Call them what you want: fuck buddies, friends with benefits, side hoes...but however you refer to your lovers, casual relationships are hard. Even so, having a consistent yet flexible, and comfortable yet unattached hookup buddy is the dream for many of us. But it isn’t always sunshine and multiple orgasms—almost inevitably it seems like one (or god forbid, both) of you will catch feelings. 

Now, in my twenty–odd years of being alive, I don’t believe I’ve wracked up a plethora of talents. But I am damn good at keeping men where I want them—in my bed, not my heart. I established multiple of these relationships during NSO freshman year, and they have braved cold Philly weather when we lived on opposite ends of campus and long intern summers. 

The key to grabbing a significant other, and keeping him or her around, is setting yourself up for success. Here's how.

Here's how you do that:

Be honest about what you want. Have you ever had someone tell you they’re uncomfortable with you sleeping around? I have. That person will not make a good fuck buddy unless you're cool getting down with just him (or her). Make it super clear that you’re not looking for love—just sex. If you get a booty call text at 2 a.m. when you’re in someone else’s bed, don’t get caught in a lie. Simply politely inform your suitor that you are currently er… tied up in another matter, and you will not be available.

Don’t expect a date night or formal invite. Date nights are fun. However, scoring a coveted invite isn’t really what you’re going for here with your arrangement. You’re in for the post–date night sex, not the pregame before. 

Skip the obligatory sleepover. Why sleep naked in a dirty frat house when you have a super comfortable bed? Why wake up early to the smell of sweat and someone else’s morning breath when you can wake up late to easy toothbrush access? Remember: he (or she) is your fuck buddy, not your teddy bear.

Give constructive criticism—and welcome it back. The entire point of a friend–with–benefits is being able to comfortably hook up with someone who knows your body. If you like what’s going on in bed, tell them that the way they flick their tongue is sexy. If you don’t, tell them that their whispering in your ear is creeping you out.

Throw all the rules out the window (except the need for consent, duh). Be your own person. Do what you want. If you want to sleep in a guy’s bed three weekends in a row without ever putting out, you’re not a tease, you're not a prude. If you’re in a new bed every night, good for you. Let’s throw a bed party.

Sometimes, you just gotta tell your friends. When all your friends are loved–up and confined to cute little relationships (an occupational hazard of senior year) you have to let them live vicariously through you. Trust me, they need it.

Have fun! We can’t all be single and carefree all the time, so enjoy it while it lasts!