It's Never Casual: Why Hookups Are More Complicated Than Relationships

by Merylee Sevilla

There once was a time when I used to think it was only guys who could do the casual sex and hookups. Well, it turns out I was wrong.

When my friends both gay and straight would talk about their conquests, their one-night stands and their booty calls, I used to look at them with judgement. I looked at them and wondered how they could just use others for sex, for the sole purpose of filling a craving and a desire.

But no surprise, after a breakup that left me lost and confused, I found myself going on a rampage of casual sex. In one year, I had managed to bed nearly 20 different girls.

Suddenly, I had become what I had despised in my friends. I had become one of the boys.

Each hookup did nothing more than temporarily satisfy this need, this relentless yearning of feeling wanted. I neither understood nor believed it when I was told that the best sex was usually the sex that's with someone you have a connection with, someone you love.

It's true, though. Sex is only meaningful when you share that connection with the other person.

When my girlfriend and I ended our relationship, I found that to compensate for what I was missing in my life and to ease the pain I was feeling, I slept around. The struggle did not come from finding someone who also was interested in hooking up. The struggle came in not getting attached or having any emotions because that is when it can get complicated.

The make or break of casual sex all depends on whether or not both people have the same understanding that what they have going on is casual and nothing more. There are no emotions and no strings attached.

When I went through my rampage of rebound hookups, I wasn't worried about getting too attached or feeling any emotions. Then again, when you are just rebounding from a breakup, it's very easy to remove yourself from any attachment.

The struggle, however, comes in making sure that the other person doesn't get attached, which I unfortunately could not avoid during my rampage. The only thing I could do was be honest with them and set my cards on the table.

For the most part, it worked, and with every new girl and new bed I found myself in, I learned from the previous one a lesson that I took forward with the new girl. Given every girl I slept with, every bed I found myself in and every detachment from any possible relationship, the struggle that I found hardest to cope with when it came to casual sex was having it with an ex.

It's not to say that the sex wit my ex was horrible. On the contrary, it was — and is — the best sex I've ever had. Maybe it's the passion we felt or the raw emotion, or maybe it was the history and trust we felt with one another that made it amazing.

Needless to say, even though we had broken up and then reunited for some casual hookups here and there, the hookup itself became complicated when emotions became involved. This resulted in me coming to the most honest and painful conclusion that casual sex (whether you're gay or straight) is never easy, and it doesn't ever end well.

Sooner or later, all those things we strive for in a relationship — commitment, trust and passion — enter into the dynamic of casual sex. Even if these aspects don't ruin your casual relationship instantly, they will eventually. That's because there's a reason you wanted it to be casual, and there's a reason you didn't want a relationship.

Though I can't regret the number of girls I've been with, and I can't regret taking another shot with my ex, I know that when it comes to casual hookups, sometimes it just isn't worth it.

Maybe you're in that phase of your life when you just need to let it out and let loose, but at the end of the day, casual hookups will only leave you empty and yearning. Why feel satisfaction for that brief moment, when that brief moment can be spared to find that meaningful connection?