When I’m in the dating game, my “go bag” is always packed and ready to go. It has a lot of names, depending on who you ask, from the “big bag” to “the overnighter.” But the bottom line is that it’s a bag that’s always ready so you can grab it & go in case of an emergency… Or a dating emergency.
(What? Dating emergencies are like regular emergencies. Just… Usually with less fire and broken glass and stuff.)
These items are what make up my quintessential “go bag,” but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be yours, too. If you don’t require a bagful of skincare (or anything else) to get you through the night, then skip it! The important thing is that your bag works for you.
The #1 go bag essential: a mountain of condoms
Aside from making sure your bag works for you, it’s also really important that your bag’s contents will help keep you safe.
I always like to be prepared, so even if I’m fluid-bonded (aka not using condoms) with the person I have plans to see, I’ll pack a few condoms just in case. You never know who you might run into, or when your partner or partners might run out. And hey; maybe you’ll suddenly be gripped by an immediate need for a slightly slippery, awkward balloon! It’s important to make sure you’re always prepared for balloon-related emergencies!
Plus, a good condom swings both ways. You can make a dental dam out of a condom, but you can’t make a condom out of a dental dam.
Sex is better when wet, and water-based works with everything. A small bottle or a few blister packs of lube never go unthanked.
Ideally, I like to opt for a glycerine-free lube like Sliquid H2O, as glycerine can break down into sugars and trigger a yeast infection. However, if your plans involve anal sex, a silicone lube or silicone hybrid lube may be a better choice. Silicone lubes can leave stains on fabric, but they don’t evaporate and dry out the same way water-based lubes do. They’re a cushier, longer-lasting lube for a little extra comfort and peace of mind.
After all: “tearing” is a word that almost never want to hear in the bedroom, and never ever in association with your body parts.
I know a lot of people who don’t pack a vibrator in their go bag, but it’s one item that I’ve never regretted having on hand. If it’s the kind of toy you usually use, it can be really helpful to have around.
Especially with a new partner, the option for a little mechanical assistance can really help take the pressure off as they figure out your body’s little quirks. I like bringing something small with me, like the We-Vibe Tango or Je Joue MiMi Soft. They’re a great bonding opportunity, too–I can’t tell you how many of my partners have tried (and loved) the MiMi!
A toothbrush might seem like an un-sexy item to pack in your go bag, but it’s one of the most important things to make sure you have. It’s strange–a lot of people who are totally cool swapping other bodily fluids balk at the idea of sharing a toothbrush with someone else.
If you don’t want to end up scrubbing at your teeth with a fingerful of toothpaste in the morning, then a toothbrush is an absolute must.
A stick of lip balm
You’re going to be doing a lot of things with your mouth. Trust me, an extra stick (or two) of lip balm will come in handy. I like opting for a really basic, unscented formula just in case of allergies!
Some people can use anyone’s moisturizer (or no moisturizer at all) when they stay the night. I don’t have the luxury of being that chill, so I always make sure to pack my own in my go bag.
In a pinch, most people have face cleanser and extra virgin olive oil (or coconut oil) kicking around to moisturize with, but it’s never a particularly enjoyable combination to use.
Black eyeliner or brow pencil
I am super uncomfortable being around strangers when my eyes and brows aren’t on, so my go bag always starts out with either a black eyeliner or a skinny brow pencil. (Or both).
It’s not that I think that people need to wear makeup all the time, it’s that I’m not totally comfortable with the idea of a hookup seeing the “unfiltered” version of me. Once someone has stuck around for a while and we get on that level, the makeup totally drops from my go bag. But at the very beginning? It’s a must. I can’t be running out of there in the morning, hair unkempt and brows askew! How then will they know to instinctively fear me?
A spare pair
Take it from someone who knows: even if you don’t think you’re going to need an extra pair of underwear, it’s nice to have one just in case. My go bag didn’t used to contain an emergency pair of underwear, but that all changed in the summer of 2015.
I had been seeing this guy regularly for a couple of months, and things were going pretty well. I had my go bag down to a science.
And then one night, we were hanging out, and I got up to leave–I had class in the morning, and I don’t want to take off from his place. I found my shirt, leggings, and bra, but I couldn’t find my underwear. I was looking around, picking up our socks, and all of a sudden, his dog gives me this crazy guilty look from the other side of the couch. She wasn’t a big chewer, but the guy had neglected to warn me that she was obsessed with women’s underwear.
Long story short: his dog ate my thong. She pooped out scraps of fabric for days, and I haven’t left the house without an spare pair in my go bag since.
Cellphone, wallet, and keys
Your cellphone, wallet, and keys are the three things that should go with you every time you leave the house–overnight stay or not. Toss them into your go bag (or your tote bag, or your “big purse,” or what have you) instead of your pockets or purse for a little less hassle during the date itself.