The Rules: Basic Tips For Five-Star Sexiquette

Ever wondered just who should do what about protection, cleaning up afterwards and breakfast in the morning?  Lady Friday has all the answers…

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If you’re not on the Pill, provide your own, and have it easily accessible. This isn’t the mark of a slut, simply a sensible thing to do, particularly if your date comes up short.

The trick with condoms is having a variety of sizes to fit all potential situations. If the guy provides his own, use his, because it has a much better chance of fitting (provided he hasn’t bought Magnums to try and impress you).

It’s still societally expected that the man in hetero relationships will provide the protection, and that lube, toys and other accessories are provided by whichever of you owns the bedroom where you’re getting intimate. If you’re in a hotel, somebody else’s place or intent on trying something new, take your own.


This is a tricky one. The silent expectation of many partners giving oral is that they expect it in return – but it’s not a hard and fast rule.

Instead, it’s a very individual situation, and it’s important that you make it clear if you really don’t have a fondness for it. If they then sulk or refuse to go down, it’s worth talking about the whole reciprocation thing and how to make equal effort in bed.

If you’ve given and they aren’t returning, it’s not necessarily rude – it shouldn’t just be something you expect without talking about it. However, it’s always worth bringing up your needs and what you’d like, and encouraging them in polite ways – because you enjoy it, not because they’re obligated.


No, it is not normal etiquette to be completely shaved. However, it is polite to be clean, and sufficiently tidy for things to be easily accessible. This goes for men as well – a non-rampant, clean pubic area is a respectful thing to be presented to a partner, particularly a new one.


Being respectful in bed can still mean screaming, demanding and dominating – it just has to get consent.

If that’s not your vibe, the most polite way to give orders is to preface with ‘I love it when you…’, or gently interweaving a ‘Little more to the left’ with a lot of positive encouragement. Be engaged, put in work and don’t be rude.


One of the big complaints about partners in unsatisfactory clinches is that they ‘just lie there’. Etiquette demands that you try and make equal efforts to please, even when doing a dominant-sub dynamic or even tied up.

This doesn’t mean matching act for act, or trying to outdo each other with more outlandish ideas. It does mean contributing actively, even in positions like missionary, doing a lot of foreplay, and spending an equal amount of time on one another.

Cleaning Up

Opinion differs on the etiquette of this. No one partner should be fully responsible for all the after-intimacy maintenance, but there are certain things – disposing of condoms, for instance – that are pretty gender-specific.

Getting the tissues for post-sex mop-ups are generally attributed to whoever can move their legs first. Polite behaviour dictates trying to clean each other and the area equally.

Both partners should make sure the sex toys are cleaned and put back, because that just hurts otherwise.

Sleeping Over

If you’re not a partner, etiquette demands that you don’t assume you’re sleeping over, and that you always ask permission first. Even if it’s a long way away, even if you’re hours out of your way, it’s their place and their rules.

Being polite means not insisting that you stay, and if you’re the hostess and kicking your paramour out, etiquette does require that you make sure they have a ride and a place to go before sleeping yourself.

The Morning After

Yes, if it’s your place and they slept over, you do have to offer to provide breakfast. There’s no getting around it, and if there’s nothing in the house you’ll have to do a grocery run or take them to a cafe.

The sleeping-over partner should also have free range of the shower and bathroom, but no hour-long showers, use of expensive products or deodorant, snooping in the cupboards or wearing the other person’s clothes. And when the person who owns the house leaves, you leave.

Exchanging numbers is considered good practise at this juncture, but emails is a good secondary plan if you’re not sure.

Post-Sex Behaviour

Do not ignore calls, pretend you’re busy or fob people off with lies. That’s rude and disrespectful. Instead, if you’re not keen on seeing them again, let them know – in a text message if they text, in a call if they call. Match their method of communication.

If you are interested, don’t wait – pursue as soon as you feel it’s viable. The whole waiting three days thing is no longer expected and will actually confuse people.

Show immediate interest and, if you’re too busy to get around to it at the moment, give them a definite date when you’ll be able to talk again.

Lady Friday xx

Taking pillow talk out of the bedroom, every Friday…


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