NSA relationships can be confusing – one minute, you’re sexting up a storm, and the next, you’re wondering, “Wait, what are we?”
But before you dip your toes in no-strings-attached fun, there are some key things you should know.
This type of connection can be liberating and off-the-charts sexy, but you need to understand what it entails before you jump into the deep end.
If this lifestyle intrigues you, grab a drink and get comfy while we spill the tea on the rules for a successful NSA adventure.
What Is an NSA Relationship Exactly?
An NSA relationship, also known as a no-strings-attached relationship, is a casual sexual relationship between two people who want to enjoy the excitement of intimacy without the constraints of commitment or expectations for the future.
The “no strings attached” aspect refers to the freedom this type of casual relationship provides – no jealousy, no questions about dating others, and no pressure to turn the fling into something more serious.
NSA relationships are focused on fun, friendship, and physical satisfaction in the moment as opposed to romantic love and planning a life together.
There is meant to be zero confusion about what an NSA is, so you can enjoy the fun without stress or commitments.
15 Rules for an NSA Relationship You Need to Know
NSA relationships require some guidelines to keep things fun and drama-free.
Before you dive in, make sure you know these essential no-strings-attached rules that address communication, expectations, boundaries, safety, and more.
1. Set Clear Boundaries Upfront
When entering an NSA relationship, have an honest discussion about what you both want and don’t want out of the arrangement. Talk about your expectations for communication, hooking up, activities you enjoy or don’t, and if you plan to see other people. Getting clarity on boundaries from the start prevents misunderstandings down the road.
One person may want sleepovers, while the other prefers to go home after hooking up. Discuss how often you want to meet up, your texting habits, whether you’re comfortable sending sexy pics, what you want to do in bed, and what’s off-limits. Being upfront prevents guessing games and hurt feelings later.
2. Use Protection and Get Tested
Safe sex is a must to keep things physically risk-free. Always use protection and get regularly tested if you plan to have multiple partners. Don’t make assumptions about sexual health – better safe than sorry. Make sure to have a frank conversation about recent tests, birth control preferences, and protection before getting intimate.
Protection against STDs and pregnancy prevents health disasters. Don’t rely on your partner’s word about tests – ask to see the results. Get tested every three months if you have new partners. Don’t pressure your partner if they insist on certain protection. Make smart choices to avoid infections or unintended pregnancy.
3. Don’t Catch Feelings
Remember the “no strings attached” part? Catching feelings can get messy quickly. Of course, you can enjoy the friendship and company, but don’t expect romantic love. If deeper feelings do develop, have an open chat before hearts get broken.
It’s easy to confuse great physical chemistry for something more. But in NSA relationships, mentioning love or planning a future is off the table. Keep things in perspective by spending time apart and seeing other people. If you notice you or your partner forming an attachment, pump the brakes before it goes too far.
4. Keep it Just Between You Two
What happens between the sheets stays there. Don’t go blabbing details to your besties. Keep your NSA partner’s privacy and acquire their consent before telling others. Kiss and tell usually backfires. Keep it classy.
Resist the urge to brag or gossip about your NSA exploits – it’s tacky. Never reveal private details, photos, or videos without permission. Be vague if friends ask how you met. Use discretion when texting. Your sex life isn’t everyone’s business.
5. Set a Casual Vibe
NSA relationships should feel easy, chill, and pressure-free. Don’t demand too much time or make your partner feel smothered. Set a casual “friends with benefits” vibe by doing relaxed activities like cooking dinner, watching movies, or hitting up a bar together.
Avoid bombarding your partner with texts or requests to hang out. Don’t get upset if days or weeks pass between meetups – remember, zero expectations. Offer low-key invitations instead of anything formal. Smiley emojis set a flirty yet casual tone.
6. Don’t Get Jealous
Green isn’t your color, so leave jealousy at the door. You both agreed to a no-strings situation. Your NSA partner can flirt, date, and hook up with others – that’s the deal. If you start feeling possessive, take a step back.
If you notice yourself getting irrationally angry or hurt seeing your NSA partner with someone else, remind yourself they can do what they want. You’re not committed. If jealousy becomes an issue, consider if you really want a no-strings arrangement or something more exclusive. Talk it out honestly.
7. Keep Scheduling Flexible
With zero obligations, your calendars should stay open. Avoid planning too far in advance so you can leave room for the unexpected. Don’t take it personally if your NSA partner is unavailable or wants a raincheck.
Rather than cementing rigid plans, keep things tentative, like “Wanna hang at my place Friday night, maybe?” Don’t expect your NSA partner to attend social events as your plus one, either. The beauty of NSA relationships is their casual flexibility. Both your lives should freely continue outside your hookups.
8. Discuss the Possibility of Catching Feelings
Even if you start out emotion-free, things can shift. Talk periodically to make sure you’re both still on the same NSA page. If one person is developing stronger feelings, address it immediately so no one gets led on.
Have honest talks every so often about where you’re both at emotionally. Look out for signs like jealousy, irritation at scheduling conflicts, or one person pushing for more closeness. If you cross the line into dating territory, admit it’s time to adjust the terms of your relationship.
9. Keep Some Mystery
While communication is key, retaining some intrigue keeps things exciting. You don’t need to spill your whole life story or get overly personal. Leave a little mystery to unravel about yourself over time while staying casual.
Resist oversharing personal woes or trauma too soon with an NSA partner, as that can shift the vibe from flirty to heavy. Keep talks focused on having fun in the moment versus digging into your histories. Offer interesting tidbits about your hobbies, friends, and adventures to keep it light.
10. Prioritize Positivity
With zero drama as the goal, keep things upbeat when you interact. Be supportive, not critical of your partner’s life happenings. Crack jokes, share laughs, flirt – keep the energy feel-good.
Avoid venting, complaining, or dumping your problems on an NSA partner. Don’t “harsh their mellow” by sulking or picking fights, either. Even during conflict, communicate in a calm, kind way. Positivity creates an enjoyable vibe that makes NSA arrangements sustainable.
11. Have an Exit Strategy
NSA relationships aren’t destined to last forever. Have an idea of how you’ll wrap things up when the time comes to move on so there are no hurt feelings. Consider if you’d prefer to phase things out slowly or directly end it after a certain point.
Would closure drinks or dinner provide a gracious finale? Or do a simple final hookup and then stop contacting each other? Discuss potential off-ramp strategies in advance so that when one of you is ready to exit, you part on good terms.
12. Don’t Force a Friendship
While NSA partners may chat, share meals, and enjoy activities together, avoid pressuring an actual friendship if the chemistry isn’t there. Let any bonding flow naturally, or keep things purely physical.
If you don’t click as confidants, don’t try to force deep convos or request excessive hangouts. Connecting as buds shouldn’t feel like work. Keep encounters focused on having adult fun together, not building a bestie bond. If a friendship organically develops over time, great. If not, keep it about the physical connection.
13. Disconnect Digitally When Needed
In an NSA arrangement, constant texts and calls aren’t required. Don’t feel obligated to digitally chat between hookups. It’s fine to temporarily halt messaging if you need space.
If you get annoyed by frequent check-ins from your NSA partner, politely say you’re going offline for a bit. Turn off notifications or unfollow their social media for a breather. Reconnect when you’re eager for another romp. Quality face time matters more than daily digital chats.
14. Let Any Jealousy Go
You relinquished the right to feel possessive when opting for no-strings fun. Don’t let jealousy take root. Your NSA partner is not yours exclusively – avoid acting entitled to their time.
If your hookup buddy is dating or sleeping with others, mind your business. They don’t owe you explanations about their social life. Keep things in perspective: this relationship is just physical release and enjoyment, nothing more. If jealousy appears, get real about whether you want deeper ties.
15. Know When To Call It Quits
NSA arrangements have a limited shelf life. Pay attention to any signs it’s run its course, like boredom, irritation, or craving more connection. Don’t drag it out once it expires.
End things cleanly when the intimacy fizzles out, or one of you wants to move on. Have the closure talk in person if possible. A simple “It’s been fun, but I’m over it” will suffice – no need to ghost or give lengthy explanations about why. Keep the farewell short, light, and drama-free. Exit gracefully.
What Is the Difference Between FWB and NSA?
FWB (friends with benefits) and NSA (no strings attached) are both casual relationship styles, but there are some key differences.
While the boundaries in both are looser than in an exclusive romance, FWBs have more strings attached than a strictly NSA situation. Here are some of the main distinctions:
- Friendship: FWBs involve an actual platonic friendship, while NSA does not require any friendship beyond sexual chemistry.
- Communication: FWBs normally involve more regular chatting and checking in as friends do. NSA interaction can be more sporadic and focused just on hookups.
- Activities: Hanging out, getting meals, and sharing interests beyond sex are more common in FWB dynamics compared to NSA.
- Exclusivity: FWBs often agree not to have sex with others, but NSA relationships involve zero expectations of exclusivity with physical intimacy.
- Emotions: FWBS requires managing some degree of attachment as friends. NSAs aim to remove emotions and affection from the equation altogether.
So, in summary, FWB adds a layer of friendship that the NSA lacks. The “no strings” aspect of NSA is taken more literally – it’s purely about the mutual benefits of sexual encounters.
Can An NSA Lead to a Relationship?
While NSA arrangements are intended to be free of emotional entanglements, sometimes things shift over time. The excitement and enjoyment of great sex with no commitment can occasionally pave the way for deeper feelings if you vibe emotionally, too.
If you find yourself looking forward to non-sexual time together and start craving true intimacy beyond physical thrills, your NSA fling may be transforming into real relationship territory emotionally and physically.
Tread carefully, though – not all NSA partners want more than a casual fling, so don’t assume.
What Are the Potential Pitfalls of a No Strings Attached Relationship?
NSAs can be thrilling in the moment but also come with some risky downsides if you’re not careful. Here are the main pitfalls to watch out for:
When off the table, jealousy can still sneak up on you if emotions get tangled. Hooking up with multiple partners or seeing your NSA buddy on dates can provoke envy. Keep feelings in check, or consider a different setup.
Boundaries can blur over time, especially if you connect as friends, too. Flirty texts, sweet compliments, and deep convos can confuse NSA terms. Don’t lead anyone on if you want to keep it casual.
In the heat of NSA passion, safety precautions like using protection and sharing test results often get dismissed or forgotten. Don’t risk your health – make smart choices every single time.
Catching romantic feelings for an NSA partner complicates arrangements fast. Either shift back to just sex or have the define-the-relationship talk to start dating exclusively.
The Fade Out
When one person loses interest, ghosting or abruptly ending communication can cause hurt feelings. Be prepared for any NSA to run its course and end maturely when it does.
So, while NSA setups seem simple in theory, real human emotions and behaviors can derail the “no strings” approach. Mitigate messiness through honest communication, reasonable expectations, and self-control.
NSA relationships can be exhilarating when handled with care and clear boundaries. By following the guidelines for respect, discretion, protection, and open communication, you can enjoy all the excitement of no-strings-attached fun. Just be smart, be safe, and keep things drama-free by sticking to NSA fundamentals. Get ready for some liberating action!