The F*ck Buddy relationship gets a bad rap, if you ask me. The contemporary image of the friends-with-benefits relationship conjures hidden feelings, jealousies and resentments. There seems to be little friendship and very few benefits.

It doesn’t have to be like that. Low-key, friendly, recurring sexual arrangements can and do exist, and you can have one, if you like. You’re just over-complicating things.

As with almost anything in life, the main rule for a good casual sex relationship is: don’t be an asshole. To develop that point further, I’ve put together a few tips and tricks to help you establish and nurture a fuck buddy relationship that’s everything it’s supposed to be: low impact, sexy, and fun for everyone involved.

1. Make sure they’re, like, VERY into it.
We all know this story: A casual sexual relationship is proposed. One party says, “That’s cool with me!” But what he really means is “You will be mine… oh yes, you will be mine.” I don’t know why this happens, although I suspect it has something to do with being raised on a never-ending stream of teen rom-coms where the key to love is presented as: “hang around the person of your interest until she realizes you’ve been, literally, right under her nose this entire time.”

While it can be tempting to say “She knows the deal,” sometimes she doesn’t, and it will save you both a lot of future hassle, hurt feelings, and late night texts if you make sure you’re both looking for exactly the same thing with equal levels of enthusiasm. Instead of trysting with that girl from work who looks at you like a living heart-eyes emoji but says she’s cool with keeping it casual, why not wait for someone great who wants to bang all weekend and keep Monday to Friday for herself? Leave office gal to find the straight-laced, monogamous boyfriend of her dreams, and find yourself someone who’s enthusiastically looking for the same thing you are. (Hint: she is probably on Tinder.)

2. Communicate Like An Adult
Even if you’re mostly meeting after 2 AM, you can arrange to meet a little earlier in the evening than that. Leaving your FWB in the dark until last call is poor form. There are very few situations in which a text at 1 AM reading “I’m getting drunk and also horny… C u in a few?” is the most polite course of action, but this is one of them.

3. Remember that there are hundreds of different types of relationships, and you’re in one.
This is the crux of the Fuck Buddy scenario, to me: you have to honor the “buddy” side as much as you honor the “fuck.” Your FWB is a person with whom you are getting naked and intimate on a recurring basis, so treat her with respect and kindness, whether or not you plan to introduce her to your parents, or even your friends. This means replying to texts, even if you’re not horny. This means saying hello if you run into each other at a restaurant (unless you’ve arranged a kinky “no-language-outside-the-bedroom” rule, in which case, god-speed). This means checking in once in a while to make sure the casual sex arrangement is something that’s still enjoyable. I guarantee you’ll have a better time (and better sex) that way. Basically: don’t be a dick just because she’s getting your dick.

4. Further to the Above: Stop saying it’s “just” sex
The idea that any sexual encounter is really and truly “no-strings-attached” is just silly. Are you really looking for an involvement with no human element to it at all? What are you, some kind of sex shark? Just because you’re not looking for love doesn’t mean there aren’t other emotions in play. There are emotions involved in ordering takeout.

There’s also the issue of safety. As an adult with working genitalia, you have an obligation—to your partner and your penis—to wrap it up and practice smart, safe sex. Further: not considering someone your girlfriend does not give you a free pass to treat her like your human fleshlight. All sex, even casual sex, is a two-way (or three-way, or four-way) street. Whether or not you’re dating someone, it is simply good manners to attend to their pleasure as much as you are attending to your own. Making sure your partner feels satisfied is also an incredibly easy-to-read sign of respect and equality in your sexual partnership, which can help everyone feel comfortable enough to get freaky.

5. A Reminder: All The Women Are Not Trying To Date You All Of The Time
A good thing not to freak out about is the idea that anyone you have ever gifted with your penis is sitting alone at home, pining for a day when that penis puts a ring on it or when she and that penis will frolic along the beach at sunset. While I’m certain that you, dear reader, are a man as deserving of love as anyone else—imminently dateable, even—it is statistically unlikely that everyone you have sex with wants to date you. It’s not often presented as fact, but let me tell you, please: it is not only men who have a wider range of people they’d like to sleep with than date. A lot of fun Friends With Benefits arrangements have been prematurely brought to an end by needless fear regarding a woman’s attachment, but I promise, you can drop the lookout for signs of a crush, because…

6. A smattering of feelings is not the end of the world either.
Whether you like it or not, there’s a certain level of intimacy that is cultivated in prolonged sexual activity between two people. This is not the same as a crush, but it is different than a non-sexual friendship. Noticing signs of this intimacy—a fondness for your fuck buddy, or an increased desire to tell this person things—does not mean you are headed for a full-on romance, and it is certainly not necessary to disappear into the abyss just because you’ve noticed a change in how you feel. It’s part of the natural progression of getting to know someone. Plus, immediately after sex, your bodies are flooded with hormones designed to make you feel close. If more intense feelings arise, the two of you (mature, responsible, horny adults) can deal with them together, either by riding it out to see if the crush fades, or putting the brakes on the sex stuff for a while. A crush is nothing to stress about if you both give each other the space to talk it out.

7.Don’t expect it to stay your little secret
This kind of thing gets out, and that’s just the fact of the matter. Especially if the two of you run in the same circle of friends, other people are going to find out about it eventually. Be courteous about it (i.e., don’t spill too many of the beans about the other person’s bedside manner. Some of the beans is probably okay, though.), and know that your friends’ invasive questions about when the two of you are going to “just date already” represent their own limited view of the depth of sexual experience. Or just have sex about it with your FWB and laugh and laugh.

8. If they start to date someone else and want to end the arrangement, be cool.
You guys are buddies, remember?