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June 4, 2013 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

How to Have a One-Night Stand

In 2010, my high-school boyfriend of two-and-a-half years dumped me. We had lost our virginities together; moved to Wellington together, and, very late one night, we had even talked about marrying one day. As the tears rolled down my cheeks and we hugged our last goodbye, one thought passed through my head: “Now I can have one-night stands like they do in Sex and the City.”

Two weeks later I was stepping out of a shiny company car in last night’s dress, the embossed business card of my first conquest clenched firmly in my hand. He was on his way to golf with a client; I was on my way to two years of one-night stands. It had begun.

DISCLAIMER: The one-night stand is not for everyone, and should in no way be viewed as a mark of one’s sexual prowess. Just like the act of sex itself, one-night stands are never going to be as glamorous nor as frequent as your favourite TV shows—nor my first experience—paint them out to be. Indeed, on my path to enlightenment, I had both a seven-month dry-spell and foreplay involving a live axolotl. That being said, the experience of a one-night stand can be empowering, fulfilling, and just a sweet way to bone someone you don’t like enough to go out with.

Getting there:

Hey! I just met you…

While it’s not recommended to follow up “Hi my name is…” with “Wanna bang?”, carnal body language is not that hard to read. If you have a fair idea that the two of you might both want the same thing out of your night, then the best way to make it happen is to just be upfront about it. Tried and true: “You should probably just kiss me!”; “I’m not sure if they do this in your country, but I want to spend the night with you.”, or “Mama me”.*

Your Place or Mine?

The jury’s still out on whether it’s better to take your new friend back to yours, or head over to theirs for your play-date. Informative internet message boards I have perused have told me that you should always rendezvous in your own room: then you can stay in bed all day if you’re hungover, and there’s no walk of shame to endure.

Personally, I have always preferred to play the away game: that way the experience feels more like a holiday or open home—you can check out their flat, admire their bed linen, comment on their wall decorations. I also have a chronically messy bedroom—suitors need not know about my bad habits until we’ve been dating for at least a month. Besides, if they get really attached, at least they don’t know where you live.

It’s Business Time:

That’s a Wrap!

Use. A. Condom. I cannot stress this enough. Whether you carry them with you, have a supply in your bedside table, get a flatmate to hook you up with the goods, or simply request their presence when the time comes, ensuring that your night of passion doesn’t leave you a-rashin’ is absolutely essential.

Other forms of contraception are not enough. Sure, there may be no risk of pregnancy, but remember, you’ve just met this person—for all you know they rub their genitalia on public toilet seats for fun. Nothing is going to kill your no-strings-attached-banging buzz more than phoning to tell them that they gave you the clap.

And finally, if you think “But my penis doesn’t like condoms” sounds legit, then here’s some news for you: “Goodnight, and goodbye.”

OMG, sooooo awkward!

As a nation, New Zealanders are an extremely awkward people. We find a huge number of social interactions uncomfortable, and this doesn’t stop when we get to the bedroom. There’s a reason why most of us rely on alcohol to fuel our fondling.

If you’re planning to get freaky with an (almost) complete stranger, you’re going to have to do your best to set aside these national tendencies. Far from being overwhelming, the unfamiliarity of a one-night stand can be completely liberating. Remember, if this person has never met you before, or at least never encountered you in this setting, they have no expectations, no preconceptions. This is your time to shine, call the shots, and tell them exactly what, how, and where you want it. If you’re never going to see them again, why not turn the bedroom into your stage?

The Morning After:

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

You’ve just woken up, and following a night in the throes of passion, you are now in the throes of tangled bedsheets, a throbbing headache, and a stranger’s limbs. It’s understandable that your natural instinct is to run, run, and never look back. But hold on just a minute there! You’ve shared body fluids with this person; the least you can do is say goodbye in person. That being said, it’s important not to overstay your welcome. Read the mood: Spoon a little if you must, but when the time is right, get up, and get out of there. The

Stride o’ Pride:

The walk of shame is only as shameful as you allow it to be. Chances are nobody will notice; if they do they’re probably just jealous that you’re getting some and they ain’t. In preparation for your Stride of Pride, there are a few things you can do to make yourself look a little more presentable in the harsh light of day: slip on a hoodie,** slop on some make-up remover, slap down your bed hair, and wrap on some sunnies.***

And if you can’t bear the thought of venturing out in your current state, call in back-up. Flatmates in long-term relationships are often extremely intrigued by the night-time antics of their single friends; allow them to have a one-night stand vicariously through you, and you can be assured deliveries of appropriate daywear/lifts home from wherever you’re stranded in Aro Valley.

The follow-up:

How you should act in the hours, days, and weeks following your one-night stand all depends on what your relationship with this person was prior to getting in the sack, and what you want it to be afterwards. At the end of the day, whether you’re sleeping with your next door neighbour or a brand new friend, the most important thing to remember is that you are dealing with a human. Although you might have only ever been after a sweet piece of ass, dat ass has emotions that can be set into turmoil if you’re not up front about your intentions.

In an ideal world, I would prefer that either I or the person I have just had casual sex with be about to leave the country. However, aside from spending all your time lurking in Base Bar, this isn’t really practical. The key, just as it was when it came to business time, is to not be awkward about it.

These seas are certainly easier to navigate with a stranger, where it was probably a lot clearer from the outset that this connection was primarily a sexual one. If you’re not intending to reignite the fire in your respective loins, then it is sufficient to say/write/send a “I had a good time, thanks x” equivalent, to a style of your choosing.

Where your one-time lover is a long-time friend or acquaintance, you’re going to have to tread a little more cautiously. Think carefully about where you want to go from here before you fire off a series of texts ending in ‘xoxoxoox’, or tell all your mutual friends about the experience. If you’re not interested, keep the tone light but respectful, and try not to be weird about it the first time you see them in person (after that it’ll be smooth-sailing). If you would like to see more of your pal in a romantic setting, you can keep that door open by maintaining open but casual post-coital contact: a text or two referencing a joke shared between the sheets; the hypothetical suggestion of the possibility of getting a coffee in future, maybe. But remember, unless they’re reciprocating in kind, it’s best not to bombard the new light of your life—they’re probably trying to work out what the hell just happened, too.


Consensual, respectful, and safe sex between adults should never be frowned upon simply because it occurs outside of a committed relationship or with multiple partners in the same number of days.

If you’re made to feel guilty and ashamed following your one-night stand, just remember: if you’re DTF, then you gotta be down to fuck the haters too.


*Spanish for “Suck me”.

**This presumes that you are going to see the person again, and can return their old hoodie at a future date of mutual convenience. If you’ve just slept with a complete stranger who you never wish to see again, it’s best not to steal their possessions. Theft is not sexy.

***On the treacherous route that is the walk of shame, no object is more welcome than a pair of sunglasses. Those tinted lenses can hide a multitude of sins, and you will not regret packing them in your bag. Just don’t be the douche who decides to whip them out at 3 am on the d-floor of Hope Bros.


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