Can casual sex be as satisfying as sex between two people who are head-over-heels in love? You bet!
We live in an age where sex is increasingly liberated. Women who were once sexually inhibited initiate sex. The concept of "friends with benefits" is so popular that it even spawned a feature film, and the Twitter hashtag #NSA (i.e. no strings attached) is a common term associated with a healthy sexual mentality and lifestyle. The question remains: Is it possible to achieve the high associated with falling in love — and the same kind of intense, sexual experience associated with loving couples — when there are no strings, or loving feelings, attached?
After long conversations with my Sex Talk web series co-host, Jenoa Harlow, I felt inspired to write about this phenomenon of how to have "falling in love sex" without falling in love, a concept she coined. She and I know it's possible; we know it exists ... but too many people are grappling in that in-between space of wanting significant, substantial, meaningful intimate interludes without all the time, money and commitment it takes to have a relationship. And in this day and age, shouldn't we be able to? Having sex is easy, but too often we're left with a feeling of guilt,apathy or dissatisfaction. So, how can we simply enjoy the experience without the residual emotions? For starters, try these five steps:
1. Chemistry and attraction. Jenoa reminds us that there must be some element of attraction and chemistry n the first place for "falling in love sex" to work. There has to be a genuine, gut attraction.
2. Focus. Be in the moment. This is meditation and mindfulness 101 stuff, but I am going to reiterate it again. "Falling in love sex" is about being so present and in the moment that everything else fades away. As Jenoa says, there is no past and there is no future when you are having "falling in love sex." Jenoa recommends going to a therapist, working out, eating healthy, doing whatever it takes to get comfortable in your own skin so that you can be present, in the moment and totally focused on your partner.
Jenoa also suggests focusing on an aspect of your partner that you find particularly attractive. Obviously there is something arousing about this individual, or several things. What are they? In the throes of "falling in love sex," this is where much of your focus and attention will be.
3. Leave your expectations at the door. I know this is easier said than done. But ask yourself before getting intimate with said individual, "What are my expectations from this? Do I expect him/her to call me? Will I become attached? Will I never want to hear from them again? Will I feel bad or guilty?"
All of these questions entail an expectation of this isolated event. I suggest checking in with yourself — a lot. Recognize the residual feelings after the interlude, pay attention to them, write them down if need be (I'm a big fan of journaling) and remind yourself that this person is someone you care about in the broader context, someone you will treat with respect but maybe you are not attached to them. In fact, you barely know them, they don't owe you nor do you owe them. You came together to make each other feel good.
Long-term couples can benefit from this too. Sex doesn't have to be about maintaining your connection or keeping the passion alive at all. It can simply be about making each other feel good, in the moment.
4. Make your intentions clear. If you're single, have a conversation with them beforehand about where you are, what you want and what you hope to get out of it. Check in with each other to make sure you are both on the same page. Make your expectations, or lack there-of, known. It's also okay to let them know that you "don't know" what you want but to let them know you won't hold them to any expectations even if you find your feelings changing. Feelings do change, and that is okay too. Honesty is still the best policy.
5. Forgive yourself. Many of us feel so bad after having one-night stands or less than pleasurable sexual experiences. We develop feelings afterward, or we feel guilty that we had sex outside of a relationship because of the way we are conditioned. We may feel bad because we feel nothing after the hook up. Or we feel bad we weren't present for our partner.
As long as you are honest from the start with your partner and don't set any false expectations or lead anyone on, then you have no reason to feel guilty. Sex is a normal and natural expression, and sometimes it does ebb and flow as do your feelings and emotions. It's okay for you to enjoy it fully in the moment, to not have any residual feelings afterwards except for bliss and perhaps the desire to do it again, to be honest about all this with yourself and your partner and to have no intention or inclination of falling in love.
You love to snuggle, roll around and squeeze each other tight. You like sex more for the affection than anything else ... though of course, it's always a good time to get bare naked with the one you love!
You love adventure in the bedroom, even if it means you end up barking up the wrong tree. You like to try new things, and aren't embarrassed if you don't exactly know what you're doing. You don't so much like it ruff as you like to be playful. You're always filled with canine-like enthusism and energy, doggone it, and you keep it fresh when you bone.
You two are the perfect pair. After spending so long out in the dessert, you're thirsty ... for some good old-fashioned grinding. When you're in bed together, you get at least one hump in, sometimes two. And it always leaves you grinning from ear to ear!
You like it nice and slow. You don't just make love, you make looooooove. You don't have sex to Keith Sweat, you take it all the way down to Barry Whitetown. You like to savor every sensation and really connect with your partner. Once you come out of your shells, you go hard ... at being soft. (And thanks to all that lube, you leave a sticky sweet trail behind!)
You're sexy and you know it, and anyone who doesn't agree can buzz off. You've got big, beautiful eyes, a sturdy body, and wings to help you fly - even if you did get them at the club when you had that vodka and Red Bull. You like to have sex with the lights on so that you can marvel at how amazing you and your partner are. Just do it quick because your relationship expectancy—like a fly's life—is only 30 days.
You and your partner are so intense, sometimes you're left seeing spots. They're not your imagination, they're bruises from all the biting going on! Rough play is fun as long as everyone is having a good time but remember, you have a right to consent to everything that happens to you in bed. To prevent things from getting out of control, be sure to communicate before, during and after sex about what's okay and what isn't.
You're an on-the-go woman of today and your partner is a total stud. The only problem is, you guys aren't coordinating your schedules to make time to go buck wild! He's always chasing you down, and you're always brushing him off. Make sex a priority in your relationship and stop saying neigh.
Are you sick of the same old bullshit sex every time? Is your guy so insensitive when he's doing his thing that your face ends up against the wall ... that happens to face his roommate's room? You guys need to shake things up before your relationship heads out to pasture. Grab the bull by the horns and go for it! What are you waiting for? In the meantime, maybe ask him to do some laundry; I think the smell might be coming from that pile.
Is your body made of salt, girl? Cuz I just wanna lick you. You know I'm not like Santa because I never shout, "Ho, ho, ho," and that's because I respect you and would never reindeer-shame you. I just wanna lick you, boo. LET ME LICK YOU.
Are you having problems miscommunicating in your relationship? Are you horny as a toad while he's so bored he looks like he could croak? Maybe you need to figure out which love language each of you speaks so you can communicate with better understanding. Hop to it!
Mou is the host of The Sex Talk,a web-series dedicated to raising awarenes about sex, and sexuality, and has made several TV and media appearances including Hollywood Today The Girl Spot, Durex Condoms and Investigation Discoveries as a sex expert.
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