Easy Come, Easy Go: Are We Good With One-Night Stands?


Let's see you make that early meeting, now, What's-Your-Face.

Let’s see you make that early meeting now, What’s-Your-Face.

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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6 Comments

  • christineblackthorn
    August 2, 2015 at 9:42 am

    I think it is based on the emotion conundrum. A one-night-stand is seen as an unemotional business arrangement. However, we are still living in a world in which, at least subconsciously, we are connecting the female to the emotional, warm idealised archetype. A woman considering an situation perceived as highly emotional from a perceived business-like perspective is seen as a cold bitch. The problem therefore lies with the assumption that emotion has to be long-term and, possibly, that a woman cannot simply fall in lust but needs to have a longterm desire. The second might be another trigger: a woman’s enjoyment of sex cannot be immediate or spur of the moment but is perceived as an element in a longterm relationship only.

    • Alexa Day
      August 2, 2015 at 3:12 pm

      Yeah, I think you’re right. So much of the world is still hung up in hangups.

  • Madeline Iva
    August 2, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    I’ve given into the fact, Alexa, that I always have so much to say in response to your blog posts that I’ve just started doing a blog post in response rather than cluttering up this comments page with my rantings. Here: http://madelineiva.com/2015/08/03/3-problems-w-one-night-stands-romance/

    • Alexa Day
      August 2, 2015 at 11:22 pm

      Your rantings are always welcome, you know. 😉 But I’m glad I’m provoking your thoughts. Now I’m worried I cluttered up *your* post, but I know me, so I know that feeling will dissipate in time.

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