Make it work: How to rock the walk of shame

The walk of shame—noun (slang). To walk past strangers and/or friends after a night of hooking up, as you return home. This usually takes place the next morning, wearing the same clothes you wore the night before, or the clothing of the person you hooked up with.

Some of the most modern, empowered, secure, sexylicious women among us have had at least one walk of shame where they couldn’t get home fast enough. And even though it’s become a common phenomenon and most of us don’t take it too seriously, the word shame is still in walk of shame. So, for the record: If you spontaneously decide to spend the night with someone and it’s consensual, healthy, and awesome, good for you! There’s no shame in that.

However, waking up with someone we had not expected to sleep with can be awkward. Here’s how to handle it with ease.

Own it
Don’t judge yourself. Accept that you’re a wonderful person who is also a sexual person. As long as your choices about sex and relationships feel happy, responsible, and right for you, there should be no shame, apologies, or regrets the morning after. (BTW: If you really want to minimize regret and stay safe, keep a couple condoms in your purse and use party-ready birth control.)

Embrace it
Try not to feel self-conscious when you wake up together. Hookups happen. Roll with it. Want to grab breakfast together? Go for it. Coffee does wonders. Want to leave ASAP? Go. There’s nothing wrong with getting out of there. (Do keep it classy by saying goodbye or leaving a note if they’re still asleep.) Embarrassed to run into roommates or friends on your way out? Smile, be yourself, and don’t worry about a thing. What went down the night before is your business. Be cool with it. Be confident and mature. When you feel good about yourself and embrace a fling, people can’t bring you down.

Plan for it
You can’t plan for everything, but you can toss a few things into your purse that will always make the morning after easier. A small packet of baby wipes can get you clean and fresh fast. So can a travel toothbrush. If you don’t want to shower there, a rubber band, extra hair clip, hat, or scarf can help you feel more pulled together. If you have room, throw in a cami and maybe even a lightweight cardi or hoodie. They’re like having fresh clothes with you. Stash some EmergenC, Immodium, Motrin, or Pepto, in case you feel sick or hung over. And always have money for a cab; you never know when you’ll need a quick getaway.

We think you’re gorgeous and sexy and should embrace all that you do. But sometimes there is regret after a hook up. As in, you sleep with a friend’s ex way too soon after their breakup. Or you have too much alcohol and spend the night puking instead of getting it on. We all make mistakes. Instead of feeling bad, own up to it and do what you gotta do to make things right. Lose the shame, but don’t lose the lesson.

And by all means, hold your head up high when you make your way home. Shaming anyone for spending the night with someone is outdated, oppressive, and lame. This is 2011 and you get to do what you want. That includes confidently walking home after a hot night out. Got any more suggestions? Post them in the comments under this Frisky Friday.

Nobody puts baby in a corner,
Bedsider

P.S. In addition to free birth control reminders, Bedsider also has appointment reminders. Set one up.

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