So you’re looking for a no-strings-attached limited engagement encounter.
Can’t say I blame you. A big part of the fun of dating is the hunt. The excitement of what could happen is enough to drive us to slather on the war paint, wear the most uncomfortable shoes (they make my legs look longer!), and wear clothing that is completely inappropriate for the weather in hopes of going home with a cute guy for the evening. Sounds like a flawless game plan but hold on there, Maneater; it only covers everything leading up to your main objective. What happens AFTER you hook up? At some point you have to go home. Did you think about those logistics?
Chances are, you didn’t. Thankfully, I have a few tips and tricks that will get you home in one piece and help you avoid a completely shameful Walk of Shame.
An Exit Strategy
First and foremost, you need an exit strategy. It’s probably best to have this sorted out before you even leave your home and definitely before you start drinking. Trying to figure out how you’re going to get home after three apple martinis is asking for trouble so work it out in advance. I strongly recommend hooking up with guys that live in the middle of big cities. There’s usually ample public transportation, so should you want (or NEED) to leave his place at a moment’s notice, you have options.
Residential one night stands are trickier because you have to figure out who’s sober enough to drive and how you, specifically, are going to get from his place back to yours. I’d avoid residential one night stands if at all possible and I’d also avoid bringing him back to your place. Not only will you have to add “clean the house” to your prep routine, you will also have to initiate the inevitably awkward, “Okay, you can leave now” discussion when it’s over. If you end up with a stage ten clinger, it could be difficult to get rid of him. Going to his place actually puts you more in control.
The right handbag is key. For the next 12 hours, you’re in survival mode and any supplies you’ll need must be on your person at all times. Therefore, the bag is no longer just an accessory; it’s your lifeline and the size will make or break your evening. Sure, you’ll need room for quite a few items, but if your bag is too big, you’ll look like you’re packed for a two week vacation and he’ll think you’re crazy… which you probably are. Girls who are looking for a one night stand don’t come with baggage … of any kind. That’s the whole point. But your bag can’t be too small either. You’re going to need something bigger than your Coach “wristlet” — those are reserved for nights out with your girlfriends where, in an effort to minimize the number of items you’ll inevitably end up losing, you only bring your ID, a credit card, and your spare house key because you’re going to dance on the bar, black out, and leave your bag in the cab on your way home. For an “impromptu” sleepover, I recommend a medium sized shoulder tote. It’s big enough to accommodate all necessary items (see below) but small enough not raise any red flags. And they’re trendy.
Pack only the bare essentials
Remember: survival mode. There’s no guarantee that the guy you go home with will be able to meet any of your needs (inside or outside the bedroom) so when it comes to some of the basics, you’ll have to be self sufficient. Travel sized items are not just for vacations.
- Contact solution and case or glasses. If you have perfect vision, I hate you. If you don’t, you know the discomfort of falling asleep with your contacts in and waking up with them literally glued to your red, furry eyeballs. More than likely, your exit strategy requires the ability to see where you’re going. Good luck trying to get home if you can’t.
- Toothbrush and toothpaste. If you’re planning to leave immediately afterwards, brushing your teeth isn’t necessary. If you’re planning to take a quick catnap before your disappearing act at 5:30am, you may want to freshen up a little. You already reek of vodka and bad decisions. You don’t want the poor barista at Starbucks to pass out when he catches a whiff of your dragon breath as you desperately order a venti Red Eye.
- Makeup Essentials. If you’ll be showing your face in public in the light of day, you might need a few dabs of concealer to cover up the dark circles under your eyes. Some tinted lip balm can serve double duty for cheeks and lips. Looking a little polished will help you avoid looking and feeling like a hot mess for your walk of shame.
- An extra shirt and flats. Remember those unreasonable shoes you insisted on wearing? Or that cleavage enhancing top that helped you commit fraud? Both are perfect for the club but not for your walk home. Your blisters probably have blisters and you’ll be freezing. An extra T-shirt and some flats will fit nicely into the bottom of your bag and the next morning, you’ll be glad you brought them with you.
Forget the condoms … on purpose
Before anyone freaks out, let me be clear: I’m not advocating unprotected sex. No balloons, no party. Plain and simple. But you don’t want to sleep with a man who doesn’t have condoms. Period. Anytime I was the one supplying the protection, he turned out to be a complete loser who was “between jobs” and was terrible in bed. Save yourself the time and energy. You want your one night stand to be worth your while. A man who doesn’t have a stash of condoms is unprepared for sex and probably life in general and he falls into one or both of the following categories:
- He’s not into one night stands and rather than rocking your world like you were hoping, he’ll offer to cuddle — not your objective for the evening.
- He’s into one night stands but wasn’t planning to have sex which means he probably didn’t shower or manscape for the occasion.
Either way, abort mission.
Of course now that you’re all set with your one night stand essentials, the probability that it will actually happened just plummeted to near zero. Most of the time, one night stands are a spontaneous occurrence: you planned to stay home and drink a bottle of Merlot and cook a frozen pizza but your friend convinced you to come out for “just one drink” and three LI iced teas later, you’re heading out the door with some guy whose name is irrelevant because you won’t remember it anyway and not only are you sans all aforementioned items, but you haven’t shaved your legs either.
The moral of the story is keep a tote bag packed in the trunk of your car at all times and make sure you throw a razor in there too.