The One Night Stand: An Etiquette Guide

Published on Author GG RayLeave a comment


It’s 12 a.m. and you’re out on the prowl, aiming to find yourself a little pick me up in the form of a sweet thing that will agree to head home with you. While late night choices fueled by tequila and a little sweat under your collar could have the potential for a “what the hell was I thinking?” moment, certain situations can be toned down if not avoided entirely if done with a little finesse and forethought. Here are a few simple tips to keep your late night romps and the ever-awkward morning after scenarios as drama free as possible.

One Night Stand: Your place or hers?

Unless she lives with her parents (and I’m hoping this is because she owes a lot in student loans, not because she’s nearing prom), I’m going to suggest that you head over to her place if at all possible. If met with resistance, explain that you live a long trek from your current spot and pull out the out-of-town guest or brother on the couch card. The effort to get to hers is well worth it as it will be a million times easier to leave after the deed with minimal fuss. The less awkward conversation you have to have the next day, the better.

Getting Out

Though getting to this spot may initially come with it’s own set of challenges, your best game is going to have to be saved for your exit. If there is a slight chance that this is someone you may want to see again, stay the night and operate on both of your comfort levels. Would breakfast be filled with uneasy silences or the chance to move your way into an encore of last night? Be observant and choose wisely or you could be sitting in front of your plate of bacon checking the windows for locks and calculating how many places you will break your ankles once you hit the ground. If, for whatever reason, you’ve ended up back at your place, have a believable excuse in the works (ex. an early morning soccer practice—change into shorts and runners, walk out the door with her, wish her a great day, then circle the block and head back in to bed).


The common thing to do after a one night stand would be to ask for her number stating “I’ll call you” while slowly backing out of her doorway. You could go this route but honestly, what’s the point? Are you going to call? If your beer goggles have become a little clearer and you’re smacking your head in regret, simply tell her that you had a good time and have to head out. Easy and done with! If she cries or protests, apologize saying only that you’re sorry she got the wrong idea about you’re impromptu encounter, that you had believed that you were both on the same page and again, make your exit without looking back. At no point should you give or get a number out of guilt—skip that cheesy routine.

Don’t Cruise in Your Backyard

I know this may be harder to avoid if you live in a small town as opposed to a big city, but if you have a local place close to you that you frequent on a regular basis, don’t use this as a pick up spot. Choose wisely Grasshopper! It may seem comfortable to keep an eye out for potential ladies where there is a mug with your name on it behind the bar but I promise you, it’s not. Cruise in these spots and expect to eventually run into that crazy chick that threatened to cut herself with a broken soap dish after accusing you of causing her miss her morning group therapy.

Sound good? Didn’t think so. The only instance where it is a bright idea to pick up is if she’s from out of town and you won’t ever run into her again. Australian accent? Check. Referring to “back home”? Check. No drinks thrown in your face after you sneak out of her place while she’s sleeping? Double check. Otherwise, stick to places where the time lapse between the hook up and the run-in will be so long gone that she won’t even recognize you with those new sideburns. Keep in mind that girls talk and news will travel fast if you’ve been a dog.

Been There, Done That

You’re mid sentence with a potential hook up and you realize that not only did you hook up with her last month, it was like sleeping with a boiled potato… bland, boring and knobby in the wrong places. Get away from that action and get away fast! Check her face for any sign of recognition. None? Good. Put that poker face to use baby! Finish your drink, wish her a good night and let her know that you best find your drunken friend before he tears up the joint. If it’s impossible to remain in the bar incognito, time to move on to your next venue.

The Stomach Churn

Say you head back to hers and there’s something so heinous that you just can’t bring yourself to stay in her place, let alone sleep with her (gummy, used condoms by the couch, a mayo jar covered in cat hair on the kitchen counter, inspirational unicorn posters on the wall)… if her place is grossing you out to the point where you have to remove your contacts to even use her bathroom, then it’s time to get out! A dirty housekeeper tends to also be dirty in other places. Time to fake the spins due to those dozen tequila shots, find a cab and call it a night.

The Ride Home

So, you’ve made the mistake of having her over to your place and the time has come for the awkward morning after lull. If you have a car, now is not the time to be offering a ride home. The morning after can be strained enough without you sitting next to her in a bucket seat and asking for her exit. Skip that! Offer her $20 and call her a cab. Even if you don’t plan on seeing her again, asking her to come over, shagging her and then booting her out with no concern for her getting home safely is a dick move. Don’t be that guy. Again, this step could be avoided entirely by heading to her place. I’m not sayin, I’m just sayin.

Life is only as complicated as you let it be and one night stands and the aftermath are no exception. Seem like a bad idea to head home with the chick whose biker husband is out of town at a rally? Listen to your gut rather than listening to your broken ribs and wired jar after the fact.

You’re a man about town and just want to have a little fun. Flirt, be up front and always make a swift, but thoughtful exit. We ladies are crafty and chances are that we’re just looking for a good time like you. Enjoy the moment, be safe, always be a man and this will make for many successful pick-ups and less fumbling for words when your lies become apparent.

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