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April 9, 2000

The Low Down On Hooking Up

We asked you if women can-and should-have casual sex without emotional attachment. Here's what you said:

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We asked you if women can-and should-have casual sex without emotional attachment. Here's what you said:

SOMETIMES
"It is possible to have sex without catching feelings; it just depends on the person you are. I recently moved to Chicago and have been hooking up with this incredibly handsome guy who lives across the street from me. He's not the brightest crayon, but trust me when I tell you that his body is what the Greek gods must have looked like under their togas. I met him through match.com, and we went out a couple of times and had a lot of chemistry-but not dating chemistry-and since he's just across the street, we hook up now. Once I meet someone I want to have a relationship with, I won't hook up with him anymore. I'm not sure if this philosophy came with age, or perhaps it's just where I am in my life, but I know that when you're younger, it's harder to detach. During my senior year of high school and throughout college, I hooked up with this really handsome guy. Whenever he would come over and stay the night, I would play the part of the girlfriend-cook breakfast, snuggle-but we never dated. It killed me. In fact, he got engaged recently and called to tell me, and to my surprise, five years after our last hookup, I still felt that little pang in my heart."
-Gena, 25, recruiter

NO
"Just after college, I had sex with a guy I barely knew because I felt like I needed the experience of having sex for sex's sake. It wasn't horrible, but it certainly wasn't fulfilling emotionally or sexually. We went to a Mexican restaurant, got drunk, and had hazy, intoxicated sex later. We had an awkward conversation when we woke up, and he took me home. For a long time, I thought no guy would stick around and want to get to know me if we weren't on the fast track to sex. But now that I am older, I realize that sex is rarely good on a one-night stand. True sexual satisfaction is getting your needs met by a man who knows how to please you, someone you're comfortable expressing your needs and desires to. Somehow, our generation's gotten it all wrong. We've started to believe that 'sexual empowerment' and 'sexual promiscuity' mean the same thing. I see so many girls disrespecting themselves and sleeping around, trying to fill a void with sex. It's much harder to be alone and to have to challenge yourself to satisfy your own needs and figure out why you feel lonely. It's easy to get drunk, go to a bar, and pick up a guy."
-Danielle, 27, reporter

YES
"I've been having sex with one of my guy friends for about a year now. He's not overly ambitious, and he would be a terrible boyfriend, but the sex is so hot! I work really long hours and don't have much time to date, and the few dates that I have been on are less than memorable. I do want a relationship one day, but I don't feel like I should have to wait until then to have sex. Who knows how long that will be? I think as long as there's communication between two mature adults who just want to have no-strings-attached sex, it works out great-whether it's a one-night stand or a longer-term friends-with-benefits situation. The key is being honest with each other and not playing games. A problem only arises when one person has more feelings for the other or someone starts lying; then someone's bound to get hurt. As for me, my friend knows what I want in bed, we respect each other, and I leave satisfied and happy, with-out worrying about whose turn it is to unload the dishwasher or having to have lunch with his mother when she's in town. At this point in my life, it doesn't get much better than that."
-Lynn, 26, massage therapist

*Some names have been changed


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