A lover’s guide to non-committal sex with integrity

A lover’s guide to non-committal sex with integrity

One of our greatest tools for connection, *the internet*, also plays a huge role in allowing us to depersonalise from our dating experiences. With the power of Instagram, Hinge and all of its friends, it has never been easier to have seemingly non-consequential sexual encounters, celebrated one-night stands or casual flings. True to consumerist culture, many of the interactions down the “quick fuck” app highways see people (and their wellbeing) tossed aside to make room for the next one; leaving a lot of collateral damage sans dignity, with none to rely on except internet memes and streaming services for numbing the aftereffects.

A thought that originated deep within the BDSM community is the tenet of aftercare. Aftercare is the acknowledgement that each individual participating in intimate acts has a set of emotional needs that require attention in order for that individual to be fulfilled post-intimacy. Read here more simply: empathetic care. 

From your own sexual experiences you may be able to identify times when the sex was good enough but afterwards you needed to be held and instead were fallen asleep on. Or maybe you left in an Uber hurriedly, when a piece of cut-up fruit would have been exactly the act of service and sugar hit you deserved after your hard work making someone come for the third time this month (casually). In a 2020 study, it revealed that whilst casual sexual experiences were more so thought of as positive overall, their short-term impact on the individual, particularly women, was largely and rapidly negative. It mightn’t surprise you that two of the most influential variables on whether someone felt good after casual sex were alcohol use preceding the sex and the degree of comfortability/association they had with the person.   

One way of interpreting this is that the sex that you want to come back for more of, is often the type where you feel the safest. The feeling of safety may be elicited by familiarity, a trauma pattern, or the conscious injection of pleasure. In any case, knowing what makes you feel good is a really important part of being able to facilitate pleasure for others. This is also reflected within a 2018 study which showed that participants were more likely to engage in foreplay and cuddle in casual sexual scenarios than they were in long-term relationships. With this sort of science, we do not believe in fallacies such as “meaningless sex” in 2024. It’s a warzone out there, and we all just want to be loved. 

When we look at integrity within intimacy, we are taking into account a reflective view of our amassed sexual experiences (aka your lived wisdom on the victim/victor axis of less educated sex), as well as a proactive, empathetic view of the probable impact of your sexual actions (aka your sexual intuition, inspiration and intention). If you start to hone into both, controversially so, Jonny suggests you can have sex with integrity even in the most casual, non-committal of arrangements.

If you take away nothing else, read clearly: there is nothing meaningless about casual sex. Emotionally detached sex, does not mean devoid of care. In fact, if you want to stay detached and avoid negative emotions, you can’t avoid the steps required to keep you and your lovers protected. 

Curiosities of the high-integrity sexual partner:

  1. “Is there anything that would make this safer physically or emotionally for us both?
Being risk aware means taking into account physical and emotional sensitivities. Some of these things may include: 
  • Birth control and birth control boundaries (don’t assume someone’s ability to pull-out or okayness with taking the morning after pill)
  • Existing vulnerabilities such as sexual trauma 
  • Existing sexual health considerations such as HSV1& 2 and HPV. 

2. Do you want to _______?

Being consent positive requires an enthusiastic yes to any intimacy-inciting question where both partners are sensitive to changes of mood and physical response, interested in the other’s pleasure and contributing positively to the overall experience. Positive-consent is now a legal requirement of sex, so you may as well practice asking for it sexily. 


3. I like _____. How do you feel about that?

Regardless of whether you know someone’s name or can speak their language fluently, communicating about the terms of the sexual arrangement and checking-in regularly, ensures everyone feels comfortable to express their needs. If it feels awkward breaking the ice or you don’t feel confident speaking up in the bedroom, you can start by giving your partner an affirmation and following up with a question i.e. “That felt really good when you did that. How does it feel when I ____”. 


By externalising these thoughts and feelings, you start to draw clear boundaries around the interaction and focus your energy on the movements and feelings that are most pleasurable. 


4. What was your favourite part of that?

As casual sex continues to be one of our greatest tools for becoming better lovers, discussing sensations that felt good and opening up space to hear what felt unique or challenging is a really cool part of aftercare. Knowledge is power, do more. 


5. Can I do anything to make you feel good right now?  

In this aftercare conversation you can ascertain whether someone needs space or closeness, and feel into what you need also i.e if one person needs space whilst the other requires closeness is there a way to do both? 


6. In an ideal world_______

Being realistic about the nature of the relationship involves being accountable to what you promise and what you accept. Be upfront about your availability and ultimate arrangement. And most importantly, stick to it. 

On the other hand, if you accept someone’s ideal offer, respect their boundaries. If they’ve told you they only have capacity to see you once a fortnight, don’t be upset when they can’t meet up more than that. Having sexual integrity means self-regulating sexual desires where appropriate, and avoiding acting out of hormonal spikes caused by intimacy withdrawals. 


7. Can I book an appointment to get tested?

You should be asking yourself this after every partner or two, especially if you’re not using Jonny. You can even access bulk billed testing online here Australia-wide. Or on your day off, find a local clinic, take a sexually active friend and make a coffee date out of it. Blood test bandaids are, in fact, sexy.  



The same tool weaponised against us is also the best for resources relating to conscious pleasure. Use the internet to your advantage. 

Most of all, Jonny feels good when you feel good. If you have a question relating to feeling good or making someone else feel good, message our friends at CH-VOID’s Self-Service free advice line here. Their professional relationships support team will get back to you within 48 hours.