By JULIET ROWAN
Commitment? No thanks, we're on our OE. Young New Zealanders are placing more ads for casual sex than ordinary dates on a website for expat colonials in London.
The site, Gumtree.com, made news in London's Evening Standard for the proclivities of young expat New Zealanders, Australians and South Africans.
Last month 3500 ads were posted on the site's "casual relationships" section as opposed to 2400 in the "dating" section.
Casual relationships is the third most popular section after the site's two flatmate-wanted sections, "double rooms north of the River Thames" and "double rooms south of the River Thames".
And the site's popularity shows no sign of waning, with the total number of ads increasing from 25,000 in February 2003 to 60,000 last month.
A 27-year-old Wellington woman who has been in London 13 months and posted two casual relationship ads says the ads' frankness means neither she nor the men who reply to her are under any illusions.
The woman arranged meetings with 10 men after receiving about 100 replies to the ads.
She says being overseas gives her courage to meet men for casual dates and sex.
Gumtree founder Michael Pennington says people who go overseas are looking for adventure and are therefore more inclined to try casual sex.
"People try to experience life's rich tapestry, and love and sex, or maybe just sex, is part of that."
Gumtree has also launched three New Zealand sites, two with casual relationship sections.
Dr Philip Culbertson, a psychotherapist and theology lecturer at Auckland University, says people are more likely to seek casual sex while overseas.
While sex with strangers is nothing new, the growing popularity of looking for casual sex partners online fits patterns of contemporary consumerism.
By JULIET ROWAN