So someone asked me to write a column about all the different kinds of single sex you get. What the set-ups are, what the expectations are. But the thing is, relationships -- and EVERY interaction is a form of relationship -- simply aren’t all that clear cut. Nevertheless, here you go.
You’ve heard of the saying: to get over someone you should get under someone? Well trampoline sex is just that. Often confused for rebound sex, there really should be no pretence of an intimate relationship here. Sometimes it heads off into this direction, in which case it generally becomes a rebound relationship. Mostly it’s just sex for sex’s sake with whoever. Or one regular person.
The scenario: You hook up with someone shortly after a break-up, maybe it’s someone you’ve wanted to sleep with for a while, for the sole purpose of sex.
What you can expect: Well, if you think of it as a string of one night stands often fuelled by denial and tequila, there’s not much to expect. Hopefully you’ll realise soon enough that a wank and snooze is less traumatic in the long run.
So, because your previous relationship was a cock-up, you think it’s a very good idea to jump into a new one almost immediately. Maybe you’re actually just looking for sex, maybe you’re actually just looking for comfort, either way you end up confusing your wants and needs by involving someone else in a whole new relationship simply so you don’t have to deal with your shit.
The scenario: You’re three weeks or three months out of a heavy relationship, and before you’ve had a chance to process anything or feel lonely, you commit emotionally and sexually to someone else.
What you can expect: We’ve all done this and we know it ends it tears. Frankly I think trampolineing is far more honest.
Friends with benefits (aka ‘fuck buddy’)
I have a problem with this, because what we call ‘friends with benefits’ is, in my books, ‘being in a relationship’. You hang out? Can chat for hours and make dinner together? You laugh, you cry, he holds your hair while you’re vomming up the contents of that Chinese restaurant he said you shouldn’t eat at because he knows your tummy is sensitive to pig intestines and then you have sex that leaves you panting for more or crying because it was so intense or both? Yes, that’s called a ‘boyfriend’. Someone here is calling ‘friends with benefits’ because they’re too chicken shit to call commitment and take responsibility for their feelings.
The scenario: See above.
What you can expect: Well. Either you both feel it or one of you is feeling it, but the outcome is conversation-dependent. A good indicator of whether this relationship is truly NSA is whether you feel jealous if you find out they’re seeing or sleeping with someone else. If you have the conversation about commitment with your ‘fuck buddy’ and they’re not buying in, break the connection for a while and move on.
It’s this guy you know. You like him, he’s ok and while you don’t seem to be able to find the time for dinner or lunch, you have his number on speed dial at 11pm when the party in your pants is just getting started. In conversation with your friends, he’s ‘that guy’. Think of it as an on/off one night stand with the same person. It’s not that you aren’t friends, it’s just that you have nothing to say to each other that doesn’t involve sex.
The scenario: Maybe it started out as a one night stand, maybe you thought you might hit it off and then found it kinda fizzling on the giving-a-shit side of things. But it is what it is. A call or text every now and then for a random hook-up with a person you sometimes have sex with (and sometimes with someone you might not even really like). Like Lili says, if you’re getting a call after 8 pm to hook up later that night it’s a booty call. If he doesn’t respond to your text you can’t be whining about it and wondering why he’s ignoring you. Don’t kid yourself about what this is. Pretty soulless and pointless in my opine.
What you can expect: Nothing. Not a sleepover, not breakfast, not a ‘howdy doodee’ post-coital courtesy call the next day. There’s no dinner before or snacks after. Manners are optional.
Often confused for friends with benefits, casual sex is having sex somewhat regularly with someone you like. You’ll have a perfectly enjoyable lunch with them but not necessarily follow-up on news about their granny. You’ll plan your encounter, so it’s not a booty call; you’re perfectly single and perfectly un-hung-up on exes, so it’s not trampoline or rebound. You’re not looking for commitment, so this isn’t it. It is incredibly rare to have this sort of encounter without one (or both) parties becoming uncomfortable with the NSA situation or expecting more emotional input or information at some point.
The scenario: You arrange to meet up maybe once a week or every few weeks for dinner and ‘dessert’. Works best long-distance.
What you can expect: Well, depends what your set-up is. Maybe there’s just too much general ‘like’ for it to bounce over into something more ‘love’. Either way, it’s very enjoyable and calming. Until it’s not, in which case, your situation will need to be reviewed.
One night stands
Ah. Seriously. After writing all that, I look upon the one night stand as a sort of quaint vintage thing they did in the 70s. Not true though. The ONS is alive and well and is one of our most best-loved casual sex encounters. Mostly because there’s no emotional confusion or trickiness about what it is. Or at least there shouldn’t be. The situation is you are strangers hooking up for once-off sex; you are not embarking on a journey that will end in you picking out curtain colours. If you’re walking away feeling sad and empty, you’re doing it for the wrong reasons.
The scenario: Easier for girls to initiate than men (heterosexually speaking), it’s generally a once-off drunken snog turned drunken shag somewhere at your place or his.
What you can expect: An STD. Ha ha jokes. Though, seriously. Due to the nature of the unexpected engagement and levels of inebriation, unprotected sex and all it’s unfortunate consequences is a strong possibility, if not probability.
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