No matter what you're after, there’s always a chance that a well-intended attempt at casual fun will turn into more than that. Whether we want to admit it or not, sex and everything involved in pursuing a person is rarely simple. Often, expectations are misaligned. Sometimes, one person wants a lot more than the other person(s) is able to give. Keeping casual sex truly casual means you have to make extra efforts to set boundaries not just for others, but for yourself With much trial and lots of error as a slutty solo woman and as part of a married swinger couple, I’ve come to realize that there are a few things to keep in mind when embarking on a sex-only relationship.

Be Genuine

Be kind but honest about what you want. If you’re not polyamorous, make that clear. If you’re looking for sex and nothing else, make that clear. If you want some level of frequency, make that clear - but please don’t expect anyone to agree to all of your terms all of the time. Be open and willing to compromise. You’re dealing with human beings and this is real life, not a porn fantasy.

Read: Is Casual Sex Right for You? 9 Questions That'll Help You Figure It Out

Don’t Exchange Personal Info Right Away

Use an app that doesn’t obligate you to exchange phone numbers. We use Kik (there are other apps like this one). It’s just as convenient as texting, but it keeps us from having to give our phone number to every person we see as a potential fuck buddy. Refraining from exchanging numbers sets an obvious boundary. Also, refraining from giving a casual partner details about your personal life and your career also sends a subtle message of keeping a comfortable distance. Sometimes I don’t even tell them my name!

Don’t Make Yourself Super Available

Those sexy photos and flirty texts they send at random might be a welcome distraction, but if I were to always respond right away, this could send a confusing message of “I’m always available and you can get my attention very easily.” If you don’t want to send that message RESIST sending an instant reply or answering every phone call or saying “yes” to every invitation to meet up.

Read: Casual Sex Rules

Don’t Fuck Them Too Much!

This one might be tough. I struggle with delayed gratification and when I have great chemistry with someone, I want to indulge. A lot. In order to prevent someone from assuming they’re a high priority,I have to resist the urge to see them too often. This urge is strongest in the beginning. Fight it. Make yourself wait. Make them wait.

Don’t Treat Them Like a Close Friend

If you want to truly keep this person at the NSA level, don’t spend a lot of time communicating about things that are unrelated to the next time you plan to fuck. Texting or talking to them too much might open doors to more bonding and more feelings. If that’s not what you want, resist initiating (or responding to) the type of daily text banter you usually have with close friends or romantic interests.

When You Get Together, Set a Time Frame, Make It Known, and Stick With It

When my husband or I opt to see someone alone, we’ll often agree to a specific amount of time, almost as though we are scheduling an appointment. I have made the mistake of spending an entire afternoon at a casual partner's place when all I really needed was an hour and a half at most. Let’s be honest - amazing sex doesn’t take several hours. Amazing sex can take less than an hour if there’s no small talk or stalling.

Don’t Hang Out With Them Unless It’s a Prelude to Sex

Even when you have a regular fuck buddy and the connection and sexual chemistry is great, resist the urge to spend too much time with them while you have your clothes on. Getting to know each other on a more personal level will intensify your bond and possibly make things more complicated. Be careful not to do that.

Casual sex has always been a hobby of mine so I have to make sure that I don’t allow things to get too comfortable or personal. I’ve made the mistake of getting too attached or too involved. I’ve sent mixed, confusing signals by giving people a lot of my time and energy. If you set boundaries from the beginning, you’ll find it easier to keep your casual encounters stress free.