There are two kinds of people out there when it comes to the world of casual sex. The first kind thinks it’s a no-limits free-for-all where people do what they want when they want. Then there are those who understand having a fulfilling casual sex life actually does involve following rules – just not the ones the rest of society thinks people should follow.
As exciting as it can be to take someone new to bed as often as you like, the very newness of the situation can make it fall flat, leaving everyone disappointed. The key to the hot, satisfying casual sex encounters you’re looking for lies in understanding the unspoken rules of the game. Here are a few to keep in mind.
1. Keep casual hookups fun and light-hearted.
Contrary to what some believe, you don’t have to keep your interactions strictly sexual when you’re with a potential casual sex partner. Yes, some people do prefer things that way. But there’s nothing wrong with enjoying some light socializing over a couple of beers before you go to bed or a bit of pillow talk after you’ve done the deed.
Hookup etiquette dictates that you keep things fun and easy. Think small talk and light conversation topics that don’t ask too much of the people involved. A casual sex date or meetup isn’t the time to vent about your boss, talk about the latest round of drama in your family, or brag about how well you’re doing with your crypto catalog. Save those conversations for your friends.
2. Stay perpetually prepared.
If you’ve been having casual sex long, then you know that part of the fun is how spontaneous some hookups can be. After all, you never know when a flirtatious conversation with a stranger or an unexpected encounter could find you right in the middle of some seriously passionate sex not long afterward. Still, while you don’t need to plan out every detail of your next sexual encounter, thinking ahead a bit is the key to ensuring your encounters are everything you want them to be.
Keep your living space – especially the bedroom – clean enough that you’re prepared to have some sexy company at a moment’s notice. Stay stocked up on condoms, and always carry a couple with you in case you wind up getting it on away from home. You’ll be glad you didn’t have to worry about those things at a moment’s notice the next time an opportunity presents itself.
3. Don’t go overboard with the experimentation.
Part of the beauty of casual hookups is it can play out any way you’d like it to, as there are no commitments or obligations to worry about. If you want to try a new persona that’s completely different from your usual sexual self, you can go for it. And it definitely pays to be open to just about anything when it comes to taking the casual route. Just be careful not to get too carried away, as it can easily backfire.
For example, telling your date you’ve always wanted to have sex on the kitchen floor or in a car and going for it is one thing. Deciding to launch yourself into the world of full-scale sadomasochism, on the other hand, is not such a hot idea. In other words, it’s great to test your limits and be open to new experiences when you’re hooking up. Just don’t wind up in over your head.
4. Learn how to read the situation.
Although you will occasionally meet casual sex partners who are alarmingly direct about what they do and don’t want from you, most people follow hook up rules that are more subtle than that. People don’t walk up cold to someone they’re attracted to and ask them to come home with them or spend the next six months as a booty call buddy. They flirt, they chat, they mention they’re not looking for anything serious at some point, and they see what happens.
The same thing happens when a casual sex arrangement that might be ongoing comes to an end. Sometimes the other person will sit you down for a chat to definitively let you know what’s going on, but they might also just plain stop taking your calls and expect you to figure it out on your own. So you definitely need to learn how to read the room.
The downside of connections that are free, easy, and fancy-free is that there might not always be a lot of clarity as far as exactly what’s going on. And if you wind up in more of a friends-with-benefits situation, there will always be awkward life situations that call for a little creativity. Just play things by ear and develop your instincts.
5. Don’t make hookups weird.
The whole point of casual sex is to enjoy the best of sex – the passion, the fun, and the carefree nature of it all – without commitments, expectations, and responsibilities you might not want or be ready for. That means you really need to keep it casual and not make things needlessly weird.
In other words, you shouldn’t be stalking the person’s social media to see what they’re up to or giving them feedback on how they should be dressing. Don’t get possessive or act like you have a right to know who else they’re seeing. Don’t tell all your friends or family members about the person, either. Remember, you’re not dating.
And be prepared to reinforce your boundaries if the other person tries to cross them or seems to be developing deeper feelings, as well. When you have sex with someone, especially if you decide to hook up on an ongoing basis, those things can happen. But they need to handled when and if they do, so things don’t get weird and people don’t wind up hurt.
Naturally, these aren’t the only unspoken golden rules of casual sex out there, but they’re definitely some good basics to start with. Stay intuitive, and you’ll have no trouble picking up the rest as you go along.