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One Night Stands can be a whole mix of emotions from pre-bedroom nerves to an overwhelming fear of doing something wrong. Of course they can also be a lot of fun. We asked Sexpert Alix Fox about how to get the most from your one night stands. Having written for many large titles on the various aspects of sex, her nookie knowledge spans the whole sexual spectrum from beginner and vanilla to the most obscure and fascinating kooky kinks.

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“I’m a strong advocate of the idea that almost anything goes in the boudoir so long as it’s safe, consensual, and conscientiously considered, so whatever rocks your world is unlikely to shock this girl!” she smiles. “Equally though, I don’t preach that you have to be some kind of crazy wild child in order to have a satisfying love life – not at all. Sex isn’t a competition to see who can be the most bonkers, so I’m a big believer in getting the basics right, and recognising and developing whatever works for you.”

Since she’s down-to-earth about getting down ‘n’ dirty, THEGAYUK asked Alix to give some top tips on getting the best from one night stands. “Often, the one night stand – or ONS – is simply a one-off night of indulgent fun for both partners,” she says, “but sometimes an ONS can leave both parties feeling like the experience could have been better, both physically and emotionally, and perhaps stop a could-have-been relationship in its tracks if it’s disappointing. There are no hard and fast rules about how to make a hard and fast night go brilliantly, but my tips are designed to avoid a one night stand becoming a stand-up comedy (or worse) and instead make it stand and deliver a damn great time, and maybe even lead to more.”

Make sure your head’s in the right place (and I’m not talking about saucy positions). Many a lasting love has stemmed from what was originally intended to be a one night stand, and some people like to cut to the chase and find out quickly if they’re likely to be sexually compatible before they begin dating someone on a longer-term basis. However, the majority of ONSs are just that – one-time hook-ups. Ensure that you’re in the right frame of mind to appreciate this. Be honest with yourself about the situation, and realistic in your expectations. If, afterwards, it’ll make you bawl if they don’t call, an ONS could set you up for a fall.

Clear the doom from your room. If you know you’re likely to be bringing someone back to your place, do at least a 10-minute basic tidy before you head out. Make your bed; whack dirty washing out of sight; make sure there’s bog roll and baby wipes in the bathroom so it’s easy for your ONS to freshen up before you get fresh; and for God’s sake, make sure there’s no poo in your loo. Ew! This may not be your style, but I like scented candles in my boudoir: not only do they make it smell delicious, but they cast light that’s much more flattering and relaxing than having the big bulb on.

Get Durexcellent! Surely I do not need to tell you the zillion reasons why you need to use protection if a newcomer penis is going to feature in your plans. Carry at least a couple of condoms, and carry them correctly: they can get creased and damaged in your wallet, so slip some into a metal business card holder instead. Keep condoms by your bed, too – I empty mine into a discreet wooden box so that a new lover doesn’t see an opened packet and wonder who (ahem) came before him. Just make sure that if you have a mixture in there, they’re all in date. Top quality condoms mean peace of mind, easier use and better sensation. If you’re sleeping with someone for one night only, don’t risk the experience being downgraded by relying on some dodgy beer-flavoured novelty rubber from a pub vending machine.

A range of condoms and other bedroom items can be found from our online store here.

Don’t let ‘one on the rocks’ stop you getting your rocks off. It might be tempting to knock back extra booze to give you Dutch Courage before an ONS, but that ‘one for the road’ could make sex a car crash. Too much booze can make it tougher for gents to maintain an erection, and generally makes it more likely that your ONS will become a fumbling, bumbling, right rum do. Alcohol can make your mouth dry, too; grab a glass of water before you head to bed to keep kisses (and the rest) juicy.

Check your bellybutton before you try to push buttons! Pre-sauce session, nip to the WC and check your navel isn’t full o’ fluff! If you’ve worn a new top or pants, and especially if you’re a hairy guy, there may be lint in there. It’s not seductive for a new partner to find Carpet World hiding in your tummybutton while they’re kissing their way down your happy trail.

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A kiss is not a contract. And neither is inviting someone into your home or going back to theirs. If you change your mind at any point during an ONS, that is just fine. You don’t owe anybody anything, so don’t feel obliged to go through with something or push yourself beyond your comfort zone ‘because you’ve already got this far’. The objective for both people is to have a good time. If you’re not, stop. And if your play pal says they’d like to slow down – or you just get the vibe that this might be the case even if they don’t pipe up – be cool, respectful and good-natured about it, and make it clear that just savouring some snogging together – or whatever – is A-OK. Being honourable is way more important than any orgasm.

Turn ‘interruption’ into ‘intimacy’ or ‘intensity’. Some people complain that putting on condoms ‘interrupts the moment’ or ‘spoils the mood’, which can be particularly unwelcome during an ONS, but that doesn’t have to be the case at all. Putting a condom on means that all the attention is focused closely on the penis, and that can be an enticing, exciting thing for you both, rather than a moment of sombre, serious silence. If you’re not the one unrolling the condom, don’t sit staring like a spare part while he prepares his parts: be vocal about how hot his cock looks if you’re into dirty talk, or stroke his neck, nipples, torso or inner thighs. Suspect he needs to concentrate or not feel like he’s being watched, but don’t want to feel like a left-out lemon? Get behind him and kiss his neck or put your arms around him and lay your head on his back. Alternatively, put on a show that will keep him hard and thus make the condom-donning easier by touching yourself in front of him.

Give a (hopefully genuine) compliment or two. You may never see your ONS again, but by saying something nice about how they look in the nude, or an aspect of their technique, you leave them with a pleasant memory and a confidence boost. Even if, in some ways, the sex turns out a little clumsily – as it can when you’re with a new partner whose body and tastes you’re unfamiliar with – simple praise like “Mmm, your ass is gorgeous!” or “You’re great at that” can help leave an overriding impression that the experience with you was a worthwhile, good one. Which is helpful if you do see them again.

Make sure you can grab a cab. Install a taxi app on your mobile that uses GPS to find your location and allows you to pay using your pre-loaded credit card details, so that if you go back to someone else’s place, you can always get home safely and easily as and when you want to, without needing to give a cabbie directions or have cash on you.

Talk with your hands. We all know good communication improves sex. In long-term relationships, you get to gradually explore about what your partner likes, and discuss what works for you both. Yet with a one night stand, you and your playmate may know little or nothing about each other’s preferences. You need to learn fast, but you’re eager for copulation, not conversation – so let your fingers do some of the talking instead. If you’re giving oral sex, try putting a digit in your lover’s mouth, telling them “Show me what you like”, and mimicking their movements and pace as they lick or suck it.

Follow Alix on Twitter @AlixFox