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Casual Sex and the Twenty-Something

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Walking home barefoot - still in the dress from the night before - the early morning sun warming the crusted mascara that is smeared across your forehead, and you're so tired you feel like you could lay down and die. To add insult to injury, the dirty residue of last nights drink rears its ugly head for a second; forcing you to stop and swallow down the vomit.

One night stands are defined as a single sexual encounter, in which neither party has any intention of a relationship occurring afterwards. But, let us be frank - would any of us really consider a serious and emotionally fulfilling relationship with someone we picked up in the dark, muggy corner of a nightclub?

No, probably not.

Not that there is anything actually wrong with casual sex. I have plenty of friends who frequently engage in clumsy, drunken encounters; and are constantly telling me to lighten up and get out there. One friend, who will remain nameless, is constantly lecturing me on the benefits of taking a guy back for the night, and can't grasp why I would ever want to play a part in a time-consuming relationship, in which both people slowly fall out of love with one another, only to gradually resent and hate each other until the only option is to break up and pretend like you never met.

The media bombard twenty-something women with the message that to actually enjoy sex means you're either immoral, desperate and/or troubled and need protecting. Why aren't women fighting this stereotype? We aren't being given the credit we deserve! And aren't the media missing the point somewhat? Sex is meant to be fun!

Being a twenty-something adult has never been harder than ever. Going out with the intention of picking up is many people's idea of hell, and I also used to prescribe to the notion that women who have one stands are all the above and more - but when you find yourself single in the world of endless nights out and internet dating - what do you do?

But when the music stops - the lights are on and someone is guiding you into an unlicensed taxi, which your Mother warned you about -and everything's slowed down, and you are fighting the urge to not scream and run home - make your excuses and leave. What was a cheap thrill a few hours can soon be an uncomfortable and embarrassing memory filled with regret.

Casual sex can be fun, but if you're searching to heal a broken heart and the walk of shame the next morning makes you feel cheap, used and violated, take a step back and some time out; as it will only serve as a reminder that you are single. The experiences of friends that I have lived vicariously through usually leaves them crying on your expensive jumper, asking if you think it's a good idea they give their ex a call - the name ex the night before they were determined to forget existed.

If you have just come out of a relationship, resist the urge to spend winter listening to Adele and , sobbing your heart out under your unwashed duvet. Embrace it and get out there, and if some guy takes your fancy- enjoy it, as long as you wont be piecing your self-esteem back together the morning after.

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