Published in the June 28, 2012 issue of Creative Loafing Atlanta.

He was Colombian, with olive skin, dark brown hair, and green eyes. An engineering major, we met my freshman year of college. He was the second person I ever had sex with. Before our clothes even hit the ground, he spoke frankly: “I don’t want a girlfriend.” There was no way I could misunderstand what he was saying. After all, he told me point-blank. (Read: “I don’t want you as my girlfriend.”) Most important, however, his actions were in line with his words. We didn’t go on pseudo-dates, nor did we text or speak on the phone. Aside from parties with friends, and sex here and there, we showed no mutual interest in each other’s lives. It was, in short, easy.

But nowadays, things are different. The older I get, the more I miss my college days when everyone was still respectful as they came into their own, when hearts had yet to be chewed to a bloody pulp, and casual sex was honest. Now casual sex is wedged somewhere between brunch and that show Facebook said you were both attending, most likely with other people but that would be awkward so you just go with each other instead. It’s not that casual sex partners can’t do lunch or attend the same event with or without each other’s company, so much as people can get hurt when the casual sex is veiled behind the term “dating.”

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