"There are times when casual sex actually deepens one's self-knowledge. With intelligence and clarity of purpose, casual sex is more than instant gratification. By openly exploring our fantasies and true desires with different partners in a way that may not possible in a committed relationship, we can transcend our inhibitions. With each new encounter we can discover buried parts of ourselves and in time experience the totality of who we are. We can even experience profound, revelatory moments that unravel our past and show us things we never knew about ourselves. We can satisfy unmet needs by embracing those aspects of our sexuality that are deeply meaningful and we can choose to let go of those that no longer have importance."
"It's my basic assumption that sexual desire and the themes we eroticize as adults--romantic sex, bondage, domination, role playing--originate in unresolved childhood conflicts and unmet needs. Our minds take these painful feelings and convert them into something pleasurable in an attempt to master them. Sex acts serve as a transformer. Rather than becoming defeated by feelings of isolation, helplessness, loneliness or rejection, we become aroused by them."
So what predicts a "hookup"? The jury is still out. Theories range from the individual to sociocultural influences. Social cognitive theories suggest the important role of shaping that takes place on multiple simultaneous levels; for many, a salient intimate relationship is modeled by parents' relationships, whereas a college setting may provide an immediate social context, and messages from the mass media many encompass a larger socially dominant sphere that provide norms on sexual behavior.
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