Gigi Engle, a sex educator and writer, doesn’t think casual sex deserves its bad rap. “Every negative side-effect of casual sex has deep puritanical roots born from slut-shaming,” she says. “If we had comprehensive, pleasure-based sex education in this country, people would have the resources they needed to make empowered choices. We demonize casual sex because we demonize having sex outside of marriage. Of course it has a bad rap with these notions shrouding it.”

Sure, there are risks associated with any sexual situation, but casual sex seems to bear the brunt of it. “We live in a society that has conditioned us to think sex has to have emotional meaning to be good,” says Engle. “When you’ve been told having casual sex makes you a slut or if he (or she) doesn’t call you after, you’re worthless — well, this can sting.”

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