Part of the agreement is that This is the number one rule actually.
You two aren’t dating, you don’t get a say on what they do or what they wear or who else they have relationships with. Don’t start going the extra mile by offering to pick up their parents from the airport, which sets up a dynamic that once again replicates dating.
This is an occasion in which normally-lackluster topics like “Where did you grow up? Ask about movies, books, or music if you want, but don’t try to peacock about your Bitcoin investment or SAT scores. Invite someone over and tell them a little too much about red wine flavor profiles, which you learned from You Tube videos. Don’t suggest hangs that can be easily misconstrued as a date—sit-down meals, movies, museums, and the like. that no one outside of my family remembers, in which Linguini accuses Remy (the rat chef) of “getting fancy with the spices.” In familial parlance it’s become shorthand for going overboard out of desperation to do well.
Show them a video of your dog trying to climb a tree to get a squirrel. Casual sex is not the place to try things with which you don’t already have a baseline comfort level.
To me, sex is like basketball: a pleasurable activity you can do with alone or with others, with varying degrees of formality. After four years with an exclusive, committed partner, they usually know at least four to six things that you reliably doing. You’re unafraid to say “one inch to the left.” But sex with the same person, with whom you currently have a minor standoff going over who’s going to call the landlord about the water spot in the ceiling in the kitchen, can also become rote in a way casual sex cannot. None of this hemming and hawing about how it feels better without one—if that’s you, then do yourself a favor and buy some better ones.
Casual hookups can be militantly Sex-Only, or they can involve a drink or two at a nice bar with some Michelob Light-grade conversation. Now, this isn’t an invitation to be boring or taciturn, it’s just a plea for you to keep it easy-breezy. Or, more likely, one person gearing up to want more than casual sex.
Casual sex, of course, can suffer from its newness or lack of intimacy on occasion—we all have lackluster one night stand stories. In the same way that it’s fun to stay in a hotel, even if you have no desire to live there, there’s something inherently sexy about getting down and dirty with a new person. Even though you’ll inevitably end up staying elsewhere from time-to-time, casualness is something that you should exude through your attitude, not your apartment’s cleanliness level, so best to just be prepared. Own at least as many pillows as there are sex participants. Buy 17 different kinds so you can switch it up every night! If you’re having casual sex, accept that condoms will always be part of that equation.
The amenities don’t need to be expensive or luxurious—you’re not opening a spa—but you definitely want your guests to feel comfortable. Casual sex, like a delicate mousse, is deceptively complex to get right, easily ruined by over-mixing, and—most importantly—best enjoyed when it’s light and fluffy.
I’m thinking we do it for about 4-6 months and let slowly let it taper out as we find other people that we’re actually into.” That’s not to discourage you from being open or direct, but to warn you of what casual sex requires.
(Like all sex, it requires full, enthusiastic consent).