Have you ever been a one-night stand?
I have, and it’s an odd sort of memory to look back on. My first boyfriend must have been the only person I have ever loved entirely selflessly. I was thoughtful, sacrificing, concerned, in a way I’ve never been since. (It follows that the reason I broke up with him was the most atrociously selfish one I could have had.) Something snapped in me after the break-up. Things like commitment and fidelity and trust became abstract concepts that needed internalizing (ahem!) rather than the way of life I had always taken them to be.
Once commitment flies out of the window you can have a lot of fun, believe you me. That is not to say that I have ever actively cheated on any partner of mine – but I certainly spent less time feeling guilty for, well, other pleasures.
But – one night stands. Get me on the earlier topic and we could well be here for a couple of hours more yet. Anyway, I recently read Murakami’s Sputnik Sweetheart and have been thinking about one-night stands. I’m not very censorious about sex. My belief is that so long as you don’t hurt whoever you are with*, whatever you do is your own business and ought to be enjoyed. So, if one-nighters are ok with you, here are some tips that some guys and I discussed once and agreed ought to be passed around – because the game is always more fun when both players know the rules, right?
[* If you are in a relationship and your partner would not be ok with it, obviously, you should not be indulging in this particular game.]
1. Pick up the vibes if somebody’s sending you some. Insecurity and the whole ‘who me?’ disbelief can keep you alone in bed for a very long time.
2. Enjoy it while it lasts. You are both here for the sex, not to discuss your emotional tangles.
3. Work at making it enjoyable for your partner. Keep in mind this may be the only impression you’ll get the chance to make.
4. Play safe. For obvious reasons.
5. Keep it friendly, right up to the goodbye the next morning.
6. If you’re a virgin, come out with it beforehand. If your potential partner thinks that’s a problem, you’re better off not sleeping with him, trust me.
7. Don’t waste your time and your partner’s if you suspect that morning may bring regrets. In other words, get into it for the sex, not out of loneliness, drunkenness or a high.
8. Keep it simple – it’s just sex – and leave your phone silent and your tv turned off.
9. That said, also feel free to experiment! Your temporary partner has no idea of your usual style and therefore has no expectations.
In all fairness, I should add the one point that all men I have ever discussed this with agree upon – there is nothing quite as sexy as the women you have made a move on taking the rest of the initiative.