The private details of your Friend With Benefit’s life are often kept quiet. For example, last Tuesday my FWB shared his embarrassing love of Coldplay and his new cider choice (Somersby). Forget about hopes, dreams and fears, we’re talking top level conversation topics here. But where does this leave us? A couple of strangers chatting about the humid weather while he unzips my pants and goes down on me? Awesome.

Not all casual sex is easy, let’s make that clear. Given the inherent “I don’t give a fuck” attitude, a Friends with Benefits (FWB) relationship can turn sideways, fall flat or get a little stressful. Feelings can go stale. Or, the opposite.

Here are a few pointers to keep the FWB relationship healthy with no heart strings attached.

Nobody Cares. Or do they?

It’s human nature. We care about the sexual partners we’re with. No matter how much we try not to, we do and that’s that. So what happens when two people who are actively trying not to care are doing the most intimate “I care about you” act there is?  Casual sex is an oxymoron and no matter how much you make yourself believe that you don’t care, please take a moment to acknowledge that you do care, and that’s not a bad thing either. Just don’t tell them that because you’ll probably scare them off.

That’s So Random! 

Casual sex should not be planned in advance. It’s irregular and spontaneous, which makes the casual fuck so brilliant in its reckless nature. It can happen any time, and whether you’re a go-with-the-flow sort of person or a paint by numbers kind of gal, decisions need to be made fast. Your pleasure truly depends on this. Remember, when the time comes to instigate the meet up, roles and responsibilities are often mixed in a bad cocktail, so do your best to discern what “traits” of the role you want to follow and then keep to it. If you’re the one who typically sends the “What’s up?” text first, continue to instigate. If you’re the one who responds and shows up, show up and get what you want.

Look at the Pattern

Who texted who? What time? 10 a.m., 8 p.m., maybe 4 a.m.? How often are you seeing each other? I’m not asking you to write a thesis here, but do a little research, because if you’re keeping track of your hookups like your “Period Tracker” app, then you’re bound to find a pattern. Once a month, bi-weekly, every other Saturday—are you starting to notice a trend here? YEAH! This is important. If the casual sex is worth continuing, than keep to this schedule, because the second you disrupt it, red flags will be raised and “feelings” will interfere the magic of the “I don’t care” FWB attraction.

Throw Out Your Expectations 

I hate to say it, but don’t expect too much from the person you’re casually sleeping with. You have to do your best not to get too close, and with this, you must respect lower expectations. Not to say that you don’t need to respect them, but do your best to stay flexible. They might say that they’ll see you tonight, but they might not mean it. And that doesn’t mean you have to feel upset when they don’t pull through. Because realistically, there’s nothing holding them to their words. Remember, you’re not in a relationship! Words aren’t rooted in anything beyond sexting and position changes.

What’s Next?

This is tough. Often nothing. And if you’re trying to decide if you should stop seeing this person, or maybe you need a break, a fade is appropriate. The problem with people is that we’re always looking at the next step. When are we going to see each other next? What position will we try? Will we talk about something important? Is there even a “WE” in this equation? These are all great questions to ask, but sincerely—you’ve got to stop. Casual hookups don’t really have a future; they exist in a world of transition, boredom and spontaneity. The future is in the moment, and beyond the orgasm or a wave goodbye, the future is nearsighted. Keep this in mind and do your best not to over-think it. The future with this person is right now: on the couch, or the staircase, maybe the laundry machine, wherever you bang, really.

Final words About Casual Sex

Don’t get me wrong, casual sex is everything and anything you want it to be. But if you’re tumbling head first into something and you don’t want to be hurt, keep these pillars of guidance with you and remember not to over-think. You are the master of your feelings, and whether you like to admit it, emotions are present and the game is the game. Now do yourself a favour and get what you need out of this. You deserve it, lady.