Cupid's Pulse Article: Relationship Advice: Can You Handle Sex Without Love?Cupid's Pulse Article: Relationship Advice: Can You Handle Sex Without Love?

By Dr. Jane Greer

As women strive for equality, they are exercising their freedom of sexual expression more and more, which for many might mean a choice to have casual sex. However, with that freedom and choice comes great responsibility, and the important task of taking care of your emotional self and well-being. That is possible only once you know what you want and can tolerate, and, when it comes right down to it, if you can handle sex without love. Diane Von Furstenberg spoke about her fling with Richard Gere, saying it was just a “f**k,” which is how she wanted it to be. While it is more common for men to have sex and keep it just about the physical connection, with few or no feelings of intimacy involved, women regularly struggle with separating the two. Often emotions come into play despite their best intentions, since so often women feel most vulnerable when they are in intimate situations and often literally are and symbolically feel naked. So how can you know if you can handle a fling with no strings attached?

With this relationship advice, learn if you can handle a fling without love.

By challenging the stereotypes that have confined and limited women for so long, you can consider your sexual identity and what it means to you in terms of your happiness and your sexual esteem, and what might give you the most pleasure and fulfillment. Sometimes that might mean indulging in a purely physical romp with someone. That can happen if, for example, you want to sleep with someone you just met, because you are on vacation and want a brief romantic escapade, or you are at a wedding and want a one night stand. Furthermore, you may have just gotten out of a long relationship and aren’t ready to jump back in to a serious commitment, so casual sex might seem appealing. If you find yourself facing any of these scenarios, ask yourself if you will be okay if you never hear from this person again. Or if you begin to feel connected but they aren’t interested in anything more than the sex, will you be able to disengage without experiencing a great loss? The most important thing to consider is how you will feel when it’s over. The key is to be able to enjoy the experience, and have it enhance your self-esteem.

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Sometimes the only way to know if it is going to work for you is to take a chance, jump in and see where you land. You know best what your Achilles’ heel might be, and if there is a chance you could come out of it with a big emotional ouch because you may find it hard to let go, this might not be the right move for you. With that in mind, if you are in the driver’s seat you can give yourself the permission to say yes to your desires and feel empowered by them when it comes to your sex life decisions. The essential thing to be aware of is that whatever your action may be you are doing it by choice, one that you are making for yourself with full awareness of the consequences, and thereby can feel confident about. In this way, you will be a woman who takes charge, is in control, knows what you want as well as what you don’t want, and will be better able to build your inner security which will reflect in your general wellbeing.

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For Diane, it was simply about getting physical. It requires clarity, like she had, to know from the start that you’ll be fine if nothing more develops from your sexual encounter. If you are able to take an inventory and determine where your tender spots are, thereby avoiding heartbreak, hopefully you will be able to keep it light and fun. In the end, knowing what you can handle is the best indication of whether or not a sexual rendezvous without a commitment will be a positive or negative in your life. If you tend to get attached quickly and are very sensitive to rejection, just sex might not be for you. You want to be your best protector. When it comes to casually getting between the sheets and thinking about how you’ll feel after, trust your gut.

Please tune in to the Doctor on Call radio hour on every Tuesday at 2 PM EST, 11 AM PST. First and third Tuesdays are Shrink Wrap on Call, second Tuesdays are HuffPost on Call, and the last Tuesday of the month is Let’s Talk Sex! Email your questions dealing with relationships, intimacy, family, and friendships to Dr. Greer at Connect with Dr. Jane Greer on Facebook, at, and be sure to follow @DrJaneGreer on Twitter for her latest insights on love, relationships, sex, and intimacy. For more on Dr. Greer, visit