The etiquette of a one-night stand {sr}

It’s holiday time and, for once in my financial disaster of a life, I’ve saved up enough to go travelling. So, in the interests of research, I thought I’d try Tindering on the road.

Unfortunately, Tindering on the road proves to be frustrating. Full of missed connections, messages which only load the next morning, and locations which don’t update fast enough. By the time we match and they reply, I’ve moved on to the next town. Give me a cowboy hat, a guitar, and a tendency to whine and I’d be singing you stuff about rolling stones and all of the things they fail to gather.

Luckily, the good old-fashioned way steps in to save the day. You know that way, right? The one which involves bars with buy-one-get-one-free offers, kicking up water in the neon-lit monsoon-flooded streets, and getting thrown out of go-go bars for rowdy behaviour. The one that ends in a good, old-fashioned one-night stand.

Now, in strange lands with vastly different cultures and undetermined ages, it becomes more important than ever to practice good one-night stand etiquette. So here is the global traveller’s guide to one-night stands:

Rule 1

Try to remember the person’s name. I’m almost 95% sure his started with an A. Or a D.

Rule 2

Don’t mention your flag count. Worse still, don’t get it wrong:
Me: No, you’re not my first German… oh wait, they were Dutch, not German. So yeah, you are the first.
A or D: They?
Me: He, I meant he. He was Dutch.

Rule 3

Don’t talk about your sex history. Particularly if you are likely to lose the competition (it’s always a competition):

A or D: When did you last have sex?
Me: Uh… um… not since I’ve been travelling. And you?
A or D (a tad smugly): Wednesday.
What’s worse than a dick? A show-off dick with better sexcapades than me.

Rule 4

Try not to throw up noisily in the person’s bathroom. It’s un-ladylike and instantly cuts your sex appeal in half.

I definitely didn’t do this. More than once.

Rule 5

Don’t exchange contact details. This negates the whole ‘one night only’ aspect. Meeting up more than once makes it some kind of half-arsed affair with someone you don’t know at all. Someone whose name you would not know if it hadn’t been for Facebook. Ridiculous, really:

A or D: Hey, is this how you spell your name?
Me: What?
A or D: Yeah, you wrote your name down last night so I could add you on Facebook.
Me (invisible palm to forehead): Yes, that’s the right spelling.

Rule 6

Choose the considerate morning option. In the morning, you have several options to choose from: you can lie in bed staring at the person’s back and waiting until your host wakes up before getting out of bed to avoid waking them; you can get ready and leave as quickly as possible; or, you can make the good times last and initiate morning sex. In deciding what to do, try to take your cue from what your host is doing and what you would like the person to do if the tables were turned.

He was fast asleep, emitting the occasional gentle snore. When I’m back home and the action takes place at mine, I like the quick and tender exit. A kiss, some lip service about how much fun it was and then the guy shows himself to the door, leaving me to sprawl all the way across the bed and fall asleep with both pillows clutched greedily in my arms.

This is my chance to return all the considerate exits, to pay them forward if you will. I decide to wake him up for a morning show.

Rule 7

If going for a morning show, go in quick and strong. If being woken for sex, you want to be in the mood by the time your consciousness finally swims to the surface. It’s a fine art to wake a stranger up for sex. You need to be confident and sure in your technique.

I start with the dead hand on hip, flung there all casual like. Shuffle in to press, make sure there is boob on back contact. Back in the day this is all it would take, but not now. I then proceed to what can only be described as a gentle scratch: too limp to be a stroke and too far from any erogenous zone to be of any worldly use. A move guaranteed to produce an eye-roll if used on me. There is no movement from him. I’ve got it all wrong and this ship is sinking fast. I panic. Where do I go from here? The added pressure clutch? The one used by tipsy friend-zoned guys in the middle of a friendly hug? Kissing? Licking? Dammit, why am I acting like a teenager? Go straight for the penis? What if he’s completely flaccid and I’m left desperately yanking on a poor, timid, sleeping willy? Too late, I lose control and go for needy hip rocking. Oh, curse you pathetic beggar move of the sexually destitute!

The gentle snoring has stopped. A heavy silence fills the room.

There’s nothing left to do now but get up, get dressed and leave. And accept his friend request on Facebook later that day.

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