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You Know What's Good for You? Casual Sex*

*As long as you're doing it for the right reasons
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2014 2:10 PM CDT
You Know What's Good for You? Casual Sex*
You know what's good for you? Casual sex, says science.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – In news you can be sure parents and clergy everywhere won't be throwing around the Facebooks, it turns out that sleeping around is good for you—and this from a Cornell Ph.D, not your more adventurous college roommate. In what Samantha Grossman at Time is cheekily calling "your new favorite study," Zhana Vrangalova found that students who were "sociosexually unrestricted"—ie having sex with people outside of a relationship—reported lower stress and higher well-being and thriving after getting it on, which, in the study's words, suggests "high sociosexuality may both buffer against any potentially harmful consequences of casual sex and allow access to its potential benefits."

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Of course, there's a caveat here: As Huffington Post notes, Vrangalova also found some months back that casual sex makes you depressed. Why the disparity? It depends on your motivations. If you're having fun or exploring your sexuality, you're doing it for the "right" reasons and you'll see the benefits. If, however, you're doing it for a laundry list of "wrong" reasons that include revenge, or heaven forbid, "being somehow tricked or coerced into it, or too intoxicated to make a responsible decision," prepare to see a spike in your stress and anxiety. And you obviously can't take the "you" out of this equation: "The effects of casual sex depend on the extent to which this behavior is congruent with one’s general personality tendencies," says the study. In other words, as Grossman concludes, "You do you." (Another recent study found that women prefer romantic partners who have previously had a partner or two.)

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