morning_after_shock.jpgHappy Holidays everybody! In the new year you can find us at -- be sure to bookmark it!

Okay, we know we told you not to impulse-shop for a significant other at this time of year (a puppy is for life, not just for Christmas, blah blah blah), but we also know what the combination of mistletoe and eggnog does to people, which means that 'tis the season for ill-advised one-night stands. Thus, we thought it was a good time to remind everyone to mind their one-night stand manners. Last month we told you how to have a one-night stand--this month we'll tell you how to leave that one-night stand.

So, this guy friend of ours once took a brand-new ladyfriend home on New Year's Eve. The connection was immediate, the ensuing flirtation deliberate, the innuendos kinky, the sex kinkier. They kissed sloppily, fumbled with zippers, mussed up each other's hair. It was a perfectly debauched interlude. But in the thirty seconds between rolling over and passing out, this dude experienced that oh-so-familiar panic attack: What will she expect of me in the morning? When he awoke to a hangover and the sun streaming in around nine, he reluctantly opened one eye to check on his bedmate. But she had vanished. The only sign that he'd even entertained company the previous evening was the slightly ajar front door. "I felt so used," he is fond of saying--not entirely ruefully--when he tells this story at dinner parties. "I suppose I would have appreciated a note, but her leave-taking did have a certain dramatic flair." ...

Gentle readers, once may be a good story, but twice could deliver a serious ego blow, so we cannot in good faith allow you to sneak out merely to spice up dinner party chatter the world over. When a fling fails to linger for the free morning coffee, it leaves the impression that the previous night's performance was sub-par, or that they had buyer's regret. Therefore, the well-mannered lady or gentleman always makes a graceful exit from a one-night stand.
Once the sun has come up on casual sex, some form of acknowledgment of the previous night's dalliances is required. You don't have to go out to brunch with the Sunday Times crossword--in fact, that's more intimacy than most one-night stands can support. On the other hand, leaving without saying a word makes a bigger deal of the situation than is needed. A brief period of friendly banter and a self-deprecating joke for good measure is ideal. But if you simply can't bear to wake the coyote who snores next to you, then it's only good manners to put all this (friendly banter + self-deprecating joke) in a saucy note (sans phone number) left on the fridge, dresser or pillow (but if you opt for the pillow, your note must contain irony or risk being interpreted as romantic).
And never abuse the home team advantage: While you may make a stealth exit from your partner's bed so long as you leave a note, you may never request, during the denouement, that your partner vacate your pad before daylight. And a gentleman or lady always offers their guest a cup of coffee or tea before showing them to the door and giving them a sweet kiss (sans tongue) farewell.

For more on one-night stands, check out Rec Sex: An A-Z Guide to Hooking Up and Sex Etiquette for Ladies and Gentleman--both by yours truly, natch.

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Em & Lo, more formally known as Emma Taylor and Lorelei Sharkey, are the self-proclaimed Emily Posts of the modern bedroom.

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