Surviving the Morning After

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As sunlight streams through the drapes and the sound of city traffic rouses you from slumber a niggling feeling...
As sunlight streams through the drapes and the sound of city traffic rouses you from slumber a niggling feeling comes over you as you begin to wonder if it’s time to get up. Pushing the cat off your bed you lazily roll over to gaze at the alarm clock… Hold on! You don’t have a cat! You don’t live in the city and the lump in the bed next to you is definitely not part of your anatomy.

And so begins the great escape. Tip toeing around the strange bedroom, liberating various items of clothing off lamp shades, bed heads, CD stacks, until finally you are forced onto your knees to scurry around under the bed for that last elusive shoe! “Screw it I’ll go without,” you think as said ‘lump’ awakes to find you on all fours staring sheepishly at them from under their bed.

“Uuuummm, so I guess I’ll see ya ‘round. I’ve got a…..ummmm, that really important, ahhhhh thinggy. You know! That stuff. Anyway it’s just come up so I really should, ahhhh, You know!…..go!!!”

Uncomfortable, Yes. Avoidable, maybe. But does sex really change the dynamic in a relationship that fast when you finally get around to ‘giv’n it up’? And is the clichéd, ‘Will you still respect me in the morning’ still the most loaded question in the world?

At some stage in life most of us end up on one side or the other of this uncomfortable little situation. Most of us wonder how we got there, as if somehow we had been deceived, not only by the person we have the misfortune to be sharing the awkward moments with but also by something intrinsically inside us that we almost feel should have known better.

Having been on both sides of this dilemma myself I can honesty say neither is much fun. On one hand you are unceremoniously left to lie there in your own distinctly waning afterglow feeling confused, manipulated and used, and on the other hand… Well funnily enough to be honest you often feel much the same.

Yes it’s true! It’s that sinking ‘what was I thinking’ feeling, more commonly associated with ‘come down’ – the residue effect of the glut of feel good chemicals that got you into that position, and no doubt several others, in the first place. So what’s going on and what can we do about it?

1) Dumb and Dumber

It turns out that when we meet someone who we have a natural or vodka induced compatibility with, our brain, in its infinite wisdom literally double crosses us! Yes, while revving us up with her natural chemistry lab to ‘get ya freak on’, Mother Nature does the unthinkable and sabotages the one part of your head that was designed to help you out of potential sticky situations (no pun intended); the brains frontal cortex. The very area responsible for rational decision making! Explains a lot doesn’t it… DOH!!

2) Liar, Liar

Contrary to what many women think, men rarely try to be bastards. The fact that quite often they simply are, is perhaps no comfort, but to be fair most men don’t set out with the express purpose of breaking hearts. They just don’t think that far ahead and here lies the problem.

The chemistry that happens between a guy and girl pre sex is some of the most potent in the human experience and catches all of us off guard at some stage in life. In our research over 87% of men say that when they are having first time sex with a girl they really do feel far more amorous than usual and generally do mean, on some level in the moment at least, much of what they say.

This is backed up by scientific statistics stating that ‘lovey dovey’ hormones responsible for making us say stupid things like ‘Your eyes remind me of sweet pools of ocean crystal’ and ‘… you’re smoopie’ are raised in men prior to orgasm, better matching the natural levels in women. Similarly hormones responsible for the ‘give it to me baby..ah ah’ type of sex drive are raised in women to better match that generally found in males. Hence much of the confusion the day after when running last nights exploits through your head thinking ‘I said WHAT?!!”

So the truth is in most cases YES both parties really DO mean it. At least for as long as the body maintains the hormonal hoedown! After that…Well that’s when you find out what the U in ‘us’ is really made of. Hopefully your night of unbridled passion will have produced enough Oxytocin and additional neural pathways to have you both wanting to go back again and again for more, but if it hasn’t don’t take it personally. It’s REALLY NOT YOU, it’s them!!!

Chances are, as chemically blinded and mentally dulled as you both were, in the moment you enjoyed it. If in the cold hard light of day one of you can’t back it up it really is just a chemical thing. Think of it as a time sensitive, temporarily tasty, tantalising torrid affair. Accept Mother Nature’s morning after verdict and be eternally grateful that you didn’t discover your incompatibility 6 months or 6 kids down the track!


1) Remember you’re both high so don’t make big decisions. When you are passionate you’ll be experiencing unusually raised euphoria, excitement and exhilaration. And like any drug you will likely feel driven to experience more and take it further. It’s okay to go there but just be aware of what’s driving both of you!

2) Remember you’re both dumb. Your brain has dulled your rational decision making areas, so accept that things may be done and said that ordinarily would not. Don’t get attached to an imagined future or pre supposed attachment based on the result of your sexual interlude, no matter what was said in the heat of the moment.

3) Don’t feel bad. You can’t be responsible for the actions of others and you can’t be disheartened with yourself for doing what you were very efficiently designed to do! Go into sexual encounters with your eyes open for your immediate pleasure rather than as a ‘sweetener’ for a possible future gain. That way come morning light, regardless of anything the exchange has been fair, there are no expectations and no-one owes a thing.

4) Guilt, shame, resentment and anger don’t punish anyone but you. Enjoy the ride, so to speak, and move on. Life’s way too short and one day you won’t be there to enjoy a new morning, respected or not!!

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