Welcome to a new Casual Sex Project feature: interviews with our users. You may have noticed the name Jacrou as you peruse the stories on CSP because she has shared an astounding 35 of her own experiences! What’s more, they cover a wide variety of different encounters. She began sharing stories back at the beginning of the project in summer 2014 and still shares them regularly. We’ve truly enjoyed reading all of her stories and were curious to learn more about the woman behind them. Our interview with her touches on her casual sex experiences, her thoughts on CSP, her philosophy on sex in general, and some advice for CSP readers.
We’re looking to make interviews a regular part of our content. Let us know in the comments if you would like to be interviewed or if there are other things we should ask interviewees.
Meet Jacrou! These stats are from her most recent story, Surprising First Night at a Swingers Club, shared on Oct 23, 2015. We expect more stories to come!
What’s your gender? Woman
How old are you? 46
What’s your race/ethnicity? White / Caucasian
What country and/or city do you live in? Nz
Highest education received: College degree (eg., BA, BS)
What’s your occupation? Co director
What’s your current relationship status? Single
Religious affiliation: Atheist
How religious are you? Not at all
What’s your sexual orientation? Mostly heterosexual
How many sexual partners have you had in your life (including oral sex)? 49
How many hookup stories have you here posted before? Many
- How did you find Casual Sex Project site?
I found it after I did an internet search on ‘Casual Sex’. I had met up with a man for sex after meeting online and it was the first time I had ever done that and I had been quite surprised by the straightforwardness of the process. When I went online for the first time, I hadn’t had a clear idea of what I was looking for, and I suppose I might have said I was online dating. But in the course of conversation with him, it crystallised for me that I really didn’t want a relationship but that I did want to have sex. He was quite an interesting guy who was, like me, divorced, but had decided that what suited him was to meet people online and to maintain a number of connections with likeminded people. When we met, he talked to me at length about how I felt about sex and relationships and how I wanted to live my life and suggested to me that that kind of approach might work well for me. He also gave me a lot of practical advice about how it actually works. It was all a bit of a revelation to me. I’d been married for 15 years and when I was previously single, 20 odd years ago, that wasn’t how you met people. Also, even though I’d had a fair bit of casual sex before, it wasn’t something that I’d ever been able to sit down and discuss openly with someone. I was left really excited about what the world now seemed to offer me and I was curious about how normal, accepted, or prevalent this approach was, which was why I searched up casual sex. I thought I might find some articles or commentary. What I found was CSP and this, of course, led to me reading a number of stories and thinking aha, here is a community I feel some connection with.
- What motivated you to share your first story?
As it was an experience that led me to CSP, the obvious next step was to share that experience. It really had left me fizzing and yet when I spoke to some friends about it, they really didn’t understand where I was coming from (to be fair they thought I was online dating in the conventional sense of dating) so I ended up not really telling them much about it. CSP offered me an opportunity to be completely honest about what the experience was and about how much I had enjoyed the fact it came with no obligation or commitment or promise, it was just good sex.
I didn’t think anyone would be interested in sex with a 40+ woman and the guy from my first experience gave me confidence. He assured me that I would have no shortage of interest and he was right! Turns out that there aren’t as many women openly and genuinely seeking casual sex as there are men.
- What motivates you to continue to share stories with CSP? What do you get out of it?
Well, I continued to read the stories, and the more of them I read, the more I realised that ‘casual sex’ as a concept encapsulated such a wide variety of experiences, much wider than I had originally thought. I realised that on that wider definition I’d had heaps of casual sex in the past. A lot of those experiences were quite treasured memories that I thought about often, even the ones that weren’t great, especially if they were funny or had an interesting story around them. And I also realised that for the most part I had never shared these treasured memories with anyone because it’s not the kind of thing that I talk about with my friends. So CSP became the place where I could finally tell some of those old stories. I continued to have new, exciting experiences and wanted to share those, too. What I get out of it, is being able to take the one part of my life that is secret and hidden and reveal it and give life to it. I’ve never felt ‘wrong’ or guilty about enjoying casual sex, yet I was never able to talk about it. But writing about those encounters allowed me to say, even if anonymously, that I am a woman who gains great pleasure from sex and I believe there is nothing wrong with that.
- What makes an encounter worth writing about? Are there experiences you wouldn’t share and why?
I’m yet to think of an encounter that wouldn’t be worth writing about, no matter how they went. I suppose if a hook-up was exactly like another one I’d already written about I probably wouldn’t bother. I haven’t shared every experience though and when I think about the ones I’ve left out so far, they were definitely the ones I had the least to say about, e.g. maybe I don’t remember it very well (because it wasn’t memorable?) or maybe not much happened, or it was just kind of OK. I do remember [CSP creator] Dr Zhana saying in an interview somewhere that people tended to share stories that were either great or terrible, not so much ‘meh’, and that maybe we need a few more of those. In the interests of balance I should perhaps share a couple of ‘meh’ stories because I do have them. But at times I also look at how many stories I’ve posted and think, no just stop there!!! There is just one story that I won’t ever share. Because I told my partner in that case that I never would, and he reads CSP. And that is out of respect for our friendship and for the sake of discretion as it is certainly not impossible that people could work out who I am. NZ is a small place!
- Have you read many of the other stories? What have you observed about the stories that are shared? Any favorites?
I have probably read every single one posted since I found the site, and a fair number of those which were already there. It is part of my daily routine to check the website and read the new stories. I’m a quick reader so I often catch up while I’m waiting for a coffee or in a queue at the supermarket(!). It can be hard to keep up during those periods where 4 stories are added a day!
I think the 2 main things I’ve noticed are: 1. People are having really widely different experiences of sex, even in similar circumstances. 2. There’s a lot of secret casual sex going on out there! I have really enjoyed some particular stories but I can’t remember any titles and I think it would take a really long time to go back and find them.
The ones I enjoy particularly are those written by women who are owning their sexuality and really getting what they want from their experiences, and those written by men where they reveal some of their inner thinking and emotional context to casual sex as I find that interesting and informative.
- Which were your favorite stories to share? Were any stories difficult to share or write about?
My favourite stories to share were the Hippy/Karma pair of stories, Goodbye Sex and We ARE Sexy People. Hippy/Karma because I still love the hippy story, it was a magical experience, and then Karma adds an interesting postscript. Goodbye Sex I like because the sex part was amazing and then the emotional content was kind of interesting to me, I was feeling confused so it was very cathartic to write that one down. Sexy People I liked sharing because that was a really amazing and new experience, it kind of was the start of a shift in my thinking and my life.
I don’t think any of them were difficult to write about. Thinking hard about it now, there’s only one experience I can think of which I would probably not enjoy writing (it was an awkward one night stand with a young stranger where I felt totally out of my depth). I suppose I had better write that one.
- What kind of effect (positive or negative) has CSP had on you sexuality?
It was part of a process I was going through anyway which involved some other influences, including some of these men I was talking to, some online friends, some sexual partners, where I felt encouraged to explore and talk about some of the things I fantasised about. Reading positive CSP stories about threesomes and same sex encounters, from normal people writing in credible voices, really helped me to make the decision to actively seek out these experiences that I thought I would never actually pursue. It just made them seem more real and acceptable, less fantasy. My stories show this evolution as it all happened since I started submitting stories to CSP. It’s also revealed some of the different models of CNM [consensual non-monogamy] relationships that are out there and that has added to my reconsidering monogamy and the shape of relationships I might want in the future.
- Have any of your partners read or heard the stories? Would you want your partners to read the stories? What about your friends?
Yes, there is one former partner (who features in 3 of the stories) who knows my pseudonym on the site, so I presume he’s read at least some of the stories. We haven’t discussed that much though. With the other stories/partners – there are some who I would love to read the stories, and some who I hope they never stumble across it! I have one old friend (a male) who I now usually communicate with online, and he reads my stories and we talk about that occasionally. I’ve thought about my female friends and I’m conflicted about how I see that. If any one of my friends expressed curiosity about the detail of my sex life I wouldn’t really have a problem with revealing the stories, I’m not ashamed of any of it. But I honestly don’t know how some of my friends would view this and I’m sure for some it would definitely be too much information. I haven’t told any of them about it and I have no plans to.
- Do you feel like CSP provides a community? If not, is there a way we could create more of a community?
Yes definitely, especially for those who come back and share a couple of stories and indicate they’re reading as well. Then there’s a sense that we’re all reading and enjoying each other’s stories and that for most of us these stories are otherwise largely untold. The Forum idea was nice and it was good to connect with a couple of other regular contributors, whose stories I find very thoughtful, but in the end we didn’t have a lot additional to say – our stories speak volumes.
- Has the experience of sharing stories been therapeutic for you in any way?
Yes, it has. In some cases it has helped me resolve confused feelings and put things in context. In other cases it’s been a really positive feeling to share a wonderful experience which until then I had to keep to myself, especially if it was the next day and I was fizzing with excitement but couldn’t tell anyone – this let me get it all out in a writing process. It has made me feel as though my experiences are valid, not unusual and worth talking about.
- What have you learned about yourself as you share these stories?
I’ve learned that although I didn’t give it much thought originally, I have always been someone who is very open to casual sexual experiences. I’ve learnt that sex plays quite an important part in my life, being the basis of many happy and vivid memories. I’ve also learned that even though I thought I had a really healthy and open attitude towards sex, I still had some way to go and perhaps some hidden conflict about whether I had slept with ‘too many’ people. Sharing the stories, being able to be totally honest and open, has really helped to strip away the last vestiges of those hang-ups.
- What’s your take on casual sex?
Sex is a natural and fun part of life and the idea it should be reserved for people who are committed to each other in a traditional framework is to me ridiculous and exclusionary. As long as it’s fun, and not hurting anyone (you or your partner(s)), then go for gold. By not hurting anyone, I guess I mean safe, honest, and respectful.
In terms of emotional hurt, yes, this can happen. It can be confusing emotionally when you get physically intimate with someone. But then what interactions in life don’t come with risk of emotional hurt? You’re no more protected to be in a ‘committed’ relationship; we all know they can come with a whole heap of emotional hurt, too.
In my case, casual sex is a necessity! I’m a much happier person when I’m having some sex, and I think of it as one of my favourite pastimes. I also think it’s significantly easier to meet someone who I like and who is interesting and who I’m sexually attracted to than it is to meet someone who I would be interested in entering into a relationship with, so it’s a no brainer really.
- Has the website changed your thoughts or feelings about casual sex?
Yes, I think it has. Whilst as I said above I never felt that it was wrong or that I should feel guilty about it, that isn’t always the message you get from the world at large. You don’t have to look too far to get some really negative messages about it, especially for women (slut, whore) and basically what’s wrong with you and how inferior it is compared to sex with ‘love’ attached. I think that although I didn’t agree with that view, it still affected my level of comfort with being open about enjoying casual sex and being worried for being judged about it. CSP is a place where every single day you encounter people who are fine with casual sex and it has allowed me to feel more fine about it. I think you can see how I’ve become more comfortable with talking about it if you read some of my older stories compared to newer ones. When I look back I see that I often used euphemisms or polite terminology to describe the sex itself. After reading these stories regularly I began to adopt far more direct terminology – I’m no longer afraid to call it what it is and am happy to celebrate it.
- If there was 1 thing you could do change about how we/the world viewed casual sex, what would that be?
There are still, unbelievably, people who think that sex outside a committed relationship is just wrong. They like to promote this idea that the world is becoming more promiscuous and is going to hell in a hand-basket and ruining things etc. I think that’s rubbish. History is full of stories which show us that humans have always wanted to have sex, and have generally had as much sex as they can get and can get away with. So the first thing I’d like to see is wider acceptance of the idea that sex can just be about having fun and feeling good and it’s nobody else’s business what context that is in.
Another change is that women are being far more open about engaging in casual sex and this seems to be particularly confronting for a lot of people. I think this is partly because of the need to control women (but that’s a far bigger issue than I can get into here) and partly a biology hang-up. In the past men having sex with lots of women was a sound strategy. Not so much for women because it was important for a woman to be able to establish paternity of her offspring to be able to support them and for them to not be bastards. Now we have contraception and DNA testing and women have options and are free to enjoy the experience of sex for no purpose other than fun and pleasure. So what needs to change is the ridiculous double standard applied to men and women which is apparent in dumb myths about women ‘saving themselves’ or being looked at as ‘used’ or somehow spoiled if she is someone who has had a lot of sexual partners, in a way that is never applied to men.
- If you could tell your younger self/the world/other women about sex and sexuality, what would you say?
Well the first thing I’d tell anyone is not to listen too much to anyone else’s advice about how you should experience sex and your sexuality because if CSP shows us one thing, it’s that people are really different. In the end, you are going to know best what’s going to work for you. But if I had to offer any advice to all of the above it would be:
- Know yourself and your body really well. Spend a lot of time figuring out what works for you, play, experiment, get toys, read stuff, look at stuff, find out what turns you on and what gets you off and be able to do that by yourself first. You’ll then have a better chance of being able to get pleasure out of casual encounters.
- Get good at communication and talking about sex – when you can say what you want and what you like and can ask your partner what they want, again, it’s more likely to turn out well
- Take your time and don’t do anything if you’re not sure you want to. If you really want to though, then go for it!
- Don’t waste your time worrying about what anyone else thinks. It’s your body, your life, your choice. And if anyone judges you for it that’s their problem and they’re not worth your time or energy.
- Don’t worry about not being perfect, or having wobbly bits or small tits or a fat arse, or anything like that. It’s far less of an issue than you think it is. Enthusiasm and confidence is super sexy.
- If you’re a woman, you have a lot of power when it comes to casual sex, so use it wisely, by taking the time to choose a partner who is respectful and treats you well. Sex outside a committed relationship doesn’t have to mean cold, distant, uncaring, mechanical sex – that’s no fun.
- The good news is it gets better with age and practice!
Do you read or contribute to CSP on a regular basis? Would you like to be featured on the site? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.