When you know how to have a one night stand the right way, you can be sure that you are in for a good time…but if you are not so sure about what you are doing, then it can potentially lead to…
Some crappy, boring sex filled with regret and hurt feelings.
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This one night stand guide will help to steer you in the right direction so that you have a one night stand (ONS) the right way and have some incredible sex.
First, what is a one night stand or ONS? It’s a type of casual sex (discover more); although, the two aren’t always the same. Similarly, an ONS isn’t exactly the same as a booty call. One night typically means it’s one night and done. A booty call can occur multiple times and usually involves some sort of other relationship. More on booty calls.
Curious about having no-strings-attached relationships? Read this.
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Why Have A One Night Stand In The First Place?
The is literally a never-ending list of reasons why you should have a one night stand with someone. Here are the biggest ones…
1. It’s Fun
Without a doubt, the best part of having a one night stand with someone is the simple fact that it’s fun! That feeling of adventure and excitement when you meet a hot guy for the first time. The flirting. That first kiss. And of course getting to see if his body looks just as good with his clothes off as it does with them on.
2. Sex Is Good For You
Plain and simple, SAFE sex really is good for you. It can help boost your immune system, burn calories (the more vigorous the sex the better) and lower blood pressure. It can also lead to better sleep, thanks to the oxytocin released during orgasm.
3. It’s A Great Way To Explore
Have you ever felt inhibited sexually around a guy you have been dating for a long time? It’s almost as if you like him and respect him so much that you may not want to explore your hidden sexual fetishes & fantasies with him for fear of him judging you. Thankfully with a complete stranger, you don’t have to worry so much about being judged…who cares what you tell him if you are never going to see him again?
Now while there is a long list of reasons why you should think about having a one night stand with a guy, there is also quite a few reasons why you shouldn’t have a one night stand…
Why You Shouldn’t Have a One Night Stand
Of course, some of these reasons aren’t as serious as others…
1. Don’t Do it When One of You Has Romantic Feelings For the Other
I don’t have to tell you that you’re just looking for trouble if you have sex with someone who thinks it’s an ONS while you secretly (or not-so-secretly) harbor feelings for this person. Maybe you think you can wow him with your sexual prowess. But even if you’re amazing in bed, love takes more than that. And if he’s just not into the idea of something more serious, you’re bound to get hurt.
On the flip side of the coin, if you have sex with someone who you know has feelings for you, you can convince yourself that you’re being honest about your intentions and any hurt that results is their responsibility. However, the right thing is not to string them along.
2. Don’t Do It For Revenge
Just found out about your man cheating on you? Getting him back by having a one night stand is not going to fix things in your relationship. In fact, it’s most likely going to lead to you feeling guilty and being just as upset as before. There are a lot of much better options for you to deal with a cheating man instead of sinking to his level and sleeping with someone else.
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3. Don’t Do It To Meet Mr. Right
Having a one night stand is almost always a terrible idea if you want to meet Mr. Right. It’s going to set your relationship up on completely the wrong foot. But if you are just looking for a guy to date for a little while or a ‘friends-with-benefits’/’f**k buddy’/booty call situation, then a one night stand is a great place to meet him.
Now that we have covered some of the more important reasons why you should and shouldn’t have a one night stand, it’s time to learn how to have a one night stand SAFELY.
4. Be Careful If You’re Looking For a Self-esteem Boost
Sure, you might feel sexy or even like a goddess after a successful romp. Women sometimes use casual sex to confirm their desirability .
But if you’re trying to fill a hole deep inside you (no pun intended!), a penis might not be the way to do it. You may need to work on your own insecurities and take a deep, hard look at why you feel the way you do or even what you’re running from. It can take a bit to figure out how you feel about it , but it’s often worth it.
Finding Someone to Hook Up With
Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to find someone if you’re into one night stands. All you have to do is download a dating app to your phone, many of which allow you to specify that you’re not looking for anything serious. Beware the cascade of messages into your inbox though!
But you can prowl the “old-fashioned” way if you prefer. This might mean going to a bar or club. Parties are great events to meet guys if you want to take them home but don’t forget about weddings too. You could even pick someone up in the produce section of the grocery store if you’re open to it.
Just remember to brush up on your flirting skills to make sure you can grab his eye and attention.
Your Place Or His?
When planning on having a one night stand, the first thing you need to decide is where you have it. Do you want to have it at your place or at his place? You need to know this for 2 main reasons:
- It’s going to be a little bit safer to have a one night stand at your place instead of traveling to his, especially if you don’t know him very well.
- Whose apartment/house is easier to get to?
If you do decide to go to his place, then make sure that you tell at least one person you trust, so that they know where you are going in case they don’t hear from you. You may even want them to ring you 30 minutes or an hour after you leave together to make sure you are okay.
Yes, the Bad Girls Bible is full of great tips and advice on how to have wonderful, fantastic, wild and orgasmic sex…but just because that’s what you are after, DON’T forget about being safe!
Staying safe is actually pretty easy once you get into the habit of it. We recommend bringing safer sex goodies such as condoms (discover the different types of condoms to find out which one is right for you), lube, and dental dams with you. Dental dams can prevent STI transmission via oral sex, even though nearly half of the participants in one survey seemed unworried about this .
Remember that birth control only protects against pregnancy and not STIs, which is why it’s usually not a good idea to have sex without a condom. A barrier such as a condom or dental dam offers further protection.
Your kit might also include a small sex toy for fun and a wipe for cleanup. Some people even prefer to bring fresh undies.
Related: What Is Lube And Should You Use It?
If you might be planning on staying the night, a toothbrush and toothpaste can be ideal.
But just as important as bringing whatever you might need for a safe and fun romp is to make sure you talk about sexual health. Although you might not be as comfortable during a one night stand as you would with someone whom you know better, you need to be prepared to have discussions.
It’s unfair, but many people expect women to promote the use of condoms , so the responsibility may fall on you to get the ball rolling. In this case, you want to discuss your preferred method of safer sex (STI protection and birth control) and your test results.
No, we’re not talking about a test at school. Rather, an STI screening is important when you’re sexually active, especially with multiple partners.
Read more: STI Symptoms in Women
You should be checked routinely and inquire into your partner’s sexual health. If he’s not ready to discuss or be honest about the topic, then you should reconsider sleeping with him.
Listen, we get it: Talking about sex is hard. But it’s something you just have to do.
Check out this guide to sexual communication for some pointers.
The Alcohol Problem…
Having a one night stand is something that most women want to try at least once in their lives. But often you may find letting go, relaxing and actually having a one night stand to be a little difficult…thankfully we have alcohol for helping us to let go and help to loosen our inhibitions.
In other words, 1 or 2 drinks is probably fine when you need to loosen up and get comfortable with the idea of sleeping with someone on a one night stand. While 1 or 2 drinks is usually perfectly fine, you need to be careful that you don’t go overboard and get uncontrollably drunk. This is when you end up doing things that you regret, and research finds that excessive drinking leads to riskier sexual behavior .
However, it could put you at risk for being taken advantage of.
Choosing The Right Guy
Obviously, you need some guy to sleep with if you are going to have a one night stand…but there are a few other factors that you should consider too when choosing a guy to sleep with…
Is He Hot? – Why have a one night stand of no-strings sex with someone you are not attracted to. This one should hopefully be very obvious!
Can He Keep His Mouth Shut? – There is nothing worse than having a one night stand with a guy in your social circle only for him to tell all his and your buddies about it. So think about this before sleeping with someone you have mutual friends with. This rule doesn’t apply so much if you don’t have friends in common.
Does He Respect Your Wishes – Before getting alone with a guy, you need to check to make sure that he is a guy who respects you and your wishes. The last thing you want to be doing is going home with a rapist. I’m serious here. So make sure to test him a little bit to make sure that he understands that No means No and that Stop means Stop.
Do you feel safe? – You obviously won’t feel safe if he seems skeezy or presses too much. If you get any bad vibes from this guy at all, it’s okay to run. You might want to enlist the help of a friend if this guy is really creepy and you don’t think you can get away from him safely.
Will you regret him afterward? – Sometimes we make bad decisions when we’re under the influence of hormones, not to mention adding alcohol into the mix. Consider how the person you’ll be in the morning will feel about this guy: embarrassed? regretful? gross? Or maybe you’ll just be satisfied and move on with your life.
Is there chemistry? – If the two of you lack chemistry, the sex might be bad and not worth it even if he’s attractive and trustworthy.
Is sexual chemistry lacking? Don’t worry, there’s hope!
Check out these ways to build sexual chemistry.
Is he single? – If you know a guy is in a relationship, it’s best to leave him be no matter how much he swears it’s over with his soon-to-be-ex. People use lines like this all the time and guess what? They rarely leave those people, and those partners can become pretty angry if they find out about the cheating. There can be some serious consequences that you can easily avoid simply by not sleeping with him.
The Actual Sex Part…
When it actually comes down to having sex, you might want to check out the sex tips section for some awesome tips on what to do with your one night stand. If you are looking for some awesome sex positions, don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with over 115 different positions in the sex positions section.
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It’s okay if you want a little more guidance. Many people operate with a sexual script, which guides them in how they respond in sexual situations [9, 10, 11]. These scripts vary between relationships and one-night stands .
Unfortunately for many women, the commonly-accepted sexual script looks like this.
- After meeting and flirting, you kiss or makeout.
- There may be over-clothes stimulation before clothes come off.
- Foreplay is often short and hurried. If you get oral sex, it may not be great. Women are more often expected to go down on men than men on women.
- Penetration occurs. He thrusts until orgasm. You may not orgasm at all by the time he’s rolled off you.
Yes, the sexual script we’re taught isn’t great for most women, and many men are too selfish or lazy to change it up.
But while sexual scripts might describe how you should perform sexually, (and your gender plays a role). you can switch up the sexual script yourself.
First.. you want to build sexual tension. This can be tons of fun and also gauge his interest in having a one night stand along with helping you become more comfortable with one another, and even get you horny. The last part is important because you need to know how you get horny. And if he doesn’t understand it, you should give him a hand there.
It’s not all about you, of course. You want to turn him on in bed too, and we have some great tips for that.
Then.. your time with foreplay. After all, these are the activities most women want, and combining passionate sex with oral and fingering has been revealed to increase a woman’s chances of orgasm .
You’ll reciprocate, and you should pay attention to his bodily cues as he should yours. This is part of what makes you good in bed.
Next… You’re ready to proceed to the next step. The condom comes out of the wrapper. But wait! It’s smart to use a dab of lube inside the condom as well as on the outside and on or in your body. Trust me; it’ll make things that much better.
Consider lending him a hand, perhaps literally by rubbing your clitoris or other sensitive spots while he’s penetrating you. You can also add a sex toy to make sex feel better or increase your chances of orgasm.
Recommendation: 20+ Best Sex Toys for Better Orgasms and Greater Intimacy!
Don’t be afraid to get on top, either. Get advice for riding a man confidently.
As you have sex, you might switch positions, go back to other activities, or even take a break. It’s all good!
You’ll find all of these things discussed in our article that teaches you how to be good in bed. It’s not just what you do; how you think about sex counts, too. If you’re not enjoying sex, it’s worth giving that link a click.
After A One Night Stand – Then What?
The sex is over, so what do you do now? Many people need a few moments to themselves to come down from their sex high. This often entails cuddling, but you may prefer not to do this after a one night stand. You might simply sit or lie on silence. On the other and, if you want to get up and get back to your day/night, that’s okay, too.
You shouldn’t expect for either of you to spend the night; although, that occasionally happens. Nor will you get into any emotionally intimate conversations like you might with a partner.
If you’re at someone’s house and have finished having sex, let them know when you plan to leave. It might be okay to say something like the following.
I know you want me out of your hair, but I need a few moments to decompress if that’s okay.
When you’re ready to leave, you can always thank him for a good time. You might even suggest you can do it again later and exchange information if you don’t already have it. Although, that technically would make it more than a one night stand.
What if you’re at your place? You might want him to leave because you have work or school in the morning. In that case, try something such as
I had fun and it’s cool if you need a few minutes to collect yourself, but I have to be up early in the morning and appreciate my space. Thanks!
You should beware of one thing: many guys fall asleep after sex.
It’s not actually his fault. It’s biology at work. The energy exerted during sex, and the sudden drop of hormones such as dopamine and prolactin could be at play. While a partner who falls asleep often makes you want to cuddle more , but this probably isn’t the case with a one night stand.
You can prevent him from going to sleep by doing a few things. First, have sex with the lights on and in positions that aren’t lying down. If the lights are off, turn them on when you’re done. You can also get out of bed as soon as you’re done, perhaps to hand him his clothes or offer him a cup of coffee. This not only curbs his desire to sleep but lets him know exactly where you stand.
So the most important things to consider when figuring out how to have a one night stand with a guy are:
- Are you doing this for the right reasons?
- Where are you going to have your one night stand?
- Are you taking safe sex into consideration?
- Are you aware of how much you are drinking?
- Have you found the right guy for your one night stand?
You can have an enjoyable one night stand if you ask yourself those questions and answer honestly, but one night stands aren’t for everyone. That’s okay, too.
Science Speaks on One Night Stands
Several studies have looked into one night stands, and the research has been pretty interesting.
For example, some people assume that women aren’t into one night stands, but researchers have found that this isn’t always true. Women tend to be fine with hooking up as long as the sex is good . Still, young women tend to see a decrease in psychological well-being after this type of sex more than young men . And there may be a correlation with mental health issues and casual sex .
But while some people see no benefit of having unattached sex with a stranger who you’ll never see again, that’s not true for some people. For those who are truly interested in casual sex. Engaging in it can have positive effects on self-esteem, life satisfaction, depression, and anxiety . That study also suggests that people who are more attuned to casual sex have a high “sociosexual” orientation and that there were few differences between the genders regarding the benefits of casual sex.
According to another study, “only socio-sexual orientation attenuated the sex difference in regret passing up casual sex .” That is, regret over not having casual sex is much higher in men than women, even though women with a socio-sexual orientation regret sex less than women without this orientation.
However, men who are inexperienced might experience greater psychological distress as a result of casual encounters .
Specific types of distress (for both men and women) can include embarrassment  and regret (78% of women and 72% of men) . A second study found similar results . Men may also require intimacy for their ideal image of a sexual situation that a one night stand doesn’t provide .
People have reported positive feelings about hookups, too. One study of college students revealed that 65% claimed “predominantly enjoyment” from their casual encounters . And another study found that 57% of women and 82% of men were happy with their most recent hookup .
Speaking of sociosexuality, one study found greater likelihoods of sociosexual behavior “were positively associated with engagement in sociosexual behaviors which, in turn, were related to higher levels of alcohol use” . Of course, that comes as no surprise to you if you tend to have more one night stands when you’re drinking. Studies have found not only that that casual “sexual events occurred when participants had been drinking or using drugs” and people “were less likely to drink alcohol or use nonprescription drugs with regular partners than with casual or new partners”  but that casual sex is associated with alcohol [30, 31].
There may be a genetic component to a person’s preference for casual sex .
Interestingly, men tend to lower their standards when it comes to one night stands and casual sex partners . But women raise their standards.
A study that looked at women found that more attractive women correlated weakly with their sociosexual orientation .
The news isn’t good when it comes to condom use. Among college hookups, condom use decreased between freshman and sophomore years .
There’s a lot of conflicting information about the effect of one night stands, which is why it’s so important to make sure that you’re doing it for you.
Dr. Justin Lehmiller discusses the flavors of casual sex, which people often conflate with one night stands.
This article on Psychology Today by journalist Michael Castleman looks into whether hookup culture is really a new thing or more prevalent for previous generations. It’s important to remember that while young people may be hooking up, one study revealed that “only 27% of hookups involved oral and/or vaginal sex.” . Hookups may never go past oral sex.
Ryan Jacobs introduces readers to the idea of sociosexuality, an orientation that either corresponds with liking or not like casual sex.
This article highlights the results of the Online College Social Life Survey, which took place between 2005 and 2022 and looks into the likelihood of orgasm from a hookup. Interestingly, women tend to report far fewer orgasms than their male partners think they had.
Traci Pedersen breaks down how one night stands affect men and women differently on Psych Central.
Zavamed created a survey that found that only 11% of women orgasm from an ONS 🙁
Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ #1 – When is a one night stand a bad idea?
While a one night stand can be a lot of fun, there are definitely times when we don’t recommend it:
- When you’re being coerced
- When you want more than just sex with this person or if they have more than just sexual feelings for you
- If you’ll regret it in the morning
- If you don’t trust or feel safe with this person
- If this person won’t discuss safer sex
- When you don’t think the sex will be good
- When you have low self-esteem, and you’re using sex as a replacement for love and affection
The latter point is especially important because women tend to be down with one night stands as long as the sex is good . But bad sex can ruin the experience even if you generally like casual sex.
FAQ #2 – Why do some people view a one night stand as wrong?
People seem to feel strongly about one night stands. Some people enjoy or even prefer them to more committed sex and relationships. Others don’t understand the appeal at all, and because of this, they think it’s wrong for anyone else to have an ONS, too. But no one has a right to judge others.
It’s important to remember that what’s right – and wrong – for you sexually may not apply to others.
But why do people have such negative attitudes to one night stands, to begin with? Let’s break it down.
A lot of people are taught – by their parents, church, society, and other trusted people – that their ideal is to grow up, find a partner to settle down with, get married, and have kids. Often, we’re taught that we need to wait until we marry to have sex for the first time. If not that, then we should make sure this person is “the one” or at least be in love.
Although it may seem like no one is actually waiting for marriage, and marriage rates themselves are falling , it’s still easy to absorb these attitudes. And, you can retain these attitudes years later.
And a one night stand? It doesn’t fit the bill of waiting for marriage, being in love, or even being in a committed relationship. It breaks all of those rules. But there’s more to it than that.
These rules help to control people.
If you keep in line according to the rules, you’re easily controlled. And whether the control is by your parents, your partner, your church, or society, you lose a bit of autonomy.
It’s especially difficult for women who are often judged harshly for their sexuality . Chances are, you’ve experienced this before. When a woman has had “too many” sexual partners, even if they were all within the confines of a relationship, people view her as a slut or a whore. But men are often celebrated for this exact behavior.
It makes no sense. After all, the men have to be sleeping with someone, don’t they? This is one of the contradictions around casual sex .
This is known as slut shaming, and you can learn more about slut shaming here.
A woman’s sexual history is yet one more way to judge her, which is why it’s crucial to support other women and encourage them to make healthy and happy decisions for them – even if those decisions aren’t the same ones you might make.
FAQ #3 – Is there anything wrong with me if I don’t like one night stands?
Not at all. Some people just aren’t into the idea. You might recognize that sex tends to be the best when you’re able to get to know someone over time. Women tend to experience more orgasms in relationship sex than hookup sex . And women are more likely to feel used after casual sex .
Or you may experience desire only in response to a romantic partner. Issues such as anxiety and personal traits such as attachment style  and levels of sensation-seeking  can also play into whether you’re up for a one night stand or not. Casual sex can also be considered risky behavior, and some women who experience atypical arousal during negative moods may be more prone to a one night stand . In some ways, it may be healthier not to have a one night stand if you’re dealing with negativity.
Furthermore, you may have been burned if your previous one night stands have been disappointing. Women are more likely to regret the sex they had than men, who regret the sex they didn’t have . So figure out what works for you and do that with a free conscience.
Women are also more likely to regret sex than non-coital hookups . So you may feel better in the morning if you only make out and don’t take it any further.
You can make yourself feel worse by trying to force yourself into a one night stand if it’s not right for you, but the opposite is also true. If you crave casual encounters and deny yourself or try to commit, you can wind up miserable and potentially resentful.
FAQ #4 – Why do I feel so bad after a one night stand?
We’ve already discussed a few factors here: the sex may be bad, or you may be trapped by a sex-negative attitude. You may not be built for a one night stand.
While you were looking for a fling, your partner might have treated you more like an object. Just because you may never see this person again doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to communicate effectively and to make sure both of you are satisfied. But when it comes to guys, selfish is often the case. They may see a woman who is into an ONS as nothing more than a warm hole. They may be too selfish or inexperienced to provide you pleasure.
FAQ #5 – Should I prepare for a one night stand?
You should always prepare for sex to ensure it’s happy and healthy, but how you go about looking for a sexual partner changes how prepared you need to be. If you find yourself sitting at home and scrolling through Tinder, you won’t be surprised when sex becomes an option. But if you’re simply open to an ONS whenever it may happen, you could meet someone spontaneously, which means you need to be more prepared.
Preparation doesn’t just mean what you do to and with your body, however. Some people like to have various body parts cleanly shaven before they have sex. Others even like to bleach (even though vaginal and anal bleaching could be dangerous). There may be any number of things that you prefer to do before you have sex, but rest assured that a good partner won’t care if you’ve shaven every inch of your body.
But you should also be prepared to have safer sex. Some people even carry a safer sex kit, which can include:
- Condoms (find out how to use one) and dental dams or other birth control
- A small sex toy such as a bullet vibe
- Toy and body wipes
And you might include panties, makeup wipes, and a travel toothbrush and toothpaste for afterward/the next morning. Consider a charger for your phone, too.
If you always have these on you, then you’ll always be prepared. On the other hand, if you prefer more planning, you don’t have to keep these on your person. And if you host a one night stand, you just need to make sure that whatever you need during sex is within reach.
FAQ # 6 – Where should I find someone to hook up for the night?
Thanks to the Internet, you have more options than ever when it comes to hookups. You can use apps like the ubiquitous Tinder. There are a number of other apps for you to consider; although, they may not all be available for you.
- DOWN Dating
You can also simply keep an eye out. Many people go to bars or parties in the hope of hooking up. But you can meet a potential partner almost anywhere – from the grocery store to a wedding – as long as you put out the right signals and can read someone else’s signals. These signals include open and friendly body language, eye contact, and potentially touching someone.
If you’re open to meeting someone for an ONS, there’s no one right way to do it.
FAQ #7 – What etiquette should I follow when it comes to one night stands?
This is a great question, and while there’s no specific script you should follow when it comes to a one night stand (or any sex for that matter!), there are some guidelines you should keep in mind.
- Don’t expect to cuddle. You may like to cuddle after sex and can request this, but don’t expect it.
- Don’t overstay your welcome. Jumping out of bed immediately may be seen as rude, but it’s just as bad to stay too long. On the other hand, you can tell him when it’s time to go. It’s okay if you don’t want him to spend the night.
- Speak up for what you want and be honest. This is especially important if your partner is selfish.
- Be clean and neat. This includes your home if you’re hosting. No one wants to step foot in a pigsty.
- Always discuss and be prepared for safer sex. This includes condoms and other items mentioned in this article and FAQ.
- Don’t expect to hug or kiss. Some people don’t kiss during a one night stand. Others won’t hug goodbye. You can always ask if you’re unsure.
- Don’t be needy. It’s a one night stand. Novelty, pleasure and brief connections take precedence over established intimacy. Neither of you is there to make the other feel loved.
- Don’t expect any contact afterward. Occasionally, an ONS can turn into an ongoing casual sexual relationship or even a romantic relationship, but you shouldn’t expect that. It’s usually expected that you’ll never see this guy again .
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