A good cuddle after a vigorous mating ritual is what separates us from the animals. To suggest that you have personal space issues or are sensitive to over-stimulation after you’ve had your orifices intimately explored is downright rude. A minimum of fifteen minutes of quality embracing/back tickling/hair tousling is in order, no matter how tired or full of remorse you are. If you’re on the other side of the fence and could happily cuddle all night, you should never expect or demand that the snuggling last for longer than an hour.
If the hook-up takes place after dark, it’s only polite for the cuddling to automatically progress into the sleepover phase. Don’t stress about the implications — there are none. Sharing unconsciousness is not necessarily a symbol of commitment or love, it’s simply a nice thing to do. It’s the hot monkey lovin’ that has the messy implications.
If You’re the Host…
If the sun has already set, you may ask your date to vacate the premises only in case of emergencies: your parents are visiting early the next morning, you suffer from a sleep apnea disorder, your house is on fire. Other than that, if it’s midnight and you’re spooning naked in bed, you should suggest, during the cuddling, that your guest stay the night.
If you have reservations about this person sleeping over before you have sex, then may we suggest keeping your pants on? Because after the sex, you have no option.
As for the next morning, we think it’s a nice touch to offer your guest coffee, at the very least. Or, if the cupboards are bare, suggest heading out for brunch — unless, of course, it’s mutually obvious that you’d both rather be elsewhere… and quickly.
If You’re the Guest…
If you have an early wake-up call, you’re allergic to your date’s cat, or you think you may have left the stove on, you may politely excuse yourself, though you should explain yourself and also demonstrate regret over your departure. If you’d like to stay over but your host doesn’t extend a formal invitation, we think it’s okay to assume the invite is implicit.
Come morning, however, you shouldn’t outstay your welcome. In the first weeks of a relationship, leave as soon as the crossword has been completed — assuming, of course, that you can get through it together in an hour or two. (If not, have you considered sudoku?)