Initiating emotional and physical intimacy with others can be a daunting task for anyone, even relationship aficionados such as myself, but it doesn’t have to be. So how does one go about finding a meaningful sex partner these days? It’s simple. The best way to find a healthy and fulfilling friends with benefits relationship without the usual drama that entails is to treat the partnership as a business, literally.
Step 1: Determine the purpose
So you’ve met that sexy someone you’d like to do the horizontal mambo with? What’s the smart thing one should do first? If you answered “rip each other’s clothes off”, you’re wrong. First, determine your needs, and only your needs first. Carnal fulfillment aside, why do you wish to know this person and become sex partners? Have you decided to sleep with this person from a place of strength and self-worth? Or have you chosen to be with this person physically due to peer pressure, low-self esteem, or a need for approval? Just make sure it’s you doing the deciding, and there aren’t obvious signs in the beginning that you’ll regret your decision later on.
Remember that excessive alcohol or drugs will alter your decision-making skills so know your limitations and stick to them.
Step 2: Ensure equitable gains
Now that you’ve chosen to become intimate with this person the next step would be making sure you want the same things your sex partner wants. Do you intend for this to be a one night stand, a casual weekend thing, or will you remain monogamous, sexually, while deciding to forego a full on serious commitment to one another? Making sure they match up will protect you from being blindsided if the other person’s intentions are different from your own. What are you hoping to gain from this contact? Will this partner enhance your life or add unnecessary stress?
Whether a one night stand or an ongoing bedfellow, it’s important to self-check emotional, physical, and mental needs before they’ve become tainted by sex (mind-blowing sex hopefully). Once sex and feelings are involved, it’ll be harder to put your needs ahead of someone else’s, even when they should sometimes be.
Step 3: Define terms & conditions
The terms and agreements department of a sexual arrangement is crucial. Have a conversation regarding your terms. An example of effective detailed terms would be, “I’m not looking for a traditional boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with titles but I would like us to agree to remain sexually monogamous to one another, and I would prefer this be an ongoing dynamic as long as we’re both happy.” A counter to this proposal could be, “I’m not interested in a serious boyfriend-girlfriend relationship either, and I’d like to hook up with you, but I can’t commit to remaining monogamous.” Now that you’ve both shared your honest wishes it’s easy to determine whether or not this partnership is a good idea and tweak certain conditions if both are willing.
Sexual health is just as important as mental and emotional wellness, so make it a requirement that both partners get tested for STD/STI’s before engaging in any sexual activity (even oral), share results with one another, use condoms, and get tested on a regular basis. Knowing your status is the most rewarding feeling in the world, and access to resources of all kind are in abundance these days. Be proactive, not reactive!
Step 4: Perform routine assessments
Sexual partnerships shouldn’t be treated any less important than traditional relationships. Make it a habit to routinely assess the agreements raised in the beginning to ensure continued happiness. Are those terms being honored, and if not what are the conditions for breaking said agreements? Will you dissolve the partnership or set new guidelines? If they didn’t hold up their end of the deal find out why? Did they feel they couldn’t communicate an issue with you, or simply didn’t care to? If the response is the latter, it’s definitely time to proceed to Step 5.
Having these conversations will be hard, uncomfortable, and you may not always like to answers you receive, but it’s important to communicate if you want to have a meaningful partnership. Talking is what adults do, in addition to having sex, so in essence, you’ll have to get over those hesitations if you want to retain a happy and healthy sex life.
Step 5: Dissolve the partnership amicably
As the saying goes, “all good things come to an end” (sometimes), and once either party has decided to terminate the relationship, it’s best for all if the split is amicable. Betrayal from a broken agreement can be a hard thing to deal with but there are ways one can recover: It’s okay to be angry but don’t get even, and if you’re too upset to talk with your partner in-person for a while, communicate your feelings directly to that person online. And when I say directly I mean privately contact that person via email, text or call and let them know how you feel. Refrain from airing your dirty laundry on social media platforms or amongst mutual friend circles. Doing either of those things could blow up in your face and maybe even get you sued for slander in certain states/countries. It’s also not good for your mental or emotional health as it’ll only cause the hurt and anger to fester within for a longer period of time.
If it is possible to have a face-to-face conversation with your sex partner after the decision to end sexual contact that would be a very good time to find out what went wrong with the relationship. Or maybe nothing in particular caused to call it quits, it’s just that one of you feel it’s time to move on and positive feedback would help each other in future partnerships.
Treating sex as a business arrangement is probably the unsexiest thing you’ve ever heard of, but there’s a reason why profitable businesses operate so well and usually for long periods of time. Having a good business strategy based on rational expectations, decisions, and conversations allows one to make smarter sustainable moves for future gains. That’s exactly what sex should be, meaningful and a positive addition to one’s overall happiness. Follow these steps, and you will reap the rewards tenfold, in and out of the bedroom.