Have you ever taken a lady home expecting to “hump and dump,” but she wanted to start dating after? Or worse…she lingered all morning and refused to leave? If these scenarios sound eerily familiar, that’s because the world of casual, no-strings-attached sex can be a slippery slope to navigate—and chances are, you’re doing it all wrong. Enter: The Men’s Fitness Guide to One-Night Stands. Abide by our “do’s and don’ts” and you’ll have flawless, one-night-only encounters from here on out.

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The General Rule of Thumb

DO: Go for it! “Give yourself permission to engage in having a one-night stand,” advises human sexuality expert Catherine Toyooka, the founder of Catherine Coaches sex workshops. “Far too many people are concerned with how they should act, will be perceived, or what is considered moral that they never allow themselves to delve into casual encounter sex-capades.”
DON’T: Be a dick. Seriously. Even if you never plan on seeing her again, treat the woman with respect. She’s someone’s sister or daughter! One-night stands should be considered a pleasant surprise—not your God-given right.

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The Protection Plan

DO: Remember the importance of wrapping it up! Bring a condom with you before going out. If you forget, (discreetly) stop and pick one up before you head home. Otherwise, stick with everything but intercourse. Better to be safe than sorry.
DON’T: Get too caught up in the moment to use a condom. Halting foreplay for a couple of minutes to grab a rubber is a way better scenario than dealing with an STI or unplanned pregnancy later on.  


The Dirty Details

DO: “Consider talking about your fantasies,” suggests Toyooka. “One night stands can be great for sexual experimentation as long as everyone is on the same page of what is going to happen.”
DON’T: Do anything freaky if it wasn’t discussed ahead of time. “For instance, don’t tell someone that you want them to call out ‘Fuck me daddy!’ while engaging in vigorous intercourse if this was not agreed to beforehand,” she says.

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The Sloppy Situation

DO: Before you go home with someone while drinking, assess whether she seems sober enough to be making a clear, rational decision. If you feel like she’s had too much to drink, set her up on your couch with water and Advil. It’s respectful to her, and you’ll feel better about yourself in the morning too
DON’T: This goes without saying, but don’t try and persuade her to have sex with you if she says no. Asking a second and third time will only make you look desperate and annoying. No means no. Period. Exclamation point.


The “Talk”

DO: If you’re not looking for anything serious, just say so. It’s much better to be upfront about what you want so she’s not confused, and it’ll save you looking like an ass later. “Communicate what you are looking for,” says Toyooka. “Communication is really the lube of having great sex.”
DON’T: Wait to tell her you’re not looking for anything serious until after you get it on. It’s not fair to her, period, if you know you’re going to bounce right away.

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The Exit Strategy

DO: Offer her cab money or a ride home. Guys rarely, if ever, consider this simple gentlemanly gesture. Plus, it will soften the blow that comes with uncomfortable departures, and she’ll appreciate it more than you know.
DON’T: Make up a lame excuse about why she has to leave. “I totally forgot I have breakfast with my mom at 10 a.m.” is not only a crock of shit, but also, extremely rude. At the very least, plant the seed the night before with something viable. “I’m going to be so hungover for my flag football game tomorrow morning,” holds significantly more merit.


The Morning After

DO: Gauge whether or not she wants to have morning sex. Wrap your arm around her and gently stroke her stomach or kiss her neck. If she doesn’t take the bait, she’s not into it. If she reciprocates, do her a favor and brush your teeth first.
DON’T: Expect a morning delight just because she gave it up the night before. She may be uncomfortable, too hungover, or—apologies for being blunt—she just might not find you attractive when she’s sober.

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The Follow-Up

DO: Be open to the idea of seeing her again. If you happen to hit it off with someone and you’re really enjoying her company, there’s no reason a one-night stand can’t turn into something more.
DON’T: Make promises you can’t keep. “Don’t let someone know you will text them in a few days if you have zero interest in seeing them again,” says Toyooka. Instead, just don’t bring it up.