A Quick Guide To Easy Casual Sex

1. Set Your Intentions.

If what you want is casual sex, remember that you are looking for casual sex. Think about what that means: physical pleasure without emotional baggage. That's your goal, not the romantic relationship that women are all fabled to want according to stereotypes. I mean, you can still want that -- but for our purposes here, on the Venn Diagram of you getting laid, casual sex and relationship sex are in two circles that don't touch each other.

2. Pick Your Standards

What are you looking for in a casual bed partner? I'm not saying you need to lower your standards, but there are plenty of people I'd consider a casual hookup with even though I'd rather not date them. This isn't a suggestion that you screw anyone who offers -- it's just a reminder that you aren't playing chess with these folks. It's OK to follow your crotch on this one.

3. Respect Your Boundaries

If you head out to the club and you pick out someone you want to bone for the night and then you decide that, actually, you don't think you are going to respect yourself in the morning -- listen to yourself on that one. You can say no. That's not something you give up when you go looking for casual sex. In fact, remember that you are in control of your sexuality on this one.

4. Enjoy Yourself

When you're starting a physical relationship with someone you are dating, sometimes it's easy to worry what they will think about your kinks or your boobs or whatever it is you're insecure about. Casual sex is a hedonistic indulgence. And since you may or may not ever see this person again, who cares if they think you're weird for wanting them to pull your hair? Tell them to pull your hair!

5. Don't Obsess

This is, for some people, the hardest part of the process. Don't think that just because you had a good time, you might be able to turn this into a relationship. Remember your intentions! You're only going to break your own heart if you fixate on this person. Does it happen that one-night stands sometimes turn into relationships? Sure. But don't bank on it.

There are other practical tips -- don't have casual sex with your friends unless you are sure they are also casual; have safer sex, using condoms and dental dams and so on; try to bone on neutral territory (I worry about taking strangers home). That all seems common sensical to me. Where I think our conversation needs to happen is where woman are not generally encouraged to think about sex as a physical action independent of emotional connection.

When I read about this, the article almost inevitably brings up how this is approaching sex like a man. Whatever, gendered assumptions! This is approaching sex like an activity that feels good, that doesn't have to be tied to some idealistic notion of love. I'm not knocking love; there's a reason I signed up on the monogamy train with Ed. (Taxes. No, that's a bad joke.) But there really can be more to sex than love. (The reverse is also true.)

I'm not cynical. I'm not saying romance is dead or anything like that. I'm just saying that sometimes no-strings-attached sex is a good reminder of how good you can feel, especially after a breakup.