No Strings Attached Relationship: How to Have It, End It & 35 NSA Rules

Many people are curious about NSA sex, are you? If so, it’s important to know more about a no strings attached relationship before you get into one! 

no strings attached relationship

Many people love the idea of a no strings attached relationship. All the fun with no hassles in being tied down? It sounds idyllic! But, while NSA sex is a little more complicated than it sounds, it can be a great choice in some situations.

Perhaps you’ve just come out of a long distance relationship. Maybe you’re just not ready to be committed to someone. It’s possible that the very idea of commitment terrifies the life out of you.

Whatever your reasons, if the idea of a committed relationship brings you out in cold sweats, there is the option of trying an NSA relationship instead.

What is an NSA relationship?

NSA is just an acronym for “no strings attached.” That basically means that you aren’t in an actual committed relationship because you don’t promise each other anything.

There are no grand gestures of love, you don’t promise to be faithful, and there is no expectation of you to be, unless you put that idea forward and agree on it. 

NSA relationships are basically about having fun without having to be tied to anyone. It’s about sex, but it’s also about having a companion too. An NSA relationship is often a “friends with benefit” kind of deal. [Read: How to start a friends with benefits relationship]

Are no strings attached relationships good for you?

If you’re a big believer in love and fairy tales, or if you like the whole idea of rescuing someone or being romantically rescued by someone, then NSA relationships aren’t for you.

You may just end up falling in love with your casual sex buddy, even if they have no intention of dating you seriously. 

But, if you can keep your emotions firmly out of it, NSA sex might be a great way for you to enjoy yourself and build your confidence again if you’ve just come out of a rough breakup. [Read: The casual relationship rules to keep your fling just casual]

Here are the 6 best scenarios for a no strings attached affair.

1. You’ve had a bad breakup and just want to have some fun.

2. You don’t have time for a committed relationship.

3. You love your space, but you love sex too!

4. You want to stay single and avoid commitments for a while. [Read: Fear of commitment – 47 signs, why’s and ways to get over your phobia]

5. There are so many cute and sexy people all around you that you just don’t want to be tied down to a single person.

6. You’ve been in a long term relationship, and just want to explore a few fun opportunities before settling down again.

No strings attached relationships work only when your mind has the ability to disassociate love from sex. But unfortunately, it’s not something most of us can do. As humans, we often end up emotionally attaching ourselves when we have frequent sex with a person.

Before you consider NSA sex, don’t lie to yourself. Don’t try to convince yourself that you can enjoy sex with someone, get intimate and have personal conversations with them, and still stop yourself from falling in love with them. If you can’t, don’t do it. [Read: The worst people you can have a no strings attached relationship with!]

Things to remember for successful no strings attached sex

If you’re interested in hooking up with someone for a no strings attached relationship, here are a few things you need to consider before and during.

1. Make sure you’re emotionally ready

Do not go into a no strings attached relationship if you’re having problems getting over your ex or you had previous feelings for your NSA relationship partner. It’s going to be a mess.

Wait, let’s correct ourselves, your partner will be fine, it’s actually you that’ll be a mess. So, before you get yourself into some emotional cobweb, really think about it. Are you ready? [Read: Sleeping with a friend – A no-regrets guide to doing it right]

2. NSA sex with good friends often turns sour

Don’t have no strings attached sex with a good friend of yours. If things do go downhill someday, you may jeopardize the relationship. As friends, both of you may talk and interact often. So you’re mixing emotional intimacy with sex, which is a perfect concoction for a romantic relationship.

One of you may fall for the other person, and the arrangement could just confuse both of you. And, you may end up losing your friendship. [Read: The sneaky ways to accidentally kiss a friend and get away with it!]

3. Let’s reiterate – Don’t get into a no strings attached relationship with someone you have feelings for!

Don’t have casual no strings attached sex with someone you’re in love with, or someone you have deep feelings for. It may just be your excuse to get closer to them *and hurt yourself eventually*.

Many people go into NSA sex with someone they secretly like in the hopes that they’ll fall in love with them too and they’ll live happily ever after. It’s a recipe for heartbreak – don’t do it!

4. Always practice safe sex

Always have protected sex with a no strings attached partner. There’s no way you can ever know just how many others this person is sleeping with at the same time. [Read: How to have safe sex in every single way it is possible to]

5. Honesty is always the best policy

Always be truthful and don’t try to sugarcoat your words and your feelings. If it’s not working out, it’s not. It’s alright to be selfish and walk away when you feel like it.

Have a conversation with your partner, so both of you know where this arrangement is going. It’s just casual sex and nothing more. [Read: 25 friends with benefits rules you definitely need to remember]

6. Don’t sleep with a random stranger

If you’ve hooked up with someone, that’s acceptable. But if you want to turn this person into a no strings attached partner, always make sure you know the person better.

Get to know them over a few dates or conversations, and then initiate the no strings attached scenario.

7. Know that NSA relationships always end

Don’t hate yourself for it, or hate your partner. No strings attached relationships end all the time, once one of you gets bored or wants to move on. Have fun while it lasts, but don’t get attached to it.

8. Don’t screw an ex

You can’t have no strings attached sex with an ex, because it just defeats the purpose of avoiding emotional attachments. Of course, it may work for a while, but one of you may end up falling in love.

If you really want to screw your ex again, then you can try this arrangement with them for a few weeks, and back away after that *or you may end up falling in love*. [Read: Things you need to know before getting back with an ex for sex]

9. NSA sex can cure heartbreak

You’re going to be having a lot of fun with your NSA partner, and odds are, it may help you heal faster and help you overcome your feelings for your ex sooner too.

But don’t look at NSA sex as a replacement for your ex. It’ll only make you feel empty and used. Instead, look at it as something fun and recreational you’re doing to keep your mind occupied. [Read: Rebound relationship – 42 rules, signs and how to have fun in one]

10. Make pleasure your priority

Be a bit selfish, and only worry about how much fun you’re having. If you spend too much time thinking about dressing up, trying to look good for your sex buddy, or wondering what your sex buddy would think about your behavior and appearance, you may end up falling for them.

Focus on having fun, and when you’re sexually satiated, leave! [Read: The complete step-by-step guide to turn a friend into a sex buddy!]

11. Don’t get carried away

If you have fun having sex with a casual partner, that’s good. But don’t get carried away. Just because you’re an attractive hottie who can get anyone to sleep with you doesn’t mean you should get carried away and sleep with anyone who tries to get your attention.

Test the waters with one partner, wait a few months and see if you like it. If you find yourself sleeping with more than one person in a night, you probably need to slow down and take control of your life.

12. Cut the relationship the minute you start getting emotionally attached 

This one is going to be really hard, but you need to make a promise to yourself that if you start developing feelings, you’ll stop the NSA relationship.

Tell your partner you’re developing feelings so they’ll understand why you’re ending it. [Read: 25 friends with benefits rules to remember]

13. Keep your expectations nice and low

This isn’t a real relationship. It’s a relationship but not one in which people want to invest their emotions in. So, don’t expect them to text you during the day, make small talk, or buy flowers for Valentine’s Day.

They’re just in it for sex, so just expect that. Expect them to text you at night and expect those texts to revolve around one thing: sex.

14. Set some boundaries and stick to them

You need to set boundaries right at the beginning of the relationship. Boundaries create a protective barrier for your emotions. They can be anything.

For example, no texting each other unless it’s for sex or the minute you have feelings, you have to end it. These are boundaries crucial for protecting yourself.

15. Explore your sexual limits

Do the things you were too scared to do before. Have a three way, get some kinks in, use sex toys—why not? Why not explore your sexuality with someone you don’t have to commit to? Plus, you can have all those awkward moments with them so that you won’t have it with someone you like.

But of course, never feel bound to try something you’re not comfortable with. That should go without saying. [Read: Too much sex? 15 signs to know if your sex life is well balanced]

16. Don’t hang out afterward

No sleeping over unless you’re physically unable to move. You don’t need to wake up beside them in the morning, that’s not going to help anyone. Once you’re done, you get your clothes on and leave.

Cuddling is not necessary. Once you cuddle, you start talking, and that’s when it all goes downhill. You have a bed at home, go sleep on that.

It might sound harsh, but it’s necessary to stop you from developing feelings. Some people in NSA relationships hang out at events together without the commitment, and that’s fine. They don’t cuddle and sleep in the same bed all night – that’s something completely different. [Read: Casual sex – How to find the hookup of your dreams]

17. Have a backup plan

What if you do develop feelings for them? What then? Okay, you know you have to leave, but also have a backup plan. Have a plan of how you’re going to talk to them and end it, and the steps you’re going to take to move on from your NSA relationship. It’s needed.

In addition, if you have a backup plan, then you’re emotionally preparing yourself, which is essential for you in moving on. [Read: Friends with benefits – 16 annoyances of long-term FWB’s]

18. You don’t need to meet their friends and family

Don’t meet their friends, and definitely do not meet their family. There’s no need. Once you meet their family and friends, you’ll start seeing how great of a person they are, and then your mind goes down a dangerous road.

So, instead, just see them when you need to—that’ll be for sex. And only sex.

19. Keep your secrets to yourself

They’re called secrets for a reason, right? So, don’t start opening up to them. They’re not the person you should be talking to. Not because they’re stupid or an a-hole, but because you’re only sleeping with them.

Once you open up, you cross a personal boundary. [Read: 12 booty call moves that may seem like true love]

20. Reserve the right to refuse anything you want

If you don’t want to do something, say no. You’re not obligated to, and they’re really nothing to you. Even if they were your partner, you can always say no. If you’re not in the mood and they ask to hang out, say no.

They won’t stop sleeping with you because you’re not in the mood. And if they do, well, they’re an idiot. If you don’t feel like it, you don’t have to do it.

21. Avoid becoming territorial

If you see your NSA walking down the street with another person, you can’t be upset. Sure, you may be slightly jealous, but wash that off. You’re in a no strings attached relationship, they’re free to be with whoever they want, and so are you.

If you’re not enjoying the arrangement, then change it. You have the power. [Read: Jealousy vs envy – How to tell them apart when they feel the same]

22. Tread very carefully on social media

If you are friends on Facebook, make sure you are careful with what you’re posting. Scratch that, post whatever you want, but you should limit their access to what they can see.

They don’t need to know your entire world, and you don’t need to know theirs. Remember: keep it in the bedroom.

23. Don’t do it if you don’t want to

If this is something you feel you have to try out, well, don’t feel so pressured. This is a type of relationship that some enjoy, and others realize it isn’t for them. Do what you feel is right to YOU, and not what’s trending in Hollywood. [Read: How to say no – 15 ways to reason politely, stop pleasing, and feel kickass]

24. Understand that they aren’t your friend

Your NSA sex partner is not a friend. They’re not around for you to share the details of your day. When your NSA relationship ends, you won’t be hanging out. They’re not the person you call when you need help.

See? Not a friend.

25. Don’t send mixed signals

There’s nothing wrong with flirting with your NSA partner. That’s a part of foreplay and sexual intercourse. However, don’t try to hold their hand in public or text them, asking them if they want to see a movie.

Remember, this isn’t an actual relationship, you’re in it just for the hookup. So, there shouldn’t be any mixed signals, because you’re not supposed to invest any emotions into it. [Read: 14 things you have to teach your newbie NSA partner]

26. Don’t squash your other options

You’re only having NSA sex, so, that means you can date other people. Actually, we recommend that you do so. Don’t feel that you have to put your dating life on hold because you’re having NSA sex.
In fact, we would see an NSA relationship as a healthy pause from serious dating.

So, it’s okay to take a break from the dating scene in this way, however, don’t spend too long on that road because you won’t be fulfilling your emotional needs. [Read: Subtle signs your fling thing is turning into something more]

27. Keep it on the down low

Don’t make your NSA sex public. Keep it on the down low. No one needs to know that you’re in a no-strings-attached relationship. It’s not going to last forever, so just keep this information to yourself and your best friends, if you really want to tell them.

28. Take everything with you

Don’t leave your toothbrush or underwear at their house. It’s not cute, and it’s clearly not following the NSA sex protocol. Sure, they’re going to tell you that you left your things at their place, but this isn’t an invitation for breakfast or bonding time.

Keep it NSA in nature and take everything with you. [Read: Most common one night stand mistakes]

29. No date nights!

No movie night, no dinners, no walks on the beach – no, no, no! This isn’t a date, it’s sex. Nothing personal will happen unless it’s evolved around taking off your clothes.

You have to remember, it’s only about sex. If you’re having a problem remembering this, well, then maybe this isn’t the type of relationship you need.

30. Stay on track

You need to make sure that the NSA sex is staying on track and giving you what you want. The minute you feel that you’re not getting what you need out of it – end it. It’s not worth it.

There are plenty of other people who will have sex with you, so if this person isn’t the right one, go find another. If you feel that your partner is developing feelings, if they don’t bring it up, then you have to. [Read: Untold sex secrets you need to know]

How to proposition someone for a no strings attached relationship

There are many ways to find a no strings attached partner. It all starts with a flirty glance and a naughty conversation.

Drops hints to this sexy someone that you like them, and yet make it clear that you don’t want to date them. After all, if you just tell someone that you like them, they’d assume you want a serious relationship.

Making it clear that you aren’t interested in a relationship first makes it seem like it’s your lifestyle choice for the moment. But if you tell someone that you find them attractive, and then tell them that you’re just looking for fun, it would appear like you’re making a proposition for free sex! [Read: 5 tips to pick the right guy and 19 ways to hook up with him for sex]

Then, when you do start flirting with them, they’d start flirting back with you if they like the idea of having a no strings attached relationship with you.

So now that you know how to make your intentions clear without making the whole deal appear like a sleazy proposition, here are all the ways to find yourself a perfect NSA sex buddy.

1. Flirt with casual friends *not close ones*

You may have a few acquaintances or friends you know. They may be on friendly terms but they may not be friends you hang out with often.

Call them up or start texting them occasionally over a few days. And once you start flirting with them, you can meet up a few times and see where it goes. [Read: How to make a sexy booty call to a friend without making it obvious!]

2. Get introduced to a sexy hottie you like

So you know a person who knows a person, and you’re interested in doing the naughty with your friend’s friend. Use them to get introduced to this person, flirt a few times, and see if they reciprocate your interest.

Just remember to take it slow and easy. Try too hard and too fast, and you may just creep this person out.

3. A hookup

This is the proverbial one night stand you meet at a party or someplace that leads to sex. So do you like someone you slept with, but aren’t interested in a relationship? You’ve slept with them already, so just make the proposition. [Read: The understated importance of the backup booty call]

4. An ex-coworker

Have you been hopping and skipping between jobs over the last few years? Then you’re bound to have met a few cuties from your old workplaces. Make a few calls, flirt a bit, and meet up for a chat.

If your ex-colleague likes your idea of a strictly sexual relationship, well, that’s good news for everyone involved!

5. An old friend from school or college

Facebook is a great place for reacquaintances and hookups. Get back in touch with an old friend that you thought was cute, and flirt with them over Facebook or over the phone.

It’ll start easily, and it may lead to a really exciting night!

When is it a good time to end a no strings attached relationship?

Once you find yourself in this arrangement, you need to ask if you’re happy to have this arrangement with one or more people. If you are, well, then that’s great for you.

But when a no strings attached relationship starts to take too much importance in your mind, or if it starts to make you feel unhappy, you’re probably falling for this person. Then, you need to either back away or confess your intentions.

On the other hand, if you meet someone you really like while sleeping with your no strings attached buddy, and you hit it off in a more-than-just-friends kind of way, it’s probably best for you to end the NSA relationship and move on to something a lot more serious and meaningful. [Read: 20 sexy text messages to start a naughty and dirty conversation with anyone!]

It’s not for everyone, but it can work out

The bottom line is that NSA relationships aren’t for everyone. If you’re someone who becomes attached very easily and you catch feelings pretty soon after you sleep with someone, this isn’t going to work for you.

The key is to be honest from the start and listen to what they’re telling you. Do not assume that someone who tells you they don’t want a commitment is going to change their mind anytime soon, or ever, for that matter. 

Far too many people enter into NSA relationships as a stop-gap. They meet someone, really like them, and they’re crushed when this person tells them that they don’t want anything serious.

Rather than shrug and let it go, they agree to a no strings attached arrangement, with the blind hope that at some point, they’ll fall madly in love and be together forever.

That happens very rarely, and even then, it’s usually in the movies. [Read: 23 easy ways to avoid falling in love with someone who will end up hurting you]

Hanging around waiting for someone who isn’t ready for a commitment is only going to end in heartbreak for you. If they tell you they only want NSA, that’s all they want. If you’re okay with that and you’re sure you’re not going to fall in love or feel crushed when you see them with someone else, go for it.

But, if there’s even an inkling that you’re going to struggle, it’s not worth it. In that case, there’s someone out there who wants more than no strings with you.

[Read: How to find love and the Law of Attraction]

Finding yourself a no strings attached relationship and hooking up with a sex buddy is really easy. All it takes is some discretion, a bit of panache and a clear mind that won’t get love and lust mixed up!

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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...