4 tips for having a casual relationship

For years, Lia Holmgren didn’t understand why she felt rampant emotions after having a casual relationship.

“Every time I had a casual relationship with someone who didn’t have a job or basic things, like a bed frame, I felt tied to it for weeks,” Holmgren told Insider.

Convinced that something was wrong with her brain, she researched the science behind true untethered relationships for women. After devouring more than 100 research papers on the subject, Holmgren, a relationship counselor with more than 10 years of experience and a former dominatrix, wrote: “Hookup without Heartbreak.”

The book offers practical advice so that women—who want to enjoy casual relationships and their singleness through encounters—can prioritize their needs and boundaries, according to her.

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When you’re sober, set your limits

First, Holmgren recommended that you should set personal boundaries to prepare for and have a positive connection experience.

To do that, you need to fantasize about your next casual relationship, while sober, to identify your ideal situation.

Then, write a “disclaimer of personal responsibility,” Holmgren said.

She suggested something like, “I know this could happen only once, and there’s a chance he’s just being lovely and sweet to take me to bed. I have no expectation that he will text me, call me, or want to see me again. I’m accepting this as an experience I chose to have in my life, and I’m fine with whatever comes next.”

Then, write a sentence or two about your intentions in sexual intercourse, such as fulfilling a fantasy or feel rejuvenated after the experience, Holmgren said.

She shared that reading aloud your self-revelation before a casual relationship can help you better communicate your needs and boundaries at the moment.

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Prioritize your pleasure and express your needs

If you’re determined to have a casual relationship, you should also give up traditional advice, which tends to focus on male pleasure, Holmgren said.

She wrote that she began to focus on her own pleasure after becoming a dominatrix.

“After meeting many men from all walks of life, I realized that their greatest desire is female pleasure,” she wrote.

She said women seeking casual relationships should be explicit with their male partners about the type of acts they want to experience.

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Fantasize about the casual relationship, but not about the future

To avoid developing feelings, Holmgren suggested keeping your fantasies focused on the casual relationship.

That means you shouldn’t let your mind get distracted by potential vacations, message exchanges, dinner dates, or presentations from friends and family.

“Thinking about him outside the bedroom creates the feeling of a serious relationship that only exists in your head,” she wrote.

Instead, fantasize about the kind of casual relationship you want to have, Holmgren, said.

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Be honest with yourself about your intentions

According to Holmgren, being honest with yourself is the most important aspect of preparing for a casual relationship.

“If you’re looking for a relationship and mask those needs as sexual desire, it may not end well,” Holmgren said.

She said there’s nothing wrong with focusing on emotional intimacy if that’s your preference.

“I want women to know themselves,” Holmgren said.

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