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Friends With Benefits: Keepin' Things Classy

10/19/2011 01:54 pm ET | Updated Dec 19, 2011

I recently watched both No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits out of idle, anthropological curiosity. (I liked the one that had naked Justin Timberlake better.) I personally think this is a crappy plot premise for a romantic comedy, because it gives some pathetic moviegoers the mistaken idea that their out-of-their-league/commitmentphobic bootycall friend might actually commit someday. No, no, you're doing it wrong. The whole point of having friends with benefits is that you can have sex and companionship without the drama of a real relationship, and if the situation doesn't work out, you can cut your losses and move on without a traumatic break up.

Nevertheless, I feel like our society still has a lot of baggage about casual sex, and there's a real lack of etiquette around how to fuck around in a classy way. We are going to learn how to be classy sluts today. I am here to help you. This advice is primarily geared towards straight women since we're the ones who are systematically told that nobody will want to buy our cow if we give away the milk for free. I don't particularly like being compared to a cow, or being told that liking to fuck reduces my market value. Fuck that shit. In the infamous words of Jay Z, "Ladies is pimps too, go and brush your shoulders off." I dare you to be a lady pimp.

Here's how to do it right:

1. Don't do the friends with benefits thing if deep down a committed relationship is all you want. Don't be FWBs with an ex you are still emotionally attached to, or someone that you are secretly in love with, as it will make you miserable. The perfect FWB is a sexy person who is not boyfriend material. I can't believe how many women are like, "Oh, I like that guy but he's not _______ so I don't want to date him." Just fuck him, and don't even worry about dating. Unlike women, a lot of straight dudes FANTASIZE about being "used" for sex, so you don't have to feel bad about this.

2. Play safe. Meet in public first. Text their name and license plate number to a friend, set up a safe call, let your trick KNOW you have a safe call. Don't go home with anyone who gives you a bad vibe. Use barriers and get tested for STDs regularly. Assume everyone you sleep with has HPV and herpes. Hell, assume YOU have HPV and herpes. There aren't really great ways to test for these viruses, a huge percentage of the population already have them, condoms don't 100% protect against them, and it's possible to be asymptomatic your entire life. That said, be upfront if you know you've got an STI, get the vaccine and regular pap smears, and don't fuck anyone who is clearly having an outbreak of something. If the prospect of catching HPV/Herpes is something that freaks you out beyond all reason, you shouldn't be having casual sex. Hell, you shouldn't be having sex, period. This is a reality of having sex. Deal with it.

3. Don't start a FWB thing with someone in an open relationship unless you know their partner is legitimately cool with it. This kind of situation can breed competition and drama, and I don't enjoy being told what I can and can't do with by a fuckbuddy's insecure girlfriend. And don't be a dumbass -- if you know your FWB is going to be at a party with someone else, bring your own date so you don't feel like a super awkward third wheel.

4. Take a tip from Suze Orman: diversify your cock portfolio. I find having multiple fuck buddies keeps me from getting too attached to any of them. Putting your sexual eggs in one emotionally unavailable basket is a recipe for neediness and insecurity, and finding multiple sex partners as a straight woman is usually not that difficult.

5. Don't expect your trick to call you the day after you hook up/drive you to the hospital/remember your birthday. It's not their job to act like a boyfriend, so don't expect them to. The trade off is you have no obligation to answer their call at 3 a.m./perform sex acts you're not into/lend them $5.

6. Allow plenty of time between hook-ups. I feel like seeing someone once every 2-3 weeks is about the ideal interval to maintain appropriate boundaries. This is why it's good to have several fuckbuddies -- if one goes AWOL for a while, you have a back up or three. Think of it as sexual crop rotation.

7. Don't send mixed messages. I know a dude who goes to elaborate lengths to wine and dine women when all he really wants is to get laid. He'll take a lady out to a movie and a fancy meal, then wait until AFTER sex to blurt out, "You know this is casual, right?" WRONG. Don't do this. Be up front! I'm not saying you can't ever make dinner for your fuck buddy, but WAIT until you have an established dynamic so you're not sending the wrong signal.

8. Kissing, sleepovers, cuddling -- these are controversial FWB activities that must be considered on a case by case basis. Honest, non-committal affection is not the same as inappropriately intense false intimacy. Know the difference.

9. Try every freaky, dirty thing you've ever wanted to try, and enjoy it.

10. Ignore the haters. Anyone who judges you for having fun is probably jealous because you're getting laid way more often than they are. Call out double standards and sex-negative attitudes as bullshit.

11. Quit when things stop being fun.

(Parts of this post were excerpted from School For Scandal blog).