This is an interesting question I am asked as a sexologist. One that people might ask themselves, but not quite want to voice outloud. What are one night stands? Generally, it involves casual sex with someone we don’t plan on seeing again, or not in a romantic relationship capacity.

One night stands are one of those controversial things. Some people think they’re fun and personal, while others think they’re for “loose” individuals. Of course, if you happen to be a woman, it’s even worse (insert eye roll).

If you’re going to have one night stands, make sure they’re not bad ones. A few tips from my experience as a sexologist:

  • Take a good look at your values. If you believe, deep down, that having a one night stand is what ‘harlots’ or ‘man whores’ do, then you’re bound to wake up feeling pretty confused the next day. Make sure that your views of one night stands line up with how you want to feel the next day. And there’s nothing wrong in challenging beliefs if you’ve been carrying around taught values you don’t actually agree with.
  • Don’t hook up with strangers while upset. No one makes rationale decisions while crying on the side of the road. Consider why you might want to have a one night stand and as long as you’re confident and completely choosing this for the right reasons, then go for it.
  • Worse than the above… Don’t sleep with someone while high and/or drunk. Not only does it make consent dubious for all parties, but it’s also very likely that the hunk/Madonna you’ve gone to bed with will look way different while sober. That’s if you remember any of it. Good one night stands happen sober.
  • Be clear with your intentions/boundaries/expectations. Good sex is about trust and communication so when having sex with a stranger, it can be harder to communicate these. Some find it easier to discuss these before they meet, others might choose to spill it out right before they hook up. Either way, mismatched expectations during sex aint gonna lead to a good experience, so talking before stripping is a must.
  • Agree on contraception/safe sex. No matter what that looks like, both parties should be comfortable with what is used and how.
  • Don’t blur boundaries by sleeping with a friend or someone you want more with. A one night stand will definitely turn bad if you’re heartbroken, feeling rejected, or want more from something that was clearly designed to mean nothing. If in doubt, forget it.
  • And finally, close your nightly escapade with something nice. Have breakfast, drive the person back to their house (or organise a cab), have a good chat about whatever, just normalise you’re two normal people who just happened to have shared a good time. If you cant have a one night stand without feeling awkward, without getting attached, or without running off in the middle of the night, you’re probably not quite ready for it.

Now, remember that relationships can be confusing. Don’t hesitate to seek advice, read about it, or call me for a consultation if you find yourself curious about where to from here.

In the mean time, keep safe!

Couple counselling, couples therapy, sexology

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