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It's a Fling Thing
By Kimberly Dawn Neumann,
Co-author of Sex Comes First: 15 Ways to Help Your Relationship . . . Without Leaving Your Bedroom

No doubt hook-ups happen. And sometimes they can be okay, but you must have both eyes wide open prior to taking a bedside tumble. In other words, before you get jiggy with that hottie you just met, ask yourself the following questions to keep your sex-pectations in check.

  1. Am I doing this for the right reasons? If your reason for a fling includes trying to wipe out the memory of an ex or perhaps trying to get a date to like you as something more well, chances are you should be keeping your clothes on. If you think that having a fling will help you forget a love gone wrong, remember that if you’re emotionally fragile, it may have the opposite effect (i.e. you'll spend the whole time comparing this person to your ex and then later on likely crying over what once was -- rebounds rarely erase "ex" sex memories). And if you think that having sex with someone will make them like you if you're on the fence keep this in mind . . . sometimes sex is just sex. It might mean something to you but be more of an athletic outlet to someone else. In other words, the ONLY way to say "yes" to this is if you truly think you'll be okay if you never hear from the person again. Otherwise, you might be setting yourself up for emotional disaster after the physical pleasure is over.

  2. Am I picking an appropriate flinger? In other words, deciding to "do it" with your best friend just because you're both single and horny may not be the wisest choice. "Friends with benefits" can become dangerous territory . . . especially if you've been friends for a while. Here's the thing, once you cross THAT line, your relationship will be different 12 hours later . . . guaranteed. So, make sure you're prepared for the consequences of whatever happens with whomever things happen. If this is a friendship you cannot afford to lose, then you might want to think twice (especially if there is any imbibing involved). Same thing goes for work colleagues. On the flip side, picking a total stranger at a bar may not be the best option either. What do you really know about this person? It's important to keep personal boundaries in mind. However, let's say you meet someone you're attracted to and you know that you two won't be a long-term match but you can foresee some special times spent together over a season (i.e. summer romance perhaps), well . . . then as long as you go in knowing the parameters and you're okay with the fact that this fling might prevent you from meeting Mr. or Miss Right since you're "sort of" involved, then . . . the choice is yours.

  3. Am I safe and protected? This is pretty much the MOST important fling thing. It's fine to have spontaneous fun but not if the repercussions of that decision negatively impact your health or life forever. Be smart, use protection and never go home with anyone about whom you have ANY reservations. Listen to your instincts . . . they're probably right.

  4. Am I equipped to handle the situation if my emotions DO get involved? Here's the thing . . . even with the best of intentions, hormones can get involved. Oxytocin, otherwise known as the love hormone, can trick you into thinking you're suddenly crazy about someone after you've done the deed just because the hormone is released when you're intimate. Don't try to make a relationship out of a no-win situation just because he or she is amazing in bed. The other attributes must be in place too. That said if your fling turns into more and you're both on the same page about it . . . congratulations. Sometimes life hands you little surprises. But recognize that if it's not a two-way street well . . . that is the risk you took the minute you decided to take things to another level. If you have any reservations or think you might be crushed if your fling doesn't turn into something else, better to say "no thank you" and look for something more lasting. Because remember, it's your heart that you're playing with and ultimately, the goal is happiness, not heartbreak. Fling wisely!

©2009 Kimberly Dawn Neumann, co-author of Sex Comes First:15 Ways to Help Your Relationship . . . Without Leaving Your Bedroom

Author Bio
Kimberly Dawn Neumann, co-author of Sex Comes First: 15 Ways to Help Your Relationship . . . Without Leaving Your Bedroom, is a Broadway performer and highly credited dating/sex/relationship writer. Her work has appeared in Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Marie Claire, Maxim, and more. She lives in New York City.

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