Last week, my friend had sex for a plate of meatballs. Before y’all run out to stock up on minced beef, let me give you a quick rundown.
Step 1: Friend meets guy on Bumble, chats.
Step 2: Friend goes on Date 1, is not attracted to the guy but enjoys their conversation.
Step 3: Friend goes on Date 2, chemistry fails to emerge but pleasant colloquy continues.
Step 4: Guy invites friend over for a “home-cooked dinner.” She agrees, if only for the sad, simple reason that men don’t volunteer their cooking skills too often these days. She arrives to his Gramercy abode to find him going all Mario Batali on her with an Italian feast of pasta and meatballs (homemade! with ingredients from Eataly!). One bottle of red wine in they start hooking up, at which point she discovers that her Meatball King is a terrible kisser. And yet she still proceeds to have sex with him, an experience that quickly unveils itself to be about as unpalatable as the kiss.
The next morning, our group chat get woken up to a stream of messages in which our friend pronounces herself to be over sex, men, life in general. When asked why she slept with him, her only answer is “He went to Eataly and made me meatballs. It was nice.”
Now, I’m in no way judging my friend for having casual, easy, unplanned coitus. It is my firm belief that sex is an imperative activity and should be maximized whenever possible. The only thing I am judging, no, reprimanding her for, is the motivation behind it. You see, “nice” is not a valid reason to get into bed with somebody, and neither are hand-sculpted meatballs. Not because it makes you a slut, but because I know from personal experience that bad sex can actually be detrimental to your libido, leaving you with a lousy aftertaste and a resolve to stay celibate for the foreseeable future.
That being said, here are some questions that you should ask yourself the next time you are in the process of deliberating a casual sex candidature.
Do you have chemistry? Since we are talking about a predominantly physical relationship here, a sex partner must be somebody you are physically attracted to. It’s about the touch, the smell, the pheromones, but also about the certain je ne said quoi that makes you laugh at his jokes and makes the thought of passing out next to him easily digestible.
Does you see any real potential? This is going to sound crass, but I generally categorize guys into two groups: those who have long-term potential and those who don’t. Placement can be determined by the amount of metaphorical red flags they bear. Do they have excessive baggage? Palpable parental issues? Failure to launch syndrome? If number of red flags exceeds one (because everybody is entitled to one) and the chemistry is there, feel free to expedite it to the bedroom. If you have even an inkling of interest in something more serious, do yourself a favor and hold on to your flower until the right moment. As I’m sure you remember your mother telling you at age 15, “If he’s for you, he will wait.”
Can you handle it? Signing up for casual sex means making an unspoken agreement with yourself that you will be okay with this thing hitting a complete dead end, which isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. As much as we want to be all cool and feeling-proof, most women are loving and caring creatures who tend to get attached easily. Also, as we get older and more boring, casual sex accords often become accompanied by a side of coupley activities and mini-vacations, which can mentally trick you into thinking you are in an actual relationship. (Been there, done that!) To prevent this from happening, decide in advance how you are going to handle an unexpected emergence of feelings and stick to your plan.
Are YOU having fun? Rule of thumb: if you’re going to have sex, you better make sure you enjoy it. According to this Goop article, women have yet another inequality to deal with: an orgasm gap that indicates that men are having 27% more orgasms than us. It turns out that, when it comes to our physical pleasure, we are simply not demanding enough of our partners. Ladies, listen to me: orgasms are wonderful and none of you should be deprived of them, so figure out how the hell your body works and instruct the guy! Hand out a manual if you must! But, please, orgasm!
As for me, I will never look at a plate of meatballs the same way again.