5 Signs You’re Ready for Strings-Free Sex
“Casual relationship” doesn’t always mean “bad idea,” provided you know – and are prepared for – what you’re getting into. Though a little more complicated, they can be good (and fun!) if you’re a mature adult capable of separating your sexual needs from your emotional ones.
Here’s what you need to be able to cut the strings.
String Theory #1: A Little Bit of Heartlessness
How will you feel if you hook up and then the phone never rings? If the answer is “destroyed,” you are not a good candidate for strings-free sex. If you’ve been accused of falling in love quickly, or having trouble recovering from breakups (even if you’d only been together a month), casual sex is probably not for you. If you’re very newly single or the kind of person who would feel guilty, it might be a bad idea. Who is a good candidate for strings-free fun? Someone who wants the physical connection, but can do without (for whatever reason) the emotional or mental one.
String Theory #2: Clarity
It’s important to be clear on your expectations (especially if you’re hoping to hook up again). No need to have a heart to heart, but let your fling know that while you both think the other is hot and hope to have a nice time, that there’s not going to be any more to it than that. In other words, be respectful.
String Theory #3: A Good Partner
Take care in sizing up your potential partners. The best flings are with someone who’s not a complete stranger (too hard to trust), but not your best friend (too much at stake if it fails). Exes can be risky. Don’t pick someone you’re actually interested in. If you want to date, do that. If he or she isn’t interested, settling for casual sex is a recipe for disaster. An ideal candidate is someone you know and like, but with whom you don’t see anything serious happening. Just remember that whatever your relationship is like now, it’s going to change.
String Theory #4: Safety
If you’re grown-up enough to be hopping into beds, you’re adult enough to play safely. Always come with protection against both STDs and pregnancy and get tested regularly. But physical safety isn’t all you need to watch out for. Keep tabs on your emotional well-being, too. How are you feeling about things?
String Theory #5: Exit Strategy
Figure out what you’ll do if stronger feelings develop. According to a Michigan State study, only about 10 percent of “friends with benefits” turn into something more. But there’s no harm in testing the waters by saying something like, “Hey, I know we said we’d keep things casual. But we obviously have great chemistry and I’d like to see if there’s more to it than that.” But if your feelings aren’t reciprocated, it’s best to end things as soon as you realize it. It’ll only get more painful later.
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