This weekend, I did something that really drove home the arrival of summer: for the first time in 2016, I slept with just a sheet, no blanket. The weekend before, I did something else that made the season feel viscerally obvious: I had sweaty, humid sex in front of a box fan. Across Brooklyn, untold numbers of people were doing exactly the same thing.

Summer in New York is corporeal; you can see and experience people’s bodies in ways that felt like distant memories only a few months ago, when we were all still sentient piles of laundry, shuffling to and from the subway. People feel closer, more accessible, more likely to return your interest. You’re a little more willing to talk to a stranger at the next bar stool, or the guy you went on three dates with last year feels emboldened to hit you up again. More people take more leaps, and those leaps are sometimes straight into bed.
The great, messy paradox of the thing, though, is that the same heat that pushed you out of your apartments and into the streets and bars and backyards to collide with each other also makes it less pleasant to go back to your apartment and actually have sex. Some of the pitfalls can be mitigated with a little planning, though, and below, I’ve laid out some of the more practical ways to be good at getting laid.
1. Disclose your AC status.
Every hookup requires some negotiation, no matter the season: Your place or mine? Is the visiting party sleeping over or leaving after a civil amount of cuddling? Are there roommates or pets to consider? In the summer, who has air conditioning and what kind should shoot to the top of that list, even if your potential hookup doesn’t specifically inquire. I once rode the subway nearly an hour to have an adult sleepover on one of the hottest nights of the year with a man who had previously only visited my apartment. The guy was ten years my senior, lived alone in a nice apartment in Park Slope, had a dog–definite AC-haver, right? Dead wrong. When he made this disclosure, I wanted to push him into oncoming traffic outside the bar in which we were having a pre-hookup drink. On the other end of the air conditioning continuum, if you have central AC, you should probably include that in your online dating profiles. On some nights, it would almost certainly be enough to swing an on-the-fence date in your favor. (Hey: the game is the game, okay?)
2. Come on, at least buy a box fan.
Fucking In Front Of The Box Fan weather is nigh, and it’s hard to celebrate appropriately unless you have a box fan. The good news is that box fans are cheap, lightweight, require no installation, can be purchased at every Duane Reade and dollar store in the entire borough and function on such basic technology that the one you buy to aid in your pursuit of Tinder randos will probably still be fully operational on your silver wedding anniversary. They’re essential if you choose to forgo air conditioning, but even if you have a nominally effective window unit, you should still have one on hand for particularly humid or sexually athletic evenings. No, a small table fan will not do. No, that oscillating fan on a stick is a piece of trash. Get a box fan.
3. While You’re at Duane Reade, buy some baby wipes.
Bodies are gross. Especially the sex parts. That near-revulsion is part of the twisted psychology of human sexual attraction, of course, but a couple hours in a sweaty bar, coupled with a 10-minute wait in an even sweatier subway station and the subsequent, humid walk home, is enough to take most people well past the point of gross-sexy and into straight-on gross. The average summer night in Brooklyn will give even the most delicate among us a major case of swamp ass. A shower is the only real cure for that, of course, but a box of baby wipes sitting conveniently on a toilet tank will at least take the edge off the crotch sweat and make oral sex more pleasant for the giver and less nervous for the recipient. If I excused myself to someone’s bathroom and saw them sitting there, I would certainly avail myself, and there’s a box sitting in mine right now.
4. Never underestimate the power of fresh undies.
If it’s particularly wretched outside or you’re particularly nervous about your sweat levels, stash an extra pair of underwear in your purse or fold up some boxer-briefs and stuff them in your back pocket. Underwear absorbs a ton of moisture and, along with it, the bacteria that makes sweat smelly. Changing right before you head home can make a huge difference in eliminating the sweat generated during four hours of sitting outside at the inevitable Hot Bird birthday party we all have to attend at least three times every summer.
5. Observe a little post-coital heat etiquette.
No matter who hosts a hookup, that person is responsible for getting up, going to the kitchen and bringing back a large amount of cold water in a timely manner. Be an adult, order some ice cube trays off Amazon, treat your guests right. If you really want to go for the gold (or if you don’t have AC and just want to be a baseline acceptable human being), soak a couple dishcloths in the coldest water available, wring out the excess, and bring them back for you and your partner. Drape them across your torsos, lie in front of the box fan and try to embody the spirits of polar bears. Not too hard, though; it’ll be winter again before we know it.
Illustration by Emily Griffin.

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