There are a lot of reasons to have sex. Same action, different intent (or reason), different result. Sex can be simple or it can get really complicated. When deciding to have sex, make sure it’s for the right reasons, otherwise the complications add up quickly.
Why have sex? That is a good question. Hopefully you decide to have sex because you are in love with someone and want to take your relationship to the next level. Maybe you decide to have sex because it is fun. There are many good reasons to have sex, and it doesn’t matter how often. Even more promiscuous people can be having sex for the right reasons. In fact a lot of promiscuous people tend to be safer, have more satisfying experiences, and have a sex-positive outlook on life. Why? Because they are confident about their decision to have sex. It is about doing what they want, not about feeling obligated or trying to please someone else. People who are confident also don’t need to have sex to feel attractive. They can go out with their friends and not feel compelled to end the night in bed with someone else. They have standards that they don’t lower just for the sake of sleeping with someone. Sex isn’t an integral part of their personality – it’s essentially one part of their life that they enjoy.
The decision to have sex should be about you, not about impressing someone else or making someone else happy. If you feel like you can’t say no, or you don’t have the right to say no, then you are getting into risky territory. This is your body, and emotional and physical health you’re talking about here. You should be making the decision to have sex because it is what you want. However, I find a lot of people hop into bed with someone they’re not even attracted to because they feel obligated to have sex. This could mean there is something in your brain telling you the only value you have is sexual, or that people will only like you if you have sex with them. You may also feel incomplete if you’re not having as much sex as other people around you.
Stop and think about your choices. Remember that you actually DO have a choice to have sex. It is also okay to decide not to have sex. There is no rule that you have to hook up with someone because it’s Friday night. If you have friends who think something is wrong with you because you went home alone, then you may want to examine the type of friends you keep. The key to all this are the words “have to”. You don’t HAVE TO do anything. You can stay home and read a book on Friday night or you can go out and have sex with someone if it makes you happy. Again, the key is doing what makes you happy. In college it can be easy to get caught up in doing what you think other people would approve of. Trust me, it is way more important to do things you approve of. You have to live with yourself when you wake up the next day. If you are okay with your choices, then don’t let others judge you or push you into doing things that make you feel uncomfortable.
Also, think about your choices after a night of drinking. Maybe you make good decisions about sex when you’re sober. You tend to have sex when it pleases you and wake up with no regrets. However, is it the same after you’ve been drinking? I meet with many students who only regret their sexual decisions after a night out drinking. They didn’t intend to have sex, but find they always end up in someone’s bed after downing a couple shots. Examine your behavior and make some different choices if what you’re doing isn’t making you happy. If drinking is causing problems in your life, you may want to figure out how to change this pattern before it becomes even more complicated.
Having sex out of obligation, peer pressure, or only while drinking may be the result of something as serious as sexual trauma, a consequence of dangerously low self-esteem or a desperate desire to fit into the “hookup culture” mold. If you aren’t having sex because it’s fun, pleasurable or as a way to connect to someone you love, then you need to examine why. Whether you should seek therapy or whether it’s an issue you can work through on your own or with friends, don’t continue to indulge in behavior that isn’t good for you. Remember, having sex for the wrong reasons is never going to satisfy you or make you feel good about yourself.