Thanks for your response.
My new MO is to listen to what men say about what they're looking for, take them at face value, and structure our interactions accordingly.
Yup. My life got a whole lot easier when I adopted "ONLY take men literally" as my core relationship practice. Not to say that I don't often lapse on strict adherence, but when I do it is much easier to retrace my steps, or unknit my knitting, and observe where I exhibited bad form. Simplistic, stereotypical example being something like "Ah, yes, now I see. My error was in interpreting "You are so beautiful." to mean "I will call you sometime this week.""
I am currently reading this brilliant text-book on the topic of information theory which includes a chapter on the topic of how it can be mathematically shown that sexual reproduction will convey much better information about the environment than asexual reproduction, and I was actually thinking about how this could be extended to the realm of sexual/romantic communication. Kind of like you could diagram your relationship with any given man as a binary gate flow-chart, then set it to run as a fast-track animation set to some sort of appropriate selection of pop tracks, along a range such as "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" or "Oops, I Did it Again" or "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on it)" or "Better Dig Two*."
If a man is only interested in a FWB arrangements, I tell him to forget the "friends" part. The sole purpose of our interactions is to meet for sex. I will not date him, spend the night, or invest time in talking/texting except to make plans. All we will do is meet for sex and possibly post-coital cuddling and conversation. If I enter into this type of arrangement, it's either because a guy is particularly hot or because he's a Dom/top. I get what I want out of it and vice versa.
Have you read "Be Honest, You're Not That Into Him Either" by Ian Kerner? It's a good, maybe Wheaton Level 2 response, to Wheaton Level 1 "He's Not That Into You", which is itself comprised of pretty good advice for Wheaton Level 0 majority. Anyways, Kerner, by way of proving his argument that women don't really enjoy casual sex or one-night-stands for the usual-suspect deep reasons related to gender-specific reproductive energy dynamics, challenges his readers to only have casual sex under situations where they give their partner no contact information. IOW, you are kidding yourself about your lack of desire for relationship if you can't meet the terms of this challenge. Therefore, the question I asked myself after reading this book, which is also the first step towards Wheaton Level 3 functioning was "What have been the circumstances on the occasions I have enjoyed casual sex?" and one answer that popped out strongly was "When I was strongly engaged in plans for my own future that were either not relationship related or likely to be relationship hindered." For instance, I was quite happily serial in my serial monogamy the summer I was 22 and planning on transferring to a different university that fall.
Kerner also suggests that there is some sort of deep reason why women are often unable to orgasm on first or only sexual encounter with a male partner. In fact, he puts such emphasis on this factoid, I was almost sent to "I am not a normal female. In primitive times my babies would have starved because I did not exhibit appropriate behavior to attach meat-bringing behavior from father." hell by his argument. I think your standard of "particularly hot or because he's a Dom/top" correlates well with my attempted reconstruction of the many occasions on which the Goddess did indeed gift me with an orgasm even though I was not (or not yet) securely emotionally attached to a contract committed partner.
Anyways, if you can follow the breadcrumbs of my reasoning thus far, the next step for me was a mid-life realization that FWB could in fact work quite well for me, because then I could get "particularly hot" AND "male friend" for the price of one. The "male friend" benefit for me manifesting mostly in the form of practical assistance. For example, the way this might work would be I say yes to sex with some guy who is objectively a 9 to my 6.5 then I suggest/hint that he might like to give me a hand with putting up a book shelf or digging a hole in my garden or if I can borrow his van to move some books. Win-Win! Of course, this only works if you are somebody like me who always has a lot of projects and doesn't have much need for romance.
*I think if I ever really wanted to convert a man from monogamy to polyamory, I would just play this video.