“Shaaaaackerrr! Shacker, shacker, shacker, SHACKER!” Aside from launching water balloons – at willing participants, of course, thank you for that suggestion/threat I.V. Foot Patrol – the best part about having a balcony on Del Playa is watching the hordes of people taking the walk of shame every weekend morning. If you can force yourself out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, the show is well worth it. The typical walk-of-shamer squints with visual uncertainty at the sunlight, dazed and hung over, if not still inebriated from another Saturday night shit show. With her smeared eye makeup channeling the raccoon that digs through your trashcan, she teeters precariously in her four inch Steve Maddens, adorned in either a miniskirt or an oversized boys shirt and some sort of sport shorts, generously given to her by a late night lover. Even if there is no way to escape the wrath of giggling onlookers as you walk home in the morning, there are a few ways to ease the awkwardness of shacking up at someone’s house. A successful night out could lead to a comfortable acquaintance or even my personal favorite – some great morning-after sex.

First and foremost, always locate the restroom as soon as you reach your final destination of the night. This small bit of information becomes very handy when your booze catches up to you and you need to sneak out of the love nest without waking your partner. Second, be sure to know the general location of roommates to avoid any awkward, half-naked interactions. Tiptoeing to the bathroom late at night may seem safe, but when you cannot find all of your clothes, I advise you not to risk it.

If you make your overnight stay an around-the-house romp, be sure to pick up all of the pieces when you’re finished. There is nothing more humiliating than your partner’s roommates discovering sex toys or lingerie around the house that were lost in the heat of the moment. This leads right into my suggestion of cleaning up when you’re done. If you fucked in a communal area, be sure to wipe it down or air it out as a courtesy to your roomies. I am personally way too germaphobic to deal with a sex and semen-ridden living area, but I have no qualms as long as everything is cleaned up. If you brought a guest home, it is your duty to make sure that your roommates feel comfortable with the person you brought into the house and that means compromising with the boundaries of everyone involved.

Fast forward to the morning after. You’re both tired, hung over, sticky and hopefully sexually satisfied or craving more. From the moment you wake up, do not freak out about physical appearances. You’re going to look like shit, so you might as well laugh it off to show your partner you’re not a dog without make-up. A shower is a great way to wake up, clean up, and continue what you started the night before.

Also, if you brought a guest home with you to your house, be sure to be courteous enough to offer water, especially after a long night of drinking. If you’re interested in more, make your intentions unquestionably obvious, because if you’re lucky enough to have your desires reciprocated, you’ll get to experience morning sex. Morning sex is superior to night sex because you’re sober enough to enjoy it, you can see your partner clearly in the daylight, and let’s face it, there really is no better way to start the day. However, if you’re unfortunate enough to experience the “coyote ugly” with the person who got hotter with every martini, don’t lose your manners. Do, however, shuttle them out of your room and house quickly, unless you want your mistaken tryst to become the news of the house.

If all things go well, you could find yourself with a ride home or at least a comrade with which to face the long walk of shame. If not, then try not to cower away in last night’s clothing because it will make you more of a target in this town where only the strong survive. March proudly, dodge water balloons and personify the term “stride of pride.”