I Spent 3 Years Only Having Casual Sex — Here’s What I Learned

My last serious relationship ended in 2017, and since then I’ve been focused on dating casually and having sex with no strings attached. I’m not going to lie, it’s been a hell of a ride with lots of amazing memories and some not-so-great ones. But it’s helped me grow as a person, figure out what I want and what works for me, and I’ve picked up some important tips along the way.

Good sex comes to those who communicate. When you’re in a serious relationship that’s healthy, your partner is usually very concerned about your own pleasure. Even if they finish first, they still take the time to guide you to your own orgasms and they make sure you’re having a good time throughout. With casual sex, you might be hard-pressed to find someone who’s willing to take the time to get to know your body and how to give you pleasure. You’re just going to have to open your mouth and ask for what you want or need to help you get off.

No one really cares what’s under the hood, just how well you can use it. The funny thing is that I was more conscious and anxious about more body when I was dating seriously. Casual sex helped me get rid of most of the anxiety around my body and undressing for a new partner because I realized that the things I was worried about didn’t matter to my sexual partners. They were already attracted to me and getting to see me naked was the icing on the cake. Not having DD breasts, being short, or lacking curves isn’t going to make them think you’re any less hot.

Establish boundaries and stand by them. Casual sex doesn’t mean that anything goes or that people are allowed to behave however they want just because there’s no commitment involved. You get to make your own rules and prioritize your needs because they come first. Figure out what you need to have in place to make your casual sex encounters as pleasurable as possible. What kind of sex, text, or hangout frequency is going to work for you? Are you okay with seeing or talking to them outside of your sex romps? Is sleeping over allowed? Stuff like that.

Demanding respect and kindness isn’t asking for too much. People tend to be very ungracious and even downright mean to their casual lovers and it’s made to seem like the norm—a sad, but unavoidable consequence of being a booty call. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. Casual sex is not an excuse for you to disrespect your partners or accept the same from them. It’s not okay for them to not respond to your messages, ghost after sex, then show up whenever they want.  You have a right to be mad when they flake on plans without so much as a heads up. If they can’t respect you, treat you right, and show kindness when you need it, they’re not worth sharing your body with

Some people aren’t comfortable with the idea of casual sex. You would think that people would be ecstatic about the prospect of having sex without commitment, but that’s not the case with everyone. It rubs some people off the wrong way. Even if they want exactly the same thing, they would rather pretend like they’re looking for something serious. Some people won’t understand why you aren’t looking for something serious and they might even judge you a bit for “sleeping around”. That’s just their opinions though, and silly and hurtful as they might be, they don’t matter. If casual sex is what you need right now or forever, go for it.

It’s easier to figure out what you like and don’t like. The freedom to have sex with different people means that you get to experience different styles, techniques, and tricks. As you’re broadening your sexual horizon, you’re giving yourself more opportunities to discover things that work for you in the bedroom and the things that don’t do it for you. Armed with this information, you can have better, more satisfying sex as you go along. You even learn new tips to try on your other/future partners.

It makes you more conscious about practicing safe sex. Whether you’re having sex with one partner or multiple partners, you can contract all kinds of STIs if you’re not practicing safe sex. After all, you don’t know what your partner(s) gets up to when you’re not there. Contrary to popular beliefs, casual sex doesn’t involve f*cking everything that works without a care in the world. I found that I was way more concerned and vigilant about using condoms in every encounter and getting tested every month or two when I was having casual sex. I even made sure my regular/long-term sexual partners got tested regularly.

Sometimes you’ll feel things other people don’t. Casual sex isn’t always completely devoid of emotions. It’s normal to care about some of the people you sleep with and form some kind of bond with them. You might even find yourself catching feelings for some of them that they won’t be able to reciprocate. When that happens, don’t take it personally. And don’t put pressure on them to care about you as much as you do them. Take some time to grieve what could have been, then reexamine the relationship’s trajectory so you don’t end up in a similar position again.

You will have your fair share of disappointing sex. Even in committed relationships with partners who know and understand your body, there may still be times when the sex doesn’t quite get the job done. Casual sex isn’t going to be any different. Yes, the thrill and chemistry of being with a new lover can be exhilarating and make sex more exciting. But you need to be prepared for sexual encounters that fall short of your expectations. Don’t let it get you down. Shrug it off as one of those things and keep it moving.

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