So you've enjoyed your first one-night stand, and now you're wondering what to do after - do you keep in touch? Do you thank them? Do you have to have breakfast together? Don't worry, we're here to help you sort 'the morning after the night before' out.
First things first
Did you use protection? No, come on, we mean it: try to remember now. Because if you didn't - and we advocate always, always using protection when having any kind of sexual contact with a stranger or semi-stranger - it's going to be straight to the pharmacy for you, to get the morning after pill. You can take it in the following 72 hours or 120 hours after contact, depending on the variant. Come on, it's easy. You can do it on the way to brunch.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves! What do you do before even having said goodbye to your one-night stand?
Wake up / Grab a brush and put a little (makeup)
There's a memorable scene in the 2011 comedy Bridesmaids in which Kristin Wiig's character, Annie, awakening next to her on/off fuck buddy, Jon Hamm's Ted, then sprints to the bathroom in order to make her face up before he wakes up. She tiptoes back, eases herself back between the sheets, and carefully arranges her limbs and face in the most attractive possible semblance of sleep so that Ted sees how poised and peaceful she is as soon as he opens his eyes.
Get real! If you spent the night with your one-night stand - and some people don't like to, so this is a chat you guys maybe should have had before doing the dirty - then the likelihood is that one or the other of you is going to see some kind of mess - mouth open, snoring (especially after a few drinks), maybe even dribbling.
And that's OK! We're all human. Remember A Midsummer Night's Dream? The queen of the fairies, Titania, wakes up after a night of passion with donkey-headed Bottom; and, because her jealous ex-lover Oberon has removed his bewitchment overnight, sees Bottom for what he is: fat, clumsy, likely smelly, and with the head of an ass.
'After being confronted with the reality that her romantic interlude with the transformed Bottom was not just a dream, she is disgusted with the very image of him and also seems very suspicious of how "these things came to pass."'
She flees. Because she's gone, Bottom, when he wakes, thinks it has all been a wonderful dream. It was a Shakespearean metaphor for the fleeting quality of desire, and lust. What we're saying is, if you wake up and last night's Jon Hamm has turned out to be more of a Bottom, feel free to do a Titania.
50 ways to leave your lover
Etiquette dictates that you leave at least a kind note or send a friendly text if you're planning on bailing before your one-night stand wakes up. Something breezy. Let them know you had fun, ask them if they want to do it again sometime - or don't, as per whatever your arrangements were before going to bed with them - and leave it at that.
There are no rules here - the man doesn't have to text first, it doesn't look over-keen if you text them within three hours, etc. Unlike dating, which has had the benefit of being 'out in the open' for several hundreds of years now, the world of one-night stand hookups is still something of a wilderness where you can pretty much make your own rules!
Remember: you don't HAVE to order them an Uber home. You don't HAVE to make them breakfast, or offer to take them out for coffee. However, just because we've said you don't HAVE to do these things doesn't mean it wouldn't be a nice thing to do. Ultimately, it's up to you. But it's our belief that it's nice to be nice.
Finally, if it's your gaff that the event has taken place at, you're at more of a disbenefited angle. If your bedtime buddy isn't on the same page as you re: not making a nuisance of oneself, and is overstaying their welcome, then you might have to give them a polite nudge. Tell them you've got things to do. Tell them you'll catch up with them in the week. Then get on with your life - it's too short to be spending on people who sleep past 9am!