Relationships can be great but sometimes, you're not in that space. You might want to focus on work, hobbies or friends. Perhaps you don't want to settle down; or you're after some holiday fun. Sex doesn't have to come with strings attached – but a little thought makes it lots more fun.
- Protect Yourself. Every new partner brings new sexual health risks, and if you don't use a condom you're asking for trouble (and maybe a baby). Remember oral sex carries risks of sexually transmitted infections too.
- Look and Learn. Check for other STI signs such as inflammation, sores and pain on intercourse: condoms don't protect against all STIs so you need to use your brain before you use your body. If in doubt, don't.
- Get Tested Regularly: Many STIs don't have symptoms, so getting tested is the only way to ensure you're free of infection.
- Wear an Emotional Condom. If you want sex to feel loved or boost your confidence, you're unlikely to be satisfied by sleeping around. After all, you can easily give yourself an orgasm without any heartache. Only have casual sex if it's not going to upset you.
- Protect Your Reputation. If you choose to have casual sex, some people may judge you for it. Think carefully about who you tell about your lifestyle: but do listen if friends say they're concerned about your behaviour.
- Stay Safe. Going home with a stranger has risks. Make sure a friend knows where you're going, who you're going with and when you'll be back – and don't invite strangers back to yours. Otherwise you could find your phone missing in the morning – or worse.
- Be Honest. Lying to get someone into bed is unfair and can lead to trouble. Whether it's a reputation or a teary ex, bad things come from lying to get sex.
- Choose Carefully: If you know someone, you're more likely to have mutual trust, affection and respect – and that makes for better sex. Don't pick someone who's in love with you for casual sex though – that's unfair on them.
- Respect your Lover: Casual sex is about both people having fun so make sure they get as much out of it as you do.
- Respect Yourself: Only have casual sex if you can do so while maintaining a healthy sense of self esteem. Healthy sex doesn't make you feel bad afterwards: if you do, think about whether the sex you are having is right for you.
"Casual sex is about both people having fun so make sure they get as much out of it as you do."