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Casual sex can wreak mental havoc

No-strings-attached sex may leave you feeling like an emotional mess, say experts. Youngsters consider it cool and are scared of long-term commitments but have the natural urge to experience intimacy.

sex and relationships Updated: Apr 11, 2012 00:47 IST
Shara Ashraf
Shara Ashraf
Hindustan Times
casual sex,luxury chain,sex

Recently, a TV advertisement for international luxury chain, Harvey Nichols, drew flak for promoting casual sex. While the advert eventually got a clean chit by Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), UK’s independent regulator of advertising, the decision is now being severely criticized.

While the council ruled that the ad is “unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence,” many believe that it undermines the taboo attached with casual sex. The ‘walk of shame’ advertisement shows women walking home in crumbled clothes, after a night out. At the end, a well dressed woman is shown walking confidently, wearing a dress from the store — suggesting that those who buy dresses at the outlet would not feel ashamed after indulging in casual sex.

Closer home, experts say that the number of young people having sexual intercourse, without any strings attached, is on the rise. “Youngsters consider it cool. They are scared of long-term commitments but have the natural urge to experience intimacy. So, one night stands and casual sex come in handy. Some of my clients disclosed that they play out elaborate sexual fantasies during these encounters, such as wedding night experience, girlfriend experience etc,” says psychologist Dr Pulkit Sharma of VIMHANS.

Indulgence in casual sex, without inhibitions, can have devastating consequences, as intimacy without involvement of love may result in emotional chaos. “There is a feeling of shame, as people repent their act. If they get into a serious relationship, they live under the fear that their current partner would discover their sex escapades,” says relationship expert, Jai Madan.

The consequences of casual sex

1 All of us crave for long-lasting bonds, thus people indulging in casual intimacy may feel lonely.

2 Casual sex can lead to sex addiction. Sex addicts become dependent on casual sex and end up structuring their lives around sex devoid of emotions.

3 Casual sex or one-night stands may leave you with sub-conscious guilt, which can eventually lead to depression.

4 People indulging in casual sex have a tendency to take risks. They end up having unprotected encounters with strangers, and are thus at a risk of contracting Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

With inputs from Dr Pulkit Sharma, psychologist

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First Published: Apr 10, 2012 20:37 IST