Rec sex: Short for “recreational sex,” this kind of fucking-for-the-fun-of-it usually comes from a positive, happy place; in other words, if you were depressed or heartbroken or enraged, the sex you had shouldn’t officially be called rec sex. But, really, any sex between two or more consenting adults outside of a long-term relationship could be referred to as rec sex. And rec sex doesn’t ensure that there won’t be any negative consequences (like heartbreak, jealousy, confusion, or STDs). But while you’re doing it, you’re not worried about the future: You’re in the moment. Rec sex is often employed as a more cheery synonym for casual sex, and is particularly common after one has sold a first novel, won the lottery, or received a refund on their tax return.
Booty call sex: Sex with a friend-with-benefits or a new lust interest that’s arranged via a phone call or text message made after 11 p.m.—usually because there are no better prospects and/or you’ve been drinking.
Appointment sex: A more formalized version of the booty call. This kind of sex scheduling is usually done more than twenty-four hours in advance, when both parties are sober. Email invitations tend to be favored over more casual text messaging messages or impromptu phone calls. This kind of arrangement happens more frequently among the older set—work-a-holics, recovering alcoholics, single parents, people for whom fart jokes have lost their charm, i.e., those who no longer have the patience (or the liver) to wait until closing time to make a booty call.
Ex sex: Sex with a previous partner, usually because they’re easy and you’re lazy. A.k.a. double dipping, blue- binning, recycling, returning to the well.
Cereal sex: A random one-night stand in the middle of a sexual/romantic dry spell: It’s delicious while it lasts, but it’s not filling, and an hour later you’re hungrier than you were before you “ate.”
Deja sex: Unexpected sex with someone you weren’t planning on seeing or sleeping with again. For instance, after a few keg stands, you spent one of your last college Saturday nights in a room at Theta Kai with what’s-his-name, never to see him again, until ten years later when you bump into him at the international trade convention in Dallas, and, after a few Maker’s Marks at the Hilton, end up in his room, for old time’s sake.
Drive-thru sex: Convenient sex, i.e., you stop by for a quickie and then keep on moving. (“I hate to boff and run, but I’ve got a plane to catch … ”).
Mercy sex: Sex with someone you are not particularly attracted to or don’t necessarily want to do. You do it simply because you feel sorry for them: Perhaps they’ve had a crush on you since sixth grade and swear they want “just one night of passion to help me move on,” their pet goldfish just died, you know they’ll be extra “giving” in the sack in return, you know this is your only hope of “deprogramming” them out of their cultish Trekkie community, their heart was just put through a blender (by you or someone else), they haven’t had sex in a long time and have no prospects, they’re dying of cancer, they’re thirty years old and still a virgin. A.k.a. charity work (most often used as a negative rebuttal, as in “I don’t do charity work.” Oh, snap!)
Comfort sex: The sexual equivalent of mac and cheese: sex after a bad day at work, a terrible break up, a tragic pet death—anything that makes you long for the consoling feel of warm skin on skin, of connecting with another soul. You usually have to find someone willing to have mercy sex with you, and when you do, it’s slow, deliberate, usually missionary, with face-holding and perhaps Rachmaninoff playing in the background. But while it may feel good in the moment, comfort sex, like comfort food, will usually make you feel worse after it’s all said and done.
Occasion sex: A one-night stand and casual sex due to a specific circumstance, such as a power outage, a heat wave, an announcement of war, a notification that the terror alert is raised to orange, a new Al Green album. Occasion sex may be celebratory (Obama wins the presidential election, you win the lottery, good hair day) or commiserative (Ah-nold wins the presidential election after a Constitutional amendment qualifies him, death of a pet, bad haircut).
Palate cleansing: Rebound sex that obliterates the bad taste left in your mouth (not literally) by a recent ex. A.k.a. sorbet sex.
Temp work: Casual sex you have until a better, more permanent relationship comes along. Thus, an overzealous matchmaking friend, an adult online personals site, an escort service, a brothel, or an “Overeaters Anonymous” conference could all be considered “temp agencies.”
Hate sex: When lust trumps like. Sex with someone who annoys you is a drag, but sex with someone you hate with every pore of your being? Now, that’s hot. Not on a regular basis, of course (that’s just depressing), but sometimes it’s just what the shrink ordered. And you just know there’s no relationship in it, because you’d kill each other first. Push each other around, pull each other’s hair, bite each other’s shoulders, and yell, “I hate you!” right as you climax. It’s like an enema for the soul.