PROpinion Piece: On One-Night Stands

As most of you already know and as you've all made me painfully aware, the male mind is apparently a dark, confusing place, and I see why. After all, bros and pros are among the most sought after specimens on the planet, and we didn't get that way by being retarded simpletons. Some people, like your dad and bleeding edge hipsters, turn to the op-ed pages of the New York Times or Wall Street Journal when they want to sound smart. This is better than that. Like, way better.

Propinions is the place for betches who really want to be in the know and find out what the fuck bros are thinking on all sorts of topics. Have a topic you want covered? Email me at, or post up in We the Betches. You're welcome.

I won’t lie to you betches, more often than not I make a point to go back and read the comments on my posts at least once. Sometimes it’s to apologize for some grammatical or factual fuckup on my part that the Head Betches were too lazy to edit out, but it’s also because in an effort to provide you with genuinely helpful advice, it’s beneficial for me to keep my thumb on the pulse of what you betches are thinking and feeling. Usually, the comments remind me of why I’m paid allowed to write here while most people shouldn’t be allowed should be paid not to write anything. One comment in particular from last week, though, really stuck in my craw: [Note from Head Betches: who the fuck says craw?]

After checking to make sure that my dick was, in fact, properly oriented, I realized that this comment and a couple of others like it were the result of some confusing language on my part (I’d say poor, but nothing about me is poor. Not my eyesight, and certainly not my verbiage). Namely, I was using “casual hookup” and “one-night stand” in the same breath, and I see how that could be kind of misleading. A casual hookup, in my eyes, is when you fuck someone you’re not dating, but it’s someone you definitely know and could conceivably see and/or fuck again. Maybe there’s a guy in your econ class you flirt with all the time, or a guy you always stop and chat with when you’re at the frat house with your besties.Those are casual hookups, and without them, no one in college would have sex, ever.

On the other hand, one-night stands are a completely different story. A one night stand is someone who was a stranger before you fucked, and continues to be a stranger after you fuck. You never see them again, or at least never hang out with them. It’s called a one-night stand because you literally only interact with them for that one night, ever. Those are what I was saying you should avoid if possible, and for a good reason:

Believe it or not, one-night stands kind of suck. For everyone.

I’m reminded of a time some years ago when I was visiting some of my bros who were in law school. A couple of us had ditched the event we were at (the open bar closed, the girls were ugly or some similar atrocity had occurred) for the sanctuary of a nearby bar. We ordered drinks, and within 60 seconds my bro was chatting up the girl next to him. Within five minutes, they were wrapped around each other as though God had tried to create an octopus out of human limbs and tongues. Minutes later, they were gone. I was flabbergasted, not because the idea of a quick pickup was foreign to me, but because shit, I hadn’t even finished my drink yet. Thirty minutes later, he was back.

“I can’t believe that girl wouldn’t have sex with me,” he fumed.

“Well it might have something to do with her meeting you less than half an hour ago.”

“Yeah, but I don’t get it. We were up against her building making out, I had my hand in her pants and shit, and then she just left and wouldn’t let me come with her.”

“Dude, she was never going to have sex with you,” I wisely scolded him. “She got everything she needed from you. She felt hot because you wanted her, she got a thrill from making out with a stranger, and you fulfilled her basic need for human fucking contact.”

At the time, I was saying that in hopes that the girl next to me would overhear and see how well I “got” women at the tender age of 23 or however old I was, but looking back I realize there was a bigger implication afoot. He wasn’t mad that he didn’t have sex that night; in fact he probably did, later. He was mad because that girl didn’t want to have sex with him. It perfectly illustrates the difference between a casual hookup and a one-night stand, and why one is awesome and one usually isn’t.

The thing about guys is that if we want to have an orgasm, we can make that happen ourselves. We’re very, very well-practiced at it. I know the ladies are too, though to be fair, I realize that clicking your mouse isn’t exactly the same as full-blown intercourse. If the alien probe looking vibrators I’ve seen are any indication, creating a device that more accurately simulates sex for girls requires a PhD and a dirty mind. Still, for guys at least, we can get ourselves off just as well as anyone else can. That’s why if I’m looking for a casual hookup with a girl and the night’s going to end in something other than sex, I’d just as soon do it myself. I mean, why bother furthering (and complicating) things with a girl I wasn’t that interested in to begin with?

That’s why hookups, especially casual ones, are maybe only 25% about the sex (for guys at least). The other 75% is about the pursuit, the game; about being able to accomplish a goal or objective. You want to feel something, not necessarily (but maybe) romance or fireworks, but something. As you banter and maneuver throughout the night, you want to feel that progression, that build up. When things come to a head and it’s time to go to the bone zone, you want to feel wanted. You want to know that she’s just as down for the stuff you imagined doing when you flirted with her in econ class as you are. When that happens, boom. You have some hot casual sex. Your bros will high five you. I imagine your fellow betches would do the same, or whatever it is girls do in place of high fiving. You achieved something, you fulfilled a fantasy. If not, the worst thing that happens is you end up like my law school bro, satisfying someone else’s needs.

Contrast that with the one-night stand. It’s not two acquaintances who’ve been eyeing each other for a while; it’s a girl looking to have her holes filled and a guy looking to fill someone’s hole. For either person to fuck a stranger who for all they know is a serial killer, it requires desperation, a sense of having given up, and a ton of booze. And once you’ve slurred your way into each other’s hearts, what kind of sex do you get? You’re talking about two people who are so drunk they can barely stand trying to fuck someone they had zero opportunity to develop chemistry with.

If you can show me a guy who can finish while wearing a condom and drunk enough to be there in the first place, I’ll show you a guy who’s never had sex any other way. And ladies, I don’t know everything there is to know about your lady parts (they’re terrifying, that’s why I stab them with what my youth pastor lovingly called my “Jesus Scepter”), but assuming your clit and vag get desensitized with booze the same way our dicks do, I can’t imagine you’re having a good time of it either. Sure a living, breathing dick (they breathe, that’s what the hole’s for) and another person’s touch are probably more satisfying than rubbing one out while you watch Twilight, but is it worth the risk? The hassle? The shame? Oh, there’s shame involved, for all of us.

I’ve had my share of one-nighters, and the aftermath is never great. In the best cases, the woman (who’s usually a little older than me) has perfected the art of the morning after, which essentially means knowing how to keep the banter going and then parting ways before either of us sober up from the night before. Even then, I leave thinking “Wow, she must do this all the time. I’d better shower.” The alternatives aren’t any better. If I wake up so hungover I want to puke and she seems ok, I wonder how desperate she must have been to fuck someone she just met. If it’s the other way around and she’s the one puking, it’s even worse because now I feel like I had to have been kinda sorta rape-y. Either way, the result is a certain kind of shallow emptiness. As guys, we’re supposed to feel good about putting another notch on our bedpost, and to a degree we do. But I didn’t earn that one. Your bros don’t give you high fives for nailing the stranger who was so blackout she couldn’t remember her own last name. You didn’t play the game. You didn’t make her want you. You were just there.

So when I advise you to avoid one-night stands like the plague or outlet malls, that’s why. No one wants a sizeable chunk of their sexual history to be fuzzy memories of people whose names they can’t remember, especially girls because of the (unfortunate, but real) societal stigma. Most people figure that out sooner rather than later; some never do. Casual hookups make the world go round, but one-night stands usually just mean you have the spins.


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