Are You Ready For An NSA Relationship?

Published 16.03.2022
8 min read
Taimi

We all like deals with no strings attached. Retailers, for example, will offer a free trial of a product or service with no commitment to make any additional purchase - that's a winner for sure.

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But what about personal relationships? Can "no strings attached" work here too? In fact, it's been the subject of discussion for many years and the plot line for some movies - "No Strings Attached" (Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman) and "Friends with Benefits" (Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis) being the most well-known. In both of these movies, though, the partners cannot do just casual sex and end up falling in love. That gives us warm fuzzy feelings, but this is not the reality of these two types of relationships. in fact, these two relationship types are not even the same.

Defining NSA, FWB, and DTF

NSA means just that - a completely casual connection based upon sexual desires alone. It is the most unemotional relationship possible and is only for those who can separate sex from any real relationship. Couples in this relationship are not interested in any personal contact or communication. Basically, a no-strings-attached relationship is just a "booty call." The partners may find one another on dating sites or hook up at a club and both understand that they are operating from a purely selfish desire for sex.

FWB, though, means that the 2 partners have a friendship but not a romantic relationship. They do know each other on a personal level and genuinely like each other. But theirs is an open relationship that means no romantic attachment.

DTF simply means "down to fuck." Usually, this refers to a short relationship that both partners understand is short-term with no long-term commitment. When either partner tires of it or finds someone new, they simply split - no harm, no foul.

Joseph LaFleur a licensed sex therapist with a specialization in LGTBQ+ relationships summarizes the NSA connection like this: "It's usually two people, previously unknown to each other, who hook up with minimal interaction beyond sex."

So, how do you know if an NSA is for you? Read on

Who is Ready for an NSA?

Several "types" are typically ready for NSA:

  • Those who have just split from a long-term relationship and have no desire to begin any type of relationship at this time. But they still want their sexual needs met and not with masturbation

  • People who have thrown themselves into their careers and just have no time for any type of relationship that involves calls, texts, planned dates, meeting up with fam, etc.

  • They are not completely satisfied with the type of sex they have with their partner. So, they go outside of that relationship to get certain sexual needs met. The whole point is pretty much anonymous sex.

  • They want as many different sexual experiences as possible, at least for now. It's all about pleasure and fun and then moving on.

There are "Rules"

If you are in a serious relationship, there are protocols you follow. You don't cheat; you spend quality time together outside of the bedroom; you talk about your feelings, your goals, and how to meet each other's needs.

There are also rules for NSA's. Read through these to get an idea if this is what you really want. If you are confused about your role in this partnership, seek out some expert advice.

Never Choose From Your Fam

There is a classic episode of the comedy series, "Seinfeld" where he and Elaine (former lovers but now just friends) have a conversation about having an NSA arrangement. They spend a lot of time laying out the protocols for this situation. In the end, they decide it wouldn't work. In real life, it won't work for you either. The problem is you are too involved in each other's lives to keep that closeness out of the bedroom.

No Room for Emotions

If you feel yourself experiencing emotional attachment to your NSA partner, get out quickly. And here's the reason. Your partner is probably not feeling them too. As you become emotional, you will look for something more, and you won't get that. In the end, things will end badly, and you will be hurt. What you have just learned about yourself is valuable - you do want an emotionally-connected partnership. Get out now before you're too far in. Not everyone is capable of this type of partnership, and now you know you are not.

Set Personal Boundaries

These boundaries apply to your behaviors with one another outside of the bedroom, as well as what you are comfortable with in terms of sexual activities.

  • There should be no phone calls, texts (except to schedule the next hook up), or getting together for any social events

  • There should be no talk of personal lives. You are there to have fun in bed - that's all

  • What do you want to do sexually and what will be off-limits? These are things you and your partner can talk about. A most important thing is that you get satisfaction from these encounters. If you want oral; if you want anal; if you want sex toys; if you want a threesome, then be honest.

  • Sexual adventure is a big part of the fun. Clinical psychologist Devaleena Ghosh, a founder of Kornash Lifestyle School, puts it this way: As hunger is a basic need, so is sex. You need three meals a day, and you need sexual activity to satiate your drive. And an NSA exists for the sole purpose of fulfilling that need. Here you get the opportunity to be sexually adventurous, or experiment." You are in a safe environment for good sex, whatever that may come to mean for you, with no judgment.

Yikes - Be Safe

You need a break from or you just don't want a committed relationship. But that does not mean you throw caution to the wind. and hook up without sexual health in mind.

  • If you and/or your partner are female, birth control is a must.

  • Your partner is not monogamous, nor are you probably. Both of you may be hooking up with multiple people, so both of you must get tested regularly. Ask for those results and show yours.

  • Be honest about how many partners you have had or currently have and if any have had infections. Don't schedule any more encounters until you both test clean. This goes for any third party brought in as well.

  • Don't hook up with a stranger you have simply found on just any Internet matching site. Choose only those who have thoroughly checked out their members. You want a sexual partner, not an ax murderer.

Recognize the NSA Relationship is Temporary

This is not a friends-with-benefits partnership with a person y0ou already know. And there are no benefits beyond sexual satisfaction. Understand and accept this going in. At any time, either one of you will want to end it and move on. You both have this option because there is no attachment at all. For both of you, this is a liberating feeling that an NSA relationship gives.

How you end this relationship is up to you, but you need to be respectful. If you are timid about it, you can always text your NSA partner. But end it promptly when you are ready, so you do not leave the other party in limbo. Most NSA relationships, in fact, are temporary.

Convenience is the Key

You are soured on committed relationships; you are too busy for any type of commitment; you want a sexually compatible NSA relationship that will take care of your sexual desires with absolutely no strings that most other relationships bring to the table. The convenience, in fact, is just what draws people into NSA relationships. They can have a sexual relationship when and how they want it and stay independent of emotional commitment. NSA relationships really do work for lots of people in today's fluid life circumstances.

The no-strings-attached arrangement is also convenient. There are no obligations to set up meets when not in the mood, having the right to turn down requests from the other as you wish. Most people in NSA relationships find this one of the best benefits.

Clear Thinking is a Big W

If you have no experience with NSA relationships, step back for a minute and think about what an NSA relationship really means. You must realize that you will not be engaged in what might be considered a normal relationship that involves sexual activity. In those "normal" relationships, couples do engage in activities outside of the bedroom. They go out to dinner; they get together with friends and family; they go to parties; they shop and walk their dogs together. If any of these things are still important to you, then you will not be successful in an NSA relationship. Before you enter into such a relationship, be really clear about your own thinking and needs.

NSA Relationships Are Tricky - Vibe Checks Please

As attractive as an NSA relationship may seem to you right now, once you are in one, the details of what each of you wants can make things messy. For example, you may assume that this relationship is exclusive, even though it doesn't involve interactions other than sex, while your hook-up has no intention of exclusivity. In fact, they are out and about in several such relationships. You then experience anger and resentment, not necessarily because you want a more traditional relationship but because your ego has been bruised. If they sense that, you will be ghosted right away, and rightly so. No strings means no strings.

The other messy thing about such relationships is the danger of developing an emotional tie to your cohort or that cohort developing an emotional tie to you. At this point, the cohort who wants a clean, non-committed relationship will move to end it quickly. This leaves the other partner "high and dry," wondering where to go next.

Making Your Decision About NSA

Are you really ready for a no-strings-attached relationship? If you believe that you are, then you need to read the "rules" above. Do some deep self-analysis and be certain that you can really embrace all that a no-strings-attached relationship demands of you. You cannot allow your emotions to come into play; you must accept the notion that exclusivity will not be in place; you must understand that there are health risks to address; and, above all, you must know when to walk away from an NSA relationship that is not meeting your wants and needs. 

Is there a need for communication between couples involved in an NSA relationship? Yes, of course. but that communication only relates to the details of this partnership - what each of you wants sexually, when your next scheduled hook up is, your health records, and such. Keeping communication confined to these topics may be the biggest challenge of all. The temptation is there to share more. Do a vibe check often - if you have a need to do this, you do not need an NSA relationship.



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