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Casual sex can be a source of intimacy for partners

A new study found that partners were more likely to engage in affectionate and intimate activities in relationship sex than in casual sex– but the rate of these acts in casual sex was much higher than hypothesised.

Turns out, casual sex and hookups are not just about meaningless physical activity, but a source of intimacy. As part of the study, researchers sent a voluntary online questionnaire to several hundred college students and asked about their affectionate and intimate activities during sexual encounters in the contexts of both romantic relationships and casual sex.

The students answered questions about whether or not they engage in affectionate and intimate acts during sex, including cuddling, spending the night, eye gazing, and engaging in foreplay. They also indicated which of these acts they preferred during casual sex or sex in the context of a romantic relationship.

The researchers hypothesised that women would report being more likely to engage in intimate acts in all scenarios. The information they found supported this hypothesis, but the data also showed many men were likely to engage in intimate acts as well, with no gender difference found in relation to engaging in foreplay or eye gazing.

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