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Press Release-Aug 16-The Erotic Lit...

Philadelphia’s Erotic Literary Salon Presents Fringe Art’s Performer Sam Congdon, Along with Attendee Readers, Tuesday, Aug. 16.   Tuesday,...

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Watching His Wife With Other Guys (...

Candaulism: Wikipedia definition, excerpt - Candaulism is a sexual practice or fantasy in which a man exposes his female partner, or images of...

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Tonight-July 19-The Erotic Literary...

Adult Sex-Ed Salon theme for this evening: How has your sexual expression changed as you have gained experience?  Attendees will get to submit qu...

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“Your Real Sex Stories, Casua...

The following post includes various excerpts from article and website about casual sex and a place to share your casual sex stories. The Casual...

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Press Release-Aug 16-The Erotic Literary Salon-Live, Fringe Arts Festival-Big Crunch

Philadelphia’s Erotic Literary Salon Presents Fringe Art’s Performer Sam Congdon, Along with Attendee Readers, Tuesday, Aug. 16.   ...

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Press Release-Aug 16-The Erotic Literary Salon-Live, Fringe Arts Festival-Big Crunch

Philadelphia’s Erotic Literary Salon Presents Fringe Art’s Performer Sam Congdon, Along with Attendee Readers, Tuesday, Aug. 16.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

PCSalons@gmail.com – contact: Susana Mayer, Ph.D., Salonnière,

PCSalons@gmail.com – reserve a time slot to read at Salon (5 min max)

www.theEroticliterarysalon.com – guidelines for reading.

www.theEroticliterarysalon.com – blog: events, Salon notices, erotica, and guidelines.

 

 

The Erotic Literary Salon will be held Tuesday, Aug.16. Featured presenter Sam Congdon, curator and multimedia artist will introduce Big Crunch his Fringe Arts Festival event. “The world has gone rigid. Gender roles are strictly enforced by a ruthless government. There is a queer rage bubbling up through one cyborg’s circuitry, but can a single robot bring it all down? A queer sci-fi odyssey of self-discovery and rebellion blending solo performance, experimental electronic music, and video.” Approximately fifteen attendees will also entertain with their 5-minute erotica, sex memoirs, rants, short stories and poetry.

 

The Adult Sex-Ed Salon is a one-hour program held prior to the Erotic Literary Salon. This month’s theme will be sexual attraction. How does romantic love and sexual desire play out in your life? Attendees will have the opportunity to pose their questions anonymously. ‘Walter’ along with Sexologist Susana Mayer, Ph.D. will answer them and attendees interested in sharing their knowledge and experiences will join in the discussion.

 

PHILADELPHIA: The Erotic Literary Salon, unique in the English-speaking world has launched a growing movement mainstreaming erotica. Salons attract a supportive audience of 65 or more individuals. Approximately 15 participate as writers, readers, storytellers, spoken word performers of original works/words of others, the rest just come to listen, enjoy and applaud. Frances, our resident nonagenarian (98 years young) occasionally recites her original erotica.

 

Salons gather the 3rd Tuesday of every month at TIME (The Bohemian Absinthe Lounge), 1315 Sansom Street, Center City, Philadelphia. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., for cocktails, food and conversation. Adult Sex-Ed between 7:00-8:00, readings begin at 8:30. Admission is $12, discounted for students and seniors to $10. Salon attendees must be 21.

 

Creator of this event, Dr. Susana, is Philadelphia’s best-known sexologist. She lends her voice to the Salon by offering relevant information to support the discussions that arise in the Salon and blog.

…surprisingly comfortable….Salon devotees praise her for the space she has created….” 

“I think Susana is doing a very brave thing.” 

Philadelphia Inquirer, February 10, 2010

 

“There are laughter and tears along with the hot rush of blood – to the face. 

Daily News, March 15, 2010

 

“I never knew such a life of honesty could exist. I finally found a home I can be comfortable in…this event changed my life.

First-time attendee and reader 2013

 

 

Watching His Wife With Other Guys (Getting Fucked) – Candaulism

Candaulism: Wikipedia definition, excerpt –

Candaulism is a sexual practice or fantasy in which a man exposes his female partner, or images of her, to other people for their voyeuristicpleasure.

The term may also be applied to the practice of undressing or otherwise exposing a female partner to others, or urging or forcing her to engage in sexual relations with a third person, such as during a swinging activity. There have also been reports of a woman’s partner urging or forcing her into prostitution or pornography. Similarly, the term may also be applied to the posting of personal images of a female partner on the internet or urging or forcing her to wear clothing which reveals her physical attractiveness to others, such as by wearing very brief clothing, such as a microskirttight-fitting or see-through clothing or a low-cut top.

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Dr. Marty Klein’s brief article on the topic of husband’s watching their wives with other men came to my attention recently. First I realized men don’t ask women to cuddle and become physically intimate. They want to see hard core penis inserted into vagina – the mechanics. Often they stipulate no kissing – far to intimate. Here is Marty’s explanation of this sexual desire:

In a world where jealousy seems “normal,” and where so many men talk about women who cheat, there’s another kind of man. He’s the one who fantasizes about his wife or girlfriend with another guy. He may even try to make it happen in real life.

Call them cuckolds or hot-wifers (as in, ‘hey guys, check out my hot wife’); these guys are generally not really swingers, because they aren’t usually after another sexual partner for themselves. There’s more of these guys out there than you may realize.

With some cuckolds, humiliation is part of the desired experience. The script may include demeaning hubby’s penis, his lovemaking, or his attractiveness. The other gentleman may be prompted to tease him cruelly as well. In some cases, the husband may be “forced” to suck the other guy’s penis, lick his semen, or submit in other ways.

Hot-wifers, on the other hand, like to feel proud rather than degraded. They like to show off wifey, sometimes in exhibitionistic games (such as deliberate wardrobe malfunctions or exposed body parts). Unsuspecting gas station attendants, room service delivery guys, even nearby drivers or freeway truckers may get a surprised eyeful. Glass hotel elevators were made for these couples.

So why do men do this? Why do they yearn to see their wives have pleasure (or intimate talking, or even consensually rough treatment) with someone else?

Freud would have a field day with these guys: repressed homosexuality, low self-esteem, fear of rejection or abandonment (and unconsciously arranging to feel in charge of it), performance anxiety (and out-sourcing responsibility to the other guy).

And in a minority of cases, maybe the guy actually doesn’t care for his wife.

On the other hand, it can be a gift to the woman, or a demonstration of trust. It can make the couple feel closer by sharing a taboo adventure (fantasy or real). It can be the ultimate treat for an actual voyeur—not just watching, but watching something meaningful, with no fear of getting caught. It can be a way of creating a safe environment for wifey to have flings with others, whether friends or strangers. There can be a sexy emotional bonding between the two men, not to mention tangible erotic possibilities.

As the saying goes, it’s all fun and games until (unless) someone gets hurt. Wifey might become too enthusiastic about non-monogamy to suit her husband. Hubby might push wifey to do things she later regrets; she may feel his voyeuristic pleasure was more important to him than her comfort or safety. Some innocent bystanders might protest that they’re being used without their consent. And of course there’s always the chance that the extra guy turns out to be a little nutty.

Content people rarely go to therapy, so the couples discussing this in my office are generally in conflict. Frequently, it’s because he can’t take ‘no’ for an answer. That’s generally not about sex—when people can’t hear the word ‘no,’ it’s typically about power. And if the ‘no’ is about something you really, really want? There are ways to discuss it collaboratively rather than being a huge pain in the butt. And if two people can’t work something out, eventually someone has to let it go or leave the relationship. Or quarrel about it forever.

Another reason people come to therapy about this is because she wants to ‘understand’ his quirky thing. When he explains it, she may still not get it–and then imagine it’s because he doesn’t love her enough to be possessive. Or that he secretly wants the same privilege—one or more outside partners—for himself, and won’t say so directly.

Some guys don’t want any more men in their bedroom, but they love talking about the fantasy: what would it be like? What would you wear for the guy? What would you like him to do? Wouldn’t it be great if he had a huge erection, or a skillful tongue?

While some women enjoy playing the fantasy game, others find it intrusive and distracting. Or artificial and theatrical. Worse, they may assume it’s because they’re not sufficiently attractive on their own, and hubby needs to imagine and talk about crazy scenes to get excited. No one likes to think that’s true.

Some women would be fine about the fantasy game occasionally—they just don’t want it every time they have sex. That’s understandable, as so many people are trying to get away from routine in sex, rather than reinforcing it. And some women would be fine about the fantasy game if they felt confident it would stay on the fantasy level. But they’re suspicious that while they’re getting accustomed to the fantasy, hubby is plotting the next move in a longer project—ultimately acting out the fantasies they discuss.

Couples who come to see me about this subject often think they’re the only ones dealing with it. My first contribution is to be non-reactive, accept what they’re saying, and treat it like any other couples conflict. I help them talk, help them listen, help them express their fears that they won’t be able to work this out. I don’t tell them what to do, I don’t take sides, and I don’t say that these ideas are either ‘normal’ or ‘not normal.’

That’s never my job. People never need my help in arguing about who’s the normal one, who’s the kinky one, and who’s the selfish one. My job is to gently wean them off those unproductive conversations and onto more honest and productive ones.

That’s my fantasy.

Read more articles and subscribe free to his newsletter:

http://www.sexualintelligence.org/#one

Tonight-July 19-The Erotic Literary Salon-Live-Three Way Opera

Adult Sex-Ed Salon theme for this evening: How has your sexual expression changed as you have gained experience? 

Attendees will get to submit questions anonymously and the audience will share experiences and insights. I will provide suggestions based on studies and what I have learned through my private practice.

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THREE WAY – Opera

I attended a workshop of Masquerade with an attendee of the Salon. He suggested I invite attendees to stage the excerpts we heard from this opera. It would be a featured presentation at the Salon and last approximately 15 minutes.

Audio Demo Arias from the opera:

http://www.aopopera.org/threeway/

Music by Robert Paterson
Libretto by David Cote

ABOUT THE WORK

Three Way is a triptych on the future of love: android lovers, BDSM and the final frontier: multiple partners. Each act maintains a balance of humor and drama, as contemporary characters collide at the intersection of power and desire.

THE COMPANION
(3 singers: soprano, tenor and baritone)
Not so far in the future, Maya (soprano) lives with her android lover, Joe (tenor). This interactive programmed Companion looks and sounds human—only better. Still, Maya wants more complexity from Joe. She has technician Dax (baritone) come by to install new experimental software, with surprising results.

SAFE WORD
(2 singers: mezzo-soprano and baritone)
Mistress Salomé (mezzo-soprano) is a high-priced dominatrix in a private dungeon, and today she has a new client (baritone), a cocky businessman. Even though he’s the one who pays to be humiliated, he’s prickly and aggressive. The “session” goes to places no one expected.

MASQUERADE
(8 singers: 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, tenor, countertenor, baritone, bass-baritone)
A party is taking place at a country mansion. It’s not a dinner gathering or holiday celebration: it’s a masquerade. People from all walks of life come to shed outside selves, put on a mask and push the limits of erotic expression. Tonight four couples will face their deepest taboos.

Sexy, funny and a little bit shocking, Three Way combines complex but tonal music, witty storytelling and high theatrical values.

Duration: 2hrs 45mins (including two intermissions)
Instrumentation: eight-singer cast and chamber ensemble: 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, tenor, countertenor, baritone, bass-baritone, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, percussion, piano (doubling synthesizer), conductor.
PublisherBill Holab Music

“Your Real Sex Stories, Casual Sex, ” Reminder Next Tuesday-July 19-The Erotic Literary Salon-Live

The following post includes various excerpts from article and website about casual sex and a place to share your casual sex stories.

details-casual-sex-rules-lead

The Casual Sex Project is a collaborative effort to share our true stories of casual sex experiences or hookups of all kinds: one-night stands, friends-with-benefits, short flings, fuck buddies, booty calls, sex with an ex…as long as it’s sex (however you want to define sex) with someone you are not in a serious dating romantic relationship with, we want to hear it! The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Most research on casual sex is done with college students. As a consequence, we know very little about hookup experiences of non-college students: those who never went to college, those who just finished college, and those who can barely remember their college years. At The Casual Sex Project, everyone is welcome, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious affiliation. The more stories – and the more diverse stories – the better! As long as they are real sex stories.

To share your story, click here. Stories will be posted online as they come in.

The Casual Sex Project is the brainchild of Dr. Zhana, a NYC-based sex researcher, educator, and NYU professor. Among other things, she studies, writes, and teaches about casual sex, and this is one way to learn more about it. For more info about Dr. Zhana, check out her website, sign up for her newsletter, or follow her on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. You can also watch her live video broadcasts on sex ed, sexual health and sex science on Periscope: @DrZhana.

Read More: http://casualsexproject.com/about/

Share Your Story

Thank you for your interest in sharing you hookup story!

How does it work? You share your story through this contact form, we get an email, screen the content, then we post everything on this site except your name and email address.

What counts as a hookup? Any sexual experience (however you define that) with someone you were not in a romantically committed relationship with. Some examples include one-night stands, fuck buddies, friends-with-benefits, sex with an ex, booty calls, but there are many other ‘types’ of casual sex or hooking up.

Who can share a story? Anyone!

How many hookup stories can I share? As many as you want, but you’ll have to submit a separate form for each story. Only write about one specific experience per form.

How much detail should I provide? To provide some level of consistency across the stories, there is a detailed set of questions about your experience. We encourage you to incorporate in your answer as many of those as possible, because the more you share, the better sense others will have of your experience. But it’s totally up to you: Share as much or as little as you want and feel comfortable.

Please think about protecting your partners’ anonymity as well as your own – don’t use real names of people, companies, small towns, etc.!

Share your story! http://casualsexproject.com/share-your-story/

CASUAL SEX: EVERYONE IS DOING IT

By , 

Zhana Vrangalova had hit a problem. On a blustery day in early spring, sitting in a small coffee shop near the campus of New York University, where she is an adjunct professor of psychology, she was unable to load onto her laptop the Web site that we had met to discuss. This was not a technical malfunction on her end; rather, the site had been blocked. Vrangalova, who is thirty-four, with a dynamic face framed by thick-rimmed glasses, has spent the past decade researching human sexuality, and, in particular, the kinds of sexual encounters that occur outside the norms of committed relationships. The Web site she started in 2014, casualsexproject.com, began as a small endeavor fuelled by personal referrals, but has since grown to approximately five thousand visitors a day, most of whom arrive at the site through organic Internet searches or referrals through articles and social media. To date, there have been some twenty-two hundred submissions, about evenly split between genders, each detailing the kinds of habits that, when spelled out, can occasionally alert Internet security filters. The Web site was designed to open up the discussion of one-night stands and other less-than-traditional sexual behaviors. What makes us engage in casual sex? Do we enjoy it? Does it benefit us in any way—or, perhaps, might it harm us? And who, exactly, is “us,” anyway?

Up to eighty per cent of college students report engaging in sexual acts outside committed relationships—a figure that is usually cast as the result of increasingly lax social mores, a proliferation of alcohol-fuelled parties, and a potentially violent frat culture. Critics see the high rates of casual sex as an “epidemic” of sorts that is taking over society as a whole. Hookup culture, we hear, is demeaning women and wreaking havoc on our ability to establish stable, fulfilling relationships.

These alarms have sounded before. Writing in 1957, the author Nora Johnson raised an eyebrow at promiscuity on college campuses, noting that “sleeping around is a risky business, emotionally, physically, and morally.” Since then, the critiques of casual sexual behavior have only proliferated, even as society has ostensibly become more socially liberal. Last year, the anthropologist Peter Wood went so far as to call the rise of casual sex “an assault on human nature,” arguing in an article in the conservative Weekly Standard that even the most meaningless-seeming sex comes with a problematic power imbalance.

Others have embraced the commonness of casual sex as a sign of social progress. In a widely read Atlantic article from 2012, “Boys on the Side,” Hanna Rosin urged women to avoid serious suitors so that they could focus on their own needs and careers. And yet, despite her apparent belief in the value of casual sex as a tool of exploration and feminist thinking, Rosin, too, seemed to conclude that casual sex cannot be a meaningful end goal. “Ultimately, the desire for a deeper human connection always wins out, for both men and women,” she wrote.

The Casual Sex Project was born of Vrangalova’s frustration with this and other prevalent narratives about casual sex. “One thing that was bothering me is the lack of diversity in discussions of casual sex,” Vrangalova told me in the café. “It’s always portrayed as something college students do. And it’s almost always seen in a negative light, as something that harms women.”

It was not the first time Vrangalova had wanted to broaden a limited conversation. As an undergraduate, in Macedonia, where she studied the psychology of sexuality, she was drawn to challenge cultural taboos, writing a senior thesis on the development of lesbian and gay sexual attitudes. In the late aughts, Vrangalova started her research on casual sex in Cornell’s developmental-psychology program. One study followed a group of six hundred and sixty-six freshmen over the course of a year, to see how engaging in various casual sexual activities affected markers of mental health: namely, depression, anxiety, life satisfaction, and self-esteem. Another looked at more than eight hundred undergraduates to see whether individuals who engaged in casual sex felt more victimized by others, or were more socially isolated. (The results: yes to the first, no to the second.) The studies were intriguing enough that Vrangalova was offered an appointment at N.Y.U., where she remains, to further explore some of the issues surrounding the effects of nontraditional sexual behaviors on the individuals who engage in them.

Over time, Vrangalova came to realize that there was a gap in her knowledge, and, indeed, in the field as a whole. Casual sex has been much explored in psychological literature, but most of the data captured by her research team—and most of the other experimental research she had encountered—had been taken from college students. (This is a common problem in psychological research: students are a convenient population for researchers.) There has been the occasional nationally representative survey, but rigorous data on other subsets of the population is sparse. Even the largest national study of sexual attitudes in the United States, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of close to six thousand men and women between the ages of fourteen and ninety-four, neglected to ask respondents how many of the encounters they engaged in could be deemed “casual.”

From its beginnings, sex research has been limited by a social stigma. The field’s pioneer, Alfred Kinsey, spent decades interviewing people about their sexual behaviors. His books sold, but he was widely criticized for not having an objective perspective: like Freud before him, he believed that repressed sexuality was at the root of much of social behavior, and he often came to judgments that supported that view—even when his conclusions were based on less-than-representative surveys. He, too, used convenient sample groups, such as prisoners, as well as volunteers, who were necessarily comfortable talking about their sexual practices.

In the fifties, William Masters and Virginia Johnson went further, inquiring openly into sexual habits and even observing people in the midst of sexual acts. Their data, too, was questioned: Could the sort of person who volunteers to have sex in a lab tell us anything about the average American? More troubling still, Masters and Johnson sought to “cure” homosexuality, revealing a bias that could easily have colored their findings.

Indeed, one of the things you quickly notice when looking for data on casual sex is that, for numbers on anyone who is not a college student, you must, for the most part, look at studies conducted outside academia. When OkCupid surveyed its user base, it found that between 10.3 and 15.5 per cent of users were looking for casual sex rather than a committed relationship. In the 2014 British Sex Survey, conducted by the Guardian, approximately half of all respondents reported that they had engaged in a one-night stand (fifty-five per cent of men, and forty-three per cent of women), with homosexuals (sixty-six per cent) more likely to do so than heterosexuals (forty-eight per cent). A fifth of people said they’d slept with someone whose name they didn’t know.

With the Casual Sex Project, Vrangalova is trying to build a user base of stories that she hopes will, one day, provide the raw data for academic study. For now, she is listening: letting people come to the site, answer questions, leave replies. Ritch Savin-Williams, who taught Vrangalova at Cornell, told me that he was especially impressed by Vrangalova’s willingness “to challenge traditional concepts and research designs with objective approaches that allow individuals to give honest, thoughtful responses.”

The result is what is perhaps the largest-ever repository of information about casual-sex habits in the world—not that it has many competitors. The people who share stories range from teens to retirees (Vrangalova’s oldest participants are in their seventies), and include city dwellers and suburbanites, graduate-level-educated professionals (about a quarter of the sample) and people who never finished high school (another quarter). The majority of participants aren’t particularly religious, although a little under a third do identify as at least “somewhat” religious. Most are white, though there are also blacks, Latinos, and other racial and ethnic groups. Initially, contributions were about sixty-per-cent female, but now they’re seventy-per-cent male. (This is in line with norms; men are “supposed” to brag more about sexual exploits than women.) Anyone can submit a story, along with personal details that reflect his or her demographics, emotions, personality traits, social attitudes, and behavioral patterns, such as alcohol intake. The setup for data collection is standardized, with drop-down menus and rating scales.

Still, the site is far from clinical. The home page is a colorful mosaic of squares, color-coded according to the category of sexual experience (blue: “one-night stand”; purple: “group sex”; gray: the mysterious-sounding “first of many”; and so on). Pull quotes are highlighted for each category (“Ladies if you haven’t had a hot, young Latino stud you should go get one!”). Many responses seem to boast, provoke, or exaggerate for rhetorical purposes. Reading it, I felt less a part of a research project than a member of a society devoted to titillation.

Vrangalova is the first to admit that the Casual Sex Project is not what you would call an objective, scientific approach to data collection. There is no random assignment, no controls, no experimental conditions; the data is not representative of the general population. The participants are self-selecting, which inevitably colors the results: if you’re taking the time to write, you are more likely to write about positive experiences. You are also more likely to have the sort of personality that comes with wanting to share details of your flings with the public. There is another problem with the Casual Sex Project that is endemic in much social-science research: absent external behavioral validation, how do we know that respondents are reporting the truth, rather than what they want us to hear or think we want them to say?

And yet, for all these flaws, the Casual Sex Project provides a fascinating window into the sexual habits of a particular swath of the population. It may not be enough to draw new conclusions, but it can lend nuance to assumptions, expanding, for instance, ideas about who engages in casual sex or how it makes them feel. As I browsed through the entries after my meeting with Vrangalova, I came upon the words of a man who learned something new about his own sexuality during a casual encounter in his seventies: “before this I always said no one can get me of on a bj alone, I was taught better,” he writes. As a reflection of the age and demographic groups represented, the Casual Sex Project undermines the popular narrative that casual sex is the product of changing mores among the young alone. If that were the case, we would expect there to be a reluctance to engage in casual sex among the older generations, which grew up in the pre-“hookup culture” era. Such reluctance is not evident.

The reminder that people of all ages engage in casual sex might lead us to imagine three possible narratives. First, that perhaps what we see as the rise of a culture of hooking up isn’t actually new. When norms related to dating and free love shifted, in the sixties, they never fully shifted back. Seventy-year-olds are engaging in casual encounters because that attitude is part of their culture, too.

There’s another, nearly opposite explanation: casual sex isn’t the norm now, and wasn’t before. There are simply always individuals, in any generation, who seek sexual satisfaction in nontraditional confines.

And then there’s the third option, the one that is most consistent with the narrative that our culture of casual sex begins with college hookups: that people are casually hooking up for different reasons. Some young people have casual sex because they feel they can’t afford not to, or because they are surrounded by a culture that says they should want to. (Vrangalova’s preliminary analysis of the data on her site suggests that alcohol is much more likely to be involved in the casual-sex experiences of the young than the old.)  And the old—well, the old no longer care what society thinks. For some, this sense of ease might come in their thirties; for others, their forties or fifties; for others, never, or not entirely.

This last theory relates to another of Vrangalova’s findings—one that, she confesses, came as a surprise when she first encountered it. Not all of the casual-sex experiences recorded on the site were positive, even among what is surely a heavily biased sample. Women and younger participants are especially likely to report feelings of shame. (“I was on top of him at one point and he can’t have forced me to so I must have consented . . . I’m not sure,” an eighteen-year-old writes, reporting that the hookup was unsatisfying, and describing feeling “stressed, anxious, guilt and disgust” the day after.) There is an entire thread tagged “no orgasm,” which includes other occasionally disturbing and emotional tales. “My view has gotten a lot more balanced over time,” Vrangalova said. “I come from a very sex-positive perspective, surrounded by people who really benefitted from sexual exploration and experiences, for the most part. By studying it, I’ve learned to see both sides of the coin.”

Part of the negativity, to be sure, does originate in legitimate causes: casual sex increases the risk of pregnancy, disease, and, more often than in a committed relationship, physical coercion. But many negative casual-sex experiences come instead from a sense of social convention. “We’ve seen that both genders felt they were discriminated against because of sex,” Vrangalova told me. Men often feel judged by other men if they don’t have casual sex, and social expectations can detract from the experiences they do have, while women feel judged for engaging in casual experiences, rendering those they pursue less pleasurable.

Perhaps this should come as no surprise: the very fact that Vrangalova and others are seeking explanations for casual-sex behaviors suggests that our society views it as worthy of note—something aberrant, rather than ordinary. No one writes about why people feel the need to drink water or go to the bathroom, why eating dinner with friends is “a thing” or study groups are “on the rise.”

It is that sense of shame, ultimately, that Vrangalova hopes her project may help to address. As one respondent to a survey Vrangalova sent to users put it, “This has helped me feel okay about myself for wanting casual sex, and not feel ashamed or that what I do is wrong.” The psychologist James Pennebaker has found over several decades of work that writing about emotional experiences can act as an effective form of therapy, in a way that talking about those experiences may not. (I’m less convinced that there are benefits for those who use the site as a way to boast about their own experiences.) “Often there’s no outlet for that unless you’re starting your own blog,” Vrangalova points out. “I wanted to offer a space for people to share.”

That may well end up the Casual Sex Project’s real contribution: not to tell us something we didn’t already know, or at least suspect, but to make such nonjudgmental, intimate conversations possible. The dirty little secret of casual sex today is not that we’re having it but that we’re not sharing our experiences of it in the best way.

http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/casual-sex-everyone-is-doing-it