While the right committed relationship can be absolute bliss, you don’t have to be in one to enjoy some seriously amazing sex when you’re craving the touch of another person. One-night stands can make awesome additions to any single, sex-positive person’s intimate life, but there’s definitely a right way and a wrong way to approach them. Here’s what you need to know to do them right.

Is a One-Nighter Actually Right for You?

Yes, one-night stands are a lot more socially acceptable for both men and women than they used to be. People are open about having them and loving them. A lot of your friends probably have epic stories about their own one-time casual flings, as well… but that doesn’t mean one-night stands are right for everyone.

Some people are wired to love casual sex with people they’re unlikely to ever see again, but others aren’t, and that’s OK too. Before you go rushing to hook up with the first hot number that catches your eye the next time you’re out on the town, just make sure you’re doing it because you actually want to. Otherwise, you’ll have a lot more fun treating yourself to a new vibrator and putting it through its paces.

Picking the Right Partner

Knowing you’re ready to spend a hot night knocking boots with the right person is one thing, but picking the right person to hook up with is another. Don’t let anyone tell you it doesn’t matter when all you want is a one-nighter, because it totally does. Here’s how to choose wisely.

Don’t Pick a Friend

Unless you’re looking for more of an ongoing friends-with-benefits type of deal, it’s usually best not to pick someone you actually know. The whole point of a one-night stand is to come together with someone else without the need to worry about what comes next. Jumping into bed with a friend or a coworker totally defeats the purpose.

Do Pick Someone You Like

Yes, the person should be smoking hot, but that’s not all that matters, even if you’re only coming together for the night. It should also be someone you feel natural and easy around. Conversation should flow more or less effortlessly, and you should enjoy the person’s company. You want the whole night to be a good time, not just the sex.

Being Properly Prepared

A lot of one-night stands do happen spontaneously, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t benefits to setting the stage properly beforehand. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to prep like a pro.

Prioritize Safety

The minute you decide you’re open to a one-night stand as a possibility, you should get serious about safety just in case it does happen completely spontaneously. Don’t simply assume the other person will have things covered in the protection department. Carry plenty of protection on you at all times so you’re always ready for anything, including repeat performances. And this should go without saying, but don’t even bother with anyone who isn’t down with protection.

Give Yourself Permission to Experiment

A connection that’s only good for one night comes attached to a lot of possibilities. Since you’re not looking to cultivate an ongoing relationship, even on a casual level, you don’t have to worry about what happens next. That means you’re free to experiment to your heart’s content. Want to explore something new in the bedroom? In the mood for something kinky, or ready break out every toy in your pleasure chest? Always wanted to know what it would be like to adopt a persona completely unlike the real you? A one-nighter is the perfect opportunity. Go for it!

Have a Plan

It’s generally a good idea to decide where you’d like the action to go down once you find someone you’d like to spend some time with. In other words, your place or theirs? Unless there’s a specific reason why your place is off the table, bringing the person home with you is generally the best option. You know what to expect there, and you don’t have to worry about finding your way home from a stranger’s apartment. If you’re not into bringing strangers home though, going to their place is fine too. Just know which way you’d like things to go first.

Code of conduct is important when it comes to one-night stands as well. No, you’re not going to see this person again (probably), but that doesn’t make it OK to treat them badly or rudely. Be respectful and courteous, just as you would be in any other social interaction. Remember, this is a person, so the golden rule applies. Keep things casual, but treat them the way you’d want to be treated. It’s the best way to make sure you both have a night to remember.