The one-night stand

point - counterpoint


Lauren Raham

Don’t kid yourself—casual sex isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you’re ready and willing, then take the light-hearted cue from George Michael: “Sex is natural/Sex is fun/Sex is best when it’s one-on-one.”

Although typically associated with the beer-guzzling, partying crowd—and as such, probably prone to disastrous circumstances— intercourse without strings attached can be healthy and enjoyable.

There’s no reason for casual sex to be messy—emotionally or otherwise—so long as you’re aware of what you’re getting into. Using condoms, being aware of the sexual history of your partner(s) and not banking on any emotional involvement afterwards are all necessary to ensure that no lasting damage is done.

Sex can mean a lot of things. Did you go down on her or him? Was there penetration or did you just stick to oral sex? Did you just make out with each other? Were more than two parties involved? Were fetishes a part of the action? Whatever the case, it’s hard to know what your partner is like in the bedroom if you’ve just met them. It’s important to communicate your limits, and let your partner(s) know what you like.

It’s reasonable to think that the more partners one has, the more chances they have to contract a sexually transmitted infection. But casual sex can have a positive effect on your physical health. By practising safe sex, one naturally becomes more aware of their sexual health and the health of their partner(s). There’s more of an incentive to be aware of your own physical health when you know the consequences of not being aware. Gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, and yes, HIV happen. And you’re not immune to these infections. If reading these infections in this short article makes you uncomfortable, maybe you shouldn’t have a one-night stand. Casual sex is a lifestyle choice, but it comes with responsibilities.

Another unfortunate consequence of one-night stands within the Queen’s bubble is the ability of rumours to circulate easily in this small community. But if you or your partner are kissing and telling, then you’re having sex for the wrong reasons. You’re not in high school, and sex isn’t as big a deal anymore. It happens and you’re not a hero for getting some.

If you’re worried that everyone on campus will find out about your one-night-stand, then maybe you should reconsider what you’re getting into. Having a few people know about your sexual history isn’t a big deal, but if it bothers you then don’t go all the way. Having sex without commitment can be a healthy act, but it isn’t for everyone. So long as the parties involved are aware of the implications (or lack thereof) of their actions, then why not just enjoy yourself?


Meghan Sheffield

I try to make it a personal policy not to judge other people’s sex lives.

That said, another personal policy I have is not to indulge in one-night stands. These days, an attitude like that can come with a certain amount of stigma, and I often find myself having to explain that my feelings don’t stem from some Victorian view that sex is dirty or from some kind of pseudo-sexist attitude that women just can’t emotionally keep up with the sexual prowess of men.

I just don’t think it’s a good idea. I’m admittedly no expert, but from what I’ve heard, one-night stands are nearly always bad sex. To me, drunken, awkward missionary for 15 minutes is hardly worth the cab ride from the bar.

The best sex, on the other hand, is found in committed relationships, where the freedom and comfort to experiment and explore sexual tastes is at its peak. It’s something you’re just not likely to find in a random encounter. The likelihood of a meaningful relationship resulting from a one-night stand is minimal to say the least.

There’s a certain degree of mens rea involved in a one-night stand. The mindset involved is often a factor in defining whether the event actually was a one-night stand. Most people read a willingness to knock boots before you know each other’s last name as a clear statement that you are not interested in forming a commitment. In fact, one of the defining features of a one-night stand is that it comes with no strings attached. While not impossible, finding love after one night is the exception rather than the rule. Don’t think that having a one-night stand with someone you really like will help to convince them to date you—it might hurt you to find they later recall your night of intimacy as a drunken mistake. People looking for a long-term partner usually follow more traditional routes—if you want a girlfriend, ask someone on a date instead of doing the desperado-lurk near the coat-check after last call at the Ale House.

At the risk of sounding like one of those cartoon rabbits from the Stay Alert, Stay Safe videos, stranger danger is a real risk when dealing with one-night stands. They might not be lurking in a cargo van or pretending to look for their lost puppy, but you really don’t know the person with whom you’re going home, and that comes with a certain amount of danger. Some might say this adds to the thrill. I say at least let a friend know where you are.

One-night stands can also increase your chances of having to duke it out with a sexually transmitted infection. If they’ve gone home with you, it’s safe to assume that your partner is no stranger to random hook ups. Combine this with drunken condom-fumbling and you’ve got yourself a high-risk situation.

I’m not a sex-hater or a matronly prude; I’m just not into one-night stands. Don’t judge me and I won’t judge you.

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