When you hear someone use the term, “No Strings Attached,” (NSA) you automatically assume they mean they have a friend with benefits type fuck buddy, or a booty call situation. Then you think to yourself, “Wow. Lucky them! How do I find one of those?”

There are other types of NSA pacts to ponder if you're interested in that sort of thing. In fact you may be having one right now, reader, and not even know it.

Take one-night stands; these are great for having no strings. The term also applies to open relationships, swingers and polyamorous lifestyles. Not to mention extramarital affairs, hooking up with an ex for sex, dudes on the DL, gay for pay, or paying for sex in any way — which is my favorite form of NSA, because you hire them to go away at the end of the day.

A few weeks ago I hosted a Q&A session prior to a private screening (before it hit the theaters), of Paramount Pictures' new film release “No Strings Attached” starring Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman. In attendance was a standing-room-only swarm of listeners who had won tickets on a local radio station here in Los Angeles.

The marketing firm running the show printed up hand-held signs on sticks and handed them out to the audience. On the one side the signs read, “AGREE,” and on the other, “DISAGREE.”

I introduced myself to the packed cinema and explained that my session was 100 percent interactive. Then I told them to grab their paddles and please feel free to scream shit at me, which they did.

I also promised that by the time I was done, we'd each know the stranger sitting next to us much better, which would be really great for those who were there solo.

So I asked them, “How many of you here tonight are single? Married? In a No Strings Attached relationship – or would like to be in one?”

Nearly the entire room raised their hands when I inquired who was single. Then the crowd booed as the 10 people who were married lifted theirs. And of course everyone erupted in whoops and whistles after I asked if they were either having or wanted to be in a NSA-type arrangement.

I looked around. Age wasn't a factor here, nor was race or gender. It was a mish-mash of young and old, Black/Caucasian/Asian/Latino, and equally split between men and women. I was shocked at their responses. This group was way more open-minded than I had expected them to be. Or maybe they were just super excited to see the movie.

My next question to the backlit faces opposite me was, “Have you ever used a person for sex and then stayed friends with them afterwards?” The whole place went nuts waving their arms and yelling, “Hell, yeah!”

People also randomly shouted stuff at me – marriage proposals, requests for my phone number. One thing was certain in the melee, everyone there agreed that a friendship CAN survive after you've slept together but it really depends on the circumstances and whom it was with.

When quizzed, both sexes established the fact that we girls are more likely to become clingy and let our emotions get in the way. They also agreed that guys take advantage of those of us who are open to (and filling a void with) casual sex. The whole crowd concurred: chicks who are easy to get in the sack are secretly hoping it leads to something more, and whoever cares the least has the most power in the situation.

Interestingly, when I polled the females in the room and asked which was more important – pursuing their careers or settling down – 90 percent said they were more focused on work, but agreed it was possible to “have it all.”

The clique also collectively expressed that males should show their emotions more. [Note to playas.]

Those in attendance with a penis all admitted they had their hearts broken at some point in their lives, which had affected their ability to commit again. The room burst out, “Awwww!”

They also wanted the ladies to know that they think it's attractive when we're self-sufficient and we don't need to rely on them. [Note to self.]

If you haven't seen “No Strings Attached” on the silver screen yet, you should. I loved it! Normally I hate romantic comedies but the theme of this picture struck a chord. Not to mention both Portman and Kutcher are really funny in it.

Being the over-achieving alpha female that I am with no free time for intimacy, I identified with Portman's character, a busy doctor to-be in med school. In the beginning of the flick Kutcher goes through a bad break-up and isn't looking for a hook up with hang-ups. These two end up having sex one night and the issue becomes, as best friends, can they be sex friends?

Cut the strings before you copulate.

Cut the strings before you copulate.

You have to see it to find out what happens in the end, but they do discover establishing ground rules helps.

It's easier to maintain this type of an association when both parties are on the same page so there are no hurt feelings or unmet expectations. If this is an experience you'd like to explore, here's a list of guidelines to follow that I've culled from the film, and then added a few from my own personal arsenal.

The key to making it work is having set boundaries that you both adhere to.

“No Strings Attached” Rules:

  • No jealousy
  • No lying
  • No expectations
  • No commitment
  • No fighting
  • No flowers
  • No clothed spooning
  • No shared breakfasts
  • No baby voices
  • No “I miss you”
  • No emoticons
  • No open bathroom doors
  • No holding hands in public
  • No body part nicknames
  • No mix tapes…
  • Sammy's NSA Rules:

  • No having my home phone number
  • No sleeping over anyone's place
  • No hanging out more than once in the same week
  • No sending each other text messages the next day
  • No stashing clothes or leaving stuff behind
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    LA Weekly