By: Jenny Fougher
Considering how often we think about it, watch it and (if we’re lucky) do it, sex (or ‘the s-word’, if that makes you more comfortable) still has the inexplicable power to catapult even the most confident among us into the throes of adolescent idiocy and angst. Consider, for example, the horror that comes with realizing that the female sleeping next to you might have fallen desperately in love with you mid-coitus. Terrible, right? Or the despair of waking up to find your overnight guest gone without a trace, leaving you alone with the fear that you might never see the Potential Love of Your Life again. Even worse, because emotions are involved.
Since the naked rumba doesn’t come with an owner’s manual, few of us know how to navigate the morning, weeks and months that follow it, especially if we’re at all interested in seeing our partner in crime again. Even if you’re the self-proclaimed Czar of the One Night Stand, if you’ve ever agonized about how to treat your hookup post-hook-up, then you know exactly what I mean. It’s damn confusing no matter how many notches you have on your belt.
I feel your pain, dearest reader, which is why I’ve consulted my trusty panel of experts in order to lay down some truth for you in this blogspace. With any luck, it’ll help you navigate your next sexperience like a pro; in fact, think of it like your very own roadmap back to the dugout after hitting an all-star home run. (Guys respond well to sports metaphors, right?) So, if you’re the proud owner of a morning-after glow, congrats. Now it’s time to figure out what the hell to do next.
If you never want to see her again…
Well, this one is easy: you’re pretty much free as fudge to do whatever the heck you want. In the interest of human decency, though, do try to remember that whoever you just diddled would very much appreciate some acknowledgment that a fun time was had by all (… unless the night was less than stellar, in which case you can feel free to ride off into the dusty sunset without so much as a backwards glance. I think we’d all rather forget about our more underwhelming transgressions). A simple “thanks for a fun night” will suffice, but, as I said, you’re under no obligation to say anything at all.
I’m sure that ‘do nothing’ seems like a nice, simple option, but before you decide that ignorance is bliss, take note of the few caveats that accompany this path. One: unless you’re absolutely, positively sure that you never, ever want to see the girl again, pretending like nothing happened will only come back to bite you in the ass, as you will have alienated her in a way that will not make it easy for you to get back into her pants. Two: leaving without so much as a ‘gracias for the freak fest’ makes you look like a big jerk. When a friend treats you to dinner, you don’t slap him in the face, do you? I’ll bet you don’t. Thusly, when a woman treats you to her… treats, the polite thing to do would be to demonstrate gratitude like a normal human being. It’s just, you know, common decency.
If you want to hook up with her again…
As discussed approximately one paragraph ago, if you have any inkling that you’ll want to see this girl again, then you should make some sort of contact within 24 hours of getting it on with her, if not by text (maybe you’re too cheap to pay for unlimited texting), then by email or (and really, I can’t believe I’m condoning this) Facebook message. The point is to ensure that the door to her happy place stays open for you, which means acknowledging that she is a person with whom you want to communicate rather than a two-dollar hooker. (JSYK, most women, even those who have sex with randos like it IS their job, dread feeling like pro-ho’s. Speaking to them afterwards makes them feel less trampy, which also makes them more likely to want to do you again.) Basically, unless you’re in the business of paying for your jollies, the road to repeat hookups is paved with open communication.
If you want to date her…
Luckily, a girl sleeping with you is a pretty sure sign that she’s at least moderately into you, which can take some of the guess work out of the frustrating quest to find someone who’s willing to date you. If you’ve hooked up with a lady you’d like to one day call yours, start by taking her out to breakfast (or lunch, or dinner… some of us are early risers, some of us aren’t) and see where things go from there. Many girls think that sleeping with a guy will make him lose interest immediately, so she probably won’t be expecting any dates out of the deal. Low expectations = your time to shine. And even if you ultimately decide that the two of you aren’t compatible, you’ll still be the guy who had enough class to stay past dawn, which can only help your reputation with future paramours.
If you’ve decided you’re in love…
When the unexpected happens – that is, when you experience sudden, woman-strength emotions after sex – you might be tempted to throw away the rule book and propose on the spot. This is understandable, because you’re not a woman and you haven’t learned to ignore most (or all) of your hormonal urges. To put it plainly, women know that post-hanky-panky love pangs are usually nothing more than chemical reactions meant to induce procreation, so we’ve learned – painfully – to ignore the instincts that tell us to fall head-over-heels for every boy we bone. Of course, some sex partners are actually worthy of our undying love and devotion, but we remain cautious, because sudden-onset-love-syndrome is an all-too-common by-product of otherwise meaningless sex.
(Honestly, if I do nothing more with these posts than make you respect the all-consuming power of the ovaries, then I will have done my job.)
My point: perhaps you’re one of those rare male animals for whom sex and love are hopelessly interrelated. This is good, because it probably means that you take sex a little more seriously than the average Joe, but it can also cloud your judgment and make you act like a nutbag towards every girl who drops her panties for you. If you’ve got that lovin’ feeling after bedding down with someone you just met, then please. Take a step back before you suggest moving in together. Start with breakfast, or lunch, or dinner, or coffee, or whatever, and rest assured that if you’re really meant to be with this one-night-stand for all of eternity, you will be.