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one-night stands

Just harmless fun or a fatal risk?  These days, emotional risk is only one aspect of the danger.  Safe sex needs to be practised by everyone with an unknown partner, and, regarding emotions, be warned about dreaming of a long-term romance while your partner's having a one-night stand.  Total honesty is a must, going in to and at the end of the encounter.  If you don't intend to see the other person again, don't pretend you're going to ring or keep in touch.  It's far more cruel to lie and then disappear.

I'm a great advocate of liberated attitudes and open discussion and learning, but we, as a society, have paid the price for these advances.  Our inheritance is AIDS and other STDs and so, ironically, we've all had to go back to taking more care and having fewer sex partners.  If this returns us to more basic values regarding sexual behaviour, feelings and health matters, I'm all for it but one-night stands will no doubt still go on.  What is the attraction of having sex with a stranger who you may never see again?

Married people who are bored in their relationships may well find great appeal in a once-only fling with no strings attached.  If physical sex is the whole point of the exercise, then once is probably enough.  However, some do not take into consideration the human equation — both men and women can get emotionally hooked after even one encounter and this can interfere with their marriage.  So, marital infidelity is a common reason for a one-night stand.

By the way, I believe it's another social myth that men can have sex without feeling anything emotionally but women can't.  If a woman thinks she has to fall in love every time she has sex with someone, she's either bought the myth, or she's love-addicted.  Young people who are starting out on their active sex lives will often only have one-night stands.  Either they're not ready for anything more or they simply crave the excitement and variety of numerous partners.  As long as they're using safe sex methods and behaving honorably, I think it's healthy for unattached men and women in their twenties and thirties to experiment.  That's the time to do it, before they become involved in deeper relationships.  If more people did this, instead of rushing into early marriages they're not ready for, we might have a lower divorce rate and less adultery in our society.

The one-night stand also fits the bill when a sexual encounter, and not a love-making session, is desired — to me, the two things are quite different.  Even loving couples will sometimes make love and will sometimes enjoy raunchy sex.  The best sex is when the two are combined.

Sex with a stranger is exciting in a different way.  It takes us into uncharted waters, into the unknown.  It's the novelty aspect of one-night stands that is their greatest appeal.  Emotionally, it's a mistake to expect anything at all.  The whole point of a one-night stand is that it lasts one night!  Its essence is captured in the line of the song that goes, 'Tonight you're mine completely but will you love me tomorrow?'.  Well, chances are that they won't!  People are never as casual about sex as they appear to be, or as 'cool' as they think they are.

If we can embark upon one-night stands with no illusions or deception, then they have their place in the sexual scheme.  The morning after is sometimes a little awkward, when strangers wake up in bed with each other and want to leave quickly but don't know how to make their getaway.  In an ideal world, we would have no need of the one-night stand, and if we did, we would enjoy it without guilt or emotional consequences.  There is little doubt that we need to reduce our casual encounters and find more meaningful ways to interact with each other.

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