What’s the Deal with One-Night Stands

I am absolutely terrified of having a one-night stand. How awkward that must be, how strange. Like buying a car sight-unseen and then abandoning it on the highway in the morning. “Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy, we’re gonna bang, and I’m gonna go home.” What kind of experience is that? So fleeting and ephemeral, like a sexual lightning strike. A bright flash and then gone. I just don’t think I can move that fast.

I’m the kind of guy who meets a girl at the bar and says, “Instead of fucking relentlessly, maybe we could get to know each other and then date eventually.” I’m comfortable holding hands. Instead of plastering the girl’s face with my lips and tongue, I would prefer one good romantic smooch. I’m fond of unconscious close contact, touching someone without having to stare at them or put something inside them. I want a subconscious connection, like if we leaned real close hot, bright sparks would skip between our foreheads. Or maybe we could just both be too interested in Star Wars.

How do you get that from a one-night stand, though? I’m picturing some cheap porno, where the hot pizza delivery lady comes to door. “That’ll be $12.50,” she says. “But I don’t have any money,” I’ll reply. “I know a way you can pay.” And then she’s naked and I’m naked and some horrible jazz is playing and we’re on the dirty kitchen floor and the lighting is all wrong and where the hell did that black thing come from and now it’s in my butt.

Ok, maybe I don’t really imagine that. Here’s how I actually imagine one-night stands work:

I’m standing at the bar, nearly-empty gin and tonic in hand. I’ve had a few previously and am feeling relatively ready to “cut loose,” whatever the fuck that means in this context. The music is too loud, which I like, and too top 40, which I also like. I’m having a good time. I’m probably with some other friends, but they’re off doing whatever. You could say that I’m in the zone. I’m in a zone, at least.

A girl sidles up to me, like a lizard moving onto a hot rock in the Arizona sun. “Hey,” she might say.

“Oh hey, how’s it going” I would reply non-noncommittally, swirling my drink. I’m really quite suave. Maybe I have a mustache.

“You look kind of lonely,” she’ll offer, holding up an empty glass suggestively and sexily.

“My friends are…somewhere.” I’ll nod towards the bar. “Can I get you a drink?”

She’ll acquiesce, of course. She also wants a gin and tonic, of course. She’s cool like that. I get two, since mine is also empty by now.

She’ll take a sip and smile. “Thanks,” she’ll say.

I’ll smile. It’s not a “sure, whatever” smile, it’s a “you know why I bought you a drink” smile. She gets it. She responds with a goofy grin. A goofy grin that says “whatever, baby, I’m yours.”

Maybe we dance or something. Get a burrito and laugh. Wander down to the next bar to “find her friends” but they’re not there well damn I guess we’ll have to go back to her place.

Then, you know, we bang like Stomp on amphetamines.


I take it back, that doesn’t sound so bad after all. Maybe one-night stands are ok. Why try to build a relationship you can savor when you can just savor the moment, right? As long as something is getting savored.

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