Easy Come, Easy Go: Are We Good With One-Night Stands?
By Alexa Day
The one-night stand has gotten a bad rap. I don’t understand why. But we need look no farther than the most recent Bachelorette, Kaitlyn Bristowe, to see that the General Public has some sort of issue with eligible single women closing the deal outside the confines of a relationship. (And why do relationships have confines? What is that about?)
What’s the problem with the short-term non-committed sexual encounter? Hell if I know.
Some people are worried about Stranger Danger, which is certainly understandable. The world is full of people who are perfectly content to spend a long weekend evening cutting other people into convenient, bite-size pieces. I get that. Let’s be straight with each other, though. The wild majority of those people aren’t that interested in spending money and time on women they want to dissect later. And aren’t we discerning enough to use our intuitive senses on that guy sitting next to us at the bar? How often do we slide away when things seem a little off?
Besides, the everyday world is just a dangerous place. If you don’t think you’re in harm’s way just going to the mailbox, you’re not being totally honest with yourself. The solution, to my mind, is just to be careful. All the time.
While we’re being honest, though, I think we need to accept that safety is not the real reason that the General Public objects to the One Night Wonder. I think society has developed some sort of moral issue with one-night stands, especially if they look like the woman’s idea.
But why is that? In a world that’s getting ever more vocal about the Feminist Flavor of the Week, what is the hangup about women choosing non-committed sex partners?
Thankfully, we live in a world where a woman can forestall marriage indefinitely. We can even dodge marriage altogether if we want. We can settle down with a rotation of partners, or two partners at once, or no partners at all. Is it right to consign the uncoupled to a future where they can have relationship sex or nothing?
Recently, I had the opportunity to include a one-night stand in a short story; “Three, After Midnight” will appear in a Halloween anthology along with a story by our Friday guest, Leah St. James. My story’s heroine is a widow who’s picked up a guy at a dive bar to help her get through an emotionally trying time, the anniversary of her husband’s death. I hope to turn a couple of one-night stand fears on their head (let’s just say that she’s the dangerous one here), and of course, I had some fun playing with erotic romance’s cuddly issues of consent and control. But in the end, I think everyone gets what they want in just one night … including the chance to think about one more night.
Spontaneity has its advantages, right?
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