One-night stands

Janina Suarez

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While one-night stands are fun, nothing beats the security that comes from being in a committed relationship

Our parents and teachers taught us that sex is for married couples, that promiscuity is frowned upon and abstinence is key. We were told that women who “give themselves away” aren’t the kinds of women that men want to marry. One-night stands? Out of the question.

What they don’t tell you is that losing your virginity before you’re married isn’t unlikely, having sex with who and when you want won’t make you a slut, and abstinence is great but it’s not for everyone. As for one-night stands, that’s entirely up to you as well (Gasp!)

One-night stands are great ways to experiment and know yourself and your needs without having to commit. Drunken hookups and one-night stands aren’t uncommon and ladies, before you subject yourself to one, here are some important things to keep in mind before you hit the sheets:

1. Stay safe. You don’t want to leave the bed with anything more than that post-sex glow. It’s too easy to get caught in the moment but ask yourself: Do I want his kids? Do I even want kids right now? Do I want to risk getting an STD? If the answer is no, better have a condom ready or keep those legs closed, honey.

Keep in mind that since it isn’t exclusive, chances are you might be both sleeping with other people on the side. Remember, when you sleep with someone, you sleep with their entire sexual history so always use a condom.

2. Do it for yourself. Don’t do it to get him to like you. Don’t do it to get a second date. Do it because you want to. When in doubt, just don’t. You need to be emotionally prepared so you don’t beat yourself up over it afterwards. Which leads us to number 3.

3. Let’s be realistic. Know the consequences. He may or may not be Mr Right. He may or may not call you the next day. You may or may not hold hands lovingly over brunch tomorrow. Wake up. This isn’t a romantic comedy and you’re not Katherine Heigl. One-night stands, like the name suggests, is ideally just that: a one-time thing. As always keep your expectations low and get out of there once the deed is done. Make sure you’re both on the same page and have the same expectations. It’s important to keep your heart and feelings intact.

Don’t say one thing and mean the other. Don’t agree to a one-night stand and say you’re keeping it casual when in your head you’re planning a wedding. This is why number 4 is crucial.

4. Pick the right guy. And by the right guy we mean someone at least one other friend knows. (Don’t go running off to some undisclosed location with someone you just met. You don’t want to get mugged or murdered now, do you?) Personally, I think it should be someone you know enough that to know that he doesn’t have a criminal track record or lives in a drug den. Ideally, tell a close (and non-judgmental) friend before you head somewhere. Give them the name and location. Text them when you get home safe and sound. That’s what your BFFs are for.

To reduce the risk of “feelings” getting in the way, these little rendezvous are best engaged with someone you don’t have to see (?) every day and that you aren’t falling in love with. Your hot co-worker? Back off. You don’t want awkward run-ins the next day. Things can get complicated real quick so know your boundaries. Be honest with yourself and your expectations. Your best friend that you’re secretly in love with? No.

Additional tip: Pick a guy who can keep his mouth closed. Even if you’re just acquaintances, you don’t want him getting the word out. If he’s the type to brag about the notches on his bedpost, you better stay away.

5. Doing it won’t make you any less of a person or less appealing as a woman. Your body is yours and what you choose to do with it is your business. If you have doubts and would rather reserve the sexytime for when you’re in a committed relationship or married is fine too.

You’re not a “slut” for sleeping with someone when you want to and you’re not a “prude” for saying no. We’ve been programmed to believe that there’s only one or the other but I disagree. We’re human and we’re far too complex to be compartmentalized and it’s unfair for other people to do so.

This, as with most things in life, are decisions that you alone can and should make. What other people say shouldn’t matter as long as you’re at peace with yourself, you know the consequences, and are ready to face and handle them if and when they arise.

If you’re worried that your future partner might judge you for “putting yourself out there” then maybe he isn’t the right one. You deserve someone you can be completely honest with and who won’t think any less of you for knowing what you want and getting it. You deserve better.

Remember that no matter which path you choose, you deserve just the same amount of respect — from others and from yourself.

Based on personal experience however, while one-night stands are fun, nothing beats the security that comes from being in a committed relationship. Maybe it’s the romantic in me talking but these flings should never be a replacement for a relationship. Settling for sex on demand when you want something more stable might make you feel empty, hollow, and cynical. 

At the end of the day, every girl deserves someone who will stick around. And not just until daybreak. –

Janina Suarez, not the writer’s real name, also previously wrote about her speed-dating experience. 

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