7 Rules of Thumb to Remember When Sleeping with Someone New

Whether you’re taking a new relationship partner to bed for the very first time or just hooking up with someone hot for something to do on a Saturday night, sleeping with someone new naturally inspires a lot of different emotions. It’s exciting and sexy – the type of experience that really gives you a high. However, it can also be anxiety-inducing, scary, and nerve-wracking.

You pretty much always want the experience to be good for both of you, whether you’re planning on seeing the person again or not, so a little preparedness goes a long way. The following are a few unspoken, unwritten rules to keep in mind to make sure you have a night to remember, as opposed to a disaster you’d really rather forget.

1. Open with conversation.

Even if you’ve both made it clear you’re only interested in a no-strings hook-up, conversation is still almost always the best way to start a sexual encounter with someone new. You don’t necessarily have to have a deep conversation or even a personal one (unless you really want to). Just chat a little bit over a drink or two to break the ice and get comfortable with one another. A little pillow talk after you do the deed makes for a nice way to conclude an evening as well.

2. Don’t get kinky without warning.

Unless the two of you have already discussed doing something specific in so much detail that you both know what you’re in for, a first time isn’t really the best opportunity to get super kinky. Even if you’re only planning on a one-night stand, you still don’t want your partner to be embarrassed or shocked out of their mind. If you’re seriously in the mood to let your freak flag fly, feel the other person out first to see if they’re into it too. Otherwise, go easy on the kink. There’ll be plenty of time to experiment in the future if the two of you decide sleeping together again.

3. Go easy on the alcohol.

Every guy knows what it’s like to have a few drinks too many only to realize their equipment’s completely asleep at the wheel when it’s time to get dirty later. Although there’s really never a good time for a performance malfunction, it’s especially not something either of you want to experience the first time sleeping together, if you can possibly help it. That said, definitely have one or two cocktails apiece to help loosen up and get in the mood, but stop there. Even if you are able to perform after five or six drinks, heavy drinking isn’t cute and doesn’t make a good impression on a new partner, period.

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4. Pay attention to hygiene.

If you’ve ever been in bed with someone who cuts corners in the hygiene department, then you don’t need to be told how off-putting it can be, so don’t be that guy. Maybe you don’t think you smell bad despite not having showered in a few days, but your partner probably will and they won’t be left with a good impression of you as a lover. If you expect someone to be willing to get up close and personal with your junk, it’s just plain good manners to make sure it’s clean, groomed, neat, and tidy first. Definitely take a shower before your date and freshen up a bit right before you do the deed if possible. (Individual wet wipes are your friend for sex dates that take you away from home.)

5. Be responsible.

Hopefully no grown adult actually needs to be told how important it is to be responsible about their sexual health, but it needs to be said anyway. Always be proactive about safety, especially if you’re sleeping with someone new or prefer casual sex as a rule. Naturally, two gay men in a relationship having sex don’t need to worry about unplanned pregnancy, but HIV and sexually transmitted disease is still very much a concern. Never rely on the other person to bring protection either. Always have your own on hand to make sure you’re covered and make sure to use it. If you’re not already on PrEP, consider starting it so that you’re covered in the event you do slip up and go the unprotected route.

6. Have a sense of humor.

Yes, you should approach sex from a place of physical and emotional responsibility, but don’t take it so seriously you forget to have fun as well. Plus, mistakes and missteps are bound to happen when you’re sleeping with someone brand new. Some of those missteps might be downright embarrassing, but a healthy sense of humor definitely helps make them easier to handle. Never lose your cool or blame the other person for anything that goes wrong. Just acknowledge it, laugh at it if it makes sense to do so, and continue.

7. Enjoy the experience.

Last but definitely not least, take the time to just be in the moment with the other person and enjoy what’s happening. Don’t rush through foreplay. Don’t compare the sex you’re having with this new person to sex you’ve had with others in the past (either verbally or mentally). Don’t pull yourself out of the moment by stressing too much over what your O-face looks like. Just go with the flow a little and relax into everything that’s happening. At the end of the day, sex is really too awesome not to enjoy it to the utmost.

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Rob West

Rob West

I worked with Matt to build several hookup apps for gay men, including Guyhop.

I've been in the scene for several years now. Eternally single until I find "him".

My background is in marketing and psychology, which gives me a unique perspective on the LGBTQ dating and hookup scene.