Proposal: Booty Call Protocols
You'd think booty calls would be a no-brainer, wouldn't you?
I mean, the booty call is supposed to be the simplest relationship around, with both parties getting what it is they want: no-strings-attached sex.
Okay, first things first: Keep it basic. It's a booty-call, no more no less. Ideally, this would be with someone who you find physically attractive, but personally repellent. This way, it's all about the sex, and no feelings get involved. Unfortunately, the repellent part will usually cancel the attraction, so ideals are hereby thrown out the window. (But when it works? Yow.)
Let's embrace the word "casual" instead.
Now, in this arena we have a bit more fluidity, which is both good and bad, particularly in the sense of having emotions becoming involved. This isn't exactly a danger, but power dynamics can be a bitch to wade through. Oh, we'll get to that crap in a second.
There are two booty call archetypes, and they are pretty self-explanatory: the Long Distance BC, and the Random or Platonic BC. It really doesn't matter which one you find yourself in, the rules are essentially the same.
1) This is a partnership of convenience, people. The biggest mistake you could make is to try to use the booty call to attract someone. That it's been known to happen is beside the point, you simply can not go into one of these expecting a happy ever after. A happy ending, sure...
1a) If you find yourself wanting more from the arrangement than what you're getting, pipe the fuck up. Unless, that is, you're willing to settle for less, and you're keeping protocol #1 in mind.
2) Both parties have to be completely honest, should "the talk" take place. Both parties have to accept the outcome of said talk. If the outcome is positive on both sides, great. But if one party can't reciprocate, then deal. And these are the only two outcomes, and anything else isn't kosher.
On the one hand, it isn't fair to lead the other on, in order to continue having sex. On the other, you can't keep hanging on with the hopes of sparking something, if the other just isn't there. You either keep on just having sex, or the partnership ends.
That simple, really*. Beyond this, you start getting into the grey areas...
3) If either partner has some "serious" relationship start up, in the midst of the booty callin', that person should inform the other and put an indefinite hold on the calls.
4) If either or both partners have other extra-curricular activities (be safe, for fuck's sake, literally), that should be out in the open too.
Perhaps you've noticed, but (honest and regular) communication, as with most things, is key here. Particularly, if it's a regular thing with someone you know or hang out with (beyond the bedroom). If it's something you do maybe once a month, then that might be something different. Otherwise, keeping secrets will, inevitably, kill a good time.
Let's say you've had a pretty exclusive thing going on. How would you feel walking into a group outing, and finding out that your partner has started seeing someone recently? Would you rather have known? Then give your partner that same respect.
Lastly, I want to stress something for those who find themselves on the lower end of a power situation (they're not as into a relationship as you are): Don't be a patsy. If after having "the talk" (and I repeat, this cannot be skipped), you find out they're not that into it, and you really, really want it: have some self-respect and get out. Spend a month away, two weeks, whatever. Get some perspective, and maybe try the friend route, or don't.
Just sex is great (and still a viable option after the talk), but spending any amount of time with false hopes is a waste of time, and sucks beyond comparison.
*And by nature of its simplicity, difficult to enact.