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Don't offer her a pair of clean underwear, even if your sister left them there. Nor should you have an unopened package - the toothbrush principle does not apply.

The aftermath of a one-night stand is about as tidy as the lobby of a rent-by-the-hour hotel.

Don't stoop to rudeness. The old retail adage applies: 'If you get good service, you tell no one. If treated badly, you tell everyone.'

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Morning-After Behavior            July 1, 2000

Waking up after a one-night-stand made simple

by Lee A. Caglioti

Email to a FriendSo there you lie in a tangle of sheets. Your arm is numb from being wedged under your partner's shoulder and the unsympathetic light of day is forcing itself into your blissfully shuttered eyes. Your bedmate stirs and you cautiously turn your head and look over. Your eyes meet and awkward, tight-lipped smiles skitter across your faces.

Last night you were calling each other 'love-kitten' and 'naughty puppy,' and using candle wax for purposes other than sealing letters. Now you're suddenly shy and unable to exchange even the most primitive greeting. As you vow that you will never again consume any beverage concocted from more than three types of liquor, you wonder what Grace Kelly or Cary Grant would do in this situation.

With a heavy sigh, you realize that Ms. Kelly would probably never have danced on a coffee table wearing go-go boots and a smile, and it is equally doubtful that Mr. Grant would have been clad in purple boxers and Ray-Bans while singing 'Do You Think I'm Sexy?' Consequently, you resolve to handle the situation on your own.

It appears that your horizontal companion is emerging from a dormant state and you know you must act quickly.

  • Should you spring out of bed, brush your teeth and ask for round five?

  • Should you pretend to fall asleep again until your lover heads for the bathroom and then quickly pull on your clothes and leave?

  • Should you ask which one of you will be making breakfast?

Even in your limited state of cognitive ability, you know that your next move will be critical to the outcome of this liaison. In the brief moments before he or she has the opportunity to get a jump on the situation, you must decide what you're going to do - and it really depends on what kind of relationship you had with your lover before you did the libido lambada. Let's take a look at the possibilities for each situation.

Situation #1: I Bet You'd Look Great Doing Laundry.

If you have had a pre-existing, romantic pairing before this first intimacy, and, you can picture yourself decorating for the holidays with this person, then you'll be apt to hang around. Brunch, including Tabasco-laden Bloody Mary's, is recommended. As the spice clears your head and the vodka subdues your nerves, remember these important 'Do's and Don'ts':

Offer a toothbrush. Must be clean and wrapped (every good host/ess should have several on hand).
Ask her where she learned to do that thing with her tongue. Do you really want to know? I think not.

Tell her how incredibly wonderful last night was and how much you enjoyed learning about her body and her sexual desires. If she was really good with her hands, her mouth, or the use of a pastry brush, let her know.
Use the term 'cute' to describe his manhood. Bunnies are cute. Duckies are cute. Herculean would be the appropriate description.

Offer to go out for bagels and the newspaper. This gives you both time to freshen your minds and skip the awkward silences. There will be plenty of those later.
Offer her a pair of clean underwear, no matter how long ago they were left there by your last girlfriend, or how many times they were laundered, or even if your sister left them there when she visited last September. Nor should you have an unopened package of these around. The toothbrush principle does not apply.

Smile a lot, speak in conspiratorial whispers, and make plans only for the next twenty-four hours.
Talk about what you're doing for New Year's Eve, your family, or anything related to a Lamaze class.

In between swooning and being charming, it is a good idea to take note of how your companion is acting. If you're seeing signals similar to your own, there could be candle-lit dinners deux in your future. However, if what you notice leans more toward the examples in Situation #2, you'll probably find yourself eating a lot of a la carte Chinese take-out by yourself.

Situation #2: Didn't I See You on America's Least Wanted?

Now, if the person you wake up with is not someone you would give up drawer space for, but rather someone you just met and simply had to rub bellies with, then the rules are markedly different. We'll take for granted that you want to exit as gracefully as possible. After all, a hasty retreat can burn bridges that are best left intact in case of lust-laden emergencies - it's crass, yet true.

Say that last night was 'really wild' and that you can't believe how 'uninhibited' you were. These phrases infer a compliment while remaining noncommittal. They can later be used in the context of 'I don't know what I was thinking.'
Spew superfluous compliments. This will only serve to confuse her next week when she wonders why you don't return her calls. Remember: a confused woman is a clingy woman.

Look at the clock and exclaim, 'Oh my God! I have to be at my manicurist's dog's funeral in fifteen minutes!' You may then put on whatever clothing the law requires, stuff your undies in your pocket while muttering, 'it was fun,' and sprint for the door.
Hesitate to appear demented. Ask her how she feels about electricity as part of foreplay. Odds are she'll be gone quicker than you can say, 'Thomas Edison.' (Note: If she smiles and pulls alligator clips out of her purse, you may be in trouble.)

Take a long shower. With luck, he will get bored after an hour or two and leave while you're still under the spray.
Stop bragging about your latest display of sexual ability and how it compares to your previous exploits. This will repel even the most desperate woman.

Say, 'You know, I really started talking to you at the club last night because of your friend but - (pause for effect) - I suppose it would be rude to ask about him/her now, huh?' Make sure you look forlorn, yet sheepish. Warning: only do this if you really, really never want to see this person again.
Leave anything behind. You don't want to have to call and you don't want to be called.

Be aware though, it is entirely possible that you're not the only one who feels they've made a sexual gaffe. You may both agree that your tryst is best filed under 'O' for 'oops.' Even if he or she isn't getting the hint, do not stoop to rudeness. The old retail adage is appropriate in this situation: 'If a customer gets good service, they tell no one. If they are treated badly, they tell everyone.' You might actually want to try this again with someone else and you don't want to be known in social circles as 'Betty Ballbuster' or 'Peter Player.'

Granted, the morning after is fairly confusing. When you realize that a single night of passionate surrender may actually affect the rest of your life, things can get a little tense. The potential predicaments are endless and the variables are vast. Will you look forward to seeing her again, - or, if you spot her in public, will you cross the street just to avoid meeting? Can you bring him home to meet your cat or do you need to have your phone number changed? You'd better determine how you feel before you open your mouth, or you're liable to trip over more than discarded clothing when you get up.

Keep in mind that when your glances meet across the bed in the blinding brightness of reality, the scrutiny is reciprocal. Don't allow yourself to be pressured into anything - you weren't born yesterday, even if you did call him 'daddy' last night. And don't allow guilt to rule your actions. Guilt is for catholic schoolboys who wear short pants and have the need to be punished. The aftermath of a one-night stand is about as tidy as the lobby of a rent-by-the-hour hotel, but if you conduct yourselves in a friendly, collaborative manner, the morning after should go smoothly enough to allow you to move on with your love life relatively unscathed.

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