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How to have casual, drama free sex

By: Sam Pirson , June 30, 2023

If someone you’re dating poses the question “what are we?” to you, you’ve already crossed into the territory of giving mixed signals. Mixed signals often lead to confusion, and confusion leads to the need for clarity and extra communication. Keeping things casual does not mean you don’t need to effectively communicate or you can just avoid the other person’s feelings, but it does mean you’ll intentionally need to navigate the relationship in order to keep it casual. 


Sorry to break it to you, getting what you want from a relationship with another person—whether that’s on the fast track to the altar or strictly having casual sex—requires intentionality and a little bit of legwork, no matter what the situation is.


If casual, drama-free sex is what you’re looking for, you’ll need to purposefully maintain that.

Define What Casual Sex Looks Like for You

Knowing what you want is a great first step, but in order to maintain that, it helps to know why you want it and what it looks like. Do you know why you want a casual sexual relationship? It’s important to have a clear understanding of your intentions and motivations. Do you want to see multiple people? Do you want to avoid building a future with someone? Do you have limited time and emotional bandwidth? Are you really just avoiding intimacy? Are you just scared so you’re saying casual sex is all you can handle in order to protect your heart? It’s important to figure out your motivations because they will guide the boundaries you set and how you participate in the relationship.

How to Determine and Uphold Your Own Boundaries

Boundaries aren’t only set for the person you’re seeing. They’re also to keep yourself on track. When opportunities arise that cross into more serious relationship territory, it’s on you to communicate that and maintain them even if it feels good in the moment. Here are the most important things to consider and communicate when you only want to have casual sex with someone.


While you’ll want to practice safe sex in a casual relationship no matter what, there is a difference between casual relationships that are exclusive and those that aren’t. If you aren’t exclusive, you can sleep with whoever you want, whenever you want. However, you can be exclusive and casual. Just because you’ve decided to exclusively sleep with each other doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in a committed relationship.

Exclusivity indicates you are not having sex with others. It doesn’t mean you aren’t looking, going on dates, or otherwise entertaining the idea of potentially sleeping with someone else, or you’re simply prioritizing your life and your needs. Whereas a committed relationship has a title and there’s an investment in each other and your future together. You can have casual sex exclusively. A committed relationship is not casual, it’s serious.

You’ll need to communicate what this looks like for you and see if the person you’d like to have casual sex with is aligned.

Communication Frequency

Once you figure out whether you’re having completely no-strings-attached sex or exclusively having sex, determining how you want to communicate with this person and sticking to it will help you keep the relationship casual.


Casual conversation doesn’t mean poor communication. You don’t need to ignore their texts or play games about how and when you respond, but you probably will make it a point to not speak daily or at least about every single little detail of your life. 


You might want to keep the communication primarily over text. Long, lingering phone calls or FaceTimes will create depth that you aren’t really looking for and start to send a little bit of mixed signals because it will feel like the relationship is progressing toward something more serious. 


You should still maintain your friendships outside of the relationship as their specific roles in your life. You have someone to send memes to, someone to call with good news, someone to call for advice—maintain those relationships. Keeping things casual requires you to maintain a level of independence and the relationships that exist outside of this one. (For what it’s worth, this should also happen in committed relationships to a degree. Typically, it doesn’t.)

What Time Spent Together Looks Like for You

Should you both decide to move forward with a casual sexual relationship, you’ll need to maintain a lot of what your day-to-day life is like. Independence is key. You can’t treat this new person like a new toy when you have zero intention of becoming attached.

Defining what time spent looks like for a casual relationship is up to you and your partner, but a good place to start is to avoid fancy dates, public displays of affection, and anything where someone might call them your date—wedding, holiday party, family gathering, etc. Spending back-to-back nights together can get a little tricky too because it includes so many other intimate, relationship-y things. Meals. Showering together? Walking the dog together. It starts to look a lot less casual very quickly when you’re spending days together.

Emotional Involvement

Kindness and respect should be at the forefront of any relationship, casual or otherwise. Treat your partner with respect, empathy, and consideration. Practice active listening, be present in the moment, and demonstrate that their needs and boundaries matter. A positive and respectful experience will enhance your connection and contribute to a healthy casual relationship. If you can’t maintain this, you should probably consider spending some time alone.


While casual sexual relationships are primarily focused on physical intimacy, emotions can sometimes develop. Be aware of your own emotional well-being and be prepared for the possibility that your partner may develop feelings. This would be a natural thing. No reason to be angry, but establishing honest and open communication can help maintain the type of relationship you want. You can do this by regularly assessing your feelings and communicating openly if you experience a change in emotions.

Final Thoughts

Sex is supposed to be enjoyable. Consistent, casual sex can be great if you let it be and understand it will still take a little bit of work. This requires open communication, honesty, and respect for both yourself and your partner. By understanding your motivations, setting boundaries, and practicing safe sex, you can enjoy fulfilling casual sex relationships while ensuring a positive and respectful experience for all involved. Avoiding mixed signals, maintaining awareness of your own feelings and emotions, and maintaining independence are crucial to a healthy, no-strings-attached situation. Remember, each person is unique, so adapt these principles to suit your individual circumstances and always prioritize consent and emotional well-being.


To find like-minded people also looking for casual, drama free sex, sign up for and start swiping.

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