The Art Of Hooking Up: Dos & Don’ts Of Casual Sex

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Let’s face it: there will never be a Casual Sex for Dummies book or a guide on mastering the act. But with that said, there is an art to making it as painless and enjoyable as possible.

Whether you’re in college or enjoying your time as a young singleton in a new city, there’s likely to be a period where you want to go out on the town and bring some one back for a little night cap. And that is totally fine.

We’re sexual beings, and a little loving never hurt anyone. But if you’re less into lifelong commitments and more into playing all of your options, there are a couple of rules to consider. It’s a hard game to play when other people are involved, so here’s some tips on the dos and don’ts of having casual sex.

DON’T

1. Get attached.

The key to remember is that this is not a relationship. In fact, you got into this “situationship” because you didn’t want that type of commitment. Remind yourself that there are no strings attached and that love or feelings play no factor. It sounds harsh and maybe even a little heartless, but that’s probably why you got into the situation to begin with. Casual sex is based on physical attraction, not personal connections.

2. Have high expectations.

Do not expect to go out for dinner and a movie. Remember that in this particular case, Netflix and chill is the perfect pastime and the time you two spend at home is time well spent. You’re having sex, not dating. So if you want romantic picnics in the park or a fun day of activities, you may want to rethink what you’re doing.

3. Form a routine.

Yes, you may have a healthy sexual appetite and want to feed that appetite regularly, but remember to not get caught up in a schedule. Other than the fact that schedules lead to expectation (which is the no no listed above), it also creates a pattern that suggests that this is more than a simple hook up. You don’t want to form a habit of meeting up every day or every weekend. Instead, space it out. Wait days or weeks at a time before reaching out. Be as spontaneous as possible. This week it might be Friday, then two weeks from now you happen to reach out after a night out with some friends.

4. Be exclusive.

The great thing about casual sex is that you aren’t bound to one person. It is okay to to date other people. Hooking it up with multiple people at the same time isn’t for everyone, but it’s good to know that it can be an option if preferred. And particularly for someone you are casually hooking up with, it may be better to explore your other options to avoid getting attached.

5. Make it personal.

If you can explore your options, so can they. There can’t be any jealousy with casual hook ups. Remember, whatever you can do, they can do. And when it’s all over and done, there can’t be any animosity, regret, or resentment. You both came to fulfill a job and now it’s done.

DO

1. Be honest.

Be honest with yourself and your partner. First, figure out if your ready for a situation like this and if you’re capable of leaving the emotions at the door before you enter. Be straightforward with your reasons for wanting a casual hook up instead of a relationship and relay that to the other person. This isn’t the period of getting to know some one where you may be afraid to reveal some details from your past. So leave everything on the table.

2. Make sure you’re both on the same page.

After you both have figured out what you want from this and have articulated it to one another, make sure you continue to be on the same page. You don’t have to constantly say, “This isn’t a relationship” or “This is just sex.” That can be weird. But make moves to maintain that mutual understanding.

3. Be friends

No, this isn’t a relationship, but it doesn’t have to be a “no friend zone.” You guys can talk before hooking up. You can laugh about stupid things from your day or talk about topics that aren’t related to what will go down minutes later. Being friends makes it easier to convey what you want.

4. Be realistic (timeframe, your feelings)

Be realistic about the timeframe you want to commit to this situation and how much of you’re able to hold out before gaining feelings. Whether you’ve been in one relationship, five, or have just been hooking up, you have an idea of what you can give and what situations suit your personality best. If you see that after three weeks of hooking up with some one, you grow emotionally invested, give yourself a realistic timeframe before moving onto the next.

5. Be strategic

Although casual hook ups don’t need to be planned or picked from a line up, be aware that randomly picking from a large pool can be dangerous. If you want a night of casual sex, that’s fine, but don’t walk up to the first “rando” with the cut body. Play it safe and do your research. This is not to say you have to pick based on personality or their ambition to diminish poverty, but pick with an educated understanding of who this person is and how they would treat you when there is no one else around.

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