The one-night stand. The booty call. The friend with benefits. Rec sex. Ex sex. Cereal sex. Casual sex comes in all shapes, sizes, flavours, and positions. The world is a carnal carnival, and you’re tall enough to ride all the rides.
So go ahead, take the carousel for a spin. Get soaked on the log flume. Let loose on the drop tower. Feast your eyes on the view from the ferris wheel and turn your world upside down on the Gravitron. You have an unlimited day pass – make the most of it before closing time.
But be careful, because your day at the fun fair comes with warnings. Too many turns on the roller coaster and you might get sick. Informal fornication is a tricky maze to navigate, one that’s seen many a magnificent bastard get hopelessly lost.
You will not be that man. You will learn how to be a stand up guy during a one night stand. You’ll master the art of having no-strings sex without getting tied up. It starts here: with our official D’Marge guide to casual sex.
Successful NSA sex starts long before the clothes are on the floor. It begins at the bar (or the bookstore, or Bumble, or wherever you like to work your magic). Choosing a faulty f*ck-buddy dooms the liaison from day one. Like casual sex itself, the wrong partner comes in many guises. An ex is almost always messy. A close friend or someone you work with carries major risks. A person with feelings for you will be easy to get into bed, but hard to get out of it. Someone with a psycho side (even if it’s hot to you at first) is a bomb waiting to go off. Exercising caution before you do the horizontal hokey pokey can save you worlds of pain down the line.
Establish Ground Rules
You’ve found a willing participant for your experiment in casual shagging – congratulations! If only one sesh between the sheets is in the cards, you’re free to proceed. But if you’re hoping for an ongoing arrangement, your next step is to set the terms. Establish mutually agreed upon ground rules about things like protection protocol, how often you’ll see each other, what kind of activities you’ll engage in (both in bed and out), whether your assignations are a secret, and what happens if feelings change. The clearer everyone is on where they stand and what they want, the less chance there is for your rendezvous to take a wrong turn.
Your mother was right when she said honesty is the best policy (though we’re guessing she wasn’t talking about getting raunchy with a rando from Tinder). Be upfront with your partners about the nature of your tryst. Sure, you might lose some along the way, but you’ll gain points for good behaviour and far fewer stalkers seeking revenge. Remember that being a straight shooter isn’t just about what you say – sometimes it’s about what you don’t say. Don’t lie, don’t use language that could be misconstrued, don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep.
Be Aware Of Your Behaviour
Words are only a piece of the puzzle. There’s also a labyrinth of unspoken stuff you have to stay on top of. Your behaviour should back up what you say and ensure your intentions are clear. Don’t lead a hookup on by: knocking boots on multiple nights in a week, agreeing to meet their family, spending holidays together, communicating too often or in an overly personal way, engaging in romantic activities or talk, or getting too affectionate and cuddly. Basically, don’t do anything that could be construed as boyfriendy.
Own Your Shit
It’s easy to focus on your partner’s (hopefully non-existent) emotions and forget your own, but it’s your job to check your feelings at the door and make sure they stay there. Remind yourself occasionally that this amazing person who is down to get down without strings is not your soulmate. The sex – even if it’s mind-blowing – is just sex. Attachment is for emails. If you do find feelings unexpectedly rearing their complicating heads, refer back to rule number three. Be honest about it and reconsider or restructure the arrangement. Failure to do so is unfair to your f-buddy and likely to end unpleasantly for you.
Be A Gentleman
Casual status is not an excuse to be a dick. Your fling – even if it’s a one-night-only show – deserves to feel respected and safe, and to have just as good a time as you. Honour any rules that have been established and don’t cross any boundaries that have been discussed. Don’t kick her out of your place at the crack of dawn. Don’t sneak out a window at her place in the middle of the night. Share the love (and by love, we mean orgasms). Be magnificent, but not a bastard.
Hookups are hot and heavy, spur-of-the-moment explosions of lust and libido. And yes, part of the appeal of casual sex is its lack of obligations. But as any man who survived grade school sex ed (hint: all of you) knows, health matters. Be upfront about whether you’re both sleeping with other people. Have a chat about the last time you each got tested. Find out if she’s on birth control. And regardless of the answers to all of those questions, wrap it up. Every time.
Know When To End It
Even the best casual sex doesn’t last forever. The spark eventually fades, or the situation explodes in your face, or you fall in love and suddenly things aren’t so casual anymore. Sex is unpredictable, and that’s part of why it’s so much fun. Accept that a hookup is, by definition, transient. It’s destined to end from the moment it starts. Learn to recognise the signs that the time has arrived, and when it does, let go with grace and your dignity intact. Then return to rule one and start again.