5 Ways To Have A Casual Hookup Without Catching Feelings

How to work around hook-up culture bashing and "slut-shaming."

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I've read several articles as to why hookup culture is a myth — the premise being that no one really enjoys a casual hookup, and the art of dating is a dying art, being belittled by suggesting it has been replaced by hookup culture and, of course, the subtext: that hookup culture is a bad thing.

But let's not try to blame nor point fingers when someone's needs don't match our own. What might help us, of course, is more communication, which we might see more of if we knew people weren't going to judge us for our choices. But when you understand how to not catch feelings with a casual hookup, only then can you truly be in control of yourself.


RELATED: 10 Women Reveal What Makes A Man So Much MORE Than Just A Hookup

I've come up with a short list to help you stay focused in this vast world of dating, to have a more healthy and meaningful way to date by means of respect for yourself and others so that dating can actually be a peaceful and enjoyable experience. And, of course, should you choose to hook up, you're not doing so blindly.

1. Be honest with yourself. 



This is basically knowing what you want out of dating. I am not talking about what qualities or what type of person you are looking for, but rather your long-term goal. Do you want a relationship? A traditional marriage with children? A good friend to hook up with, who is also respectful, honest, communicative, and shares your passion for travel?

What exactly are you looking for? What do you see for yourself? Where do you see yourself in a year, 2 years, and 5 years? It's not about the ideal person, it's about the ideal relationship(s) for you.

2. Be steadfast. 

Basically, don't back down from what you want. Go for what you want from the start and it will be yours — maybe not tonight or this week, but eventually. In other words, always keep your eye on the prize. It's your life, you get to create it however you want.

3. Let it be known. 



Communicate it. Don't play games with your dates/partners. So, you want sex, but aren't sure if he/she is going to be the long-term partner type? It's okay. Don't let the old adage of getting into the sack be something "dirty," "sinful" or "shameful" get in your way.

RELATED: 7 Signs Your Initial Hookup Is Turning Into Real Love

In this day and age, dating means getting intimate with strangers. How else are you going to know if he/she will be good for you short- or long-term? Figure it out, and let them know exactly where you are at.

4. Revisit your goals. 

Our wants and desires change with each passing day, moment and minute. We are constantly evolving, growing, flowing, and ebbing, so check in with yourself.


Do you want to keep dating? Maybe you met someone and your initial idea of hooking up only needs to be revised. Maybe you need to take a break. I like journaling, writing, exercising to clear my head or talking to a therapist, fleshing out feelings, emotions which can cloud goals.

5. Repeat. 

Repeat steps 1-4 as often as needed. Keep a dating journal — writing it down can help solidify your needs and desires, which are ever-changing.


When we are dating, it becomes our relationship. We should put the same intention into dating as we would put into our long-term partner or even our jobs/careers. If you put focus into dating and have it be based on our own deliberate choices, then infuse this with honesty and respect for the people we come into contact with, we will have a much easier time with dating in this dynamic world.

RELATED: 6 Casual Sex Rules To Follow If You Don't Want To Get Attached

Moushumi Ghose is a Los Angeles based Sex Therapist. Please visit her website. She is the author of Marriage, Money and Porn. Moushumi is the co-host of The Sex Talk, a web-series dedicated to sex, dating and relationships.