Before M snagged me, and I became monogamous, I was the queen of the one night stand. I had too much baggage to be involved in much more, and I really like sex, so there were only two other options, really. And since friends with benefits still required more commitment than I was interested in, I got picking up dudes and chicks, bringing them home and then waking up to an empty bed down to an art.

You know you're good at putting out the “no strings attached” vibe when they leave without being prompted.

I never thought much of it until I walked in on some buddies talking about their one night stands.

“I don't even bother, anymore,” one guy said. “Girls always get attached, and then you have to break their hearts, and it's just messy.”

I laughed. By that point, I'd enjoyed quite a few one night stands, and I'd noticed reluctance to follow through with the no strings part of the deal in both genders.

While some of the women I was involved with did occasionally get attached, many of the men I brought home had one of two expectations. The first was that I wasn't really as worldly as I'd let on, and I would fall hopelessly in love with them—and maybe even get a little stalkerish—once they rocked my world. The second was that because I'd slept with them once, I'd sleep with them any time I ran into them, and happily maintain the same level of anonymity and detachment.

Most of the time, when I didn't behave as expected, they were okay with it because they, too, were looking for drama-free, no-strings sex. A couple of times, though, I've had to resort to some interesting tactics to lose them. So here are some rules to follow to avoid the drama, no matter what gender you are, when you're just looking for a little “wham, bam, thank you, ma'am (or sir).”

1 – Be up front about what you want. There's nothing worse than spending a whole night planning your next date, making breakfast the next morning, and then not getting a call back. You know it's true. It's happened to you a time or two. So don't do it to anyone else. If you're looking for no-strings sex, in which you never have to see each other again barring some bizarre coincidence that lands you in the same spot at the same time, then say so.

2 – Make sure everyone's on board. No matter how blunt you are, some people will still hold out the hope that in the morning you'll have changed your mind. I can't tell you how many times I've had to re-explain the terms of our sexual engagement to my “Mr(s). Right Now”. There's nothing you can do about those people. But you can learn how to spot them, and when you start to get the idea that they're all talk, you should politely excuse yourself.

3 – Never. Ever, ever, ever, EVER. Never ever allude to the potential for something after you part ways. If you do, they will expect it, and when it doesn't come, as you know it won't, they'll be hurt or angry. That's usually when the drama erupts. Don't tell them you'll call them. Don't make plans to be at the same place in the future. Don't even say “See you later!” when you leave. Keep it on the surface, do your thang, smoke a cigarette, and be on your way.

4 – “But I really like you” is only a good reason to change your mind if the feeling is truly mutual and you feel ready to give the relationship (what ever that may mean) the attention and commitment it deserves. If you don't like them, or you like being single more, say so. It'll save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

5 – Don't have a one night stand with a close friend. Sometimes, it works out just fine. But often it makes things awkward, and occasionally even a little tense. Surely, your intention is not to hurt a close friend by making them question what about them makes them unworthy of strings. Best to avoid the situation altogether.