This story appears in the December 2016 issue of Playboy. Subscribe

Q:I go back home for the holidays every year and stay with my parents. I’m the only person in my group of high school friends who is single. It all makes me stir-crazy. Going on a date seems like a good excuse to get out of the house, but I don’t know where to start. Should I hit up an old flame on Facebook? What if she asks to come back to my place?

A:Few things put me in the mood quite like cranky shoppers, ugly sweaters and tipsy cousins on political rants. For many singles, being home for the holidays means watching Elf on a basic-cable loop and pretending to have answers to such questions as “What are you doing with your life?” When you come out of your turkey-induced coma, you realize the only physical contact you’ve had of late has been with your uncle’s new wife with the new boobs. In the middle of your second Law & Order marathon, it hits you: You need to get laid.

Remember that technology is your friend, whether it’s Tinder, Bumble or OkCupid. Just be prepared to swipe through every option in your suburban radius in five minutes. You’ll probably see old classmates and think, Tinder over the holidays? That’s sad. But know this: They’re thinking the same about you. You’ve already drunkenly cyberstalked your high school girlfriend since breaking up with her years ago, so skip the judgment and just swipe right. Don’t underestimate the joys of a mutual pity fuck. Ex sex is often the best sex, because a stranger rarely pleases the way someone who most likely remembers your kinks can. That being said, ex sex can be a terrible idea if you never got closure. It could release residual emotions, making it that much harder to survive the holidays alone. If the relationship is still complicated, swipe left.

Finding privacy can be a bigger issue than finding a match. If your childhood bedroom isn’t full of abandoned workout equipment, it’s a decent venue, especially since the risk of getting caught heightens pleasure. If your bedroom is now a wrapping room, consider the places I’ve hooked up in my hometown: Dive-bar bathrooms, movie theaters, garages and basements are all fair game. My go-to is the car, but steer clear of this option if your hookup isn’t someone you already know. Car seats don’t leave much room for foreplay, and taking a Bumble date to an abandoned parking lot will definitely raise red flags. If you’re in your parents’ car, clean up the DNA and condom wrappers. Crack the windows during sex and air out the car afterward.

A final note about everyone’s favorite seasonal activity: drinking. Booze and being single during the holidays go together like whipped cream and pumpkin pie. Don’t get sloppy, but if you do, remember not to bring your date home, where you’ll inevitably end up making out on the couch and leaving her there to be discovered by your parents on Christmas morning. Yes, I have been in this situation. I’ll never forget groggily waking up with a raging headache to Mr. Johnson saying, “Merry Christmas, Bridget. Would you like some coffee?” Learn from my misfortune and buy your one-night stand the best Christmas gift ever: an Uber ride home.

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