"Not knowing the person meant I could fully let loose and enjoy myself."
One night stands aren’t for everyone. For some the thought of bumping uglies with a total randomer is enough to make their skin crawl, but for others, getting down to it with a stranger can prove to be the most inhibited sex of their lives.
That’s certainly been the case for Rachel, 30. “When I was newly single I had a couple of one night stands, and if I’m being fully honest, they were so hot,” she muses. “It feels odd saying that because I think as a woman you’re supposed to feel some sort of shame, but really, not knowing the person meant I could fully let loose and enjoy myself.
“Obviously,” she explains, “you have to be selective and not go home with any Tom, Dick or Harry from the club, but if you meet someone and you fancy them, why the hell out? If there’s someone I’m really drawn to on a night out and we end up chatting and getting along, I see no problem with bringing him back to mine for some fun.”
Sexpert Sarah J Swofford concurs. “One night stands are an opportunity to break out of sexual ruts and to freely explore yourself sexually,” she explains.
Many women have one night stands when they’re feeling relaxed and free of everyday responsibilities, like when they’re on vacation. Of course, with any sexual interaction, it’s important to communicate your wishes or expectations clearly.
But how do you seek one out? There’s no right or wrong way to find someone to hook up with, says Sarah, though she reckons going beyond bars and looking towards musical or social events where people gather for an experience beyond getting drunk is key, and it can be less time-consuming than scouring dating apps too.
And once you’ve locked someone in for a night of love? Sarah says there are ways to ensure your night is steamy, passionate and uninhabited, not bumpy and awkward.
“Firstly, trust your instincts and your gut,” she advises. “If anything about the situation feels uncomfortable it is always okay to walk away. At any time. Your emotional and physical safety are what matter. Also, always use protection.”
Next, explore the experience of sex with no feelings, no attachments, she suggests. “What is hot to you about the experience or idea or possibilities? Do you want to do something you’ve always wanted to do but never have? This can be an opportunity to explore things like sex with multiple partners, a same-gender or opposite gender partner, BDSM, fetish, group play or an alternate personality in the bedroom.
Bottom line, says Sarah, “This is your chance. If you try something and decide it’s not for you, there are no expectations with a one-time partner. You can discard the idea and try again. By the same token, you might discover sides of yourself you want to let come out and play regularly.” Most importantly:
Do it for the right reasons, like you want to explore the sexual connection with someone you don’t know, or you want to explore the sexual chemistry you have with a friend. Share what feels good and what you like. Channel the sexual power and voice you’ve always wanted to have, and go for it. Ask for what you want, centre the experience on your pleasure and use it to learn about what feels good for you.
And if you’re feeling a bit self conscious about sex with someone new? “Don’t be scared to be honest about feeling nervous or self-conscious, as long as you’re into it it can add a layer of emotional connection with the person (or people) you’re getting down and dirty with,” Sarah explains. “This should be enjoyable, hot, and exciting. If it’s not, then don’t do it.”