Tuesday, 22 July 2014

One night stands

So is the one night stand a good thing or a bad thing? Is it to be avoided at all costs or is it exciting and rejuv-enating? And what if you're already involved with someone but you're tempted by a bit on the side?

Caroline Kent in the Telegraph is all in favour of the ONS, at least if you're in between partners and it's an easy way of satisfying your raging libido. If you're feeling lonely and depressed, she says, "sometimes you just need to get the sad shagged out of you." Even her friends' warnings that she might be bedding a serial killer doesn't put her off.

When I was young the idea of a one night stand was universally condemned by polite society. Such reckless promiscuity was shameful. Sex was only allowable once you had fallen in love and got married. If it turned out you had no sexual experience and hadn't a clue what you were doing, too bad.

Naturally most people took no notice and had one night stands anyway. They kept quiet about them, pretended they were wide-eyed virgins and hoped there would be no sudden pregnancy to give them away.

If you're feeling horny, says Caroline, why not act on it? The only alternative is to sit around feeling sorry for yourself, cram your life with so many activities you forget about sex, or rely on a bit of DIY.

It's hard to find anyone these days who objects to casual sex, apart from religious hardliners. Where's the harm? You might find yourself with some rather odd characters, but it's better than enduring hermit-like celibacy.

Of course one night stands when you're already partnered are a different matter, and a lot more controversial. Some individuals turn a blind eye and aren't especially bothered. They don't see it as a threat or a betrayal or an insult, just as a natural desire for a bit of novelty and variety.

Others find such philandering deeply hurtful and humiliating, an implied criticism of their own inadequacy and undesirability, a desperate wish to find someone, anyone, who will be more satisfying.

As I've said before, I've never been tempted into any extra-marital shenanigans. I don't feel the need and I've never been that besotted with anyone. As for other people's behaviour, that's a matter for them. Judge not that ye be not judged.


  1. It was our late lamented PM who said that government (and I would add anyone) has no business being in the nation's bedrooms.

    True that.

    Once it's adult and consensual I have no judgement on what anyone is doing with their naughty bits.


  2. Well, I'm going to be judgmental, I guess. People who cheat on their significant other are low lifes. They are putting their partner at risk for life long STDs and possibly a death sentence of AIDS. I might seem dramatic, but if you've ever known someone that has had this happen, it's no joke.

  3. www: In general I would agree with you about not judging, but I guess if it was someone close to me who was hurting I would surely support them and condemn the guilty party.

    Bijoux: Very true about the health risks. Some people are shockingly reckless about considering such things. And those people who knowingly infect their partners are beneath contempt.

  4. Do as you please if you are on your own, as long as it is your decision and not under pressure of any kind ...but if you are living with someone on a settled basis then, for me, no. The hurt you could cause would be unthinkable.

  5. Helen: I suspect the hurt would be unthinkable in my own case too. I don't think I'd be at all open-minded about it.

  6. There's always machinery...

  7. ONS
    We all need a few
    They are character building

  8. Susie: Ha ha, very true! Women especially seem to find it more than adequate!

    John: Character building, huh? I guess some shocked partners might see it as a sign of a rather weak and immature character....

  9. It's not my cup of tea, but I don't care what other people do. (I obviously believe Andy wouldn't be interested in ONSs either. He has plenty of other things to keep him busy!)

  10. Bit of a false dichotomy there - I wouldn't say they are a good thing OR a bad thing. They just are. First of all, sometimes you don't intentionally set out to have a one night stand but for whatever reason decide not to be with that person a second time. And that's okay. Or you do go into it knowing it's a one time thing and if you are both agreeable to the idea of it, whose business is it of anyone else's? I've always felt like people who are married/in long term relationships are just being sanctimonious when they weigh in on what a single person does in their sex life.

    If you are already involved with someone else, then (in my book) it depends entirely on what you've agreed about the relationship. Some couples feel okay about not being exclusive. And that's fine, if both are truly on board with that. But if one of the people feels coerced into agreeing to an open relationship, it's not cool. And worse if there is actually "cheating," which implies deception. If you are saying you are in a monogamous relationship but stepping out on your partner, that's lousy.

  11. so are we talking about one night stands or about cheating? cos they are not the same thing.

    i am pretty deeply religious but i have always been more liberal than the church about sexual matters and while i didnt have any of them, i thought ONSs were completely ok.
    having said all of that i have become so much more conservative on this idea over the last year or two and it is not a matter of religion.
    i havent had to articulate this before so we'll see how it comes out but i have decided that we truly do open ourselves up during sex (on an energetic/emotional/spiritual level) and there is so much potential to lose bits of ourselves in the process. there is also huge potential to gain but i think it takes a long time to assess what might happen with a potential partner so a single night is probably not going to match up with the investment one makes in order to make that decision.
    i make no judgement on people who want ot have one night stands but i think they may do themselves a disservice, one which they might not easily recover from.

    also, you spend quite a lot of time telling us how you have never been tempted to stray, one might almost be tempted to think you protest too much

  12. Jean: Well, that's straightforward enough! No temptations to be resisted....

    Agent: Good point about a wish for something long-term ending as a one night stand. I agree it's nobody's business except the two (or three?) people involved. I also agree that couples should keep their opinions about singles and their sex life to themselves.

    True, there have to be some basic ground rules in a relationship and those should be adhered to. And there's no excuse for coercion or deception.

  13. Kylie: That's an interesting argument, that we open ourselves up (or give so much) during sex, that if you don't think there's a serious chance of a long-term relationship, then it's just not sensible to do it on a one-off basis (I hope I've got that roughly right!).

    But can we lose bits of ourselves in the process? I'm not sure that's true, but I'm pondering it. You certainly make a good case for avoiding one night flings.

    As for my own experience, I can assure you I've been tempted but I never took it any further. And to my knowledge, I've only mentioned the subject around three times in seven years!

    If you really want to know why I resisted temptation, you can always email me....

  14. i dont necessarily think there needs to be a long term relationship in the offing, i do think that before we bare all (metaphysically) for somebody we had better make sure it is a pretty positive somebody and by default it will probably have become a relationship by the time we are sure about taking the plunge.

    i dont really care what you do with your sex life, just thought i would make an observation

  15. Kylie: Indeed, if it isn't a pretty positive somebody, why even contemplate it? I'm astonished how many people jump into bed so casually and so thoughtlessly. Apart from anything else there's the health risk that Bijoux mentions.

    Ramana: You never know what might be round the corner....

  16. I find it far more interesting that you've paired One Night Stands with infidelity and then labeled the post with 'promiscuity'.

    And yet you end with "judge not".

  17. Rosemarie: I think you misunderstand me. I didn't actually refer to infidelity, though I did refer to those who would feel hurt and humiliated by their partner having sex with someone else. And promiscuity wasn't my own interpretation, I was describing the attitude of "polite society", or folk who find one night stands totally beyond the pale.

    I'm not judging at all. I think it's entirely a matter for those involved. What's it to do with me?

  18. I don't really know what I think about it. I can't say it bothers me personally but in general I think that it's a good idea not to flee TOO much to anything that's easy and self indulgent just to cheer yourself up, just because it so often does the opposite.
    By the way your comments appeared fine - I moderate them and lately I haven't been checking the blog as much as usual.

  19. Jenny: I agree that self-indulgence can end up backfiring badly. Not to be pursued too hastily. Sometimes the devil you know is definitely better than the one you don't....