Scientists Study the Ubiquitous 'Booty Call'

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"There have always been friends who have given each other various kinds of sex: comforting sex, sex for release," she said. "Now this might be sex for pleasure, and that is where the reactions of others get titillated."

"Booty call has the connotation of being on call, like ordering a pizza," said Steinhart.

"With modern technology, potential sex partners can call, text, tweet, or IM, so that the fear of rejection can be reduced by using playful flirting or testing the water," she said. "It's not face to face."

While the booty call is popular among singles in their 20s, it becomes "less interesting" as young people age, according to Pepper Schwartz, a University of Washington sociologist and the chief relationship expert at Perfect Match.com.

"A lot of things are thrilling and then they get repetitive," she said. "We don't have any reason to believe that people are so changed that they don't want to commit into a relationship of deeper connection and have a lifetime connection."

As the young wait longer to marry, the booty call "fills the gap until they are in a financial and personal state where they want to make a commitment," according to Schwartz.

Serious research on sexual behaviors like the booty call are important, she said.

"We care about what molds and influences the hearts and minds of our young people," said Schwartz. "We also worry from a public health perspective about the sex habits of all ages. We need knowledge to make the right recommendations."

Meanwhile, Andrea, who returns to Cal Poly as a junior in the fall, seems to be an anomaly -- her booty call is now her boyfriend.

"I accepted his advances because not only was he was attractive, but he made me laugh," she said. "He was aggressive but did not try to pressure me, which made me feel comfortable and wanted -- and the green eyes didn't hurt."

Now that they are committed, Andrea admits, "the intimacy is more fulfilling."

"It is hard to say it's better than before, because it's always been great," said Andrea. "But knowing that I am not competing with any other girls makes me feel more appreciated."

The mistake many girls make is that they pretend not to care about a long-term relationship, according to Andrea.

"I think that our situation worked out the way it did," she said, "because I never made it seem like I was uninterested in moving forward."

ABC News On Campus reporters Tia Castaneda, Chelsea Smith, Miriam Smith and Melanie Torre contributed to this report.

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