Casual Sex: 35 Must-Knows to Prepare For It & Have a Hookup with No Regrets

Casual sex is fun as long as there are no feelings involved. Here’s a guide for having casual sex while keeping your mind and heart intact.

Casual Sex

Sex? Amazing. We think that almost everyone can agree to that. But, casual sex, depending on how you feel, could be the best or the worst kind of sex out there. [Read: 18 signs you’re asexual and don’t like getting laid as much as others]

You see, the problem that many people have is that they believe in order to have sex, you need to be in a relationship first, and lots of cultures even encourage marriage before sex! While this kind of situation works for many, it does not work for everyone. 

Lots of people aren’t comfortable committing to someone without knowing if they are sexually compatible. Even more people just like sex, and aren’t interested in having only one sexual partner for their whole lives.

Enter, casual sex. The name itself sounds like an oxymoron. Sex is rarely casual—for many, it’s the most intimate act there is. For this reason, casual sex is not recommended for virgins or those looking for a deeper emotional connection. But really, only you know if it’s any good for you. [Read: Casual relationship – 80 casual dating tips and rules to not get hurt or attached]

What is casual sex?

Now, let’s answer the next question: what is casual sex?

People may describe casual sex as sexual activities that take place outside of a committed relationship. It’s usually between strangers with no intention of developing a romantic connection. Casual sex may refer to various sexual and intimate behaviors, including sexual intercourse.

In short, casual sex is:

1. Sex with no commitment

2. Sex with no intention of childbearing

3. Sex with no intention of marriage

4. Sex with no intention of being monogamous [Read: Fuck buddy – the casual sex guide to hook up & have sex with a friend]

How common is casual sex

The Journal of Sex Research & Carey found that of young adults, 18-25, who had attended at least one year of college:

1. 35% said they engaged in casual sex in the 80s and 90s.

2. 45% said they had casual sex between 2004-2014.

The number of sexual partners and frequency of sexual encounters remained constant between the Millennial and Gen-X groups.

The Millennials weren’t having more sex with more partners than their Gen-X peers but rather felt more casual about it. [Read: 156 sexy, dirty questions to ask a guy & make him horny just listening to you]

Why do people choose to have casual sex?

Why is casual sex so popular? To some, the appeal lies in the uncommitted and easy-going attitudethe letting go of difficult feelings and a chance to play around with sexuality. But sometimes, it’s just fun to have fun with someone new.

Here are some of the most popular reasons people decide to have casual sex over committed relationships. [Read: Fling to relationship – 31 signs you’re moving from something casual to love]

1. They don’t want to be tied down

Many enjoy the feeling of not being committed to anyone. They like the ability to do what they want when they want, and to ask someone to come over according to their own schedule, without complaints about them being too busy.

As long as you always express what you want in the beginning, and if they’re not okay with it, you are free to move along. [Read: Guys & casual relationships – why they like it & what they want from it]

2. It’s the right fit for their life

For some people, casual sex is just the right fit for them at that moment. If you’re busy with your career and education, adding a relationship into that mix seems a bit risky. Hookups allow you to freely carry on with your life without any extra weight, messiness, or time. [Read: How to read the signs your casual relationship is getting serious]

3. They don’t want to commit before they move

Timing-wise, casual sex just seems more ideal. If you’re about to move to a new city or country, there’s no point in getting yourself into a serious relationship. Casual sex allows you to meet new people and have your sexual needs met without tangling yourself in the complicated web that is long-distance dating.

[Read: Long distance relationship – 46 LDR tips to make it work and not screw up]

4. They hate how complicated relationships can get

For those who are struggling with trust issues or finding it difficult to go on dates, casual sex is the best option. Hooking up is a way to sample relationships to see if they fit you, like trying on clothes in a store. If you don’t enjoy it, you can return it without any hassle.

Some may find serious relationships very emotionally draining, and their lives become inextricably tangled. With casual sex, you can discover yourself and focus on yourself a lot more. You can have sex with one person without attachments, or with different people. It’s all up to you.

[Read: 57 rules to have a threesome and the best three-way tips and positions]

The dos and don’ts of casual sex

For the record, there is absolutely nothing wrong with waiting until you are in love to have sex. There is also nothing wrong with being interested in fun, casual sex. But if you’re truly considering having casual hookups, here are the important rules to keep in mind.

1. Be prepared

If you have had sex before, but not casual sex, you need to be aware of what you’re in for. Sleeping with someone just for fun might seem like an ideal situation, but there are still various risks involved, including the obvious risks of STIs and pregnancy. 

Always practice safe sex and come prepared. Own more than one towel and as many pillows as there are sex participants. Make sure you have condoms at home and be selective with the people you choose to have sex with. [Read: Can you have sex with a UTI? 29 must-know tips, signs, and things to look out for]

2. Keep the conversation light

If you’re just having sex with someone for the sake of relieving your frustrations, you don’t need to get to know them on a personal level. Avoid deep conversations, especially if you’re someone who can easily get attached.

3. Stick to sex acts that you’re both comfortable with

Casual sex isn’t the time to try new things. Some say it is, but it’s better to try out new fantasies and kinks with someone you trust and know well. This isn’t the best situation for all of that.

So, keep casual sex as a time to just get your rocks off, and don’t try anything too complicated. [Read: Vanilla sex – what it is and 26 hot ways to go from boring to OMFG in bed]

4. Establish boundaries

There are a whole lot of emotions that can pop up with casual sex and, at first, you might not expect it. So, make sure you set boundaries to protect yourself.

If someone starts to get a little too close, set a boundary for that and back off. You might also have a rule about no kissing on the lips if that feels too intimate to you.

The important thing is to not lie to yourself about what you want. If you agree to a casual sex relationship while secretly wanting more, you can get seriously hurt. [Read: 25 friends with benefits rules to make sure you have a happy ending]

5. Be clear in your expectations

Have this conversation right from the start. If the person you’re about to have casual sex with is looking for something more, it’s not worth it to continue to see if they can handle it. Always be honest and cut ties if necessary.

6. Don’t linger

Don’t be tempted to stay for breakfast or to go out for lunch. Do the deed, get out of there, or get them out of there. It might sound cold, but that’s really what casual sex is.

Don’t kid yourself into thinking that this is more than just two people having sex. Lingering just means you’re complicating things and inviting feelings into the fold. [Read: Socially awkward? 16 little hacks to loosen up and live life]

7. Read the room

The last point brings us very neatly to this one. Read the room and figure out what to do once the romp is over. Do they want you to leave immediately or should you stick around a little in case there’s round two on the horizon?

8. Don’t make it weirdunderstand it’s not serious

It’s just sex. Don’t make it weird by trying to share your life stories or wanting to know more about them. You don’t need to know anything other than when they last had an STI check.

Keep weirdness out of it and just stick to your own pleasure. Learning how to have casual sex really comes down to extracting any emotion or need to connect and just zoning in on total pleasure. What other times in life do you get to do that? [Read: How to be emotionless – 16 ways to lose feelings and gain control]

9. Keep your hands off the keyboard!

Don’t make a habit of texting or emailing them after and steer clear of any mention of them on social media. If you do this, you’re blurring the lines and you’re setting yourself up for a fall.

The only contact you should have if you’re focused on casual sex only is a text to ask them to come over. That’s it.

Pitfalls of casual sex

If you can keep your emotions out of it, casual sex can be super-fulfilling and offers a no-strings-attached way to get your sexual needs met. But that doesn’t mean it comes with no dangers or pitfalls at all.

Let’s check out some of the most common so that you can make an informed decision. [Read: How to control your emotions and become the pinnacle of restraint]

1. Someone always develops emotions

Okay, not always, but mostly. In this case, you have to end it and walk away. If one of you doesn’t want a serious relationship, it’s not going to work.

2. You feel jealousy even when you’re not attached

This is a sign that you’re developing feelings. But it’s also pretty natural too.

Even if you’re just having sex with someone, it might sting just a little if you hear about them having sex with someone else too. Yet, you can’t say or do anything about it because you only have a casual relationship. [Read: Why am I so jealous? The real reasons why we feel it and how to fix it]

3. It’s hard to talk about boundaries

You’re not particularly close to this person, so having a conversation about boundaries can be awkward. Yet, it’s something you need to do if you want to steer clear of problems and keep the arrangement comfortable for both of you.

4. Pinpointing STIs can be hard

Firstly, always practice safe sex to absolutely minimize the chances of STIs spreading in the first place.

But if the worst does happen, figuring out where it came from can be very difficult. You’ll also have to inform all your sexual partners, whether one or more, so they can get tested.

Talk about awkward and embarrassing. [Read: STDs 101 – The most common types and their symptoms]

5. There are a lot of phone numbers to keep track of

If you expand your casual sex arrangement to several people, that’s a lot of communication to juggle. You might end up texting the wrong person and that’s going to be awkward when they turn up at your door.

6. Slut shaming from other women

Unfortunately, not everyone will agree with your choice, and as a woman, it can be even harder. Other women are likely to slut shame you, either to your face or behind your back.

Of course, their opinions shouldn’t matter, but it still stings, right? [Read: Slutty girls – what makes one and 17 reasons to admire and not judge them]

7. Trust is an issue

You simply don’t know enough about the person or people you’re choosing to have casual sex with, so how can you be sure you can trust them?

A huge part of enjoyable sex is being able to trust your partner, and for that reason, you should avoid any type of sex act that requires trust, such as BDSM. [Read: Signs the guy you’re with deserves your trust]

8. It can be difficult to voice your needs

Again, this is down to not knowing them that well and not trusting them. You need a safe and trusting environment to be able to voice your needs, both sexually and otherwise. So, this type of arrangement is often devoid of that.

9. They might have weird fetishes

Now, we’re all for exploring your fantasies and fetishes, but a casual sex arrangement really isn’t the time or place.

If they’ve got some weird fetish that you’re not into, you might feel pressured into trying it. But if you’re not comfortable, don’t do it. [Read: Weird sex – the strangest and wildest sex acts you may want to try]

10. The sex might not be that good

The best type of sex is usually with someone you love and trust, so casual sex is unlikely to be the most amazing sex you’ve ever had in your life.

Perhaps not always, but it is quite possible that your casual hookups won’t blow your mind to the degree you had hoped.

11. You might not be prepared

Casual sex is usually quite spontaneous, so when your ‘special friend’ drops you a text and asks if you’re up for some fun, you might be totally unprepared.

You might not have shaved your legs, your hair might be a greasy mess, and you might simply feel less than your best.

Of course, you can say no, but you might not want to. [Read: How to look sexy and be seductive without trying]

12. You may feel self-conscious about your body

Again, we’re back to trust. If you’re with someone you don’t know well, you might start to feel a little insecure or self-conscious about the body hang-ups you have. We all have them!

This might affect how much you enjoy the sex.

Where to find a casual hookup

Finding someone to have casual sex with is shockingly hard for most people. You will often hear people bitterly bemoaning how hard it is to get someone to sleep with them, and how easy rich people/hot people have it.

This is a misconception—it turns out that finding a casual lay is hard for everyone, and it is always fraught with the potential for rejection.

If casual sex is something you are really interested in, you need to have a thick skin. Your chances of getting an easy lay are dependent on your community’s openness to the idea, the effort you put in, and how much rejection you are willing to deal with. [Read: Horny women – 17 signs to recognize a girl who’s looking for a hookup]

Location matters as well. If you’re in a big city, then you probably have about 300 possible prospects in one night alone.

Now, where do you find those people? Absolutely anywhere. The issue lies in whether or not they are interested in the same thing you are.

1. Online dating

Online dating is either the best or the worst, depending on who you ask. Several sites and apps are available for finding love and are full of people who actively dislike casual hookups. 

That being said, online dating is an easy way to bypass the dating stage in order to get to the hookup stage.

Some people who use online dating still want to find relationships, but you will soon find that most active users are just in it for the sex. [Read: How to date online – 15 tricks successful online daters always use]

As for convenience, online dating cannot be beaten. You can find someone who is a good match for what you are looking for in minutes, without even leaving the comfort of your home.

The added benefit of online dating is that, unlike meeting someone at a bar or the gym, you know what everyone is there for. So start swiping, and find your casual sex buddy! [Read: Best dating apps for a relationship – 18 hottest apps to try in 2023]

2. Bars

As the old saying goes: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. People have been going to bars for hookups for years. These places are perfect for extroverts, and the low lighting combined with the high consumption of alcohol is a surefire recipe for hookups. 

Most people who go to bars are open to meeting new people. The setting is not as intense as it is in clubs. Themed bars are perfect as wellkaraoke bars have lots of girls, while sports bars have lots of guys.

Finding a hookup there is dependent on your ability to give a winning opening line and close the deal before your tab runs out. [Read: One-night stand advice – what it means, 57 secrets to have one, and must-know rules]

But it is important to note that getting totally hammered is not a good way to find a casual hookup. For one thing, no one is at their most attractive when they are fall-down drunk.

For another, alcohol majorly lowers inhibitions *and standards*. This means you might make a choice, or a few choices, that you would never make sober.

3. Clubs

People who hang out in clubs have a tendency to get drunker than those who go to bars. This can often be a problem.

Remember—casual sex and a drink or two go together great. But casual sex and sloppy drunkenness do not. The good thing about being in a club is that your inhibitions disappear faster, which means that your chances of a hookup become higher.

Just make sure everyone is sober enough to give full and enthusiastic consent. [Read: How to be classy – top traits that command respect]

4. Twitter

The modern world is full of places to find potential hookups, including, surprisingly, Twitter. The only catch is that you need to be an active user and not someone who uses it only to find dates. 

It’s easy to say “Hi” by mentioning a person, but you can’t exactly ask them out without letting the whole world know. It’s best if you follow each other, so you can use Direct Messaging instead. You can also read through their tweets and see if they are funny or not.

[Read: The toxic dangers of social media]

5. Facebook

You already post your whole life on Facebook, so why not use it to find some casual sex? This method is convenient but has a few drawbacks. 

When using Facebook to find hookups, you risk divulging your whole life to a random person. They can easily see who your friends are and they can opt to judge you based on everything you’ve ever posted. The good thing is that you can do the same thing. 

When hooking up with strangers, it’s better to know more about them before you do anything. Social media can really help with that. Plus, if you have any mutual friends, you can ask them what they know about that person before you decide to go for it. [Read: How to stalk on social media & find just what you’re looking for]

6. The gym

It might seem like an innocuous place for hookups, but gyms are full of endorphin-pumped people of all ages and genders. 

You can actually smell the raw sexual tension when you enter the building. Most people who come to the gym to work out want to do only that, which is respectable.

But if you are looking for a hookup, a little compliment here and there on someone’s abs might just get you a date for the evening.

Just be sure to back off if it looks like the object of your affection isn’t interested. [Read: How to approach a girl at the gym – 15 creep-free ways to do it right]

7. Weddings

Weddings are wildly romantic, for obvious reasons. Everyone is wearing their best and celebrating love. What could be sexier than that? All you need to do is feel for the right person and express your intentions subtly, but cordially. You’re at a wedding, after all.

Also, this one may seem obvious, but it’s worth double-checking that your wedding hookup isn’t married themselves. As we said, people can get carried away at weddings.

8. The beach

The idea of finding sex at the beach is so popular that they even named a drink after it! Many single people go to the beach expecting a tropical tryst. The best part is that those people probably made their bodies beach-ready in time for their vacation.

Hot people in hot climates always means a chance for something equally steamy. [Read: Sex on the beach – the couple’s guide to have naughty, kinky fun by the water]

9. Hobby groups

Looking for a fun fling, but you’re not much of a drinker? Consider joining a hobby group to look for a hookup. You can join an active hikers group, or if indoor hobbies are more your thing, consider tabletop gaming or trivia. 

People from all walks of life join these kinds of groups, and if none of them are looking for a casual hookup they might know someone who is. 

10. Through friends

One of the best ways to find a casual hookup is through your friends. This is more personal than online dating or picking someone up at a bar because the person comes with the social credit of your friends’ approval. 

Next time you and your friends are going to a party, ask around and see if they know anyone to recommend. You might be surprised! [Read: No strings attached relationship – how to have it, end it, and 35 NSA rules]

Can casual sex lead to love?

This is where we enter murky waters.

Look, we’re not going to lie and say that casual sex never leads to love. Of course, it can, but only sometimes.

It’s never a good idea to go into a hookup because you’re hoping that at some point down the line, you both fall head over heels in love with one another. You’re only asking for heartbreak.

If it happens, it happens, but never expect or hope for it. Anyway, the chances of a grand love coming out of a series of casual sex hookups are very slim.

[Read: 48 sexy secrets to have better sex and explore new things to try in bed]

Regardless of the location, there’s always the off chance that you’ll meet someone you can form sexual chemistry with. Just remember that when you do the deed, stay safe and keep in mind the consequences of casual sex.

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Vinod Srinivas Serai
Vin Serai
Vin Serai is the founder of, and has delved deep into the working of love and relationships for almost two decades. Having dipped his feet in almo...