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You may have only just met him, or you may have known him for years, whichever, there is still a definite procedure you should follow before you let your knicker elastic get too slack!

  • Find out his name.
  • Find out if he’s a good kisser.
  • Tell him your favourite joke and anecdote.
  • Hope he gets the former and doesn’t say, “and then what happened” when you’ve finished relating the latter.
  • Remove unwanted body hair.
  • Talk about sex. If you’re too embarrassed to talk about it with him you shouldn’t be doing it with him.
  • While you’re talking about it ask about his test results. And we’re not talking about his driving test, bar exam or IQ test.
  • Find his stash of porno mags to see what rocks his world. (Come on, all guys have them, no matter how ‘nice’.) Look between the mattress and bed base, or behind the bed head. If they’re standard stuff – women with men, women masturbating, women with women, group action – fine. If you find pictures of women with dogs, women being chained up and beaten, women peeing on someone’s chest, men doing men, or anyone under the age of 12 naked, get the hell out of there. Fast.
  • Don’t get utterly trashed beforehand. You won’t enjoy the sex as much. Alcohol may make you feel sexy but it actually impairs sexual functioning such as ability to orgasm. And you will lie there like a surfboard with a pulse and he’ll tell his mates that you’re a dud bash. Plus, the only memory of the experience may be those flashbacks that will make your cheeks burn in shame for years to come, such as tumbling down a restaurant staircase wearing no underpants or throwing up in his bed.
  • Do everything but . It’s hugely erotic and gives you both the chance to feel comfortable being intimate.
  • Buy some condoms in case he hasn’t, or he’s all out.
  • Make sure he understands when no means no, and when no means yes.
  • Feel confident in your body. Whatever your imperfections, real or imagined, you are going to be naked and the mere sight of a naked woman is enough to turn him on. A lot.
  • Never sleep with someone you’d be ashamed to own up to having slept with.
  • Invest in some beautiful new underwear, it should give you extra sexual confidence.
  • If you want him to call you, don’t sleep with him on the first date or the first time you meet him. You are a fool if you do. (This may be the oldest piece of advice in the world, but also the best.)
  • Make sure he’s not married, or has a girlfriend, or a boyfriend.
  • Make sure he’s not a tight wad. Going Dutch at dinner is fine, however, if he dissects the bill and adds up the cost of everything you ate and drank down to the last cent and mouthful his meanness indicates that he will also be stingy in the sack. Get him to drop you home and refuse to give him any petrol money when he asks.
  • Beware if he professes excessively that he “really loves women”, that “all women are beautiful in their own way”. Be equally as cautious if he refers to you as his “lovely lady”, or says something like, “why is my lovely lady blue tonight?” This indicates a total creep and/or a potential misogynist. Don’t do it.
  • If you’re thinking, “What the hell, why not? Sex & The City’s not on TV tonight and anyway I haven’t had sex in six months,” definitely don’t. Desperation or boredom is not a great reason to sleep with someone (although I know a few men who would disagree!).
  • If you get tingles in the pit of your belly (and lower) and your teeth clench when you think about him, and you’re having lurid thoughts about him during important meetings and he makes you rampantly horny – definitely do it. Even if the eventual sex isn’t so good between you or it doesn’t develop into anything more than a fling at least you experienced some earth-shattering excitement.