Tick all the right boxes: Before, during and after hooking up

We ask a few 40 something women about their "just right" experiences while dating, while hooking up and most importantly, what happens after the kiss goodbye

hooking up

What is your idea of a perfect date?” is a very popular question on dating apps according to almost all the women we asked. And more often than not, they do not end up dating the guy who poses this question under the guise of getting to know her better. 

In fact, someone who asks that question right off the bat is just looking for a shortcut to landing a date. What they fail to realise is that the prospect of the perfect date is not enticing in itself if the person is not interesting or engaging. A moonlit walk on the beach is only as romantic as your attraction to your partner after all. And with the wrong sort of person, it can rapidly dissipate into a “why did I agree to this torture” date! 

Also read: The unintended one-night-stand: Lowered expectations Vs raising the bar?

That is why a long drive is a bad idea for a first date! And we all know about disastrous road trips that lead to breakups!

So what is the solution? Is there no such thing as a perfect date? 

For a lucky few, there are cherished perfect dates where everything is better than what they imagined and that becomes a benchmark for all dates to follow. But for the rest, there are bits and parts that hit the right note! So we modified the question to ask a few 40 something women* about their "just right" experiences while dating, while hooking up and most importantly, what happens after the kiss goodbye or if there is even a kiss goodbye.


ticking the right boxes

If the phrase "setting the mood" makes you think of candles, you are probably not alone. Almost every romantic scene in a movie has lots and lots of candles in a room, followed by rose petals trailing along a path or strewn on a bed. Even if you think it is over -the-top or a fire hazard or are allergic to flowers, you can’t deny the pull of a romantic ambience.

Professor Aarti Shenoy recalls the first time she met someone in a hotel room. She didn’t have enough dating experience and lacked the confidence to insist on what she felt was right. So she reluctantly agreed to go with the guy’s recommendation, which ended up being a crappy room in a lodge that made even the cheapest OYO rooms look grand by comparison. 

Also read: Sex column: Something casual? Choose the meaning

“I don’t mind spending extra to ensure a cozy and luxurious room. Since I always split the bill, I have decided, I am never going out again with someone who haggles over where to book and only wants to go somewhere cheap.” She is also vehemently against going to someone’s bachelor pad that lives up to the stereotypical image of a shabby dorm room replete with laundry and takeaway boxes strewn around the house and a lumpy mattress to boot!

“The one time everything was perfect was with this guy with whom I spent hours talking on our first date. Then he booked the perfect hotel for our first time together. He was extremely skilled and treated me like a queen,” she gushes as she reminisces about her best hookup till date! 

It shifted the paradigm forever and she despairs that no other guy might stack up! It is not like a constant comparison about whether he did this or that, it is all about how one feels during the time spent together.


Getting into the groove is a process that starts way before foreplay. Apart from the ambience, it is the conversations and the fond overtures that make someone endearing enough to consider physical intimacy.  

“I met this guy every day at the gym and found him very easy to talk to. I could just be myself and even tell him about the mundane bits of my day and he listened to it all without judgement,” explains Laxmi Iyer, an artist from Pune. Of course, it didn’t hurt that he had a sculpted body that was the stuff of fantasy. Having seen middle aged men who let themselves go, her gym buddy with his attentiveness and approach to fitness won her over. 

And even though she was more than ready, he didn’t immediately jump her bones. He gave her a fantastic massage first! That is something he offers to do often even if it may not be followed by sex. Who can refuse a guy like that?

Laxmi is very pleased with the best sex of her life, but she feels the morning afters could do with a great deal of improvement. While she is basking in the afterglow and craves company, he is often silent and unavailable. "Perhaps it is the fear of getting emotionally attached that makes him a bit withdrawn," she guesses.

Also read: Why women ghost? It's not them, it's you

how to hook up

Don't go!

Ready, set, action, then pack up? Oh no! While you may not want to spend the night together, it is bad form to leave immediately after or push the women out of the door without so much as a hug.

Garima Singh, a journalist from Delhi, was in for a rude shock when she met this guy who she had been on a few dates with and found really charming and sweet. "I was in his city and he came to meet me at my hotel. Since we had met when he was travelling and I liked him, I was looking forward to picking up where we left off. And the sex was fine, but the moment he pulled out, he said he needed to leave because he didn't want to reach home late."

"I knew his mother was home alone, but c'mon this is a guy who travels and has stayed out all night many times for fun and for work," she ruefully adds.

Garima was miffed by the fact that even though he agreed he shouldn't have said that, he did nothing to assuage her feelings. He just got up and left. Though she met him once later to gauge whether things could be better a second time, she backed off when she sensed that he was acting as though nothing happened.

Her experiences showed her that there were men who were considerate even when things didn't go as planned. "I went on a couple of dates with this guy who was charming and made me laugh and I was really comfortable with him We were in his hotel room fooling around and he told me that he didn't have any protection so we had to cool things off and we parted on good terms but the very next day I was plagued by a million doubts and that is when he called to see how I was doing." 

On the one hand, she admits it was nice to know that he didn't expect to hook up just because she met him in his room. But, on the other hand she was thinking that he could have rushed out for protection. Then she was wondering what he thought about her. But, she felt good when they spoke and he said, "I know you are probably overthinking the whole thing, but don't, we'll meet again and I'll be prepared like boy scouts say!"

Also read: Sex column: Decoding your Tinder bio. It's not rocket science

Reality check!

When a mature, confident and independent women puts herself out on a dating app, she is ready to mingle, but she is not yet ready to mingle with every match and every date! 

No one ever accused any man of being too caring or too emotionally available ever! So stop acting like you don't give a damn!

Action replay

1. Listen, listen, listen

2. Be attentive 

3. Avoid distractions

4. Part happily

5. Stay in touch

There is nothing more repulsive than a grown ass man acting like a teen! There is no reason to live cheaply just because you live alone!

Also read: Sex tips: Oh-so-stupid things men must stop saying, even if women don't call them out


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