No Strings Attached (NSA) RelationshipsIf you decide to partake in a NSA relationship, you are committing yourself to the art form of alternative partnering. You are committing to the huge deviation from traditional relationships of past generations. You, my friend, are venturing into the unknown. Luckily, what is unknown to many is known to (company/blog)! As you begin your adventure into the delicate intricacies of NSA relationships, allow me to offer some general guidelines and an overview on how to expect the unexpected.
1- First and foremost, spend some time in self-reflection to figure out what type of partnership you want!
You already know that the traditional mold just isn’t for you. Perhaps you don’t have enough time for maintaining a committed relationship or maybe you simply aren’t interested in the heteronormative, gender-role enforcing Cinderella Story. Then again, you might be interested in a NSA relationship just as an experiment, or it might be due to your disillusionment with romanticism. Wherever your reasons for seeking a NSA relationship lie, it is crucial for you to reflect on the potential compatible traits of possible NSA partners.
2- Ensure the conclusions of your self-reflection still meet the criteria for a NSA relationship
A basic definition for a NSA relationship is a situation where (any number of) consenting adults decide to enter into a sexual, physical relationship with one another that purposely excludes any expectation for or presence of commitment found within traditional relationships. Naturally, emotional attachment or romantic feelings are also purposely excluded from the relationship. This should be a mutual understanding between the NSA partnerships.
If you find that this definition is completely off from what you’re looking for in a relationship, venturing into the unknown of NSA relationships is not for you!
3- Find a compatible partner
The partner (or partners) you choose to engage in a NSA relationship with should be someone you feel comfortable with. A relationship without commitment is not the same thing as a relationship without any chemistry! Where is the fun in a relationship if you’re uncomfortable with your partner? Find someone who has similar ideas regarding their NSA preferences, who you are comfortable with, and, frankly, who you want to have sex with/are sexually attracted to!
4- Establish mutually understood ground rules
In order to maintain emotional distance from your NSA partnership, keep the sexual relationship enjoyable, and prevent any communication problems, you and your chosen partner need to sit down and have an honest discussion about what each of you are or are not comfortable with – this should happen BEFORE moving forward with a NSA relationship. Important topics you should discuss are: protection, contraception (for opposite-sex partnerships), comfort levels concerning roughness, things you are absolutely not okay with regarding sexual activities, things you are willing to try but are unsure of, and finally, potential warning signs to look out for down the road that should lead to a discussion about terminating the relationship.
5- Understand the risks
As with any sexual relationship, make sure you are conscious of possible STDS and protection malfunctions. As I said earlier, this is largely uncharted territory – and with that comes the associated stigma. Be prepared for unwelcome judgements and comments from those you decide to tell or those who somehow become aware of your NSA relationship. While it important to understand the implications a NSA relationship has on others’ perceptions of you, try to not let it deter you! A unique risk of NSA relationships if the development of emotions between partners. Address this risk through discussing your ideas on what to do should such emotions develop. Do you want to let it play out or should you end it right then and there? Deciding what to do in this case is entirely up to you and your NSA partner(s).
6- Have Fun
NSA relationships are generally not long-term relationships. So, have fun with it! Don’t worry about the trivialities of traditional relationships we have grown up learning and watching – such a lifestyle may not be for you! While the threat of emotional development is real, it is nothing to worry about! What happens in a NSA relationship is what happens – there is not much you can do about it besides go with the flow, communicate, and stick to the ground rules. With such a worry-free relationship, you will be the happiest of them all!