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.