Is Casual Sex The Junk Food Equivalent of Sex?

junk sexIs Junk Sex as Bad as Junk Food? is what one academic asked in one of his articles.  Well, that caught my attention immediately.  First I thought, “what’s junk sex?”.  Is it the same as Casual Sex? Booty Calls? Or is it just plain old Bad Sex?  I checked the Urban Dictionary and they had a pretty good, thought provoking, description:

We all know what junk food is. And we know what happens to us when we make a steady diet of it. Junk sex is like junk food – not bad enough to avoid, but definitely not good enough to make a steady diet of. The effects of junk sex include outbreaks of unhealthy relationships and a malnourished emotional life, and self-destructive behavior like spending way too much time at the gym. In addition to physical symptoms such as irritability, pain, and sexually-transmitted diseases. Junk sex, particularly media-induced junk sex, leads to a vicious cycle of empty sexual encounters and soul-sucking loneliness, and the obsessive preoccupation with our skin

Wow! That’s pretty powerful.  So is Junk Sex as bad as junk food and is Junk Sex the same as Casual Sex.  Well, ya, I would say the words – junk sex and casual sex – could definitely be interchangeable.  I have discussed before how I feel that sex is what’s wrong with dating and that is because of this tendency to put sex first and “getting to know you” second.  But, is it really bad for our health in the same way that junk food is?

Is Junk Sex Bad For You?

Well, we all know that eating fast food and things with little to no nutritional value is bad for us.  Most people try to maintain a healthy lifestyle by only indulging in these things once in a while, most, not all, people.  The occasional high fat meal won’t hurt, however, eating it often will.  There’s no disputing that a diet high in fat, sugar, salt and calories will make you unhealthy and lacks in nutritional value.  But, it tastes so good doesn’t it.  Give me a bag of chips and see how I devour it … I can’t just have a couple, I will eat the whole bag.  This is why I don’t bring that stuff into my house.  Not to mention cheese … especially the extra creamy fatty ones … mmm cheese (extra creamy French Roquefort or garlicky Boursin is one of the ways to my heart).  Wait, where were we, oh yes, eating food that’s bad for us.  So OK I get it, stuff that’s bad for us is very appealing.  It’s the same thing for Casual Sex … it really does have its appeal, but is it bad for us? Or, like Junk Food, is Junk Sex OK in moderation?

The author in the above mentioned article states that “In comparing junk food to junk sex, intimacy might be considered to be the “nutritional value” of sex … intimacy involves a feeling of closeness and belonging, which are vital of healthy sex.”  I’ve talked before about this.  How sex is oh so much better with someone you care about.  You want to please them and they want to please you.  You are left feeling truly satisfied inside and out.  THAT is good and healthy sex.  It’s not about instant gratification … it’s about long term satisfaction.  I’ll be the first to admit that sometimes that instant gratification is irresistible … we want it and we want it now and don’t care what it takes to get it and what the repercussions are.  But, how do we feel AFTER we have eaten that huge plate of nachos or that big basket of deep fried whatever?  We feel gross and we regret what we just did … and we know we’re going to pay for it later.  It usually, um, comes back to haunt us in a day or two.

The same goes for junk sex … you get that instant satisfaction but it makes you feel gross after.  You might be able to dismiss it once or twice or even three times, but after a while it takes a toll on your mental health.  You end up with an unbalanced type of sexual encounter that can become addictive because you like that instant gratification but then you feel guilty or gross and it’s a vicious cycle of bad sex and unhealthy encounters.   Some people like this junk sex experience so much (just as with junk food) that they are not able to enter into healthy romantic relationships with others.  That’s why, like with all things, balance is key.  Casual Sex should be a means to an end with full disclosure of intentions and expectations on the part of BOTH people involved.  If you can’t be unemotional then DON’T DO IT.  The majority of people are not capable of separating sex from emotions – so know your limits and stay within them.

Is Monogamy the Answer?

Not all monogamous relationships involves quality sex.  It’s the connection and intimacy that make sex good within a relationship.  In the same way, although it is uncommon, it is possible to have a casual encounter that involves intimacy and a deep connection.  In general, however, the more there is love the better it is.  When there is love and caring involved in the sexual act then there is a desire for unselfish mutual satisfaction.  When it is all about lust and “getting off” then it can be an extremely selfish act.  This is what leads to emotional turmoil and feelings of being used, particularly when one partner in a casual encounter develops feelings.  So is monogamy the answer, not particularly.  The answer is having the right outlook, expectations and intentions.

It’s up to each individual, it is THEIR own responsibility, to ensure that they maintain a healthy, happy lifestyle.  This includes eating healthy and staying active.  Unhealthy junk food only in moderation.  The same applies to junk sex … only in moderation.  If you can’t handle it then don’t do it.  Sex should be a GOOD experience.  Sex shouldn’t be something you aren’t fully enjoying or fully getting satisfaction from … before, during AND after.  Sex should never leave you feeling used or empty.  It shouldn’t make you sick to your stomach.  It shouldn’t make you mentally or physically unhealthy.  That, my friends, is why you should avoid junk sex … whether you’re in a relationship or not.  Like with anything in your life, you should only keep around those things and people that not only bring out the best in you but also keep you healthy mentally, emotionally and physically.  You and your health are the MOST IMPORTANT thing in the world and nothing else matters.

Do you think Junk Sex is like Junk Food? Is it addictive?  I would love your thoughts in the comments below!

Your Sister in Dating Bliss,

Single Dating Diva

Copyright Single Dating Diva


  1. I kind of agree, but also disagree.

    I think that these ‘junk’ labels are too reductive and I think that these ideas that we have around sex (dating, relationships, tons of stuff) have too much weight in them, and stop us thinking for ourselves, sometimes.

    I’ve had some of the worst, least intimate and unsatisfying sex whilst in loving long-term relationships. I’ve had some of the most fulfilling, intimate and intense experiences with people that in that way of thinking about things, I shouldn’t.

    For me, it’s about balance, about control of yourself (by that I mean, emotions, etc) and in being comfortable in yourself. I think we’re (women, especially) are conditioned to feel guilt, bad, etc after having sex that is outside the norms of society, but those ideas are just that, ideas. We are not bound to them. We don’t need to feel guilty or cheap, those are mostly ideas that come from the outside, and we are free to create our own ideas to live by instead. Or, I like to think so, anyway, how much of it is wishful thinking, I couldn’t say! 🙂


    • Interesting thoughts… and even more interesting blog, Miss G. 🙂 As the saying goes…. “Don’t worry what people think, they don’t do it very often”

      There’s nothing wrong with junk food or junk sex, just as long as one does not make that their main diet. YES….sex should be fun and of course kept healthy. Of course both people involved in the “junk” act, must understand the limits of the relationship, and not expect more if it’s not on the menu.


      • Thanks. Although, I have to say, am more of a person who tries not to care what other people think, but also very under-laid myself.

        As long as these limits you mention are established from the start, the capacity for fun is infinite. I think most of the pitfalls of either ‘junk’ sex, or otherwise can be avoided with a little bit of communication and honesty.

        Perhaps easier said than done. All you can do is try!


        • Oh My God….. Where do you really find “communication and honesty” in a relationship 🙂 Everyone seems to have their own agenda…. so I have to say to myself “Whoops, I did it again” …. gullible me, I took someone’s word for who and what they are… and what they really want. Really wish I could read minds 🙂


    • Thanks for your comment! Yes it’s all about balance but we also need to feel satisfied that whatever we had was good for us, junk or not. So I guess it really depends on your attitude going in and the “food” choices we make.


  2. Not really sure I can get on board with this (though I appreciate the approach and the article 🙂 I think there’s a lot of room for people to view sex in different ways and enjoy it in the way that they choose. Junk sex shouldn’t be synonymous with casual sex but perhaps something more like unfulfilled sex. Not everyone feels the same, experiences things the same, and all I ever hear when people try to force the connection between intimacy/love and sex is that they are (perhaps inadvertently) judging my decision not to connect these things. The problem isn’t casual sex it’s being left dissatisfied after sex and if that is something that happens because the sex is casual that’s a person thing not a broad thing. However, I recently wrote an article about why I make guys wait longer and longer for sex these days (so I’m not even the biggest advocate of casual sex) however, it’s not for reasons of intimacy. Anyway, great article though because I love anything that makes me think (and something that caused me to write this long-winded comment has to be a good thing 🙂


    • Thanks Victoria, true, Junk Sex seems to fit more with just plain old bad sex and as you said unfulfilled sex which can also occur when you’re in a monogamous relationship. Glad I made you think 😉


  3. I 100% agree (great article, as always)

    Using similar analogies, for me there are three types of sex:

    Junk Food Sex: before you have it, you crave it, you desire it, you think it is going to be the best sex in the world. During, your seretonin is flowing like Niagara Falls, you think it is the best sex ever. After its ‘WTF?’ You are hurting, feeling sluggish. You use the classic phrase ‘I’m never doing that again’. You probably will do it again, and once again regret it…rinse and repeat.

    ‘Steak & Vegetables’ sex: it’s hearty. It has depth and well being. It may cost more than your ‘Junk Food Sex’, but you know it is going to be good for you, and it even tastes oh so good! There is tons of vitamins and protein (hehehe). After consuming, you are satisfied but don’t feel like shit. THIS is the sex you always wished you had. The type that ends in laughter, sweatiness and that warm, fuzzy feeling.

    ‘Watercress salad’ sex: this is the ‘paint by numbers’, tantric sex. There is very little depth and true emotional investment and visceral feeling to it. You know that physically it is achieving something and, on paper, this is the sex everyone tells you that you should be having, but fuck is it boring!

    …that’s my take 😉


  4. One way I’d extend this analogy is with alcohol. You go out drinking with your buddies or girls and you have the best intentions. ‘I’m going to have fun and see what happens. If I meet someone nice then great’.

    However, after a few too many, we are a little worse for wear and at the end of the night our priorities change. We aren’t feeling too picky, so whatever is local will do (Burger King, Pizza, Blonde, Brunette). You’ll always see the last desperate scramble of the night, ‘quick, who can I get with!’.

    We get on and have our junk food/sex however we can. At the time it’s great (drunk sex is either great or terrible). Sadly, in the morning we wake up with the packing/underwear strawn all over the bedroom floor, something that was generally not as advertised (damn pushup bras!), we can’t really remember the sex at all and there is a strange taste on the lips.

    Here’s to alcohol and junk sex!


  5. Honestly, I think you need to have a taste of all three. ‘Watercress Salad’ sex can really help push your limits, both physically and emotionally…it just sometimes lacks that little bit of soul and visceral passion that amazing sex should have. You know the kind – it leaves marks on you and three days later, something will remind you of it and give you a goofy smile. The person giving you this kind of sex might have six pack abs, he might be hung like a rhinoceros or she might do her kegels. Something is just ‘missing’.

    ‘Steak and Vegetables’ sex has more investment than ‘Junk Food Sex’ because it requires time to make; maybe the swapping of numbers, perhaps a date or two? It can still have ‘slam you against a wall’ awesomeness but you have to call it back the next morning and you WILL remember its name. Sometimes this meal can be too big for some people, and require too much input to be what they want/need.

    While it may not be emotionally or nutritionally fulfilling, ‘Junk Food Sex’, as bad as it is tor your body in the long run, has its place. It is quick, it fills a hole and scratches an itch, giving you very temporary relief to a very momentary need. Plus, lets face it…doesn’t ‘Junk Food Sex’ feel oh so good as its going down? 😉


      • Yes, but then I think it is different for everyone. What might be ‘Junk Food Sex’ and awesome for someone, might not be good for another. Maybe a person isn’t keen on someone just ‘climbing on’? (That doesn’t sound much like fun).

        On the flipside I don’t think sex always has to follow the same pattern. It doesn’t always have to last for hours. Some of the hottest experiences I have had have been ‘push me against a wall/rip down your panties/scramble for my belt buckle’ situations – so hot, passionate and full of lust and wanting.

        I think all of them have their place I’m a healthy sex life. Maybe that’s just me? :p


  6. I definitely think that people need a “balanced diet” when it comes to sex. For some, having a little junk now and then works wonders. For others, it can leave you with health concerns. Indulging in anything too much can have an adverse affect on people, so it’s best to just mix in a little Wendy’s now and then. (Notice I used the restaurant with a red head as their logo). 🙂


  7. Hmmm…interesting food for thought, for sure! Let’s see…
    I am generally hesitant when it comes to labels.If I were to label NSA or casual sex “junk”, it automatically associates it as negative or bad. When sometimes NSA or casual sex may be the healthier alternative to getting involved in a relationship before you’re ready, for example. Generally speaking, I do think that if NSA or casual sex is all you seek or is your only emotional nourishment {in relationship, terms} then of course you will fall into unhealthy patterns. As many of your commentators have pointed out, balance and moderation is the healthiest path…when it comes to food, exercise, and sex!!!


  8. I have always believed when there is a deep connection between the two, the intimacy is much better and not something you just do like you’d eat a bag of chips or drink a soda. Junk food intimacy in my opinion is just like using food as comfort, drugs and alcohol as comfort and many more behavioral driven actions as comfort. Sex should be enjoyable for both people involved not used as a way to block certain things a person may be unhappy about.This is a great post !


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