6 Ways to Protect Your Energy & Cultivate Intentional Casual Encounters

Photos by Larissa Hofmann 

After centuries of being force-fed shameful and repressive rhetoric regarding sex, many are beginning to recognize that not only is sex natural, but that understanding one’s sexual impulses and cravings can lead to awakenings in all aspects of life, including spirituality, creativity, romance, and how we relate to the world at large. At one time even the spiritual community was resistant to such ideas, but in the past few years we’ve seen topics like the potential of sex magic, manifesting through masturbation, and healing trauma through pleasure reach the mainstream.

One area that tends to be glossed over is casual sexual encounters. When they are discussed they tend to be discouraged and little guidance exists on how to navigate them with conscious intention. On one hand it makes sense as true intimacy requires trust and vulnerability which can be difficult to cultivate with a stranger.

But where does that leave those who don’t want to be tied down or seeking the thrill of a one-night stand? We often associate these tendencies with men, or fuckboys to be exact, but the truth is we all have different wants and needs depending on where we are in our journey. For example, I’m currently in an open relationship and traveling out of the country for several months. I’m fiercely committed to my partner, but I acknowledge that we both deserve intimacy and sexual attention while we’re apart. I have no inclination (or additional energy) to begin another relationship, but the idea of a few whirlwind encounters abroad is enticing to say the least.

I admit that until recently I was pretty ignorant on this subject and like all things, am learning through trial and error. When I was younger I had less clarity about what I wanted and how to feed my desires. The only way I knew how to navigate casual sex was to get near-blackout drunk and see where the night took me, telling myself I was being carefree and spontaneous, only to end up feeling used and ashamed the following morning. There were also times when I really just wanted to be close to someone else, to kiss or cuddle a bit, but didn’t know how to communicate or establish boundaries and would end up letting someone who didn’t care about me call the shots.

At the end of the day, sex is an energy exchange, one that can be endlessly fulfilling or drain us completely. Here are a few tips I’ve picked up for protecting your energy and navigating casual encounters with care:

1. Visualize beforehand

Have you ever had one of those nights where you’re itching to go out on the prowl? If so, it helps to visualize what you want beforehand. Think about what you’re craving and allow a picture to form in your mind. For an added dose of magic, you can masturbate while you visualize.

2. Get in touch with your motivations

It’s important to be aware of your motivations and whether your appetite for intimacy will serve your highest good. Sometimes we might be feeling insecure and seeking outside validation. If that is the case, perhaps it is better to work on finding that validation within. However, if you find that you are simply looking for connection and aware of the potential outcomes (as not every encounter will be mind blowing), you can feel confident forging ahead.

3. Keep a protective stone in your purse or pocket

Crystals like black tourmaline and black obsidian can help protect your energy and ward off energetic vampires or those with ill intentions. Before going out, do a brief meditation or ritual with one of these stones and ask it to strengthen your intuition to help you determine which potential partner is right for you.

4. Ask the important questions upfront

Sure, it can be a bit of a buzzkill to ask someone how they feel about Donald Trump, women’s health, or Black Lives Matter, but do you really want to share your body with a bigot? For example, I was recently having a great time with a guy when he shared during our conversation that he had a daughter in San Francisco that he never spoke to or saw. Even though we had chemistry, this was an immediate dealbreaker for me. Chances are if they have backwards views or are neglectful of responsibilities, their bedroom performance will also be lacking.

5. Limit your consumption of alcohol and drugs

While it’s true that alcohol lowers inhibitions and can make it easier to open up, it also lowers your defenses and thus, your ability to protect your energy and trust your discernment. Try to limit yourself to a glass or two of red wine, which will ground you without jeopardizing your decision-making abilities.

6. Establish clear boundaries beforehand

Again, it might seem like a turnoff to go through this with someone you’ve just met, but establishing boundaries can be sexy! Once you’ve found someone you click with, you can go back and forth asking each other and demonstrating what you like, affirming the way they touch you, and giving enthusiastic consent by saying something like, “I really want you to fuck me now!”

7. Wear protection

One way to not only protect your energy, but prevent an unwanted pregnancy or the transmission of STDs is to always wear protection. Normalize conversations around STDS by telling your partner the last time you were tested and asking them the same. Always keep appropriate protection on you so there’s never an excuse not to be safe.