4 tips for hooking up without catching feelings, according to a relationship counsellor

Business Insider US
Relationship counselor Lia Holmgren created a guide for single women who want casual sex with no strings.
Andrew Macpherson
  • Relationship counsellor Lia Holmgren wrote a book that guides single women through the art of casual sex.
  • Holmgren told Insider she read 100 research papers to write the book.
  • She suggests keeping fantasies sex-related only, writing down your boundaries while sober, and focusing on your pleasure.
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For years, Lia Holmgren didn't understand why she felt emotionally derailed after casual sex.

"Every time I had great sex with someone who didn't have a job or like, a bed frame, I'd be attached to him for so many weeks," Holmgren told Insider.

Convinced something was wrong with her brain, she researched the science behind true no-strings-attached hookups for women. After devouring more than 100 research papers on the topic, Holmgren, a relationship counsellor of more than 10 years and former dominatrix, wrote "Hookup without Heartbreak."

The book offers actionable tips so women, who want to enjoy casual sex and singledom through hookups, can prioritise their needs and boundaries, said Holmgren.

When you're sober, write down your boundaries

First, Holmgren said to create self-boundaries to set yourself up for a positive hookup experience.

To do that, you should fantasise about your upcoming hookup, while sober, to pinpoint your ideal situation.

Then, write a "personal disclaimer," said Holmgren.

She suggested something like, "I know this might be just a one-time thing, and there is a chance that he is only being charming and sweet so he can get laid. I have no expectations of him texting me, calling me, or wanting to see me again. I'm accepting this as an experience that I chose to have in my life, and I'm OK with whatever comes after."

Then, write a sentence or two about your intentions for the sex, like fulfilling a fantasy, having an orgasm, or feeling rejuvenated after the experience, said Holmgren.

She said reading your self-disclosure out loud before a hookup can help you better communicate your needs and boundaries in the moment.

Prioritise your pleasure and express your needs

If you're set on casual sex, you should also forgo traditional advice, which tends to centre male pleasure, Holmgren said.

She wrote that she began focusing on her own pleasure after becoming a dominatrix.

"After meeting many men from all walks of life, I realised that their biggest desire is female pleasure," Holmgren wrote.

She said women seeking hookups should be explicit with their male partners about the type of sex acts they want to experience.

Fantasise about the sex, but not the future

To avoid catching feelings between romps, Holmgren suggested keeping your daydreams sex-specific.

That means you shouldn't let your mind drift to potential vacations, text exchanges, dinner dates, or introductions to friends and family, according to Holmgren.

"Thinking about him in a capacity outside the bedroom creates a feeling of a serious relationship that only exists in your head," she wrote.

Instead, fantasise about the kind of sex you want to have with this man, Holmgren said.

Be honest with yourself about your intentions

According to Holmgren, being honest with yourself is the most important aspect of preparing for a hookup.

"If you're looking for a relationship and you're masking those needs as wanting sex, it might not end up well," Holmgren said.

She said there's nothing wrong with focusing on emotional intimacy if that's your preference.

"I want women to know themselves," Holmgren said.

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