I was interested to read an article in this week's Grazia magazine about the different meanings of dating. Dating can either mean the search for true love and a meaningful relationship, or 'dating' is another term for a quick fling or casual sexual encounter. Either can work, but probably only if both partners want the same thing. Laura Jane Williams ends her article by saying that she's not after casual and would prefer another night alone if that's the alternative, and she wishes that part of the 'dating' game was a little different.
There's always the thinking that a casual, sexual relationship might work until the right one comes along or in the hope that the other person will fall in love with them. But sex is both an emotional and a physical experience, so almost without fail one person gets attached and hurt in the end. According to research a fling rarely, if ever, leads to something more meaningful.
At the end of the day, there is no undisputed right or wrong answer when it comes to casual sex and its effects on psychological wellbeing. For some people, it is probably fine, and for others it is probably not. The key is to know which type of 'dating' you are doing.
Here's a link to the full Grazia article.