One Night Stands Are Not Zero Sum

Updated: Jul 16, 2019

One Night Stands. Many men and women have had them. In fact, many have had multiple casual, one time encounters. According to a survey, the average American man has had 7 one night stands and 6 for the average American woman. Unfortunately, sex often turns into a tug of war of power between men and women. Where men gain pride and sexual gratification in casual sex, women are still likely to face more judgement and higher consequences if the sex is too reckless. Although double standards in one night stands still prevail in the favor of men, women by no means get the short end of the stick in that sexy rendezvous. However, a night of spontaneity does not stop those negative morning after feelings. Because many women have feelings of regret, shame or embarrassment after casual sex, especially after their first one night stand, here are some positive affirmations for your post-sex walk of success or strut of triumph or dance of pride (too much? Okay I’ll stop).

1. You did not lose out because he won

It takes two to Tango. There is no win/lose. Although language regarding sex is still male oriented (eg. “he smashed”,”he tapped that”, he scored”,”she gave it up”), sex done right is give and take and compromise. Language like this, in tandem with social norms regarding women and sex could very well explain why a study found,

Overall women’s morning-after feelings were more negative than men’s. While 80 percent of men had overall positive feelings, just 54 percent of women had positive feelings. Women predominantly reported “regret at being used,” with additional comments including: “I felt cheap,” “horrified afterward,” and “I felt degraded. Made myself look cheap and easy. Total regret.”

Sex is a shared experience, even the one night stands. Casual sex and conversations regarding it does not take away your inherent priceless value. It should be a win win for all involved.

2. You did not lose out because you did not have the big O

You would not be alone. Majority of women in one night stands do not orgasm. In fact, a study mentioned in the New York Times mentions approximately 40 percent of women get that O compared to the 80 percent of men.

If that was the motive for giving that man at the bar a chance, like for many women, it can put a damper on the idea of one night stands. However, as mentioned before, sex is give and take. Sometimes a man that busts quick with you is confirmation of just how good you are and feel in bed. That confirmation can be both empowering and satisfying.

3. You did not lose out because he did not stay the night

Staying the night can mean different things for different people. For some, it is necessary after a hot, physical night to take a breather right after. For others, it may send a message of commitment that was not intended. From both ends, make clear the intentions of the night when you’re done. For hospitality purposes, it is polite to offer the bed space if you invite them over (unless he is disrespectful and makes you uncomfortable).

If he stays, great. If not, more room for you. Just make sure to have a way to reach him if the sex got a little too crazy and you may suspect future consequences. One night stands are great, but you can’t ignore the risks involved.

4. You did not lose out because you caught feelings

One Night Stands are not like your weekly, or daily, date with your vibrator. You are sharing a space, even for a brief moment, with another human being, one with personality. You likely had some conversation, short or long, with him that brought you two together. In that conversation you might have found yourself somewhat attracted to your mutual love of Harry Potter, but something about the sex magnified those feelings. It happens, on both ends, as found in a an article from Business Insider, that found

“65 percent of women and 45 percent of men confessed that during their last hookup, they were actually hoping the encounter would lead to a steady relationship. In fact, 51 percent of women and 42 percent of men said they openly discussed that possibility with their lover after the hookup despite its supposedly casual nature.”

One Night Stands can be fun and do not need to be complicated. Communication is key before, during and after the sex. Be safe, be smart and enjoy the ride (or back-shot action, your choice of position). For various reasons, you may feel negative or more vulnerable after the encounter. This is fine. Take each encounter as a learning experience about yourself, your values, and your expectations in partners, sexual, romantic or both.

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