Living

Say no to sex buddies.

...

Ask a psychologist
I am at a stage in my life where I want sex once in a while but I’m not looking for a relationship. What do you think about the idea of having a “cuddle buddy” for the occasional romp?

By Dr. Catherine Gildiner
First published in Chatelaine’s March 2003 issue.

© Dr. Catherine Gildiner


It sounds great. You get your sexual needs met but you don’t have to cook, deal with a mother-in-law or sit idly by while your guy watches TSN. This sounds too good to be true.

But before you rush out to buy the black lace underwear, let’s talk.

The female mind is a complex set of hormonal and emotional responses, most of which are opposed to casual sex. Maybe you can tune out your screeching hormones and ignore the feelings of warmth and tenderness you feel in a good sexual union. Maybe you can outsmart your progesterone and tell your brain; “This is not love or attachment. It just feels like it.” But I doubt it.

Hear me out! Freud said “Anatomy is destiny” and nowhere is it more evident than in this case. Like it or not, for women sex is about attachment, about getting that precious egg to adulthood. Men can spread their seeds and move on, but not you. Women are born with all the eggs they will ever possess. A man produces millions of new sperm every day. So, eggs are a precious commodity and your instincts are trying to convince you of that fact, telling you that it’s in your biological interest to bond with that male. Attachment and intimacy are not part of his job description. It is only after the sexual act is complete that the woman’s job really starts. Bonding happens for a good reason.

What sex means

The sex act is more important to women than it is to men, so psychologically speaking, casual sex for a woman is an oxymoron.

Sometimes trendy ideas and our physical realities clash, and “cuddle buddy” sex is one situation where the two have a head-on collision. And it ain’t going to be the man who comes out most damaged.

There are several downsides. Say you get involved with a hot sexy companion for sex and sex alone. And say he’s not a great catch, otherwise. Lazy. No aspirations. All in all, a bad choice for a life partner. But if you have sex with him and if you like it, you will become attached and you’ll start denying his negative traits. You might wind up stuck with a loser.

Also, what happens when your cuddle buddy meets someone he wants to have a relationship with? You’re going to get hurt, even though you knew the rules in the beginning.

Women can only spread their biological roots so far. When you can’t think your way past biology,your mind begins to react just like any pulled muscle. It cries out in pain. Psychic pain can take many forms, including depression.

Casual sex is a psychological minefield and if I were you I’d stay off of it. There are enough people to fight with in this world without battling Mother Nature. Remember, they don’t call her mother for nothing!

Dr. Catherine Gildiner is a clinical psychologist in private practice. Too Close to the Falls (ECW) is her memoir.

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