That depends. Do you want to?
Research suggests that around half of Canadians have engaged in a one-night stand while the other half has not. So there you go. You’re normal either way. You should never feel pressure to do something because you think everyone else is doing it or you feel the need to check off that box on this month’s sexuality survey. You’re not a “prude” just because some magazine sells ad space by dichotomizing women into virgins and whores. You can be as intensely sexually empowered when you’re abstinent as you are when you’re hooking up with new partners on the regular. Only you can determine what is empowering for you. Experts like me might be able to help along the way, but ultimately, you are the greatest expert in yourself. So take some time to think about what you want and why you want it.
And now let’s get back to one-night stands…
A one-night stand is supposed to be a casual hook-up between two consenting adults looking for nothing more than a single night of pleasure with no strings attached. It’s actually not all that complicated as long as you stick to this definition. If you’re secretly looking for love or making decisions based on a few too many glasses of wine, you should probably play it safe and head home solo no matter how frisky you’re feeling. But if you’re just looking for a good time, a little release and some (hopefully) fun sex play, then you may very well be on the right track. Before you get started, however, there are a few other things you should consider.
First, you need to think about your safety. If you’re going home with someone you don’t know, there is always some degree of risk. Make sure a responsible and sober friend knows exactly where you’re going, who you’ll be with and what time to expect a check-in. I know some women who actually ask to see a driver’s license (with name and address) before going anywhere with a new partner. And don’t forget to check-in! The last thing you want is the cops banging on the door while you’re getting down to business because your responsible friend held up his/her end of the deal and you got lost in your lascivious la-la land.
As with all sexual encounters, one-night stands should involve the use of protection (condoms, dental dams and lube) each and every time. Be prepared with whatever supplies you need in advance, so there is no room for forgetfulness. Other safety precautions include pouring your own drinks (including non-alcoholic beverages), ensuring that you have access to transportation should you decide to leave early or change your mind and having an open conversation about your no strings attached intentions.
Once you’ve taken the necessary safety precautions, it’s time to have some fun. Let loose! Share your fantasies. You don’t have to worry about judgment or compatibility since there won’t be a morning after to deal with. Give gentle directions and though it’s nice to be a giver, the one-night stand is the perfect time to be self-indulgent and ask for exactly what you want. Once you’ve got what you came for, don’t feel any pressure to sleepover. Snuggling, follow-up calls and Facebook friending are not generally required components of a casual hook-up.
If you run into your hook-up in the future, be polite and do not let yourself feel embarrassed. If you choose to have a one-night fling, you should stand behind your decision and relish in the pleasure alone.
If the idea of casual sex makes you uncomfortable, that’s perfectly okay too. One-night stand’s aren’t for everyone and you have to trust your instincts and be true to your unique and very valuable sexual ethics. Whatever your inclination, be safe and ensure that your experience is underscored by realistic expectations, respect and a whole lot of pleasure.
Until next time have fun, experiment and always practice safer sex.