If you are one of those people who can leave your hookup’s place without worrying about how you look to the outside world, then kudos to you. You are someone I envy. As for me, I am basically running home while looking at the ground in hopes that I won’t run into anyone I know. All I want to do is have a shower, eat something greasy, and nap.

But, we should stop viewing the walk as a shameful scurry home. It never should be a “Walk of Shame”, but rather, a grown adult enjoying sex and going home to continue their amazing life. The biggest hurdle to changing a “Walk of Shame” into a “Stride of Pride” is in your head. It’s empowering! But, even if you have trouble remembering that, sometimes playing the part can be just as empowering.

For me, fixing myself up so I look presentable as I would any other day gives me that power to face the world with pride because I feel put together and confident. To do this, there are the four key areas to address before running home looking like your life is in shambles after a night of wild sex.

1. Touch Up Your Makeup

If you are lucky enough to be able to shower at his place before you leave, great! You’re one step ahead of the rest of us. But if you can’t, try to steal some Vaseline or face soap to quickly wash your face. Even throwing some water on it will work, too! You could use a Q-tip, tissue, or toilet paper to get your makeup off. This will help to quickly reduce your raccoon eyes with effectively nothing. If, like me, you use the heavy-duty waterproof, drunk-proof, or sex-proof makeup (seriously, some stuff will not budge), try to move it around so it looks like you have some smudgy liner working for you à la Cara Delevinge… Swoon.

2. Handle Your Hair

This is the biggest indicator of the success of your post-sex journey home. If you think you can rock the bed head look – go for it. But if you’re looking for a solution to tame your tresses, go with something simple and sleek to pull that hair-sprayed mess up. It will be a huge boost to your confidence. I prefer a tight bun over a ponytail because I think it looks more polished. It’s a power hairstyle that says “I’m in charge” not “I’m sneaking out.” Finger comb your curls in a pinch and tie up with a bobby pin or elastic. Don’t have either of those? If your hair is long enough, tightly twist it up and tuck under the ends or tie it in a knot. It will look effortlessly cool, and all your product from the night before should give it a little grip.

3. Head, not Heels, Held High

Sometimes there is nothing we can do about wearing those sky-high heels home. We just have to hold our head high and strut out into the brightly lit world and carry on. Whether you have cute jeans that really do wonders for your butt, a tight mini dress, or some borrowed clothes from your hook up – what looked super cute at night doesn’t have the same effect during the day. But, the good news is that it doesn’t matter as long as you are confident and aren’t worrying about it. You aren’t the first person to ever walk home like this, and you certainly won’t be the last. Embrace the fact that you’re a strong woman asserting your sexual prowess, because, frankly, that’s what you just did – and what you are. But please, for the love of all things sexy, make a promise to your shoes. Promise them that you will not carry them home. Keep them on your feet.

4. Maintain a Confident Stride of Pride

Finally, the biggest part of all: your attitude. It’s only a “Walk of Shame” if you are ashamed. So remember that you are sexy, confident, and a total kick-ass woman. Sex is part of our lives, and it’s something we should never be ashamed of. The idea of a Walk of Shame is terrible because it gives the idea that sex is shameful. (Hint: It’s not!) We have to be the ones to change it. We can show the world that we are sluts who are not ashamed of our sexuality – and doing who and what we please. We can change it to the Stride of Pride. You should have no problem with your sexuality, and shouldn’t care what people think (or, at least fake it until you make it).

A Walk of Shame doesn’t have to be cliché. Don’t hide underneath your clothes or hair or makeup. Don’t worry about the looks people shoot your way. It’s your life, and what you are doing is none of their business. As long as you’re happy and consenting, you have the right to be sexy and sexual. And if they say differently, screw ‘em!