If you think finding casual sex is easy, you’re not exactly right. Finding a human with a pulse who is willing to partake in casual sex is easy. Finding a human that is compatible, enjoyable, respectful, and available takes a little more work.
When I was single and dating, I used to say that sifting through messages to my online dating profiles felt like part-time job. Now that I’m married and I occasionally take the time to find a casual sex partner through different websites and apps, I still feel like it can be very time consuming. After reading e-mails, scrolling through photos, reading profiles, and deciding who seems compatible based on such a vague overview, taking the time to make sure that meeting in person isn’t a total waste of time can be… a waste of time.
In order to streamline this process, I have to ask all the right questions and I have to say exactly what I want. It needs to be clear in my profile, clear in my e-mails, and clear in whatever other correspondence I have with this potential new "friend." There are four things that are most important to me. If I don’t have all four of these things, I can’t get it on:
This is obvious. While this won’t be the person I kiss goodnight for the rest of my life, at minimum, I want the sight of them to be pleasing. While looks aren’t everything, they still make a difference, especially because we aren’t going to spend a ton of time getting to know the depths of one another’s souls. Beyond physical attraction, I have to like their personality, too. Someone who can barely string a sentence together or can’t make eye contact while speaking is a turnoff to me, no matter how hot they are. But even though I might find someone attractive, there’s still a lot more work to do.
Via text, telephone, and in person (before we disrobe) I need to be comfortable with this person. I’ve learned to trust my gut when someone starts waving even the tiniest red flag in my face. Someone who assumes I’m going to be amenable to anything they want is someone I will eliminate quickly. If I am addressed as though I’m a fantasy prop rather than being regarded as a person who will participate in sex as an equal, I am not interested. If I state limits or requirements (condoms, mainly) and someone tries to negotiate, I’m done. I need to be comfortable and I’d rather feel comfortable with no plans for the evening than feel disrespected or violated after having sex with someone I had some doubts about.
Assuming that attraction and comfort are in place, I will next assess whether our sexual desires are similar. Are we into the same things? Can we communicate easily? Are we both fine with one another’s limits? Have we shared what really turns us on? Are we on the same page as far as desired time and place?
Sometimes I put this requirement at the top of my list. If I have a specific date and time in mind, I’ll make that known first. I won’t engage with assessing attraction, comfort, and compatibility if someone says they aren’t available during the time I selected. While it might seem obvious to make sure availability matches, it’s easy to overlook when you’re messaging with several people and trying to narrow down your options. Chatting on and off for days with someone who seems ideal only to find out that their schedule is not at all compatible with yours is frustrating.
Until I learned to make quick assessments for the above things, I wasted a lot of time getting to know people for no reason. I once messaged with someone over the course of a few days and once we finally narrowed down a time to meet, he told me he “couldn’t” use condoms. Another time, I had only brief exchanges with someone, and after we booked a hotel room, he told me he planned to bring a submissive woman along with him. (That might sound hot to some, but that’s not what I had in mind.) Things like this kept happening to me until I made deliberate efforts to ask all the right questions in the very beginning. Perhaps the process of seeking casual sex isn’t all that different from seeking long term partners? Hmmm...