Five Reasons to Quit Having Casual Sex

“I love how I feel after I hook up with a guy,” she tells me. She sits across the room, smiling as she recounts the latest man she’s slept with. “I feel so empowered. It’s great to know that I can have meaningless sex and walk away—no questions asked. I don’t think about him later; I don’t wonder if he’ll call. And my favorite thing of all…” she pauses dramatically. “The sex is mind-blowing! A guy who doesn’t know me at all but knows exactly what I like and takes the time to please me. Wow!”

And so goes the conversation I’ve NEVER had with a woman—and never expect to!

Instead, I hear the opposite. Woman after woman lamenting that despite leveling the sexual playing field, they’re still the losers.

Sexual freedom hasn’t led to committed love after all.

It’s done the opposite.

The “casual sex” movement has left more women unfulfilled and lonely than ever before (if my ever-growing client list is any indication). It’s also created a distrust and distaste for men and their true intentions.

But wait. “Why would I want to give up casual sex?” you may ask. “Isn’t sex a bodily need, like breathing or eating?

That’s what the world tells you.

But *Kayla, a 21-year-old college student, doesn’t think sex should be casual at all.

Kayla is just one of a growing number of women saying no to casual hookups (1).

They want something more, so they’re making different life choices.

In an interview with Kayla, she explains why.

Reason #1 – God created sex for a purpose

Kayla is a Christian who practices her faith. She believes that sex is for marriage.

“Waiting for marriage is about my self-respect and showing love to my future husband. I could give in, but what if the guy leaves me? What if I get an STD or become pregnant? Besides, I believe sex outside of marriage is a sin, so I’d disappoint my family—and most importantly, I’d disappoint God. I’d feel devastated with myself.” 

Should she marry Greg or not? 

Kayla is right. God speaks very clearly in the Bible about reserving sex for marriage, which is a sacred union (Hebrews 13:4). God created both marriage and sex to be beautiful. He forbids sex outside of marriage, not to punish us, but rather to protect and preserve what He intended to be incredibly special.

Kayla gets that.

“Sex is so much more than a physical act. It expresses love between a husband and wife, and we cheapen it when we treat it and ourselves casually. Remember, you are worth something, so don’t let others disrespect you. Ask yourself, “Do I want to be the girl (or guy) that everyone can have or just that one special person who’s committed to me?”

“It’s hard to explain to someone who isn’t close with God that her worth comes from Him, not from having multiple sex partners. A personal walk with God is really the key to understanding this kind of commitment.”

That doesn’t mean it’s easy.

Let’s face it. Sex is everywhere!

It’s used to buy and sell virtually everything, from the most benign products, like toothpaste, to harmful and even illicit products and activities.

What makes that so dangerous is that the act of sex becomes detached from anything meaningful. It’s just…biology.

And we’ve become desensitized. What used to shock us as a society now barely gets a yawn. Our values have changed. 

God not only foresaw this, He warned against it through His prophet Isaiah: “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil” (Isaiah 5:20).

Reason #2 – Casual Sex Erodes Self-Worth

Kayla’s lucky. Her parents taught her a sense of value about herself. 

“My parents never really sat down and gave us a birds-and-bees conversation, but everything they did was an example to me. If we watched a movie with something risqué, they’d use it as a teaching moment.”

Her relationship with her dad was significant to her.

“I remember one time when some guy was looking me up and down. Dad moved in between us and glared at him until he looked away. It made me feel protected. Our bond has given me a sense of confidence. It’s made me feel like I’m worth something—I have value. It’s also given me a sense of what my Heavenly Father is like.”

Not all girls are as blessed as Kayla to have a father who cares that much. A father who teaches his daughter how boys should treat her.

Over the years, I’ve worked with a lot of broken women. Women who’ve been used sexually in every conceivable way.  Yet somehow, they’ve come to believe that this newfound sexual “freedom” is empowering.

But they’re still alone. Still searching for that one man who will see them as more than just a body. These women don’t see what I see. Each of them is a shell of the girl she once was. The hopeful innocent who believed she’d find a man to cherish her for a lifetime—she’s gone.

And replaced by a guarded, distrustful, angry woman who no longer believes in forever love but somehow still thinks giving her body away is the solution.

So, she settles for emotional breadcrumbs.

Reason #3 – Sex is worth waiting for

There’s sex. And then there’s fantastic sex. And if women were honest, casual hookups aren’t satisfying (1).

At all.

Casual doesn’t require much effort. A man doesn’t need to know or understand you, even care about you, to sleep with you.

But sex, for a woman, starts in her head. She’s turned on mentally and emotionally long before her body responds.

Casual sex doesn’t require that stimulation. It just requires consent.

Gone are the days when men had to step up and prove their worth to women. Now, we spread our legs for virtually any guy who shows interest.

But it’s not what we want. We want to be truly known. We crave emotional connection. And that’s why we can’t help but wonder, “Will I hear from him again?”

What changes in the bedroom when a woman is with a man she trusts fully? A man who knows her deep down and loves who she is? A man who can’t believe she chose him to spend the rest of her life with.

If (and that can be a big IF) she’s chosen the right man, then sex between them stems from the intimate connection they’ve formed from months, even years, of getting to know each other. And yes, they need to learn how to sexually please each other, just like every other area of their relationship. But sexual “compatibility” can be determined without having sex, in much the same way that you learn about compatibility in other ways—by talking and observing. 

For example, you don’t decide you’re financially compatible by investing all your money with someone you barely know to prove you can trust them. Only to find out…OOPS!

You can’t. There goes your money.

Great sex, like anything else, takes time and effort. It’s the byproduct of two people lovingly showing up for each other in myriad ways.

And no, marriage doesn’t guarantee great sex. But waiting until marriage to have sex does seem to significantly increase overall stability and satisfaction, according to one study by Dr. Dean Busby, Brigham Young University (2).

Kayla doesn’t need a study to tell her that.

“We always knew that Mom and Dad loved each other because of the way they are together. I think parents sometimes fail to be affectionate in front of their kids, but it’s important for children to see that.” 

I agree. The tender affection between a husband and wife, in and out of the bedroom, speaks volumes.

Reason #4: Waiting teaches self-discipline and determination

Kayla got a purity ring when she was about 12. 

“My cousin had one. And when I knew what it represented, I wanted one too. By high school, I was consciously thinking, this is it. I can mess up, make mistakes, and go the wrong way like my peers, or I can follow God and be good.”

Which doesn’t mean she hasn’t felt pressure.

“Kids would deliberately say perverted things to get me to react. Like in my music class, they would make the dirtiest comments. I remember being so shocked the first time it happened that I had to leave class. The sad part was that even the teacher condoned it.

“Every year, it gets worse. I’m 21 and still a virgin. It’s extremely rare, at least with the people I’m around. Other girls are shocked when they find out. Some think it’s cool, while others say, “Wow, I could never do that.” When guys find out, it’s almost like some feel the need to make me uncomfortable by telling sex jokes. They tease me, but some guys also respect me for it. It depends on the guy.”

But the pressure has made Kayla more determined.

“When guys crack inappropriate jokes or make suggestive remarks, I shut them down right away. Some feel threatened by my commitment, and they put pressure on me to conform. I see girls who are willing to give up a lot to please a guy, but I’m not one of them. And I’m at the point now where I don’t care what people think. It’s more important for me to please God than people.”

You may be surprised to know that Kayla is one of about ten million people in the U.S. who are committed to abstaining before marriage, according to one source (2). 

Ten million! 

That may be a small percentage of the overall population, but it’s something to consider.

Reason #5: Female sexuality is a power to wield, wisely

Like a solo rock star, (a male bowerbird) must devise a bower, a song and dance that wows the gals. Among bowerbirds and most other animals as well, it’s the females that do the choosing. – National Geographic

There’s a feminine mystique that captures a man’s attention (and potentially his heart). A man will do virtually anything to win the love of a woman he chooses. 

It’s difficult for men to be that vulnerable. They don’t do it readily. But when they do, they’ve given us an incredible power—to make or break them. The devastation a man feels when rejected is just as absolute as any female heartbreak.

This mystique—it’s more than your outward beauty, though that’s certainly part of it. It’s also more than just your sexuality. The essence of your true feminine beauty comes from within. It is God-given. 

A woman who understands this knows the power she holds—and the responsibility she has to use it wisely.

Part of that power is your ability to say yes or no.

Waiting for sex may seem like an old-fashioned notion. But Wendy Shalit, author of A Return to Modesty, suggests that behaving in a chaste and modest way protects a woman’s natural vulnerability and elevates the acceptable standard of behavior for men. (4)

As she points out, we cannot expect men to be honorable when we tell them they don’t have to be. (4)

My interview with Kayla took place nine years ago. Kayla is now married and has two children. Her determination to wait for sex never wavered. Though she had a couple of serious boyfriends prior to meeting her husband, her boundaries around sex were always clear. And they were respected. 

Though all marriages face challenges, Kayla doesn’t have to deal with the emotional scarring that comes from multiple sex partners. She has a husband who loves and values her—exactly what she waited for.

You can have that, too, if that’s what you truly want. 

In other words, you get to decide. You determine the way men treat you.

So, decide. 

Do you want casual? That’s easy to find.

Or do you want commitment? More challenging to come by, but oh so worth it.

Just ask Kayla.


  3. Brigham Young University. “Couples who delay having sex get benefits later, study suggests.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 December 2010.
  4. A Return to Modesty, Wendy Shalit

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