The Unspoken Rules of Local Casual Sex

Local casual sex is the kind of hookup that people have long criticized for its lack of intimacy and its potentially dangerous imbalance in power. Yet it continues to proliferate, as even a cursory glance at dating apps or the news will prove. Some critics have called for a return to more traditional dating practices, while others have hailed the popularity of casual sexual encounters as evidence of changing mores and a broader embrace of gender equality.

The reality, as usual, is more complicated than either of these positions might suggest. Local casual sex is not just a matter of changing attitudes and morals—it is a complex web of social, economic, and cultural forces at work that make casual sex possible in the first place.

Casual sex can take many forms, from a one-night stand to an extended affair. Some hook up with friends while others may explore kinky subcultures and participate in sex events like swinger’s parties or sex clubs. It may seem as though everyone flouts the rules when it comes to casual sex, but in fact, there are a lot of unspoken rules that protect both partners from harm and heartbreak.

For example, it’s essential to check-in verbally to ensure that your partner is on board for whatever you are doing. However, this should not come at the expense of body language and other non-verbal signals. If a new hookup is uncomfortable with what you are asking for or seems to be changing their minds, it’s perfectly reasonable to stop the activity and move on. The opposite is also true: never force a partner to do something that makes them uncomfortable.

Other unspoken rules include the need to wear a condom and to always have a plan B in case it breaks. Lubricant can improve sex and can also help keep the condom from breaking, so it is always a good idea to bring some with you. And of course, never leave your phone or other personal belongings where they can be stolen.

Some people use casual sex as an alternative to dating or relationships, citing its low stress and no-strings-attached appeal. However, other people feel that it’s a waste of their time and resources. The truth is, it’s impossible to know if casual sex will lead to anything lasting unless you put in the effort to cultivate a meaningful relationship.

The most popular app for finding a local casual hookup is Tinder, with 20+ million members worldwide. While the site is designed to promote serious relationships, there are plenty of casual users—and 80% of Tinder members are men (or male-identifying).

For a more targeted approach, try Hinge or Bumble, which both have more rigorous screening processes and a focus on matching based on mutual interests. Ashley Madison, notorious for their prior scandals, is back with a rebranded platform and best-in-class privacy features that are designed to give you complete discretion.

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