A field guide to online dating: The sleepover

As a 40-ish woman who’s been single for 6 years (gulp), I’ve had a few sleepovers of the type which didn’t involve pillow fights, John Hughes movies or prank calls. Yes, the adult sleepover. For whatever reason- loneliness, one too many cocktails or chemistry – we’ve all been there. Naked, bleary eyed, banging headache and bonus points if you know the other person’s last name. Rarely is it like the movies. I recall maybe 2 times where the other person smiled and reached for me in the morning and there have never been any cute ‘I’m wearing your shirt and standing in a beam of sunlight with a mug of coffee’ moments. Typically once one eye is pried open and then the realization hits;

a) You’re not alone and you have no idea what happened
b) You’re not alone, you remember what happened = death cannot come soon enough

Add in the frisson and excitement of ‘where the f-k am I?’ and ‘did we do it?’ and you have a recipe for the most excruciating 25 minutes of your life. My slutty phase came post-35 but I’ve been assured that its the same regardless of age.
Your goal, should you choose to accept it (unless you decide to stay and move in –psycho), is to get out of there a fast as possible, leaving absolutely no question that there will be a repeat sleepover. To suggest that there will be a ‘next time’ smacks of desperation and face it, wild crazy sex on a drunken date rarely leads to a deep and fulfilling relationship. Maybe for lesbians. But for most guys, you hit their ‘do not call’ list as soon as your bra came off. 

1. Do you remember his name? If yes, great, if no, check around for any name tags which might give you a heads up. Also look for cheesy athletic awards, work related plaques or laptop bag tags. If you can’t see anything which gives you an indication of his name (i.e. if you were stupid enough to bring home a stranger), I highly recommend ‘dude’ ‘bud’ or ‘you’.

2. Is he awake? If so, a grimace is the most acceptable greeting. No one wants to wake to a grinning fool (especially since he’s regretting it as much as you are), and a sickeningly happy grin the morning after signals psychosis. Don’t scare the guy. Groaning also lets him know that yes, you’re not thrilled with the outcome either, reducing the stakes for him to actually acknowledge you. If he’s appears to be asleep (eyes closed, slow breathing), don’t be fooled. He’s keeping his eyes closed until you leave and is mentally deleting your date from his brain.  If he actually appears to be asleep (snoring, twitching), you just hit jackpot. Get out now! Final note, if he doesn’t appear to be breathing and has kind of a blue tinge to the lips, call 911. He’s not a quietly sleeping goth, he’s dead.

3. Is he cute? Why are you even asking? He’s never calling again so its kind of irrelevant unless you’re the kind of psycho who keeps ratings on former lovers (don’t laugh, I’ve seen it). I guess you can determine the amount of mental abuse you’re going to give yourself based on cuteness.. but honestly, you have bigger problems. Like venereal disease.

4. Check the floor for discarded ..um… wrappers. If you spy one, make a mental note to delouse yourself as soon as you get home. If you spy two, buy some bleach and wire wool on the way home. If you spy more than 2, you should congratulate your new bed mate and check out some sexaholics meetings. If you don’t see any and you don’t feel any evidence of ..um… exercise, then congratulate yourself on not being the total slut that you thought you were and proceed to step 3.  If you don’t see any wrappers and you think you might have ..um… exercised a little, make a mental note to stop off at the pharmacist, the ob-gyn and probably burn your underwear. After 40 you really should know better, so feel free to beat yourself up for a few minutes before you focus on the goal of getting the hell out of there.

5. Exiting. Here is where all of your grace and prowess comes into play. The trick is to exit as quietly, and quickly as possible with zero drama. One tested trick is the ‘slow slide’, whereby you detach yourself from any sheeting and slowly slide from the bed to the ground. Scoot yourself across the bedroom floor ‘commando style’ , gathering garments as you go. NOTE – do not try this if he’s awake. No one needs to see your butt sliding across the floor. If he didn’t think you were a nut job already, he certainly will as your cellulite riddled butt exits the room horizontally. 
If he’s awake and has acknowledged your presence you have two options. The Euro option (or for those narcissists with size 2 bodies) involves boldly moving to vertical, getting out of the bed, bending over to pick up garments and dressing yourself before exiting the room. The second more popular US version involves wrapping yourself in the nearest sheet, garment, towel, newspaper,  (or quickly constructed sock bikini) and shuffling around the room in search of your clothes with your butt facing away from the bed. On NO account show him your butt. Even your most fervent lover isn’t a butt man after 12 beers and 3 hours of sleep. Spare the man – flash your boobs, some leg if you must, but keep the butt to the door even as you exit.

6. Missing clothes. Are you kidding? Unless its a heirloom set of earrings bequeathed to you on grandmas deathbed, leave it. Put it down to collateral damage. Yes, I know that bra still had a few years left it in and you really loved that scarf but all you need to exit is shoes and something to cover your wobbly bits. Grab what you can and GO. If you find something on the way out, shove it down your pants or into your purse. Now is not the time to dress to impress. If you get out fast, he might forget you were ever there. And if you find your bra on eBay in a few months, well hey… you can always buy it back.

7. The walk of shame. Its an old trope because its true. Even if you’re driving, riding the bus or the train, the walk of shame can’t be lessened. Yes, you’re a dirty trollop. Yes, you’re wearing crusty underwear that may or may not have been retrieved from a lampshade. Yes, everyone knows that 4 hours ago you were riding a man like a horse while shouting ‘Tonto’. Ovary up. Hold your head high. Smile in memory at the witty banter you exchanged before the 3rd martini. The flirtatious looks and that passionate first kiss. You probably just had an insane night of fun, even if you’ve chaffed your hoo haa and it hurts to sit down. And unlike your married friends, you can spend the rest of your day prone on the sofa with a bloody mary and the remote.

This is 40 – the adult sleepover.

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