I’m seeking out dating websites that have individuals who are thoughtful and open to trying or having more casual sex, but also respect boundaries in sexual exploration. I don’t trust Craigslist, and I’m not really into OKCupid or Tinder.
I would love some guidance as to finding nice people who are, to use a term that was in a recent article of yours, DTF (Down to Fuck), but have that FFR (Feelings For Real) deal going on as well, and who believe in the importance of communication.
Since writing the column you refer to “Can I Be DTF and Still Respect Myself?” (Dec. 10, 2015) I’ve been thinking about this Tinderiffic tightrope millennials teeter on between casual sex for sex’s sake and the acknowledgement of feelings.
In “Can I Be DTF?” I encouraged the question-writer to continue to take pride in her pleasure-positive sex life while eschewing the idea that one must be void of all feelings in order to truly be DTF. In the end, I concluded that one can be both DTF and experience (and express!) FFR (Feelings for Real) simultaneously, but I continue to wonder how this can be incorporated into “Slutever Forever” sexual culture.
I’ve found one thing to be true of all sexual interactions: everything exists on a spectrum. Even in the case of DTF versus FFR. Does casual sex need to be no-strings attached? Can there be like one or two strings? Can our strings exist on a spectrum, too?
I would say “Yes!” with the line between casual and not-so-casual sex laying in how thick your strings are — falling in love is a thick string, being compelled to send her a post-coital text might be thinner.
When we say we want DTF, no-strings fucking, we’re stating a boundary. But often this boundary isn’t speaking to preventing us from feeling feelings, but is speaking to what feelings-informed expectations we do, or don’t, want placed on us by our partners.
We’re doing ourselves a disservice when we apply pressure to have completely meaningless sex if that isn’t what feels organic to us. As I exclaimed proudly on Playboy Radio this month — “If your body parts have been inside of my body, I want you to care about my body!” When I say this, I don’t mean someone needs to be in love with me to bang me — but I am holding my partners to the expectation, the thin string, that they’ll care for my body if I decided to share it with them.
Other strings can come out of things like the feelings of vulnerability and excitement that can accompany new sexual explorations; or the biochemical strings of attachment that can be released with orgasm making, typically women, feel a stronger emotional bond to those people she’s had sex with.
The DTF sexual revolution has done a lot in releasing us from Puritan ideas that the sexual context needs to be committed and emotional. But, a little like how the women’s right’s movement which said that we don’t have to be housewives, but that we can choose to be, DTF tells us that we can have no-strings attached sex without barring us from being able choose to include strings in our DTF sex, even in our OKCupid/Tinder/Craigslist sex.
So where can you find others into balancing DTF & FFR, Explorer? Yes, avoid Craigslist — seeking sex from the same site selling you flea-ridden mattress doesn’t scream safe to me, either. FetLife.com is a national dating site, which boasts being kink community-oriented and accepting. FetLife offers a plethora of identifiers to choose from — from vanilla to babybrat switch — and allows you to specify your desires. You can start with “Seeking DTF partners unafraid of a few strings attached.”
Just always make sure that all of your sexual interactions are about consensual choice: respect your partner’s boundaries around expectations and be responsible for your own feelings (ie. no “I’m falling in love with you therefore you must love me, too” or “I’m feeling jealous of your other casual sex partners — stop seeing them”). Hold your own strings.•
Yana Tallon-Hicks is a pleasure-positive sex educator and writer in the Pioneer Valley. She has a website bursting with sexual advice, resources, and event/workshop listings. Check her out at yanatallonhicks.com.