TIME relationships

Casual Sex Is Good for You, According to Your New Favorite Study

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You do you

Turns out that no-strings-attached sexy times are good for you, so don’t let the haters stop you from doin’ your thang.

A recent study conducted by researchers from NYU and Cornell dispels the popular notion that casual hookups — defined as sexual activity outside the context of a romantic relationship — will leave you with low self-esteem and depression. The research, published in the journal Social Psychology and Personality Science, involved a group of NYU students who kept a weekly diary over the course of 12 weeks documenting any and all adult snuggles — and the effect those instances had on their overall well-being.

Sociosexually unrestricted students reported higher well-being after having casual sex compared to not having sex, the researchers found. Also, those who were sociosexually unrestricted reported lower stress and greater overall emotional health after casual sex. (This is … maybe not super surprising.)

Although past reports have shown that women are less likely than men to orgasm during casual sex, this particular study showed few overall differences between genders.

The study’s authors explained that “the effects of casual sex depend on the extent to which this behavior is congruent with one’s general personality tendencies.” So, in other words: if you want to have casual sex, you definitely should. If you do not want to have casual sex, you shouldn’t. The main takeaway of this study? You do you.

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