Morning After Politics

ALEX MANSELL is at it again

Alex Mansell morning after sex

You wake up, head spinning, and realise you’re in a strange location, quite possibly still drunk, almost certainly hungover, wearing fewer clothes than you started the night with.

That’s when you hear heavy breathing and realise you’re not alone. How to proceed from here? That all depends on whether you want to stay or go.

Either way, you’ll end up doing some form of walk of shame (or stride of pride for all you free-thinkers). Guys, please take a second to appreciate that unless you’re in fancy dress, you have it very easy with the old WoS. Girls have far too many tell-tale signs: glam attire (I always find it amusing when the attempt to conceal nightwear in the day with a baggy hoody only draws more attention to this discrepancy), slept-in make-up, bedhead hair, struggling in heels (or, as is fairly standard, carrying the heels and going barefoot) and a look of either elation or remorse tend to give the game away. We have a much rougher time.

The beauty of Durham is that in doing a walk of shame you will always be caught out. Walking from anywhere to anywhere generally involves crossing through town, or through the Viaduct, and this means almost definitely encountering at least one person you know.

Annoyingly, having stayed at a girl friend’s in Gilesgate one night, I then had to undertake the worst walk home ever. Deciding to go in the early hours still didn’t help my cause – Durham being Durham, multitudes of rowers were out. Dressed as a leopard, face covered in blue paint (might have pulled a Smurf that night), I had to stagger back to college in ridiculous heels, my hair looking veritably walk of shame-esque.

This might have been doable had Durham not been plunged into sub-zero temperatures and turned into an ice rink overnight. Crossing the bridge I wanted to shout at the sniggering Hild Bede crew that this was not a walk of shame, but figured I’d come across even more psychotic (and guilty) than I already appeared. Falling over in the snow and not being able to get up, despite the best efforts of a middle-aged local guy, was probably a low point.

Why am I sharing this anecdote? Well, faithful readers, with winter fast approaching, I feel you need to hear this cautionary tale so as not to end up in the same situation. Girls, if you think you might get lucky, take flat shoes on nights out. Maybe don’t consider misdeeds if the weather will render the morning after a nightmare (unless you reckon said misdeed will be worth the effort). And if they live in Gilesgate, consider taking them back to yours instead.

So back to the scene – you’re at a random house in the middle of Durham and don’t know what to do. It all really depends on what you’re after. If you want to stick around for another session, or just naked cuddles, I’d just sleep until they wake up. Trying to wake them is not advisable. Poking a disgruntled, tired, hungover boy is not conducive to getting some action. (Although the old trick of waking them up in an – um – imaginative way, might be worth trying). Girls seem to be less agitated in a morning so boys, you may as well try your luck.

If, however, you don’t want to stick around, how to escape? If the person you got with was a product of one too many Quaddies, and with beer goggles painfully removed you want to make a quick getaway, you’re going to have to just go into ninja mode. Slick, quiet, with as little movement as possible. You might need to leave some things behind, but if it’s a choice between your pants and a smooth retreat, just go with the latter.

It’s likely you’ll wake them, in which case, although saying you’re going to the toilet and never returning may work, a less cruel method is to say you have lectures or sports commitments or whatever. Simple, easy, believable, no one gets hurt. If the offending hook-up happens to have stayed at yours, rather than the other way round, this is also useful for getting rid of them in a non-awks fashion.

They want to swap numbers? Be cautious. If you have no intention of seeing them again it’s unfair to string them along. If they suggest it, it’s a case of having to be cruel to be kind and telling them you’re not really into it. Yes you’ll seem like a w*nker at the time but it saves a lot of hassle in the long run, and makes the inevitable bumping into each other in Loveshack scenario that much cleaner. Nothing worse than being on a night out and seeing someone who thinks you want some.

Of course, if you are interested in seeing them again, for sexual or social purposes, by all means exchange details. It’s just a case of being blunt. You just want to f*ck? Make that clear. You think it could lead to something more? Put it out there. With the latter you obvs need to phrase it so you don’t sound creepy: saying something along the lines of “it’d be nice to see you again” is a good way of not sounding too presumptuous, the choice of verb indicating it’s for more than just sex. Obvious advice but people can be surprisingly bad when handling these situations.

Be aware that with the morning after there aren’t really any rules. If you’re a ‘bang ‘em and leave’ kinda person then do that. If you enjoy having a lazy naked morning in bed, go ahead. Don’t feel restricted by any kind of socially-constructed limits. Equally, don’t read anything into anything if they choose to stay. As long as both parties are clear with their intentions there shouldn’t be a problem.

So if you’re planning on hitting Klute tonight, bear in mind when you’re taking him or her home that there will, inevitably, be a morning after. It can be a tricky course to steer, but as long as you’re completely open and sincere, it doesn’t have to be a minefield. Go forth and conquer.