Zero chance of catching STDs, a real human connection, and immediate gratification without strings attached—sounds like the perfect quickie, doesn’t it? Intrigued by the benefits of cyber sex, I recently tried getting a little spicy online. Unfortunately, I ran into some pretty bad male behavior.

Here are a few tips to help those internet bootie calls improve their chances of scoring online:

1. Easing into it
I’ve seen you men shop. You go into a store with a goal in mind, obtain said goal, pay, and are out of there. The same principles absolutely do not apply to online sex. A classic faux pas that kills your chances of having cyber sex with a normal girl (i.e. a girl who isn’t in the sex industry or totally out of her freaking mind) is starting with the old cliché: “What are you wearing?” More brazen foibles include lovely openers such as: “What bra-size are you?” and “Do you have a nice ass?” You know what I’m thinking when you ask me questions like that? He doesn’t give one lick about me, and I might as well be a blow-up doll. Subtle sexual innuendo is the foreplay of cyber sex. Rash entry into sex talk crosses the fine line between a real sexual connection and just plain self gratification.

2. Video How To
There’s nothing worse than being badgered to use my web cam. The whole “can I see it?” vibe is very Girls Gone Wild. And guess what? An oversexed blond co-ed at Mardi gras does not fall into any category “normal girls” identify with. Unless she’s kinky like that, she won’t want to feel like an objectified exhibitionist. So how do you make the giant leap to video? Go first. Put yourself on web cam. She’ll follow your lead if she’s game.

3. Go Off the Record
You don’t want this stuff sitting in your chat history and neither does she. Take it off the record. Click here to find out how.

4. Funny and Sweet
Sure, there is the voyeuristic thrill of getting a glimpse into a total stranger’s sex life, but if that were all you were after, you could have just gone with a spot of porno and called it a day. Let’s face it, the impulse to have cyber sex actually comes from the part of us that craves human interaction with a real person. But you aren’t exactly going to be able to sweep her off her feet with your physicality. Online sex favors the intellectual, thoughtful side of you. Go with a subtle and self-deprecating humor. This will create the sense of intimacy that a good, long kiss would in real life.

5. Avoiding Sex Scandals 101
First, obviously you don’t want to be having cyber sex in the office, but if you do, avoid at all costs the type of girl who will take your dirty laundry and dump it all over your place of work. How do you know she’ll be discrete? All you have as any sort of real insurance against your online sexual habits being broadcast is your mutually ensured destruction. What do I mean by this? Take Tiger Woods for example. If Tiger had done it with, say, Hillary Clinton, he wouldn’t be in the deep trouble he’s in now. Why? Hillary would have had even more to lose and very little to gain from a sex scandal. Scaling it back a bit, let’s say you’re a mid-level associate at a law firm. Well, if she’s, say, a local business owner with some traction in the local Catholic community, she’s not going to implicate herself by blabbing about you. There you have it: mutually ensured destruction. Pick a woman who has as much, if not more, to lose by admitting to her online “hobbies” and you’re golden.

6. Disengage Immediately
I’ve seen enough episodes of To Catch a Predator to know that there are some weird people out there taking advantage of their online anonymity to do some terrible things. Be careful about getting roped in to something weird. We women can be pretty devious creatures. At the first sign of a red flag, disengage.

7. Do Not Make Promises You Aren’t Going to Keep
Whether or not they fit into your fantasy with this girl, assurances like, “You’re not alone. I will always listen. I’ll be there for you,” should not be made if you are not going to follow-up on them. Why? From personal experience, I know that it hurts a surprising amount to realize all that words of support and were just a load of crap (in my case my online playmate had intimated that he would help me through the death of my cat). Remember that real life consequences and feelings are attached to your online communications.

8. Virtual Cuddling
After cyber sex, confessional narratives are the equivalent of post-coital cuddling. The freedom to tell the painful, complete, and unblinking truth is one of the greatest advantages the semi-anonymity of cyber sex affords you, so get some of that heavy stuff off your chest. You’d be surprised how great it feels.

9. Emoticons are the Herpes of Cyber Sex
Enough said.