As this blog continues to grow (at a surprisingly fast pace – someone said to me yesterday “if you get rich off this, I have to leave the country” – not quite sure what her logic was but there you go), comments keep coming and one day this week I got a reader request rom “anonymous!” saying “What advice would you give to someone who has never had a one night stand but really wants to?” And as promised, here’s your answer.
One night stands, done properly, can be great (hell, even done improperly they can still be really fun!). To paraphrase from my well-thumbed copy of The Ethical Slut, using time to judge the success of a relationship is misguided; just because a couple were together for five years doesn’t mean their relationship was good or healthy; likewise, just because you only spend one night with someone doesn’t mean that it’s not a worthwhile encounter that you both/all gain from and which isn’t psychologically damaging.
Firstly ask yourself why it is you really want to have a one-night stand in particular. I don’t think I’ve ever gone looking for a one-night stand specifically, since I’m generally quite open with the possibility of anything leading to something more substantial, or at least hooking up with the person again (though I don’t subscribe to the idea of “sex as audition” – you have sex with someone and the next morning decide whether they have life-partner potential; if not you part ways and feel awkward when you see them again, which is still surprisingly prevalent). So what are your motives? Is it for the thrill of a new experience? Just a general need to scratch a sexual itch? Want to try something new? Or do you think the best way to get over someone after a break up is to get under someone else? These are all perfectly valid reasons, and as long as you’re honest with yourself about it I don’t think you’re going to go too far wrong.
So now that you’ve decided, how are you going to go about achieving your goal? There are two obvious options open to someone wanting a one night stand, and each has their good and bad sides. Let’s start with the traditional one – going to a club. Obviously this has great advantages – there are crowds of people in the same place, presumably mostly available and presumably mostly at least slightly inebriated. I’m not advocating taking advantage of someone, but I think we can all honestly say that we’ve found it much easier to get into bed/an alleyway/the private study room of level six in the library (ahem) with someone when we’ve both/all had a few. This also has the added advantage of being quite subtle – your judgemental friends (who you should get rid of but that’s another story) probably won’t know your ulterior motive for being there and if no-one takes your fancy you still get a night out of it.
“That sounds great, Dexxx!” I hear you cry. “What could possibly go wrong?”
Well, things can and do – from the simple coyote ugly moment the following morning, to you leaving with someone who turns out to have different intentions from you. Bluntly put, if the police turn up at your friend’s door the next day and say “who did s/he leave with last night?” and their only response is “oh about five foot eight, brown hair…” it’s going to take a while to track you down.
So what’s your other option then? Thanks to technology, we now have a plethora of “dating” (read: sex) sites available to satisfy pretty much every need, from FetLife for those who like a bit or a lot of kink, to Cougar Date for women who like toyboys and would-be toyboys to find replacement mother figures for motives that it would be most psychoanalysts’ wet dream to try to discover. Apparently there are even apps for android phones, such as grindr that tell you how close other users are to you in metres, but I don’t have any experience with those. The advantages here are obvious; you know more or less what you’re getting assuming the person on the other end is honest on their profile, you get a bit of a chance to see what they’re all about beforehand, and as my friend KittyMama put so well, “I don’t need to get all dressed up and go out in the wind and the rain and horrible weather to go to a bar where there might be one attractive person who turns out to be too drunk, or not single, or a complete dick – I can sit on the couch, not having had a shower, and browse loads of profiles, and they all think I’m gorgeous”. Well said. This also has the added security advantage that if you’re going to their house for sex or they’re coming to yours (or you meet somewhere in the middle to go back to one place or the other to get it on), you’re presumably sensible enough to have left details (addresses, phone numbers, names) with a friend who you arrange a time to get in touch with to confirm this person hasn’t done away with you and so they can contact the police, if needs be, to come knock on his/her door and untie you. Magic.
The downside? Often times, people seem to be all flash and no substance on these pages – they look good in their photos, they have a profile that matches what you’re after, they talk the talk – but when it comes to actually meeting up, they lose the nerve and back out. This is frustrating, needless to say, and can make it all feel like a total waste of time. There’s also the risk that if your profile makes you very easily identifiable, people you might not want finding your “spankmehard88” or “bukkakeboy” profile (ooh, say your boss, mum’s new boyfriend, your significant other, etc.) may well find it which could have some pretty awkward social consequences.
Personally, I use both, and have to say that I have much more success in clubs and bars than I do with hi-tech means. I think I’ve only had sex with two or three people I met on-line for the purpose.
So there we have it, a few thoughts on one night stands. There’s no one way to go about them – I don’t think any two of my one-nighters have started in quite the same way – and ultimately it’s up to you what you want to go for. Hope “anonymous!” (and the rest of you!) find this helpful – and if you have any more requests or thoughts, leave me a comment and let me know!