Casual sex has been much explored in psychological literature, but most of the data captured by her research team—and most of the other experimental research she had encountered—had been taken from college students.(This is a common problem in psychological research: students are a convenient population for researchers.) There has been the occasional nationally representative survey, but rigorous data on other subsets of the population is sparse.

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The people who share stories range from teens to retirees (Vrangalova’s oldest participants are in their seventies), and include city dwellers and suburbanites, graduate-level-educated professionals (about a quarter of the sample) and people who never finished high school (another quarter).

The majority of participants aren’t particularly religious, although a little under a third do identify as at least “somewhat” religious.

Vrangalova, who is thirty-four, with a dynamic face framed by thick-rimmed glasses, has spent the past decade researching human sexuality, and, in particular, the kinds of sexual encounters that occur outside the norms of committed relationships.

The Web site she started in 2014, casualsexproject.com, began as a small endeavor fuelled by personal referrals, but has since grown to approximately five thousand visitors a day, most of whom arrive at the site through organic Internet searches or referrals through articles and social media.

Most are white, though there are also blacks, Latinos, and other racial and ethnic groups.

Initially, contributions were about sixty-per-cent female, but now they’re seventy-per-cent male.

The Casual Sex Project was born of Vrangalova’s frustration with this and other prevalent narratives about casual sex.

“One thing that was bothering me is the lack of diversity in discussions of casual sex,” Vrangalova told me in the café.

“It’s always portrayed as something college students do.

And it’s almost always seen in a negative light, as something that harms women.”It was not the first time Vrangalova had wanted to broaden a limited conversation.

To date, there have been some twenty-two hundred submissions, about evenly split between genders, each detailing the kinds of habits that, when spelled out, can occasionally alert Internet security filters. Does it benefit us in any way—or, perhaps, might it harm us? Up to eighty per cent of college students report engaging in sexual acts outside committed relationships—a figure that is usually cast as the result of increasingly lax social mores, a proliferation of alcohol-fuelled parties, and a potentially violent frat culture.