Imagine the following scene. You’re completely stoked. You just rushed through a shower because you’re going to be hooking up in about an hour, and the adrenaline is pumping. You’re excited, but you’re also really anxious. If things go horribly, you’ve kinda blown your night. But if things go well? You’re going to have a really intimate relationship with someone you hardly know. Talk about nerves.

But you’re going to power through, because you want to have some fun tonight, and nothing’s going to stop you. So, you arrive at their place. This person already has the music on and some candles lit, and you know you’re about to have an incredible time. You’re about to hook up!

A couple hours later your lying there, and the initial giddiness is fading. Wow… That was… crazy. You pushed some boundaries, alright. It was fun, but… is that really who you are?

For some people it’s natural for a sense of panic to settle in. Yeah, you were horny before, but now that you’re both done, you may begin to wonder about your decisions. Was this cool to do? Was this person worth it? Eventually, this can lead to guilty feelings in some — “Why did I give in like that? I should know better.” Second-thought material.

Hey, we’re not going to tell you how to live your life. As far as we’re concerned, hookups between consenting adults are A-OK. We also know that emotions can be crazy, crazy things for girls and guys alike, and that feelings like this can be pretty normal after a hookup.

Here’s the thing: you wanted to hookup for a reason. (You were safe about it, you used protection, and at the time, it was a lot of fun!) A great way to deal with the feelings you might have after hooking up with someone is to ask yourself: Do I want to have another hookup? It’s perfectly okay to say no if this just isn’t your kind of thing. But if so, ask how you’re going to use this experience to find your boundaries. The truth is, sex is an important component of many people’s lives, and using a hookup as a building experience is just one way to build up a better understanding of your own tastes. There’s nothing wrong with experimenting!

Talking it out with friends, too, can be really helpful. Sometimes, when things get a little outside of our comfort zones, we think that we’re the only person in the world who would understand. But you know how it goes: sometimes it doesn’t take too much dishing out to your best friend before they say, “Oh, wow, that totally happened to me once.” And even if they can’t personally identify, there’s a reason you’re friends — you talk about this kind of crazy stuff, and it makes you feel better. That’s what friends are for.

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