If you’re thinking of bringing casual sex into your life, there are some important ground rules you should know before you do.
Many find hookups with no strings attached to be a satisfying and delightful encounter. Just two people sharing their bodies for a night (or multiple nights) of mutual pleasure. But, can casual sex ever really be casual? It’s difficult to push emotions aside when you’re sharing the most intimate act with someone else.
Casual sex is becoming the norm for a lot of millennials and Gen Z’s. But just like the 1960s Gen X’s before them learned, “friends with benefits” rarely works. Here are 6 ground rules for casual sex and the ultimate reasons why, no matter how hard you try, it rarely works out.
1. Set ground rules
If you want to come out of a casual sex arrangement without getting your feelings involved, you need to set some ground rules with your partner. For example, talking and texting should remain short and sweet.
Don’t cuddle or spend time together after the sexual encounter. This is what spouses do, not who are hooking up.
Find someone you are comfortable with. Even though you shouldn’t be sleeping with someone close, you should still be able to communicate and feel comfortable with your sexual partner. This will help you have the most satisfying encounter possible.
Don’t associate on social media. Seeing pictures and updates of what your hookup is up to throughout the week can start to make you feel involved in their lives.
2. Practice safe sex
Practice safe sex – always! Even if you are with a female partner who is on birth control, use a condom.
Condoms don’t protect you against such things as HPV or herpes, so don’t be afraid to ask your partner questions about what protection they use and when they were last tested.
You don’t know where your partner has been and they don’t know where you’ve been. Don’t let your satisfying encounter be the biggest regret of your life.
3. Be respectful
Remember that this is a casual sex arrangement, not your personal sex toy. You must show respect for the other person’s personal and sexual boundaries.
If they are not into the same kink that you are, move on and do something else together.
Even though you are not in a relationship, try and focus on your partner’s pleasure. Studies show that women are more likely to orgasm with a loving partner than a hookup encounter. This is because a partner is more interested in showing her pleasure, she feels more comfortable with them, and there is open communication.
Knowing this, don’t write her orgasm off! Let her know you’re there to get her off, no matter how long it takes. Practice fun foreplay and do whatever it takes to give her an enjoyable experience.
If you want to avoid “catching feelings” during a hookup, it’s best to part ways directly after the encounter. But be respectful. If it’s 4 A.M., that’s probably not the nicest time to send your bedmate packing.
4. Get tested
Have you ever been tested for an STD? “I practice safe sex!” you may say. This is good, but did you know that unsafe sex includes any act where the penis enters an orifice without a condom on, even if you put a condom on afterward to climax? Oral sex without barriers is also considered unsafe sex.
Getting tested is just good manners in the world of casual sex. Show respect for yourself and your future partner by making you’re clean and ready to have fun.
Here is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends for annual STD testing:
- Chlamydia, Gonorrhea: all who are sexually active should be tested once a year for these STDs.
- Syphilis, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea: The CDC recommends all gay and bisexual males who have multiple or anonymous sexual partners should be tested every 3-6 months.
- HIV: Get tested at least once a year if you practice unsafe sex
5. Put your emotions on hold
For some, it’s easy to have a one-night stand or casual fling and think nothing of it. For others, it’s nearly impossible not to get attached to someone they are giving their body to and being vulnerable with.
The key to casual sex is that there is no relationship involved. In order to stay true to the arrangement, you have to remind yourself that this is just sex. Some people may even avoid kissing with a hookup to avoid the intimacy that comes along with it.
Another great tip for keeping your emotions at bay is to avoid sleeping with a close friend or someone you already have a crush on.
Why casual sex rarely works
Sex is the most intimate thing you can do with someone else. You’re showing vulnerability in its purest form. No matter how much you promise – you swear- you vow to keep your emotions at bay, most people simply aren’t wired that way.
Research shows that the oxytocin released during sex (especially after orgasm) is largely responsible for bonding between sex partners. Sex also heightens emotional intimacy and builds trust.
Therefore, the likelihood that at least one partner is going to get attached to the other is very high.
Which brings us to…
6. …Don’t be afraid to dive in
Casual sex may be good for some, but even in today’s age, many people are simply not built for meaningless hookups.
If you’ve fallen for your casual partner, don’t be afraid to follow your heart and ask them out.
You might see a real future with this person, and you wouldn’t be the only one to fall for a casual sex partner. There are many couples who are now married who started out viewing each other as a one night stand.
If you’re going to play the casual sex game, make sure you set your ground rules. Get tested, be safe, and be respectful to your partner for the evening. Everyone should be having a good time during casual sex, not just out. Even if, let’s be honest, it rarely works out that way.