Liquitabs, squats, dead Prime Ministers and the smell of balls - All part of the joys of deciding: Can you accom, m8?
Your place or mine? There’s a question that goes a lot further than Which one of us wants wash their bedsheets tomorrow? You have to be in the sweet spot for that, I think. Sheets need to be clean enough that they don’t stink of sweat or last night’s takeaway that you ate in bed while watching Netflix and might have spilled some onto the duvet somewhere, but were too lazy to check, for example. But then you don’t want them to be freshly put on the bed, because you’re risking the hassle of having to wash them again the next day. There have been a couple of occasions where I’ve had particularly mediocre sex with a guy, shown him out and then, as I’m opening a website on my phone so I can finish myself off, looked over at the mess of sheets on my bed and thought “Well, that was a waste of a Persil liquidtab.”
That’s when they do leave, of course. Sometimes they just hang around for ages. Which can be great when I’m in the mood for that, of course. But either way, it’s all about manners and knowing when to cuddle up and when you’ve outstayed your welcome. Although them hanging around for a bit might be annoying, but it’s definitely better than the guy who calls a taxi while you’re still at it… “Could you go a bit faster? My Uber is 3 minutes away…”
No, it’s always nice to have a cuddle after a job well done, but some people just never leave. Sometimes you can pretend to be sleepy in the hope that they get the hint, but then you risk them wanting to stay over, and “Thanks, but no. Be off with you” tends to undo the happy feeling you’ve just spent almost ten minutes creating together. And anyway, that approach only applies at certain times of day. Pretending to do a big yawn and saying “Mmmm, that was fun, but it’s almost bedtime and I’m getting sleepy” gets a bit undermined if they reply with “It’s 3 o’clock in the afternoon” Yeah, I fancy an early night…*cough* getout *unconvincing cough*
There’s always the balance of security and convenience when it comes to going back to someone’s flat or having them come back to yours. On one hand, if you go back to theirs, then you’re the one who’s going to have to make your way home at some point and they might live in the middle of bloody nowhere, leaving you to not only do the Walk Of Shame, but also the Bus Ride of Evidently Slightly Inappropriate Clothing, and possibly the Tube Journey of That Weird Achey Tingle that might mean it’s time for a trip to the clinic…
Or maybe you’re more the type to opt for the Taxi ride of “fuck it, I’m just going to throw money at this and pretend it never happened”. Or, as it’s also known, the Donald Trump approach. (I’m available for TV and radio gigs, thanks for asking!)
Actually, I don’t like the phrase “Walk of shame”. There’s no shame in getting sexy. I prefer to think of it as the Stride of Pride, or the Got Laid Parade.
At least if you’re at theirs you won’t have to worry about your housemates overhearing or if they do, it doesn’t matter, because who cares if it’s someone else’s housemates? If anything, those are the ones you can get extra-loud around. YOu never know, they might appreciate the show, and even if not, it’s not like you have to deal with an angry post-it note from them the next day…
On the other hand, if they’re at yours, you can kick them out, make a cup of tea and be back in bed within minutes, possibly opening up Grindr to find someone who can get the job done properly, depending.
Of course, you can do that as you’re walking away from a random’s house – you’d certainly get a different array of faces to the ones you’re used to around your own home, but “Hi, you’re cute, are you free now? I’m outside your building and it’s starting to rain…” isn’t really the best opener.
Also, you run the risk of their place being a complete tip. Or worse. I remember one guy I shagged whose bedroom was a small walled-off corner of a huge empty warehouse basement. I’ve never been in a place that said so clearly “This is not a sexy location. This is the place a hitman would bring you, just before popping a cap in your dome.” (I speak Street. No biggie.) There was even a big puddle at the bottom of the stairs. On the way down, and he said “Oh, yeah, sorry – the drains back up when it rains…” as if this was perfectly normal and not a reason to stop living in a windowless murder-room.
Another time, I stayed over at the flat of this stunningly sexy guy. He was really arty and talented and interesting. When I woke up in the morning, and the room was filled with the warm light of dawn because there weren’t any curtains up, I realised that what I’d taken to be patterned wallpaper or something was in fact the words “RIP Grandma” written hundreds of times on the bare walls with felt tip pen, with a few big crucifixes drawn in between, y’know, just so it didn’t get too boring. When I made a terrified “blerh?” noise and gestured at it, he shrugged and said “oh, yeah… We got this squat from some meth heads… We think that was probably them…” and rolled over, entirely unconcerned.
Of course, the flip side of that is yes, it can be awkward disentangling yourself from a complete nutbar if you find yourself in his basement or he shows you his collection of doll’s heads or whatever, but it’s a lot more awkward getting rid of a loon who’s inside your own home.
Either way, whether at your own place or someone else, always have a bit of an exit strategy in place. Just in case things start to go a bit creepy-not-sexy. Also, and this is just my personal approach, don’t get naked with someone until you’re pretty sure they’re not going to try and eat you. This is what bars, cafes, bowling alleys, parks and generally other public places with lots of potential witnesses are good for.
Although I’ve found that sometimes you don’t really know someone until you’ve seen where they live. I remember one guy I dated stayed at mine the first few times. Eventually we went back to his after our third or fourth date and everything was going well... Until I woke up and looked lovingly into the eyes of a framed portrait of Margaret Thatcher. Next to his bed.
That is a walk of shame. Not the sexing itself but knowing that ten generations of my Northern mining family were looking down while I tossed the salad of a filthy Tory. If there is an afterlife, it’s going to be pretty fucking awkward when I arrive.
Sometimes, of course, you don’t make it to anyone’s house. There was one occasion, many years ago, when a gorgeous young man invited me out for a drink. We got on well, and were all over each other, in fact, but it turned out that neither of us could take the other home. It was at that point he noticed a nearby park and suggested we go for a walk. Sadly, it came to nothing as it turned out neither of us had expected the evening to take that turn, so we weren’t equipped for al fresco boning. Since then, I’ve made sure that every jacket, backpack, suitcase and coat of mine has a little something stashed away, in case of such situations emerging. I think wistfully of what could have been every time I check that pocket while looking for something else.
The one that really sticks out when it comes to other people’s places, though, was back when I was 17. This guy and I would hang out, watch movies and get stoned together, then end up getting naked and sexy. It was great fun, and I was really quite into him, in that teenage crush sort of a way. He was a bit scruffy in that doesn’t-shower-enough teenage way. In fact, he was the first person with whom I realised that the smell of balls was incredibly sexy. Anyway. His room was a complete tip, as you’d expect for a teenage boy. Although mine never really was. I don’t like things being too untidy. Anyway. His bed was in the corner, standard teenage style, but the way the walls came together meant that there was a bit of a gap between his bed and the wall to the side. Just a little nook down the side of the bed. One time I was there and I noticed an empty crisp packet had fallen into the nook. Liking things tidy, as I said, I went to grab it and chuck it in the bin. He grabbed my arm and went “I wouldn’t put your hand down there If I were you.” To this day I have no idea what teenage horrors were lurking just beneath the place where we made out and compared the sizes and shapes of our junk. Didn’t stop me getting naked with him a few more times, though. It’s amazing what you’ll overlook when you find the scent of unwashed teen mixed with weed sexy. And my god, I really do. Also, it helped that he had an absolutely massive…