Because no matter how often you do it, hooking up with a stranger will most likely bring up the stress.
It's perfectly normal to be nervous before a hook up. In fact, most people, no matter how experienced or inexperienced they are, will experience nerves before hooking up with someone for the first time. However, those nerves should be mixed with excitement. If you're nervous your date might be a psychopath or that you won't enjoy this, then we've got a problem.
1. Check their Insta to see if you have mutual followers
To make sure you're safe, do a lot of digging first. If you're hooking up with someone in your campus, check if you have mutual followers on Instagram. It's always good to get a reference (lol I'm serious!) before you get in bed with a stranger. You'd be surprised how honest people are when you ask them about others, even if they're friends.
2. If you're driving, play Lizzo
You get in your car, your heart's pumping, and your mind is playing the worst scenarios. You start thinking about your last hook up that didn't go too good which ended up in a year long dry spell.
Stop! Put on your favorite serotonin playlist on Spotify and jam out. Music can give you a huge confidence boost that will put your nerves at ease. Spotify is amazing for this kind of stuff; just search "confidence boost" or "bad bitch" playlist. Dua Lipa, The Weekend, Lizzo, and Ariana Grande are some artists with pre-hook up songs to bring your mood up.
3. If music doesn't do the trick, try this breathing exercise
If bumping "Save Your Tears" makes your heart beat faster, then try an alternative to help your anxiety. Make sure your shoulders and neck are relaxed. Inhale through your nose for 2 seconds. Exhale through your mouth for four seconds, puckering your lips like if you were giving a kiss. Repeat this process as a rectangle 2-4-2-4 as many times as you need. Just make sure you're honoring the seconds and not rushing through it!
4. Sex is still good even if you're bad at it
The biggest source of insecurity for a lot of people is, "what if I suck?" And I'm not here to reassure that you won't. Honestly, being good and bad at sex can be subjective. Remember this is a hook up, and if the sex is bad, you don't have to see them again. However, if you're nervous about not being good, remember that sex still feels pretty good if you're bad. Relax your shoulders and don't be scared to try new things. Vulnerability is a process and it's normal to feel a bit awkward at times!
5. Share your location with your friends
If your nerves are about safety, that's completely valid. Especially when it comes to a hooking up with stranger. It's always a good rule of thumb to verify the person's identity as much as you can before agreeing to see them. Keep a close eye for potentially fake pictures (do google image reverse search) and pay attention to details. If you're hooking up with a no photo, DL person, then study the location. Is it a safe area? Do you recognize any places nearby?
Regardless, you should always share your location with friends, and if you're going over to someone's house, tell at least two friends. Give them a time you'll back and have an exit plan. Like if you text them an alien emoji, it means they need to call you with a fake emergency. Having a good plan before a hook up will bring you peace of mind.
6. Hook-ups get easier with time, I promise
If this is your first time hooking up with a rando, it'll be nerve-racking! Just know that nerves get better with time. Regardless of how good the sex is, you'll have grown after this and the next time will feel less chaotic. Remember to enjoy the moment, laugh it off, and don't be afraid to have an honest conversation after about how it went, especially if you think this is someone you want to see again.
Trust your gut: if you're not feeling the hook up even after committing to see them, back out. Your instincts are there for a reason!