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Casual Sex Etiquette

Maintaining the nature of a casual relationship requires strict adherence to casual sex etiquette.

Photo by Alessandro Casagrande

Enter the “friend with benefits” or “casual sex buddy,” era. As the name suggests, this is a friend or acquaintance with whom you occasionally have casual sex. Bearing in mind casual sex etiquette can go a long way to maintaining the nature of a casual relationship.

The Law of Reciprocity

Anyone can cease sexual activities at any time during a sexual encounter. That being said, it is quite rude to allow someone to perform a sex act on you without performing one in return. It is very poor form indeed. Fairness is paramount in any casual sex arrangement. If someone is kind enough to give you an orgasm, you should try to return the favor to the best of your ability. If someone performs oral sex on you, you perform a sex act in return. Failure to observe this rule will lead to inevitable resentment from the unattended party. 

The Law of Non-Disclosure

Photo by Alessandro Casagrande

The temptation to tell your friends about the birthmark shaped like Crimea on her left buttock, or the fact that he enjoys being anally stimulated needs to be kept private. As strong as the urge can be to expound upon the minutia of your sexual encounters, it is highly inadvisable to do so. There are few, more unpleasant arguments between couples than one caused by violation of this rule. Just don't talk about anything related to your casual sex.

The Law of Concealment

Photo by Samantha Gradoville

Even though your friend with benefits is not your girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse, it is still unseemly to actively pursue other lovers in the presence of this person. Nothing fosters resentment more than watching one’s lady friend chatting up some scoundrel with an eyebrow piercing when you were reciprocating her mere hours earlier. Keep in mind that your casual partner is in fact a human being, with the full complement of human emotions. She may not be the love of your life, but she’s yours for the moment, so, in the interest of preserving the delicate bonds of friendship, take reasonable measures to conceal your extracurricular pursuits.

The Law of Jealousy Suppression

It can not be repeated enough that one’s casual sex buddy is not bound by the strictures of a serious relationship. Have you ever tried to convince a friend to sleep with you, only to be rejected because they did not want things to “get weird”? This is some of the weirdness to which they are referring. Do not stalk them Facebook page. Do not call twenty times a day. Nor should you text more than you would text any of your nonsexual associates. Following them to the laundromat, calling at work, bothering  parents, getting a face tattooed on your right hand… are all very bad ideas. If you cannot handle this level of detachment, perhaps casual sex is not for you.

The Law of Happy Endings


Casual sex is a finite phenomenon. Inevitably, the arrangement must either end or change. This fact is, in fact, the greatest deterrent to any casual sex arrangement. The standard arrangement can end in several ways. It can transition into a more traditional relationship, as the participants develop a strong emotional bond due to frequent intercourse. One or both of the participants might find themselves involved with someone else. Whatever the reasons behind the dissolution of your initial agreement, the risk for estrangement is extremely high.

It is important to remember that beyond being lovers, your casual sex buddy is, first and foremost, a friend. Unless you share a telepathic link with your friend, that person cannot read your mind, nor your emotional state. It is important, and one can not overstate the importance of this, that an open and honest dialogue be maintained for the duration of any casual sex partnership. Your friend and lover should know if your feelings have changed, if you want more, or if you are thinking of terminating your coital activities. Fair warning before termination is desirable. If handled correctly, your friendship can outlast the affair.

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