Relationships at Rhodes: Casual Sex

Updated: Mar 2

The Relationship at Rhodes series aims to provide insight into the different types of romantic and sexual relationships experienced at the University Still Known As Rhodes (USKAR)


Casual conversations about casual sex


By: Denzel Nyathi



Casual sex has many stigmas, one if which is secrecy. Photo credit: Pinterest

Far have we come from the days in which the second “‘s’ word” was sex. Our society can pride itself on having done a lot to make conversations about sex a lot less taboo. However, according to the laws of respectability, there’s a time and a place for everything. Now is the time to demystify, if you will, casual sex.


At the University Still Known As Rhodes (USKAR), casual sex has slowly become socially acceptable. The same can be said of many universities across the globe. Perhaps, from a scientific understanding, it’s just the body acting on its instinctual desire to procreate. Or, perhaps, from a social understanding, university is a period in one’s life to truly explore all the parts of themselves – including their sexual identity.

For some, on the other hand, casual sex is not a necessary part of their university experience. Buhle, a drama student at USKAR, had the following to say about casual sex:


“I don’t enjoy casual sex at all. I think, as a person, I’m realising that I need some sort of an emotional attachment to somebody to enjoy sex with them. Sex is not really sex without the emotional attachment or feeling like something is deeper besides physical connection.”


When it comes to casual sex, an emotional connection does seem to throw a wrench in the works. When asked what makes sex good for her, a Political Studies student replied: “Feeling. I can’t even lie. I prefer it when there’s an emotional connection as opposed to when there isn’t one.”

Buhle’s view of sex being bettered by emotions is one shared by some males too. Bongo, a Journalism and Media Studies student at USKAR, stated that “feelings definitely makes sex better. Sex with feelings is amazing.”


Where these two students did not see eye to eye, however, was on the topic of protection. While the Political Studies student believed that after 3 months of dating and a thorough screening process for STIs and HIV/AIDS, unprotected sex would be okay. Bongo, on the other hand, was of the belief that protected sex is non-negotiable. Sex is of course a personal act, and differing views are to be expected.


For example, Thabiso, a second year student, is certain of himself when he states: “Casual sex allows you to explore.” For him, sex is made better by physical attraction to the person he is involved with. He enjoys a partner who is keen on exploring things. In his opinion, feelings complicate sex. “It just makes it worse. It complicates the whole thing. It restricts you.”


The perspective is not only an interesting one, but a necessary one. His transparency is what many seek before engaging in sex, casual or not. The only ‘s’ word we should still be avoiding in 2019 is Shame. When our world’s climate is an ongoing disaster and DPs are vanishing in the hundreds, there’s really no time to be ashamed about your sexual preferences.

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Rhodes University (UCKAR), Makhanda (Grahastown), Eastern Cape

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