How Do Women Really Think About Casual Sex

Women need a reason to have sex, men just need a place.

Billy Crystal

As a female sex therapist and counselor for couples, I’m often asked how men and women’s view of sex differ. The answer is quite simple and complicated at the same time. Each gender has different ideas of sex due to several biological, evolutionary and societal factors.

The biggest difference between men and women’s view of sex is the way they see the act itself. For men, sex is a physical act that is designed to relieve sexual tension and gratify their needs.

Women, on the other hand, view sex as an emotional act that is designed to strengthen the bond between them and their partner.

It’s Deeper for Women

Although both sexes enjoy casual sex under the right circumstances, women are less likely than men to seek out one-night stands.

This is because, generally speaking, women are more emotional creatures than men and tend to attach more significance to sex. Therefore, if a woman is going to engage in casual sex, she needs to feel a certain level of trust and comfort with her partner.

While most women would admit that they crave intimacy during sex, this does not mean that they want a committed relationship. It simply means that they want more than just a physical act; they want an emotional connection as well.

Why? Because on a subconscious level, women are programmed to seek out love, attachment, and bonding. These are evolutionary and sociological reasons that are hard-wired into the female brain.

The Oxytocin Release

Upon climaxing, a woman’s brain secretes significantly higher levels of the hormone oxytocin than a man’s brain. Oxytocin is popularly known as the “cuddle” hormone due to its postcoital cuddling properties which promote intimacy. It is also an incredibly pleasurable hormone in terms of its effects on the mind.

Women are attracted to men whom they believe can provide them with sexual intimacy on a subconscious level because they experience such a strong oxytocin “rush” after sex, casual or otherwise.

And while oxytocin has multiple benefits for both sexes, it is particularly beneficial for women. For example, oxytocin promotes milk production in mothers and helps to bond mothers and infants.

Oxytocin also has anti-anxiety and antidepressant effects, which can be helpful for women who suffer from mood disorders such as postpartum depression.

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This provides even more support that woman’s brain is sub-consciously wired to seek out relationships that lead to larger, and more regular, Oxytocin releases.

Evolutionary Echoes

In addition, years of evolution have designed the female brain to prefer sexual encounters that could turn into a long-term relationship.

This is due to the fact that before contraception was invented, every time a woman had sex there was a chance she would become pregnant and then be stuck with the long-term responsibility of raising a child.

In times long ago, it was very dangerous for a woman to try and raise a child on her own. Our ancestor’s evolution favored women who were selective with their sexual partners and only engaged in sexual activity with men who could provide them with protection and resources.

So it’s reasonable to see why women would be more selective about their sexual partners when you consider that for millions of years, they’ve been evolutionarily programmed to be wary of mating with just anyone.

It’s worth noting that the modern woman is not restrained by the same limitations as her foremothers. She doesn’t need a man to safeguard her from predators or to provide her with food; she is now able to support herself financially and make her own reproductive choices.

But the social landscape may have changed since the days of our ancestors, but that doesn’t mean that the female psyche has evolved along with it.

Societal Influences

In both subtle and overt ways, our society still perpetuates the idea that women need to be in a romantic and loving relationship in order to enjoy sex and feel truly fulfilled. This is something that is deeply ingrained in us, thanks to our evolutionary past.

Even though we as a society claim to have moved on from the outdated idea that women need a man to be happy, young girls are still being raised on fairy tales that paint a very different picture.

In almost every story, the princess only gets her “happily ever after” when she finds her true love.

In the end, both Snow White and Sleeping Beauty were only able to break free from their never-ending sleep by the kiss of a prince charming who loved them.

Similarly, the only way Cinderella was able to escape her dreary future was by winning over the heart of a prince.

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And Belle’s love for the Beast was what ultimately led to their happy ending. This, along with other fairy tales that feature beautiful princesses being loved by dashing prince charmings, reinforces the idea in young girls that they too need romance and love in their lives.

This need is something that has been ingrained in women through evolution and is supported by their biology.

And the more attractive a girl is, the more she convinced she’ll have her own real-life fairytale romance. All of the compliments she receives for her looks only bolster this belief. It’s no surprise then that every girl and woman secretly hope to find and fall in love with their own personal prince charming.

Be Their Prince Charming

Your challenge, then, is to make the hottest women think that you could be their prince charming. This doesn’t mean you have to look like some movie heartthrob, though.

Even in fairy tales, women are willing to kiss (and sleep with) a lot of frogs before they find their prince; and they have the ability to see the potential in a man based on his character, as in “Beauty and the Beast.”

So as long as you’re a good guy with a great personality, you’ll be just fine.

And, while it seems contradictory, if you want to increase your odds of successfully hooking up, you should never give a woman the impression that all you’re interested in is casual sex.

This is especially something to keep in mind with women who are considered more attractive than average. They’ve probably been approached by guys solely for casual sex more times than the average woman, and as a result, they may be warrier and more guarded.

Instead, the more you play it cool and act like you’re not interested in sleeping with her, the more she’ll think you might be her fairy tale prince.

So everything you do from the moment you get her number should be focused on creating that image of an honorable and courteous suitor who is willing to offer her an emotional connection that she so consciously or subconsciously desires.

Ruth Thomas

Ruth Thomas

Hi! My name is Ruth! I am a sex therapist and a happily married swinger (for 20 years now).

I have a PhD in human sexuality and a masters in counseling. I've been helping people improve their sex lives for over 25 years.

I am a member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists (AASECT) and the International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM).

I'm here to help people explore their sexuality and find what works for them. Whether it's with one partner or many, in a committed relationship or not, I believe that everyone deserves to experience the joys of a fulfilling sexual life.