Hooking up with someone new on Tinder can be so many things, often at the same time. It can be hot, fun, thrilling, embarrassing, rubbish and just plain weird. It’s possible that you might have life-changing, unforgettable sex with a stranger you might never see again. And it’s just as possible that you might end up staring at each other awkwardly after you or your no-strings-attached sex partner screamed out the ex’s name, mid-act. While there might be a mind-boggling range of potential conclusions to one’s night of casual sex, and you can’t ever account for all the contingencies, there are some ground rules you can cling to, to ensure you have your behind covered, in case things start to go south. Here are 6 things every decent adult should do before bumping uglies with someone new.
Find out their last name
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it really is possible to entirely miss something as ordinary as the last name of the person you hook up with. Knowing at least the basic identifying details of the people you’re planning to sleep with is non-negotiable for so many reasons, not least of all being safety. Sure, googling someone before meeting them might diminish the fun of discovery, but it’s not a bad trade-off, compared to the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your date is not an axe murderer. In today’s day and age, it’s almost impossible not to have some kind of a digital footprint, and if you find that your Tinder date doesn’t have one, it should definitely give you pause. Same goes for people who are cagey about sharing any identifying details. People who hide usually have stuff that needs to be hidden. Highly avoidable.
Check with mutual friends
Even if it’s just a hookup, and the bar for casual sex is generally lower than other equations, you still don’t want to find yourself in bed with a weirdo. If you’re lucky enough to have close mutual friends with the man/woman you intend to sleep with, do not hesitate to ask about their impressions of the person and if they seem like a decent person to your friends. It’s true that you might never see them again after that one night, but you still don’t want to feel regret every time you think about that time.
Find out their STI-status
I don’t know how this isn’t a bigger deal for us. I have never heard of anyone ever asking the people they hook up with about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and frankly, it’s appalling. Periodically screening for STIs is basic health hygiene for even those who are in monogamous relationships, but it is absolutely imperative for those who have multiple partners. How the person you’re hooking up with reacts to the question of STIs is also a great window into how their mind works. Bolt, if you find yourself with someone who is offended or dismissive of the question.
Be on the same page about sex
Before you jump into bed with someone new, pause to find out what sex means to them. Sometimes, it will mean more to one or the other party. Casual sex is fun only when both parties know exactly what to expect are on board with the no-strings-attached plan. Take the trouble to find out, because it is all too easy to be on completely different pages about this. If you find yourself with someone who thinks of it as a stepping stone to a relationship or tender feelings of some sort, do the decent thing and walk away before they get hurt. And don’t sleep with someone who you know thinks of sex as a more intimate act than you do — because you’re using them, regardless of what you tell yourself to justify it. When you’re honest, it’s possible you might not get laid as often as you like, but at least when you do, you won’t feel like a manipulative prick.
Don’t blame it on alcohol
If you’re old enough to hook up, you’re old enough to take responsibility for it. The morning after will be at least a little bit awkward when you wake up in bed with someone you barely know. So don’t make it infinitely worse by blaming the alcohol for the “poor decision” or the “big mistake”. Most of the time, it isn’t true, but even if it is, do everyone a favour and save your guilt for later, when you’re alone. Waking up to a person wracked with regret is one of the most unappealing things that can happen, post hook-up. Don’t be that person. And if you’re really so bad at holding your alcohol, entrust a friend with the responsibility of making sure you sleep in your own bed while you’re too wasted to make sex decisions for yourself.
Admit your true relationship status
Don’t be the douchebag who cheats on their partner with someone who is sleeping with you in good faith. Even if it is just a one-night stand, you owe them the information. Whether you’re in an open relationship, aren’t exclusive, figuring things out, separating, or whatever other permutation and combination of complicated relationships you’re in, they have a right to know and make the decision to sleep with you or not once they are in possession of all the facts. Maybe they will, maybe they won’t, but sleeping with someone under false pretences is a terrible thing to do.