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If you want to break out of the rules I described in the first part of this article, and establish new casual sex relationships, here are some tips.

Firstly, prioritize your comfort. Meeting people online can be scary, and you might not have a great connection with everyone you match with. Choose an environment you feel the most comfortable in to meet. This could be meeting up with them for a drink first, or dinner. That gives you some time for you to establish your compatibility and see if you want to pursue something. It also gives you a way to opt out and part ways if you aren’t feeling a connection. If you have them over, you might feel like it’s hard to kick them out when you realize there isn’t any sexual tension. Make sure you find a place where you feel safe and relaxed.

This also can continue on to where you got to hook-up. If you feel more comfortable at your place, let your partner know. Or maybe you prefer not having people in your personal space. Choose a location that you and your partner are both happy with. 

Secondly, communicate. This is the most important one. Be vocal. About what you want during sex and what you want from that person. The point of casual sex is not to have unsatisfying sex, so tell your partner what you want and what makes you feel good. Hook-ups don’t have to be awkward or silent just because you don’t know the person. Make sure you ask what they want – they might be feeling embarrassed as well. Sex should be pleasurable for everyone, so everyone should be talking about how they want to get off and what they want to try out. It’s all about talking before and as you go. You’re going to learn more about your sexual partner as you go but it’s best to have some direction and hear what feels good (or doesn’t feel good).

Let them know if you only want it to be one-time thing, or a continuous casual relationship. It’s important that everyone has the same expectations and is happy with the set up. If you change your mind, maybe you want a more serious and emotional relationship, it’s best to talk with your partner. The more open the lines of communication are, the better it is for everyone. That way everyone is getting exactly what they want out of the relationship. Communication is the best way to break through those ‘hook-up rules’ and establish the set up that you want. 

It’s also best to talk about protection. You want to ensure both you and your partner/s are protected from sexually transmissible infections (STIs), particularly if you are having sex with multiple people. Birth control is also something you need to discuss if pregnancy is a possibility.

Lastly, make your own rules. You don’t have to follow hook-up precedent of the past. If you feel better by knowing your casual sex partner, then get to know them. Ask them if they have siblings or what the name of their family pet was. You can decide the depth of each relationship. The power of a hook up is the control that an individual has. You can choose what you want from each and every sexual partner. Once you aren’t being fulfilled by a partner, you can part ways and move on to someone else. You don’t have to approach casual sex the same way with each sexual partner, it’s truly up to you on how you want to go about it. Hooking up shouldn’t be about feeling uncomfortable, restricted or pressured. 

Navigating dating in modern times can feel overwhelming and like you have to follow certain dating trends and rules. You should only have casual sex if you want to have it. And if you do have it, make sure you and your partner/s are having fun.

Swipe Left to mechanical, awkward and unsatisfying sexual encounters. Swipe Right to openly communicating with your sexual partners. And Super Like great, liberating casual sex.

Joanna is a recent graduate of a Master of Public health and does work in…  

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