How to make casual sex meaningful


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What is casual sex? What makes casual sex casual? Is it possible to have casual sex and still be considerate of the person you’re having casual sex with?

The first two questions can sometimes be difficult to answer and may change person to person, but the answer to the third question should always be a resounding yes, of course, absolutely! Not only is it possible to be considerate of the person you’re having casual sex with, but it’s also necessary and important.

And while we hope you’re reading this and thinking, “duh, of course it is,” putting thoughts into action is more easily said than done. So, with the hope of infusing a bit more kindness into everyone’s (casual) sex lives, we shared a few ways to be better to your sexual partners over on our Instagram account.

Here’s what we said:

Casual sex doesn't have to be heartless! An occasional act of kindness can strengthen the connection between you and your fling (and potentially lead to better sex 😉). Here are a few ideas: ⁠

  1. Make their bed before you leave⁠

  2. Let them know you're looking forward to seeing them⁠

  3. Get them a Lyft to your place or a Lyft home⁠

  4. Bring them their fav snack⁠

  5. Check-in with them about their wants, needs, and feelings⁠

  6. Ask them about their day⁠

  7. Offer them coffee in the morning⁠ if they sleep over

  8. Send them a song, meme, or article you think they'll like⁠

We can usually count on our Instagram community to come through in the comments section, and wow, did they deliver this time. After we shared that post, a beautiful discussion started taking place.

These are a few of our favorite responses:

I would love if someone did this with me and we had a mutual and verbal understanding that where we set our expectations prior to starting is as far as we will go. But also feels trusting and open enough with me to talk to me when they're ready to stop or to explore something more long term.

To do this in a “good” way without hurting anyone's feelings you need to set really good boundaries, and be aware of your own feelings and be super clear about why you want to do this for the other person, I mean being super honest with yourself first and then with the other person.

Casual sex IS a relationship. I don’t know why people find this so weird. I think it’s rad to have open communication and be kind to your casual hook-up. Anyone you interact with more than once, whether sexual or platonic... is a relationship. And don’t we all want healthy relationships? Regardless of what you “are?”

The idea that casual sex is its own special type of relationship is a powerful one, not only because it’s true, but because it requires you to consider your role in the situation. Sure, it may not be a capital “R” relationship, but casual sex is never one-sided. There are two (or three, or four) people involved, and in order to make space for the kindness we were talking about, it’s important that everyone is on the same page.

Thinking about exploring casual sex? Here are a few things to consider:

Be intentional

Ok, we’re not saying you need to journal about this or meditate before heading out to find a hook-up (but we’re not saying not to either!). However, it’s important you know what you want before you go looking for it. And, if you happen to find yourself in a casual sex relationship, without intending to, pause and check in with yourself. Try asking yourself increasingly specific questions, and start big! Moving from, “Is this something I really want?” to “How do I feel in my body” or “How much energy am I expending” can help you determine if it’s really for you. It can, and should, be fun and fulfilling!

Ask questions upfront

To put things quite simply, you’ve got to be on the same page as the person you’re having sex with. Not just in the same book, not only in the same chapter, but on the exact same page. Not only will this help to prevent hurt feelings and crossed signals in the long run, but it’ll also probably lead to better, more enjoyable sex too. You don’t need to give your sexual partners a pop quiz on night one, but if you feel like this is going to be a recurring situation, it’s important everyone knows what’s up. It’s as easy as, “So what are you looking for? This is what I’m looking for.” See? Not so hard.

Give yourself space to change your mind

Maybe you decided casual sex isn’t for you, or maybe you decided you’re not interested in casual sex with this particular partner anymore. Or, maybe you thought you couldn’t have casual sex and have realized it’s actually just what you need right now. Whichever side of casual sex you find yourself on, never forget that you’re the first person you need to take care of. That doesn’t mean not caring for the other person, it just means prioritizing your own emotional and physical needs. In fact, in advocating for yourself, you’ll likely end up doing more good for your partners than you would have if you were ignoring your feelings in the first place.

Don’t confuse casual sex for thoughtless, disconnected sex. Think of it as an opportunity to know yourself more deeply. And, if you do decide it’s for you, then use it as a chance to put a little more goodness out into the world.

Casual sex isn’t for everyone. For every person on Instagram who said they were excited to infuse some of our tips into their casual sex routines, there was another who said they wouldn’t be able to engage in that kind of relationship without catching serious feelings. And you know what? That’s exactly the point of thinking about these things deeply. Don’t confuse casual sex for thoughtless, disconnected sex. Think of it as an opportunity to know yourself more deeply. And, if you do decide it’s for you, then use it as a chance to put a little more goodness out into the world. And if you’ve ideas of your own, go on and jump back into that Instagram post. Keeping these conversations going is what it’s all about!

Want to hear what kind, healthy, hot casual sex sounds like in practice? Check out these stories on the Dipsea app!

Listen, light yourself up.

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