It’s eleven in the morning. You’re waking up and something doesn’t feel right: your head is pounding, you feel sad; you just want to pull the blankets over your head and never get out of bed again. What’s happening?
We all know what a hangover feels like – almost all of us have experienced that unpleasant combination of exhaustion and nausea at some point in our lives. It makes us declare ‘never again!’ to our friends the next day, as we’re downing coffee and/or Aspirin. And then, as soon as the opportunity arises, we’re back out there again having fun.
(That’s how it works for me, anyway.)
But it’s not always about champagne cocktails. As I'm leaving an otherwise great booking, I sometimes notice that my client looks a bit sad. They might email me the day after and admit to feeling down. Why does this happen, when everything has gone so well?
There’s more than one type of hangover. Here are a few 'day-after blues' problems you might encounter after a sexy adventure with a professional.
The regular (drinking) hangover
Stomach hurting? Headache? Feeling tired? Did you order a lot of whisky cocktails last night, followed by hours of sweaty, energetic sex? You may have a regular old hangover: a combination of dehydration and physical overload, as your kidneys work overtime to clear all the bad stuff out of your system.
We've all been there, right? Drink lots of water and give yourself time to recover.
Although many clients use alcohol before a date to steady the nerves, my advice is to limit yourself to one or two standard drinks. Sex is more fun when you're not under the influence! It's all about nerve endings...and blunting your senses won't help you tune in to all those delicious sensations.
It's also a lot safer to stay (mostly) sober. You'll be more in control of your body and find it easier to communicate with your worker. This reduces the risk of sex injuries, social slip-ups, and (most importantly) consent violations.
The 'good sex hangover'
Feeling grumpy? Depressed? Worrying about your performance, or feeling more alone than ever? Relax…you didn’t make a terrible mistake. It’s probably just a 'good sex hangover'.
When we get sexy with someone, our brains release all sorts of fun chemicals: oxytocin, dopamine, and seratonin. This is the stuff that makes us feel good when we’re intimate with the people we’re attracted to. Unfortunately, the high doesn’t last forever: your brain might start running out of happy chemicals a day or two later. The more intense the feelings, the more likely you’ll suffer an emotional crash.
If this happens to you, it's not a disastet. A bit of biochemical upset is a normal part of having an intense experience. Rest, light exercise, and healthy food can help your brain get back to normal.
The 'shame hangover'
Would it surprise you to hear that many clients feel ashamed of seeing sex workers?
Nearly all of us are raised to see sex as shameful, harmful and bad for us...and that feeling is multiplied by a thousand, when it comes to sex professionals. You may have heard the people who are important to you - such as your friends, parents, teachers, and politcal leaders - say things like, 'only creeps spend time with prostitutes' or 'guys who pay for sex are desperate' or 'sex workers are gross and diseased'.
Rationally, you're probably able to see that none of the above is true. Sex is good for us, and sex workers can be a great way to have those experiences of intimacy and release that will boost your mood and your immune system.
But it can be hard to let go of those negative messages. If you worry that you're a bad person, or that you're desperate and unattractive, your fears may come flooding back as soon as you're no longer distracted by the session itself. As soon as your date leaves, or as soon as you wake up the next day, you might find yourself thinking, "What have I done?"
Shame around sex is something we all deal with. But if your negative thoughts don't go away, or they're damaging your self-esteem, it might be time to find a sex-positive therapist.
The 'adventure hangover'
If a new, intense experience – such as seeing an escort for the first time, or trying a new sexual kink – leaves you feeling distressed, you could be suffering from the ‘adventure hangover’.
Trying new things means getting out of your comfort zone. It's supposed to be fun...but it can also be challenging, and more than a little scary. When we move beyond what is familiar, we often feel exposed and vulnerable...and if we've pushed ourselves too hard, those feelings can become pretty intense.
This is the ‘adventure hangover’, the backlash that can happen when you’ve gone and done something ‘crazy’ that challenges you. For a lot of my friends, stepping ‘too far out’ means trying a new kink or getting sexy with someone new, before they're ready. For my clients, it could simply mean meeting an escort for the first time!
The next day, you may think, "Have I gone too far?" You might be consumed with worry about your new experience - how it went, whether you got it right. You may worry you failed at your first attempt.
Never fear. An adventure hangover isn’t a sign of failure. It's just your body's way of letting you know that you're overwhelmed. It takes time to process a new experience! Don't make your mind up right away about yesterday's adventure...give yourself a few days to think it over. You may feel very differently.
An adventure hangover is a great reminder that the best challenged are approached slowly. Whether you're booking a new escort, trying shibari, or having a threesome, you don't have to do everything at once. It's fine to go slow, or to have a shorter or less intense session, to give yourself time to feel comfortable.
So...what's your situation?
Drink hangover, sex hangover, shame hangover, or adventure hangover? They might feel similar, but knowing the exact reason for your day-after blues can be very helpful.
Once you've identified what you're feeling you can accept it, look after yourself, and let the feelings pass. Self-knowledge , self-care, and self-acceptance are the keys to getting through the difficult stuff...and moving on to your next adventure.
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