Originally posted on Bustle
It sounds easy, but the truth is, if you’re just looking for a casual hookup, it can involve just as much negotiation and emotional awareness as a deeper romantic encounter. And it’s really important that you let the other person know what you’re interested in, or else you could have a lot of confusion and hurt feelings on your hands. “When it comes to matters of romance, The Golden Rule is always the best policy,” Dating Coach, Francesca Hogi, tells Bustle. “Rather than let someone have the wrong impression about your relationship, be clear up front that you are seeking something casual.”
It seems like asking for hookup should be straightforward, but it can actually be a really uncomfortable — and important — conversation to have. Remember that you have every right to just want to have some fun and, as long as everything is safe and consensual, there’s no reason that casual hookup can’t be a great time.
So how do you politely let someone know you’re only looking for a hookup? It’s all about being clear and considerate. Here’s what you have to keep in mind.
Make It Very Clear
Whatever you do, don’t leave room for ambiguity. You want the other person to be totally clear about what you’re looking for. “Try this,” Loveologist and Sex Coach, Domina Doll, tells Bustle, “’Hey, I think you are great, but I’m not looking for Mr. [or Ms.] Right, and, you, know… no wining and dining, let’s get down to dessert!’ Or, something along those lines, in your own words of course.”
If that sounds difficult or you don’t really feel like having the conversation before things heat up, remember that the longer you avoid the conversation the more difficult it will be when you eventually have it. “While it may be tricky telling someone you just met that you are only into [sex right now], the best way to open the conversation is to just tell them,” Doll says. “…Honesty and integrity are just as important in any relationship, even a casual one.” As long as you’re open with them, you have nothing to apologize for.
Let Them Know It’s About You, Not Them
Even if you have no romantic attachment to this person, you still need to treat them with compassion and respect. “Try not to hurt [them], use humor when possible and let [them] know it’s not personal,” Doll says. It’s really important to make it clear that this is all you want right now — and that it’s nothing to do with them. It’s a lot easier to hear that someone doesn’t want a relationship at all, than that they don’t want a relationship with you specifically.
Not everyone is down for a casual fling, so it’s important to go into the conversation knowing that it might not be their thing. If they say no, that’s fine — just respond with some compassion.
Be Upfront About Safety
If they are interested in a hookup, then it’s time to talk safe sex. This might be the most awkward part of the conversation, but it’s also the most important. Plus, talking about safe sex is not only crucial, but it also makes it totally clear that you’re not interested in any kind of monogamous attachment. “You can slip this in naturally,” says Hogi. “Tell them you assume they are sleeping with other people. Practice safe sex, of course, and tell them you want to be sure they’re being safe with their other partners, too.” Safety first.
Having a casual hookup can be fun and fulfilling, but you need to make sure that you’re both on the same page first. By being honest, compassionate, and, above all, clear, you can always feel confident asking for what you want.