Originally Posted by Archaeolibris
I find that lots of folks (including self-labeled polyamorites) feel loving and casual sex to be mutually exclusive. I suppose, truly, this depends mostly on what you mean by both 'casual' and 'loving,' and I'd be curious to know. There does seem to be some connection here between loving and lasting. For me, I have always found these things to be quite independent. Some of my longest relationships turned out in the end to not be so loving, and likewise, some of the best emotional and physical intimacy I've experienced were with people that I had no expectation of being able to date or even sleep with again. Perhaps this is why I bristle a bit at those who assume that the 'casual' sex I have is meaningless, objectifying or not loving (and therefore not truly polyamorous?). When you take away monogamous commitment as the one and only sign of romantic love, then what other signs are there that people find meaningful?
I personally do think that "casual sex" is mutually exclusive from "loving." I think of "loving" as how I am with people "I love." I think of "casual sex" as sex for the purpose of physical satisfaction, meaning that I don't really care about the person any more than I care about some random person on the street. I can be caring and compassionate without being loving.
That being said, I don't do one night stands. Those encounters don't meet my emotional needs, nor do I need sex badly enough to get it from strangers. For me, I have to be romantically interested in someone to desire them sexually. So while I can, in principle, be caring and compassionate with a one-night-stand, that doesn't hold any interest for me.
I do agree that loving can last a night, and casual can last a lifetime. While I myself am not capable of falling in love overnight and then saying "so long" in the morning, I do not deny that this is possible for some people. And when I was younger, I had friends with benefits, where the sex was casual but ongoing.