Then we enjoyed a fiery display that dazzled the senses and whet the appetite before a positively succulent meal.

In casual sex, you should similarly check your emotions at the door.

What happens next may not involve an Asian man lighting a table on fire before your eyes or flipping a shrimp tail into his breast pocket but will, if all goes well, prove equally entertaining, satisfying, and, well, hot.

Carrying on a casual fling can be great for your self-esteem, your mental wellbeing, and even your physical health (sex is good for you! But if you’re not prepared for the rules and realities of it, you might embarrass yourself, or break your own heart (when that’s exactly what’s not supposed to happen).

You know the obvious ones: the one-night stand, the booty call, sex by appointment.

More recent variations include "rec" (recreational) sex, which exists because, as one friend told me, "every great athlete needs practice." And then there's "cereal" sex, which is a one-night stand amid a dry spell that, like cereal, is satisfying in the moment but leaves you needing further sustenance shortly thereafter.1) Check your emotions at the door.

When I hosted my ninth birthday party at a Japanese steakhouse, we were instructed to remove our shoes prior to sitting in our little elevated wooden booth.

Don't lie to your partner: "I'd like to be pimps from Oakland or cowboys from Arizona, but it's not Halloween," Owen Wilson said in character.

But you can appear more uninhibited, mysterious, and spontaneous than usual. Don't pull a Michael Jordan and just fade away.You have permission to adopt somewhat of a character, a romanticized or heightened or self-actualized version of yourself. Leave the situation gracefully and respectfully, or get left humbly and patiently.It's like role-playing, which, it turns out, many people really like.3) Be a gentleman—and an animal. No one likes a bad breakup, especially if there was no relationship to start.Casual sex requires a delicate balance: respect and generosity and safety, coupled with unadulterated, unabashed corporeality. The moment you start having casual sex is the beginning of the end. You're a gentleman and an animal, like a werewolf in a top hat. The arrangement, while enjoyable and healthy, is transient and unsustainable. Find your perfect combination: You're a (more upbeat version of) Edward Norton's polite narrator and, at the same time, Brad Pitt's six-pack-jacked Tyler Durden. You're Clark Kent in the streets and Superman in the sheets.4) Control your portions. It may last for a while, but ultimately, your little microcosm is destroying itself, which, in the words of famed sex columnist Al Gore, is an inconvenient truth.