Behind Closed Doors: Dealing with the awkward November morning after

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November 4, 2008

2:03 AM

Ah, the first column of November. Thank heaven the awkwardness of October has passed. October has the mixed pleasures of both Homecoming and Halloween: two occasions during which members of our campus consume copious amounts of alcohol and become (how can I put this delicately?) drunken, horny buffoons.

The drunken hookup is one of the most dangerous avenues on the sexual roadmap. It is fraught with cock blocks, issues of consent, slippery vomit trails, STI avalanches and the dreaded whiskey dick. Luckily, it’s November and we’re past all the drunken debauchery. November is October’s morning after.

But the morning after a drunken hookup can be equally as uncomfortable as the night before, if not more so. So how do you handle the situation? Let me answer that question with another question: How do porcupines mate? The answer, to both, is very, very carefully.

*Scenario 1*: You drank to the point of oblivion the night before and do not even remember the hookup. You wake up to find a random person in bed with you.

Before stirring, take a good look around you. Are there any clues as to what happened last night? For instance, if you’re naked and there’s a used condom on the floor, it’s safe to assume you went all the way. Scan your body for any soreness, bruises or scratches. Try to remember everything that you can about the person next to you.

The situation is incredibly delicate. Even if you never plan on seeing this person again, etiquette is still a necessity (because on our campus of 5,000 students, running into one of them is not unlikely). When getting up from bed, do not intentionally wake your partner. If, and when he or she does wake up, smile and be cordial. Remember that they probably feel as awkward as you do. Humor can often break some of the tension.

You may see this person around campus. Smile. It may be safe to say that he or she hangs around the same places as you since you found each other that one drunken night. But just because you hooked up once doesn’t mean you have to pretend to be old friends or, on the other extreme, ignore each other.

*Scenario 2*: You were drunk last night but not too drunk to realize that you were hooking up with someone that you’ve been eying for a while now. Youwake up and immediately become concerned about the stench of your breath, the untidiness of your hair and the quality of your performance the night before.

Relax. Smooth your hair, wipe away excess makeup and swirl some saliva in your mouth to try and fix the morning breath problem. If loving words were exchanged the night before, run through them in your head and try to evaluate if the alcohol created the sentiments or just allowed them to be spoken.

Wake up the other person. If you think there’s a chance of round two, wake them up with a kiss. If you feel bold, wake them up with an excited “good morning” or a shove. If you’re unsure, just get up and “accidentally” hit something and make it drop, “inadvertently” causing a loud sound.

Here’s the tough part of the situation: the talk. It’s unavoidable. Ease into it with politeness and humor, as in scenario one. Perhaps invite your partner to breakfast. Whatever you do, make sure that before you go, words are exchanged. I don’t mean that you have to define the relationship at this point, just get a sense of where all parties involved stand.

*Scenario 3*: You wake up and immediately regret the night before. You did something drunk, that you would not have done sober. Examples include having performed a homosexual act (if you identify as heterosexual), having hooked up with someone you shouldn’t have (an ex, your best friend’s girl), or not having used protection.

First, you need to consider why you acted the way that you did the night before. Have you always secretly wanted to have lesbian sex but never had the courage to do so? With an example like that, chances are you need to rethink your sexual identity. The same applies if you were drunkenly slurring phrases like “ride me, big boy.” Try your best not to be embarrassed in these cases. You didn’t do anything wrong; alcohol revealed a side of you that you’d never seen before.

If you did do something wrong, you’ll feel bad, and you probably should. But punishing yourself isn’t the first priority. If there is any chance of pregnancy or an STI, go get tested immediately. Do not pass go, do not collect $200, do not do a damn thing until you know whether or not your body has been affected. If your woes are of the social kind, fess up. Do the honorable thing and be honest with whoever needs your honesty. That’s the only way to make right what your drunken genitals screwed up.

In all of these situations, keep in mind that you are not the only one affected. Awkwardness is a two-way street. To avoid all of this, don’t chug and hug; don’t give the keg a pump and the girl a hump; don’t take a shot and make it hot; don’t pour to score. If you’re going to imbibe, drink but still think. Sex is more fun with a clear head anyway.

_Maya Horowitz is the Flat Hat sex columnist. She knows a thing or two about awkward mornings after._

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