Originally Posted by sealace
My question is this: It seems like in a perfect world I could date people I liked "on the side" and see them casually but consistently for indefinite periods of time, all the while maintaining a safe emotional distance that would allow me to not feel too attached or demand too much of them. My reality is, that while this seems to work for a while, sooner or later I get emotionally (and physiologically if we're sleeping together) attached which doesn't really fit into the "plan" of a casual sex relationship.
Hmm, I see "casual relationships" and "casual sex" as two different things.
For me, casual sex
is having a romp without any, or much, emotional investment. It's purely lust and fun and I may never see the person again. One night stands, screwing that hot neighbor, etc. The focus is on pleasuring each other and getting off, but not necessarily remembering their name, LOL.
A casual relationship
is something more than that. There is sex, but it isn't devoid of feelings. It can be sweet, tender, and friendly, with genuine caring. I don't have to be in love with everyone I have sex with, but I can care for them and feel great fondness and affection. It's the relationship that is casual, not the sex, and what that means to me is that there is just no commitment to be life partners, and it could be very loose regarding amount and frequency of time spent together. We can go out and do social things together, but I can cancel seeing a casual lover without much guilt if something else comes up. But it can still be ongoing and have enormous value in my life. It's a friendship with sex. I don't think casual relationship are so bad.
As far as attachment goes, that is something different. That is all about expectations and hopes for something more. I think if people have their eyes open, they can feel the fondness and affection without letting themselves get attached and needy. But it takes a certain discipline not to get sucked into the euphoria that clouds our judgment.