What's the Best Way to Make Sure Sex Stays Casual?

Can any of us have casual sex? Under what circumstances? Will it work best if the couple establishes some rules of behavior, early on, for how the situation will work?

On Friday, I told you about the end of casual sex between me and Jonas Singer. Since our "break-up" (which was actually not-quite-break-up-since-you-can't-break-up-with-someone-you're-not-really-dating), I've ignored one phone call from him. I also erased his number from my cell phone and de-friended him on Facebook. If that's not moving on, I don't know what is!

But ... I did need a little more closure. So I emailed him to say I was shocked by how hurtful and insulting he'd been to me. Maybe I'm a fool, I wrote, but I'd managed to convince myself you actually cared about me and were fond of me.

He wrote right back saying he never meant to hurt me or insult me, that he was sorry he did, that he didn't regret any of the time we'd spent together, that he thought I was beautiful and smart and kind, blah, blah, blah--which is why I deserved someone who would treat me better than he could. He also said he'd been projecting a lot of his own insecurities onto me during our final conversation. (But, he said, I'd also hurt his feelings plenty of times in the past, which shocked the hell out of me; sometimes, I don't know my own strength, I guess. I hurried to do a little apologizing of my own, and also asked if he could be more specific so I could apologize more specifically. When he punted on that, I didn't push it. I'm guessing, however, that he's talking about the times when I suggested--very gently--that he focus more on what he wants to do, career-wise.)

So--much as some of my friends, like Daisy Milliner, and my readers, like Sam, think Jonas is the equivelant of a ladies' feminine hygeine product (and I don't mean a maxi-pad)--I can't help but believe old Mr. Singer is actually a decent person. Accuse me of having Stockholm Syndrome and you may be right.


Sad as I was the night it officially ended, I truly think the whole thing is finally out of my system now. (And I'm sure you're all thinking: Thanks be to Sheba, because maybe then we won't have to hear about this any more!

But the whole Jonas Singer experience has made me more curious than ever about this "casual sex" business, and whether anyone can really have it. So, ladies and gents, will you please tell me:

-Can we have casual sex? Or, can you?

-Under what circumstances? Will it work best if the couple establishes some rules of behavior, early on, for how the situation will work? For instance, I think if Jonas and I agreed to, say, have sex once every other week, on either a Thursday on Sunday, and agreed to set the time, date and details by the Wednesday before, might we have been better off? (But holy shit, how ridiculous and crazy does it even sound for me to even ask that?)

More (non-rhetorical) questions for you:

-Are some—many?—men incapable of having casual sex because they fear that women are going to get attached? And is that, in fact, just a cover for the fact that they fear they themselves--the mens, I mean--could get attached?

-Do we women get more attached than we want to, even if we know, logically, all the while that it's never going to turn into anything serious?

-And maybe more to the point: Is it ever worth it to have casual sex? Do men get more than women out of that kind of situation--as sexpert Paula Derrow contends? As our reader Edwinna claims, is it always a waste of time? Does it prevent us from moving on to a more healthy relationship? Or--as I think it could--could it actually help us be a little less anxious about the next big thing, thereby actually helping us to find it?

Your thoughts, please, sweethearts. Seriously. I'd like to post some of the things that you guys have to say. So comment, babies!