Repairing Relationships

Building intimacy and joy into your relationships

Is Casual Sex Depressing?

Were all those teen movies lying to us? Read More

it depends on many factors

I'm far beyond my teen years. When I was a teen girl, I never had sex (literally. I didn't have sex until I was in my 20's). THAT was depressing, let me tell you! Now I consider myself on the polyamory spectrum, with my attitudes about 'casual' (i.e. "non-relationship-driven") sex shifting regularly. Sometimes in my life I have been more interested in so-called casual sex, and other times more interested in partner-bonding sex. And you know what? I'm pretty OK mentally.

Perhaps teens who are having this kind of sex at a young age are already feeling alone, disconnected, etc, and are attempting to soothe those feelings through sexual activity. Assuming that the sex itself is what's making them depressed is faulty reasoning, in my opinion. Chicken and the egg, and all that.

Particularly in the sexually charged teen years, teens don't usually have the wisdom and maturity to know what's 'casual' and what's not (in terms of their emotional bonding with their lovers, what they want out of the sexual relationship, etc.) They're experimenting, and as well, there is often a lot of pressure on both girls and boys to be sexually active, and sexually active in particular ways.

Rather than shaming teens for having so-called 'casual' sex, or telling them it will depress them because "research", perhaps it would help teens who are interested in being sexually active to talk to adults who are open-minded, non-blaming, and sexually experienced themselves, who can help teens navigate this new world of sex, and so that the teens can be encouraged and supported in experiencing and exploring their sexuality without undue pressure to approach sex in any particular way.

Maybe the type of sex that is depressing teens (if that is, in fact, what's happening) is coerced sex, sex without emotional bonding (which one can have without having a relationship), or sex because you're supposed to have sex. Helping teens enjoy their sexuality and feel comfortable within it, whether they want to save themselves for marriage or bang the entire football team, would probably go a long ways in helping them approach sex in healthy way, and in staying mentally healthy as they navigate the complex waters of sexuality.

Here are a few other things that are depressing

-- Holding off on sex until you are in your early 20s and then marrying your first "sweetheart" only to find you are hopelessly incompatable and then getting divorced, or staying married 20 years for the "sake of the kids."

-- making a million dollars only to find out "money isn't everything" ...

-- spending five years working on building a business, writing a novel or creating a work of art, only to find out that there is no market for it.

-- going to a sports event because your team might lose.

So do we conclude that we should not get married to our sweetheart, not make a million dollars, not build businesses, write novels or create art just because these pursuits may lead to depression? What should we do then? It is ridiculous to say that a pursuit is worthless just because it SOMETIMES leads to depression.

Hopelessly incompatible?

"Holding off on sex until you are in your early 20s and then marrying your first "sweetheart" only to find you are hopelessly incompatable and then getting divorced, or staying married 20 years for the "sake of the kids"?

That's what our blog and book are all about avoiding, Drone Dad.

Man...people don't like to

Man...people don't like to hear the truth. Casual sex is a bad idea, and it leads to bad feelings (in addition to AIDS, herpes and everything else). "Stop slut shaming me"...well, stop being a ho and no one will have to "slut shame" you (including yourself). Try keeping your legs closed, and do (haha!) something more interesting.

I teach high school. I guarantee you teen sex = substance use/abuse = cutting = suicidal thoughts = all sorts of things adults choose to ignore. We owe our kids more than a permissive society that leads them on a one-way path to destruction.


This is an incredibly judgmental attitude to have. My spouse is a retired public middle school teacher and never used this type of language when dealing with his students or describing their sometimes troubled behavior. NEVER.


Do you actually call your student's ho's?

Agreed. You're a high school

Agreed. You're a high school teacher? O God help us! I'd expect teachers to be better educated, compassionate, and not use words like 'slut' and 'ho' to describe the young people they're supposed to care about. Regardless of whether you're right or wrong about whether casual sex is a good idea, I would not want you anywhere near my kids. Time for you to get out of the teaching profession if you can't respect the variety of backgrounds and beliefs of the young people who occupy the desks in front of you.

I feel sorry for your students

Somebody should alert the faculty at this school about this teacher.

Finally, a teacher that isn't

Finally, a teacher that isn't a stooge for PC pressure.

I'd rather have you teach my kids than one of these idiots above, that are chastising you.

Being subject to society's

Being subject to society's judgement, labelled as a 'slut', denied the chance to be in a long-term relationship when you want it because you have a 'history', being treated with little respect or dignity because you prefer to have sex with different partners- these are the makings of depression. People who go against society's norms are always at a higher risk of depression because they choose the path of most resistance. Let's be careful about blaming their unhappiness on their sexual choices, and instead think about blaming their unhappiness on society's unwillingness to accept their sexual choices.

The problem is that

The problem is that eventually the promiscuous girl wants a long-term relationship with one of the many guys she rejected during her party days.

Why would any of these guys want her? Maybe they don't judge her past as much as they resent it.

Are You Really That Naive?

"...being treated with little respect or dignity because you prefer to have sex with different partners- these are the makings of depression..."

Oh, grow up. And furthermore, the high school teacher was using the teen vernacular to illustrate peer bluntness - not play the PC "let us not judge" game that Americans have been so brainwashed with.

But then, those who do not have to live first-hand with the dangerous and destructive consequences of teen pregnancy and suicide don't have a dog in the fight.

Thank you! You get it!!!

Thank you! You get it!!! People would be SHOCKED to find out what the kids are doing and what they's usually parents of middle schoolers that think their kids are still saints.

For those that asked, yes, I always call my students "ho," and then the principal comes in the room and seconds that, and then the school board comes in and says the same things. That is sarcasm btw, but you're probably too busy being sensitive and blathering on about self-esteem and social constructs to notice that.

Why is stating that casual sex leads to STDs judgmental? If you were on the front lines with kids today, you'd have to toughen up a bit. Coddling them and treating them like their 5 is no way to help them. Next time you find yourself in a classroom with 5 high kids, one drunk kid, and a few that didn't eat yesterday because they're homeless (and then have to be measured by standardized tests), perhaps you can tell me about being sensitive and helping kids.

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J.R. Bruns, M.D., is co-author of The Tiger Woods Syndrome, a book about repairing relationships.


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