When a relationship ends, you’re an emotional mess. Confused, sad and under-sexed, it’s no wonder you may turn to another lover to inject some pep in your dejected step. It’s perfectly natural to seek solace in someone else. It can boost your wounded ego, satisfy your libido and even help you move on. But (you knew there was a but, right?) these encounters can also be tricky to navigate in a way that is both healthy and respectful of your partners. Here are seven rules that can help you enjoy rebound sex without being a jerk.

Don't Jump Back Into the Sack

The first week or two after a breakup is rough. If you jump right into sex, the chances of you crying all over your rebound partner might be pretty high. Don't put a casual sex partner in the position to become your therapist. Instead, spend this time hanging out with your best buddies and focusing on self-soothing.

Keep It Casual

Casual is the name of the game. Never hook up with an ex who may still love you, a crush who has been pining over you, a coworker, or a roommate. This can lead to hurt feelings and damaged friendships. Instead, seek a lustful encounter outside of your immediate social circle. Try installing the Tinder app or approaching a sexy stranger. When you do find someone who piques your interest, be upfront about your situation and what you're after. (Get more tips in Hookups Without Hangups: How to Keep Casual Sex Ethical, Drama-Free and Fun.)

Safer Sex Is a Must

Maybe you just left a long-term relationship where you didn’t need to use a condom. Maybe you’re so upset that your emotions are clouding your judgement. Don’t lose sight of reality during this tumultuous time. The last thing you want or need is a sexually transmitted disease or unwanted pregnancy. Carry contraception with you. Safety first!

Explore Another Version of Yourself

Be you, but experiment with different facets of your personality. Think of this as a more authentic version of role-play where you forget about your last relationship, stay in the moment, try new moves, say new lines and adopt a more romanticized or mysterious interpretation of your self. By doing so, your chances of having fun and showing your new playmate a great time are much greater.

Open Your Mind

Take an inventory of your past partners. What did they have in common? Do you have a type? Were they all tall, blonde and quiet? Now is the time to mix things up. Make an effort to introduce yourself to someone completely different. Open yourself up to the endless possibilities that exist in this world. Adventure awaits.

You may learn something new about yourself in the process. At the very least, the rebound sex will be more libidinous because you won’t be reminded of your ex.

Be Discreet

The temptation to show your ex how quickly you’ve moved-on will be strong. However, it’s in everyone’s best interest to avoid any unnecessary drama. Respect yourself, your ex, and your new sexy distraction by being discreet. Don’t parade your new fling in front of your ex. Steer clear of old haunts. Find new places to enjoy your time during the transition.

Mind Your Manners

Rebound sex can be tons of fun, but it’s important to acknowledge your new situation. It’s not all about you. Your new make-out buddy deserves your respect and compassion. Everyone has feelings, especially where sex is involved. Show good form. Compliment your partner. Be upfront and honest. Following the rebound rules will keep things flirty and fun.