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Who says you can’t make friends with benefits work? Navigating the thin line between sex and love is easy — as long as you follow the rules.

Choose A Man With A Deal Breaker

Broke with no ambition, lives with his mom, missing a tooth — whatever’s on your no-date list. Consider it your safeguard against catching feelings because, let’s face it, sex and emotions are closely related. And if you get confused, these no-go’s will help you come back to your senses.

No BFF’s Allowed

He’s already your friend, why not just tack on the benefits? Because sex complicates relationships. And if things go wrong, you run the risk of losing the friend right along with the benefits.

No Ex Boyfriend’s Either

Sex + residual feelings = a recipe for an emotional disaster. One day science may come up with a way to keep this formula drama free, but until then it’s better to stay clear of retreading old ground before you accidentally wind up back with your ex.

Go Dutch

It’s not really a date if he’s not paying for dinner. Keeping everything even is a great way to keep in mind that you don’t owe each other anything.

Don’t Tell Judgmental Judy

If you have a feeling she won’t be able to understand, it’s cool to leave her out of the loop. And the secrecy can make friends with benefits that much more fun.

Hang Out With Other Guys

Spark up some friendships, spend some time really getting to know some guys. Now that romance is on the back burner you’ve got a chance to invest in no-pressure friendships that could grow into something real later on.

Put Everything On the Table

If it’s not a full-disclosure, it’s just not going to work. Sit down to coffee and spell things out in plain English before you hit the sack: buddies by day, lovers by night and the first person to catch feelings has to bow out gracefully.

He Can’t Be Too Hot

Your lady parts will fall in love, trick your heart into following along and you’ll be leaving your sixth “just leaving you a message in case you checked them, wondering where you are” in no time flat. Trust us and you’ll save yourself a lot of heart ache.

Heavily Invest In Birth Control

If you’re not on the pill, now’s the time. Stock up on condoms like there’s a worldwide shortage and use them like your life depends on it.

No Romance References Allowed

You know that ex you don’t want to date anymore but don’t want anyone else to have? Jealousy really does make the heart grow fonder. And hearing about the woman that he is/was/could be romantically interested in could make you feel like you want to take a stab at romance even when you really don’t. Outlaw any talk about “hims” and “hers” and you’ll save yourself a lot of grief.

Stick to Booty Calls

Questions about his day and complaints about your boss go to friends or boy friends. Friends with benefits get after-work calls about hooking up and maybe bringing take-out along. It’s the best way to keep things from getting messy.

Keep Him Out of Your Friends Circle

It’s hard for a man not to brag about finding friends with benefits. Unless you want all the guys in your crew teasing you about the dirty messages you send him after bowling, keep at least six degrees of separation between him and anyone you know.

Get Experimental

Friends with Benefits don’t come along all that often. And now’s the time to explore all the things that would have given your ex the wrong idea about what you are. So throw caution to the wind, buy something skimpy and make enough memories to last you well into old married lady life.

Keep An Eye On Your Emotions

Is your Netflix queue filled with Jennifer Aniston movies? Is Lana Del Rey getting more play than Nicki Minaj? It could be time to cut things off and look for something sustainable before those free-flying romantic feelings accidentally land you in a relationship with your jump off.

Discuss Your Exit Strategy

Breaking up can be hard to do… especially when you aren’t really together. Before things get dicey, agree that if one of you sends the “I don’t want to do this anymore” text than the other person agrees to give you some space.

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