied,” says Justin Garcia, PhD, a sex researcher at the Kinsey Institute and scientific adviser to Match. You’re still getting romantic and sexual highs, while giving a metaphorical middle finger to society’s traditional standards of what your love life should look like. In these increasingly ‘you do you’ times, that can feel amazing. All this said, keeping things casual comes with parameters and some must-follow safety and etiquette rules. Heed this advice to feel carefree and empowered if you’re going to manage multiple hotties this summer. Yes, it’s possible! By Julie Vadnal