It’s not me, it’s you: one night stands in Cambridge and how to approach them

Sex and the City meets the bubble.

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D.H Lawrence called sex a “conversation”, so here we are to have a conversation about a conversation. We’re not sure he envisaged a Tab Guide to one night stands in Cambridge, but death of the author and all that. 

With the pretentious justification aside, here’s our advice for having sex, no strings attached. You’re welcome.

DO pick a nearby college

Apocryphal stories about the boy in your drinking society who got with a girl at Girton and was never seen again aside, this is crucial. If you happen to be at a far-away college, the right one night stand might save you a taxi fare home and some time the next morning before lectures, as long as you don’t mind bed head (more on that later). If you go to a central college, on the other hand, be wary of agreeing to go back to theirs before you know just how much of a physical commitment to walking might be necessary.

DO prepare for the walk of shame

If you do end up somewhere far away, try and coordinate with a friend from college. The walk of shame is far less lonely if there’s two of you doing it. Other tips for making the walk of shame far less shameful include carrying a hairbrush/comb and some confidence.

Just because it works on Cara, doesn’t mean it’ll work on you.

DO determine their living situation 

While sets are an integral part of Cambridge life, they have the potential to dampen your sex life. No matter how close you are, you still don’t want to hear/see anything, so discussion and honesty are key. Know when each of you are in, maybe have a signal/emoji, and be generous.

When meeting a potential one night stand, establish quickly if they have a set-mate. If they don’t, they should accommodate, and vice versa. If they do have a set-mate, but are still happy to have you over, then observe standard etiquette. And whatever you do, do not wake up their set-mate and ask for a threesome. It will not go down well.

DO know when you’ve outstayed your welcome

If you’re planning to stay over, or they are, establish what time each of you has to get up. There’s nothing worse than being woken up by a 6am alarm when it’s your day off lectures (if this is the case, I would suggest leaving before sunrise and sleeping in your own bed), and if you have a busy next day, be honest. You don’t want someone hanging around, and people should be aware that fellow Cantabs are always busy.

If you are planning on leaving, don’t do so immediately afterwards. It can seem rude, and even the hardiest of public school boys need a cuddle now and then.

DON’T get stranded 

Nothing ruins a quick getaway like a shut porters lodge or a red-flashing card scanner, and you definitely don’t want to go back their room with your tail between your legs. Map your route on the way in, ask for their advice, and try to keep your phone alive. Post-one night stand you will appreciate it when you can make a clean exit without attracting unwanted attention.

DON’T make it awkward in front of the porters

You know that you’re about to have a one night stand, your one night stand (hopefully) knows you’re about to have a one night stand, and your porter knows you’re about to have a one night stand. The interaction between the three of you is already painfully awkward, so don’t make it any longer than it has to be. Porters have seen it all by now so there’s no need to be embarrassed.

DON’T try anything too kinky

This is a one night stand – you don’t want to scare them off with your deepest darkest fantasies. If you have a knife fetish, keep it to yourself. That’s more of a third date reveal. Ditto for anything involving cable ties (the bruises are a bitch).

DO own your one night stand

One night stands are nothing to be ashamed of. In the proverbial words of Santa, ‘ho ho ho’. Remember, Christmas doesn’t have to come only once a year.

Now that you’re ready, go forth and please don’t multiply.