Casual sex or the hookup culture hasn’t been a taboo for a long time now. A lot of people decide to be casual and not get involved emotionally, at least for some period of time. However, even if you decide to be casual, there are certain things that you need to pay attention to.

We are talking about relationships where you won’t commit emotionally, but they are still relationships, and there are rules for making them work. After all, you and your partner both want to have a fun, casual sexual relationship, without any strings attached, and for this to work, you both need to stick to some ground rules.

These rules won’t limit your relationship in any way or make it less enjoyable, they will just naturally help you find what you are looking for without getting into problems that surround committed relationships. After all, this is what you are looking to avoid by going casual.

1. Understand the Whole Casual Sex Thing

The first thing you need to do is be clear with yourself and understand what you are getting into. For many people, especially those who have never had casual sex, it can be difficult to get into that mindset and stop acting like they are in a committed relationship.

If you don’t know what you are getting into, you will suffer the consequences, it’s as simple as that. First of all, a lot of people have difficulties separating sex from their emotions and this could lead to you getting attached and not getting that emotional response from the other person. Bear in mind that your sex buddy will not prioritize you, make sacrifices, or try to help you in any way.

Compared to real relationships, hookups are superficial. They are all about sex, having fun, and not getting invested in any serious way. Don’t try to put your trust in your partner or have any expectations from them, as they won’t either.

2. Make Sure that You Are Ready for These Kinds of Relationships

Even when people understand what casual relationships mean and what they are all about, most aren’t really ready for these relationships and simply can’t go through with them. Even if they do, they don’t feel good about it and have a seemingly irrational sense of guilt.

This is why you need to ask yourself the question “Am I ready for this?” You might think that casual sex is easy, as there is no emotional involvement, but it also requires effort to shut down your emotions and don’t let your heart get in the middle of it and end up getting hurt. Sleeping with someone, then continuing your life as usual requires mental fortitude.

In fact, most people you hook up with will have no interest whatsoever in pursuing something more out of it. Even though you are hooking up with someone with a one night stand attitude, you might find them amazing and like them in every possible way but even in such situations, you need to learn to shut down those emotions.

3. Choose the Right Person

In casual sex relationships, finding the right person is as important as in romantic relationships, however, the rules for finding that person are different. In this scenario, you are not looking for a person that will be “the one” and with whom you will be spending most of your time. Instead, you are just looking for someone to have sex with without any strings attached.

This means that you should avoid people who you like for their personal characteristics, friends, or coworkers as things might get weird. The rule of thumb here is to hook up with people you don’t know so well, but still know enough that they don’t pose any threat to you.

Think about that person that you always had something for but you never considered them as you weren’t into casual sex. Well, now you are and those people are your best options. Look for people who attract you sexually and can help you fulfill your sexual fantasies while not feeling embarrassed. If not, there are always dating apps where you can hook up.

4. Always Use Protection

Young couple with condom

If you establish a long-term casual relationship, you might get to that point where you can have sex without protection, but until this happens, ALWAYS makes sure that you have safe and protected sex. In most cases, you will be hooking up with people once or twice and chances are you won’t have the time to sit down and talk about STDs before you jump on each other.

On top of that, a lot of people in the hookup culture have had many partners and this is why the chances of STDs are higher. No matter if you are a guy or a woman, always make sure to have condoms with you in case you hook up with someone.

Trust me, if you are both already in bed and you realize you don’t have protection, chances are you are going to go through with it anyway, so be prepared or you might regret your decision for the rest of your life. After all, a lot of people aren’t even aware that they have STDs themselves and they infect others without any ill intent.

5. Don’t Pretend to Be Someone Else

For many people, getting into the hookup game for the first time, it can be difficult to adjust to the situation and act like themselves. After all, they haven’t done something like this in their lives and it is all new, no matter how much you read about it or talk to your friends about their experiences.

The first instinct for most of us is to try to act like someone else, inspired by the stories we’ve read or heard about. However, this won’t feel good, as you won’t get what you wanted out of the whole situation. Be yourself and do the things you want, while asking for the things you like.

If you feel like you could add a bit of fantasy and role playing, then do it, but don’t do something just because your friends told you to. Don’t lie to people about your experiences and say that it is your first time if they ask you, as they will know what to expect and who knows, you will probably even be interesting to them because of it.

6. Have Manners While Being Animalistic

Hooking up requires a carefully tailored balance between fine manners and respect along with animalistic cravings and impulsive behavior. You need to find the perfect balance between these things as this is how you play the game. You need to show that you are able to restrain yourself and are completely safe, this is the first phase.

The second phase is to be unpredictable, experimental, and exciting in bed. This is what people are looking for in their hookups. Being in this market is not easy, just as it isn’t easy to sustain a romantic relationship. On one hand, you have to be mannered and calm, while on the other, you have to be the complete opposite.

People are looking for excitement, but at the same time, they need to know that you are not some sexual predator and that they can rely on your discretion. Simply put, they need to know that all of this is a part of the game and that you are not taking it too far.

7. Make Your Boundaries and Needs Known

When hooking up with someone for the first time, it can get very unpleasant both for you and them when you both don’t know what the other person likes and where they draw the line. This is how you will break the mood and the whole thing will fall apart and be weird instead of fun.

For people in a relationship, it takes months to get to know each other sexually and here you don’t have that time on your hands. This is why you should have a straightforward approach and talk about how you like to play. This is not a situation where you should be shy, so quickly convey your needs and desires and most importantly, explain where you draw the line.

When you both express your needs and boundaries, you will know how to act and what to expect from your sexual encounter. At the same time, you will be able to enjoy your new experience while having a sexual flow without any interruptions.

8. Keep It Simple

Woman whispering to her friend

As soon as you start overthinking casual sex, you are in trouble. The point of the whole hookup culture is to keep things simple. It’s about sex, not emotions, logic, and relationships. Again, this is something you need to prepare yourself for.

If you start thinking about how the other person is feeling, what they are doing, or how your actions might affect them, then you are doing the whole “casual” thing wrong. The point is not to be stressed about these kinds of things. When you are having bed talk after sex, don’t give too much meaning to what you are saying or what the other person is saying.

Most people overthink even in committed relationships and this carries negative consequences, now imagine what happens when you start stressing yourself out about something that is supposed to be a no-strings-attached adventure. Whenever you find yourself doing detective work, simply give up on it and if you can’t, stop seeing that person.

9. Avoid Talking About Serious Things

After sex, bed talk is a normal thing, even in hookups, but the problem is when our hormones take over and we start talking about things that shouldn’t be in the whole discussion. Things like feelings, likes and dislikes, family, relationships, work, and so on. Of course, sex puts you and your hormones in a positive mood but this doesn’t mean you should break the rules.

If you and your partner find yourself talking about serious things, then you should stop immediately or someone will get emotionally involved. If not, then be prepared to face the consequences. On the other hand, you might continue doing this and see where it leads to, but only after you’ve both agreed that this might mean more than just casual sex.

If not, then it’s pointless and someone might end up getting hurt. When you start having these kinds of conversations after sex, your hormones will get the best of you and you might start thinking that you could go a step further with your relationship, even if the other person doesn’t think the same way.

10. Establish Safe Words

For many people, casual sex is the perfect opportunity to experiment in bed. This also includes a lot of rough and kinky stuff. When it comes to BDSM, not all people have the same boundaries and tolerance, and as we mentioned earlier, there isn’t that much time to get to know each other. In this case, when someone goes too far for their partner’s comfort, it might result in someone being hurt.

This is why it’s a good idea to establish safe words that you can use to let the other person know when they should take it easy, or stop. In some situations, seconds matter and this is why a simple word that has the right meaning can help avoid unpleasant situations.

Establish these words and their meaning before you get into bed and everything will go smoothly. Some of the most common safe words people use are banana, red, apple, pineapple, orange, and so on. You can also figure something out on your own as long as you are both clear on what the word represents.

Setting up these ground rules for casual sex will help you explore this way of dating safely. Keep them in mind before you get into your first fling, as they can be lifesaving when it comes to negative experiences and unwanted situations. They can help you understand yourself but also others and make your hookups enjoyable. Remember to bring protection!

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