Defining One Night Stands and Other Deep Philosophical Questions

One Night

Being a little bit of a later bloomer who probably still remains on the somewhat prudish side of normal (normal according to the internet means having 7 sexual partners in one’s lifetime) I sometimes find myself polluting my weak mind with deep philosophical questions about important issues which are often no concern to me. Most recently, I was pondering over the incredibly pertinent issue of how one defines a one stand and various other related topics. Well, actually it all started with me pestering my friends at some ungodly hour with the question : ‘Does it still count as a one night stand, if you get morning goodies the next day ?’. But to my despair, everyone was more concerned about the motivation behind such a question rather than providing me with concrete answers. Jusy FYI according to my sample – a one night stand could potentially last anywhere between a few hours (have you heard of a half-night stand – aka a one-nighter without the snuggles) to a few weeks. So thanks to the fact that I was left even more confused than when I initially posed my nonsensical question I was forced to hit up my trusty friend Google for some clarity.

So Google! How exactly does one define a one-night stand?

Well unluckily for me, it seems that the wise people of the internet are just as clueless. For example Wikipedia says : A one-night stand is a single sexual encounter in which there is an expectation that there shall be no further relations between the sexual participants. The practice can be described as “sexual activity without emotional commitment or future involvement”. Whereas the folks at Urban Dictionary will tell you that it is : Hooking up with someone for one night  of sex with no strings attached and hoping to never see them again. It is important not to exchange any personal info with them so they can’t track you down and stalk you later. Therefore, no clear idea of time-scales, rules or morning goodies.

Well then, can we just agree that sex is sport?

Although, I’m really no closer to a definitive answer with regard to set time parameters you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that such casual sexual encounters are a symptom of part of the whole hook up culture vibe.  From wild orgies to FWB encounters and the one-nighter, they are all part of a spectrum for those who pretty much consider sex to be a sport. The occasional one-nighter is one thing (perhaps you were drunk, horny or just wanted to try something) but there are people out there who literally out to have as much random sex as possible, as often as possible. Just watch the Berlin episode of Christiane Amanpour’s Sex and Love Around The World Documentary Series for a few examples of this.

Yes, I know I constantly joke about sex being a great form of cardio. But really? I suppose if you have enough ‘casual’ encounters and try everything in sight, eventually the emotion can be removed completely. Even then can we really consider it to be a ‘sport’ as in something we essentially need in our lives in order to survive ? (I realise the sport comparison won’t resonate with lazy ass couch potatoes who consider reaching for the remote as a form of exercise but humour me here, I’m still injured!)

Are one-nighters a good/bad thing?

At the risk of opening up a can of worms let me question whether one-nighters are a good thing. Obviously, the answer to this question will vary dramatically depend on who you speak to. Naturally, if you are talking to a religious fanatic they’ll likely tell you that you are disgrace to god for even discussing such things and you are going to burn in hell for your an eternity. Then on the opposite end of the spectrum there are those that think sex in all its various forms is the best thing ever and you must grab it any opportunity (because you know you could die tomorrow and it would not be nice to leave this world as a born-again virgin).

If you ask me, it is a really a case of different strokes for different folks. Although, it’s generally portrayed as more of a legit thing for guys (as in they get hi-fived for every notch on their bedpost) whereas the chicks are usually seen crying when they never hear from the guy again. I very much doubt that is really case especially as we see the rise in number of self-declared WISOs.

At the end of the day, though I don’t think one really needs to concern themselves with other people’s judgement but instead focus on managing your own expectations. After you’ve been around the block a few times, you should be able to spot the ones that are just after a bit of fun, and if that’s all you’re after then perfect! However, just don’t kid yourself into thinking that they’ll necessarily stay around for cuddles or be meeting the parents.

And (possibly) more importantly, I think it’s important to manage your expectations of the sex itself. Sure, if you plan on bedding a different person every other night, chances at some point you’ll have a somewhat Christian Grey-esque mind-blowing sexual experience, but by the same token I very much doubt you’ll be getting the same fireworks with every Tom, Dick or Harry. On the other hand, if you are more ‘relationship girl’ than WISO and prefer to focus on quality (which may require some practice) rather quantity (in terms of sexperiences not regularity) then maybe sticking with one person (at least till you can’t tolerate them any longer) maybe your best bet.  In any case, our sex lives aren’t all back and white – perhaps there is a stage for everything and we really can have it all.

What is the big deal anyway? Doesn’t every ‘romantic’ relationship (including the best marriages) essentially begin with a one-night stand?

Finally, as they say there is a first time for everything (and for the purposes of this post a first time WITH everyone) and you really never know what the future holds. Holding out till after you’ve had the person sign on the dotted line doesn’t come with any guarantees either. Who knows the sight of their naked body could be so repulsive that you decide to pack your bags and escape without consummating the marriage. And what’s not to say that you won’t find #happilyeverafter with someone who was once nothing more than a friend with benefits. Did you know according to the internet that 25-30% of one-night stands blossom into a relationship? Not sure how successful those relationships are in the long-term but you see there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to such matters.

So, regardless of whether one gets morning goodies or whether you hold out for 2 weeks, 2 years or till after you’ve walked down the aisle, there are no guarantees that the person will stay or just agree to walk out of life never to be seen again. The universe is kinda shady that way. In all aspects of our lives, we will have to take (calculated) risks and I guess that is what makes it all exciting so go with it, I say. And if that’s not enough, think about this way even those old people celebrating their golden anniversary were once nothing more than a one-night stand.

Alright Rinsers. I won’t be as invasive as to delve ask you to disclose your personal sex lives (although feel free to share if you like). But do tell me your views on one night stands? Are they dirty little secrets that we should keep hidden? Or should we stop taking sex so seriously and consider it more of a sporting activity? Where do we draw the line and when does a one-night stand escalate into something more? And do you think I am being basic by saying every good relationship begins with a one night stand? Go wild in the comments below. 

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7 comments

  1. Sex is great, at any age, and I love it. Read The Ethical Slut- I wish I’d read that at school- I think women are still ‘shamed’ into not having as much good sex as they are capable of (& I sleep with men & women so I feel I really know what I’m talking about) 🌈

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    • Thanks for your comment and your book recommendation. I’ll definitely look it up.

      While I don’t think its right that people are ‘shamed’ into not having as much sex as they want to. I do question the belief that some people have about sex being no different to a sport. As in it just being something you do as part of your regular life. Sure, there are plenty of people that can do the NSA thing successfully but not everyone – some people get emotionally attached and then it can be a potentially detrimental experience.

      People should have as much or as little sex as they want to (although, no sex at all does make me sad!) but perhaps we just need to put some thought into how it’ll effect us in the long-term. I mean, have a few casual encounters might be something OK for you, but if you really wake up every time feeling a bit rubbish then maybe you need to reassess. Similar to drinking I guess, a wild night out once in a blue moon you can handle, but constant state of hangover/depression isn’t all that great. Hope that makes sense.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Absolutely does.
        And don’t forget Asexual people are quite delighted not to have sex. It takes all sorts; we all need to be proud of our healthy choices, & a little more self reflective about the social pressure to make the less-good ones.

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      • I have always wondered about this whole asexual thing. I’m probably going to come across as really blond now but is it that they’ve never tried sex because they don’t have they urge at all or they tried but were underwhelmed and stopped pursuing it? Do they just have relationships without sex? Definitely an interesting topic for a blog post.

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  2. With the definitions you’ve provided I’ve had a one, one night stand. And still, even though I wanted to be a once-off arrangement because it only happened as I was sad and he was there and was good looking and we were friends, I felt bad afterwards. I think maybe if it was coming from the right place (= I’m horny, I want to have sex with this guy) the it’d have been different but then it never was like this for me. I always had to be strongly attracted to someone (and often to their issues too!) to go for it.
    For many years I thought that everyone was sensitive like me and therefore in denial when they said they could have truly “no strings attached sex” but then not too long ago I read this book about overthinkers and I realised that some people just don’t feel so strongly about stuff, sex and relationships included. I don’t think it’s a matter of our modern time because 100 years later the less-sensitive people were probably just less fussed about marrying someone they weren’t thrilled about marrying etc.

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  3. So, yesterday I was given yet another definition – which basically said you should not even know the name of your one-nighter and not even really go on a date with them. Just pick up in a club and go home.

    Casual encounters of any sort, never really felt great to me but perhaps sometimes we have to try something, to figure out we don’t want it again.

    But again, I guess some people don’t necessary place the same value on sex that others do. Maybe it is just like sport then, different people do it for different reasons.

    I also knew one WISO who claimed never to have sex with the same person more than once. But I do wonder if each of those incidents held the same value, surely there must have been more emotional attachment to some than others. No clues.

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  4. Sex is great. You should explore as many options as possible. One-night stands or shorter term things let you test boundaries and try things you may not with someone you are more serious with. Go for it, I say!

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