10 Tips for Playing the Field Without Being a Player
The AskMen editorial team thoroughly researches & reviews the best gear, services and staples for life. AskMen may get paid if you click a link in this article and buy a product or service.
We live in a secular, sexually liberated society where sex doesn’t have to lead to a relationship, let alone marriage and children. And yet there are still a lot of issues with our “hookup culture” and how it leaves people feeling unnecessarily terrible about themselves. What gives?
Study after study on men and women’s feelings after a casual hookup reveals a stark disparity in emotional enjoyment, especially in the immediate aftermath of the event. Fully half of the women questioned in one study reported negative feelings about a one-night stand they’d had.
What explains these negative feelings? A common theme among the dissatisfied women wasn’t so much they wanted a relationship and only got sex, but that they felt “used” at the end of the evening or on the following day. Some men, admittedly, are only out for themselves, with no regard for how they make the other person feel, but these numbers are so high that they suggest that many good, kind men are also – perhaps inadvertently – causing their partners emotional distress.
Does this mean you can’t or shouldn’t hook up? We don’t think so. But you do need to be respectful. It’s totally fine to be naughty, but at least be a naughty gentleman.
“I’ve always said there’s a difference between a player and a playboy. Players have to lie to get what they want. A playboy can get what he wants with the truth. There is nothing wrong with explaining to a woman that you are very attracted to them and you want to show them a great time,” says dating and relationship expert Steve Ward of Master Matchmakers. “Women would rather be told the truth than to be patronized. Sure, there’s a chance that she may be holding out hope that she’s the one who can settle you down. There’s also a chance she may summarily dismiss you. But she could also be up for an adventure with a guy she feels she can trust.”
So, if you want to hook up with a girl, treat her fairly, honestly, and be upfront about what you want. “Not all women want to be in relationships either so you’re better off making no assumptions than making the wrong assumptions,” notes Ward. “Honesty, no matter how difficult or uncomfortable it may be, usually prevails.
We’ve put together ten helpful, actionable tips to make sure that you’re playing the field responsibly, and bringing the people you hook up with more joy and happiness than sadness and anxiety.
1. Opt Out of That Last Drink
Drunk sex might sound fun in theory, but it can often be a sloppy, messy disaster (and that’s assuming you manage to get it up). Sure those last few shots seemed like a good idea, and now you’re extra confident and super loose, but those drinks are going to hit you where it hurts: in the genitals.
“Whiskey dick is real, ladies and gents! And even if the equipment is working, there’s no guarantee that you will be able to hit the right spots, keep the rhythm or ward off the spins when you switch from doggie style to cowgirl position,” says Emily Morse, sexologist and host of Sex with Emily .
There’s also the extremely important issue of consent. Real consent is affirmative, ongoing and given under sound mental conditions. A gentleman makes sure his date is sober enough to consent, and is happy to call an end to the evening’s fun if he suspects otherwise.
2. Stop Associating Sleazy With Effective
“There’s a stereotype that the sleazy, creepy player is the guy who gets girls, but I see this type of guy when I’m out, and his approach simply doesn’t work,” says executive dating and relationship coach Todd Valentine.
Trust is an important component when it comes to taking a girl home. To have a good, fun and mutually enjoyable one-night stand, the girl has to trust you, and sometimes, even more crucially, the girl’s friends have to trust you. So don’t walk up to a girl, spouting canned pickup lines you read about online – just be real and be you.
3. Maintain Your Cool
She is evaluating your potential the minute your eyes meet and “the eager beaver can be the collapse of a dam,” says writer Harold Williams Jr. Too much emphasis on sex too early in the conversation can take you from zero to creepy in no time at all. Also, comfortability is key, and the more comfortable in the situation you are, the more comfortable she will be.
“If someone makes a dirty joke, don’t be afraid to laugh about it and use that to break the ice. Remember to maintain balance and don’t overdo it,” says Williams.
4. Avoid Obvious Red Flag Phrases
As soon as you start throwing “my place” or “have sex” into the conversation, the interaction is going to come to a halt — even if she is already at the point where she wants to have sex, too.
“The transition from date, or being out, to sex should be as smooth as going down a slide,” says Valentine. Many women fear being judged for having casual sex, even from the man they want to sleep with. The key is make her feel comfortable with you and safe in your esteem.
5. Take the Lead
This does not mean that you should be pushy or physical. Taking the lead just means you don’t sit around and just wait for things to happen.
“Take a girl’s hand and tell her where you’re going or what you’re about to do. This way, you’re the one initiating things, so the girl won’t feel slutty, but you’re also positioning yourself as the type of guy who feels entitled to take the lead (and that’s attractive to women),” says Valentine.
Of course, if she resists your attempts at physically escalating, back off. Remember, sleazy isn’t effective and consent is sexy.
6. Make Sure Your Apartment Isn’t a Total Dump
This hookup may not be a love connection for either one of you, but don’t make her feel like a notch on your belt, either. That means if you invite her back to your apartment or hotel room, make sure she’s not walking into a dark, smelly dungeon. Also, while she probably knows she isn’t the only one who’s been in your bed, you don’t need to shove it in her face. If any former flames have left things around your place (and they certainly wouldn’t belong to a roommate), store them away in a place that they’ll remain for your eyes only.
7. Be Patient
A surefire way to seem like a creep is to rush her into sleeping with you, says Valentine. Let her take her time – she won’t feel coerced or pressured into sex, and that will enable her to enjoy the evening. If she goes at her own pace, and actually has fun in your presence, everything that follows will feel natural and that much more enjoyable.
8. Make It an Experience
Sex should be fun, and that should include everything leading up to it (the conversation, the foreplay) along with everything that comes after (the post-sex chat, the hug goodbye). When she remembers her night with you, you want her to think of it as a fun adventure. You did karaoke at 3 a.m. or got caught making out in the park and ran from the cops.
“If you create an interaction that’s fun, you and the girl have had a memorable shared experience, and she won’t feel like just another notch in your belt,” says Valentine.
9. Make an Emotional Connection
“I know this might sound crazy, but get to know the girl. And let her get to know you,” says Valentine. If she tells her friends about you the next day and all she can remember is you tugging off her dress, she’s going to feel used. Share intimate details about your life and invite her to do the same.
“A female friend told me once that even if she knows she’s about to have a one-night stand, she doesn’t want to feel like she is. She wants to believe, in that moment, there’s realness,” says Valentine.
10. Don’t Ghost Her
One of the major causes of regret among women who’ve had a one-night stand is the feeling of being used. It isn’t that they didn’t want to have sex, or even casual sex, but they don’t like feeling discarded afterwards. Even the smallest gesture – a phone call, a text to check in with her, a Facebook or Instagram DM – can go a long way to reassuring her that you had a good time, that it was a fun and exciting evening, and that you haven’t already forgotten about her.
Sites to Find Hookups
If you aren’t looking for a relationship, you may wonder if there’s an online dating app that is a fit for your needs. But as the internet gets bigger than we could have ever imagined, there are lots of apps out there for every interest, and that includes the casual hookup. If you just want to have a good time with none of the complications of dating and romantic relationships, here are some great sites and dating apps to try out:
This spot to make a quick connection is ideal especially if you have particular kinks for which you are looking to find a match. We love the kink directory and the hotness voting system, but we’re not so excited about lack of a formal matching algorithm and major overlap with other dating sites. This site seems to suggest that popularity and sexiness go hand in hand, which makes it feel a bit like high school.
Check out XMatch
Another site that grades people by hotness (the pressure!), this one involves not only a profile and photos, but images as well. Be aware, you need to be a paid member for all communication and much of the best features — adult videos, private model chats, gifting, all come with an additional fee. This is fun if you’re into cyber sex, you can use the app to connect wireless sex toys remotely, bringing a whole level to the experience.
Check out FriendFinder-X
This site has been around since the beginning, making it one of the most popular and the biggest membership database. It also has advanced over the years, with more search and communication options than any of the other hookup apps we checked out. This is a great site for chatting casually online, cyber sex, or arranging an in-person hookup.