A lot of the time, sex isn’t like it is in the movies. Situations can get weird and messy, both physically and emotionally. Chances are, most of us have had a hookup get awkward at one point or another. Here are some common cringe scenarios and how to deal:
1. The sitch: You’re not sexually compatible. This is the worst, but it happens. You’re super compatible in every other way, you’re both attracted to each other, but the sex just… isn’t what you expected.
Solution: Don’t be afraid to be vocal about your needs and what turns you on. If a certain move isn’t working for you, make sure to tell your partner that. Sex is supposed to feel good, and we shouldn’t hold back from saying what works for us and what doesn’t. That being said, sometimes two people just aren’t physically compatible. That sucks, but it also isn’t anyone’s fault.
2. The sitch: They don’t have protection. Maybe you get to their apartment and they realize they’re out. Maybe you unexpectedly hook up at a party and neither of you have it. Maybe there was a miscommunication about who was responsible for bringing it.
Solution: It’s tempting to just say “eh, screw it” (no pun intended), but this is definitely risky. STD rates are increasingly on the rise, especially among college students. And if you’re in a cisgender-heterosexual partnership, there’s always the possibility of pregnancy too, even if you’re on birth control. Unless you’re in a committed monogamous relationship, it’s better to play it safe. Try carrying protection with you when possible and keep a backup supply at home.
3. The sitch: You regret it afterwards. Casual hookups can be fun, but they also have the potential to seriously complicate things. Maybe the hookup was someone you were close friends with, maybe it was your ex, maybe it’s someone who just turned out to be a complete jerk. Whatever the circumstances, it can be hard to deal with regret.
Solution: Let yourself process your feelings. It’s okay to wish a hookup hadn’t happened, but don’t beat yourself up over it. If you feel comfortable with your partner, try talking things through with them. If you simply want to move on and forget about it, that’s okay too.
Solution: Don’t make a big deal about it. This is one of those situations where it’s better to just say, “anyways…” and move on. If you want to try again, communicate with your partner about what would work better for them and what they need.
5. The sitch: You and your friend have both hooked up with them. Ahh, eskimo sisters. The worst scenario or the ultimate bond.
Solution: Evaluate the situation and be honest if appropriate. This isn’t a situation with a one-size-fits-all kind of solution. There’s a huge difference between, say, hooking up with someone and then later finding out that your BFF also slept with them at a frat party freshman year vs. like, knowingly hooking up with your roommate’s ex. You kind of have to read the room and figure out if your friend would want or need to know about the hookup.
6. The sitch: People are gossiping about it. It’s everyone’s nightmare: you slept with someone you maybe shouldn’t have, and now everyone knows. Maybe it’s a scandal, maybe it’s embarrassing or maybe it’s just something you would have rather kept private. But don’t panic.
Solution: Just own it. Oh my god, you hooked up with him?! Yeah, you did! So what? People can judge if they want, but at the end of the day, your sex life is your business. And the reality is, after a week or two, people will probably have forgotten about it and moved on to the next scandal.
We can’t always control how a hookup turns out. Sometimes, things just don’t go as planned. As awkward as these scenarios can be to deal with, they aren’t the end of the world. The most important thing is that sex remains consensual, safe and as mutually enjoyable as possible.