Some of us have preferences on how we want to have sex. On one end of the spectrum are those who like sex to occur in committed relationships only. On the other end are those who prefer to meet strangers, have a night (or some period of time) of passion, and have everyone be on their merry way.

I fall somewhere in the middle. I am not keen on long-term relationships, for a variety of reasons mostly of the “ugh, I’m just not that interested in accommodating someone else” theme. The problem is that I also really enjoy sex, but not really with strangers. I like being able to have a quasi-relationship, with some fun banter, sexting, and flirting—just without the whole “OK but you promised you would meet me for dinner with my parents and you’re 40 minutes late and, by the looks of these fucked up text messages, it also appears you are drunk” (guilty).

These no strings attached-but-friendly arrangements are not easy to spot. The bro that looks like he would enjoy this? Turns out, he wants a relationship (reminding me that sexism swings both ways). The guy that seemed totally on board? Went MIA after one night. Facebook tells me he is living in Ohio and those soft-focus photos lead me to believe he is engaged.

Over the years, after much (fun! and sometimes annoying) trial and error, I have learned how to pick the right partners for sexing. Will get back to you on the “relationship” part.

1. Pick a feminist. Whether you’re looking for a manfriend or ladyfriend, pick one that identifies as a feminist. And not some sort of “Um yeah, sure, feminism” feminist—that’s the equivalent of my amigo that said “yeah, totally on the same page, let’s not date, let’s do this sex-no-relationship thing” and that was a big lie. Pick someone that won’t treat you like trash, even subconsciously or unwillingly, simply because you enjoy sex and don’t want an engagement ring out of it. And do the same back—your partner isn’t a piece of meat or an object, even if you’re not romantically involved. (Unless objectification is a game you’re both playing and consent to. In that case, objectify me, sir!)

2. Pick someone who wants the same arrangement as you do. These arrangements are no fun if you’re not fulfilling each other’s desires or you want something different. If you want to date or be exclusive, be clear. If you want something else, also be clear. Just be clear.

3. Pick someone who can communicate. If the person isn’t comfortable with all the “clearness” of point 2, that person might not be the right fit for you. You want to be able to say “I think it is OK for you to sleep with other people, but I thought we were clear we weren’t going to sleep with each other’s friends” or “Yes, I want to have fun sex, but I have a roommate, so we really can’t do it in the kitchen or I will never get that Roommate of the Year award I’ve been coveting.”

4. Pick someone that excites you. Whether you love the post-coital pillow talk, or love how his/her butt looks in those jeans—find someone that gets your mojo going. “Eh, this’ll do” is such a boring way to approach life and sex. Plus, it keeps you semi-off the market for someone who might be a better match.

5. Pick someone you can live without. That all-encompassing Romeo and Juliet stuff is fun for your brain, but man, it is time consuming. I’m not saying pick someone you don’t like or don’t care about at all—I’m saying pick someone who is not indispensable to your happiness or fulfillment. This is the key to happiness, I swear. Even for like, marrieds.

6. Pick someone that wants to know your body. Those reminiscent-of-college jackhammer sessions are over. Pick someone that likes your form, likes sticking things in (or sticking it in things), and is enthusiastic about what you’re enthusiastic about. For example, if you love giving head - maybe you want someone that loves giving too. Or maybe you just want someone that loves taking. In any case, see 2 and 3.

What are your tips for finding a good sex partner? What have been your most successful NSA or quasi-NSA arrangements?

Also, where am I supposed to find this mythical creature? Tips appreciated.


Valerie Burn


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published