Can A One-Night Stand Turn Into Love? 14 People Share Their One-Nighter Stories, Because What Happened In Vegas Doesn't Always Stay There

One-night stands. Whether you’ve had one, wanted to, or know people who have, they’re a part of the dating and hookup culture we live in, especially with dating apps catered to casual sex (like Grindr and Tinder, though the latter’s getting more renowned for relationships lately, too). Some people have had one, some have had one-hundred, and many Bustle readers we surveyed about their one-night stand stories said they let their guard down more then versus when they're in committed relationships. Still others turn into relationships, like 27 percent of respondents in this survey (also, one of the people we surveyed, below). And science says that one-night stands are good for us by improving self-esteem and reducing depression and anxiety. Can you imagine psychiatrists prescribing a one-night stand to a patient instead of Prozac or Lexapro? "Just have a one-night stand and call me in the morning."

Recently, in fact, when talking to Uber drivers in Chicago, I asked what time's the most popular for them to pick up passengers. A few different ones said 3-5 a.m., “when someone leaves someone’s place with sex hair.” I know, I know, we shouldn’t generalize or make assumptions, but I thought it was interesting. “It didn’t look like they were just leaving a friend’s house, though,” one told me, smiling slyly. So, maybe instead of the walk of shame, it’s now the ride of shame, hiding in an Uber afterwards. ;)

There’s an entire cheat sheet to having a one-night stand at SXSW, so you know what you’re getting into—and with whom. But here's what Bustle readers had to say about their one-night stands.

1. Maria, then-24

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"I had a one-night stand with a guy who worked at Blockbuster (remember those?!). I’ll call him Jeff. Every Friday night, I’d be there, wandering the aisles alone. He was always friendly, but nothing more. I wanted more. One night, I was there at closing and he asked if I wanted to go walk his dog with him. Why not? We went to get the dog, walked and talked. He held my hand along with the leash. Then, he asked if I wanted to watch a movie with him and his roommate. Again, why not? They put on The Big Lebowski and we all drank Jack and Cokes (I hated Jack, but I went with it). Soon, we were barely watching the film and started making out, then went to his room. It reminded me of a movie right before the big sex scene, making out on the couch, then against his mirrored closet door, then the bed. Very hot.
Afterwards, as I was lying in his bed, I noticed pictures of a beautiful girl on his dresser, along with perfume and prescription pill bottles with a female’s name. I asked about them and he insisted they had broken up, but I wasn’t convinced. When I got up, there was blood on his sheets and he FREAKED OUT. So, I’d say make sure your one-night stand is single. I felt awful being the other woman and wish I’d remembered her name from those pill bottles to contact her and see if they were really broken up or not. Still, it was my first one-night stand and my female boss definitely noticed a glow in me the next day. I’d gotten out of a long-term relationship recently, so maybe the one-nighter was just what I needed. Stupidly, I thought Jeff would call me afterwards, but nothing. Lesson learned. I’d also say do it while you’re young, but that there should be an age limit for it. I had one since, and it made me feel even worse than the first one.”

2. Mike, then-34

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"I'm a professional comedian who tours the world doing clean comedy. However, I've had many one-night stands, about 20, with girls at shows, in bars, on the beach, even a girl who came to try out for a band I was in. How was it? One-night stands are amazing, fantastic. Any guy who tells you he doesn't want them is a liar. By definition, a one-night stand is someone you do not ever speak to again.”

3. Samantha, then-24

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“My birthday fell on a Monday one year, and I had celebrated the weekend before with friends. After dinner that night, I decided to take myself out for a birthday drink to my local bar. Sat down next to a very handsome dude, got to chatting with him, and he was super cool. I could tell we were hitting it off, and I just decided I was allowed to give myself a birthday present. Ended up fooling around in the bathroom, then back at his place—amazing. I was totally fine with it being a one-night stand, but as I was tip-toeing out the next morning, I decided to leave my number on the off-shot he wanted to hang again... He called me by 2 p.m. that day! We did not ‘date,’ per se... but spent about four nights a week at each other's places for about eight months. There are things I regret about the relationship, as he was not a great dude, and I fell for him. What I do NOT regret about meeting him was all that he taught me in bed. I was young-ish and he was in his 30s (with more experience than I knew about)—he totally opened up my world sexually.”

4. Robert/Author, Cemetery of Lies, then-29

“We met at a business function. It was great! I never contacted her again. She was probably a few years older and was married… and her husband was coming home the next day. I didn't even know she was married until we arrived at her home. Quite a nice night of sex!”

5. Brittany, then-15-17

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“When I was in high school, I was pretty promiscuous, all the usual clichés—small town, nothing else to do, exploring your hormones, all that. I thought I was ‘safe,’ though, since it was a charming town where everybody knew everybody else. No one could possibly have an STD, right? Well, when I went off to college, I left with herpes. As though that wasn’t bad enough, I had to go back to everyone to tell them and see if they had it, too. So many of the guys did! It was sick! I’m left with herpes for life now. My warning would be to be careful. No matter how fun something may seem at the time, you can never be too careful! Also, telling people you have herpes (then and now) is the worst!"

6. Randee, then-23-40

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“I have had many one-night stands. I usually met them in a bar. I would not recommend it; I am very lucky to have never contracted a STD. None of the one-nighters turned into anything else. The main appeal about the one-night-stands was I could temporarily feel connected to another human being."

7. Noelle, then-33

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“I was raised conservatively in the church and did not lose my virginity until age 28. Even then, I felt a little guilt that I wasn't married. My boyfriend back then had a military background and I considered our sex life to be ‘drill sergeant sex.’ He had so many rules, judgments, routines, and control surrounding our sex life that it just shut me down. So, as an African-American woman, I could not sweat too much during sex unless I had time to straighten my hair afterwards. Our sex life was boring. He said I was ‘frigid’ and would buy me books on different sexual positions. Meanwhile, I was burning inside with unexpressed sexual energy. So, when we broke up, I was relieved. This set the stage for my one-night stand.

I was having dinner at a restaurant while traveling on business. At the other table, there was a young, super-buffed, athletic, tall man. As he and his friend left, I eyed his body the whole time. He walked back in the restaurant and asked me if I wanted to hang with him that night. I said ‘yes’ and shocked myself. After talking for two hours, he took me to his place. He had no sex rules for me or judgment of me. I felt totally sexually-free and we did it all night. I was sore in the morning, but we did it again anyway. It was BY FAR the best and most freeing sexual experience of my life, including now. I'm 46 now. To date, I also have never even met or had sex with a man that hung. It felt incredible, along with his chiseled, muscular body. Being in different states, we talked about visiting each other over the course of a year, but never did. We had nothing in common, really.

I would TOTALLY and completely [recommend it], especially for women who need to get their groove back after a failed relationship. Also, sexually repressed women would benefit from sexing an adventurous young man who aims to please. Wear condoms, though."

8. LaVonya/Reboundlovers.com, then-39

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“I met a man at a club when I first moved to another state. We had great conversation and plenty of drinks; we ended up at his house afterwards. We did exchange numbers and actually started dating. The sex was always great—the problem was, that was the only thing that was great. It didn't last long, other than running into each other out and about. I wouldn't advise anyone to have a one-night stand. If you do decide to, don't expect anything other than sex or be prepared to be disappointed.”

9. Jessica

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“It was my ex-husband’s girlfriend’s ex-husband. We went out for drinks, had sex, and spoke afterwards, but it was a revenge thing for both of us.”

10. Ella, then-29

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“I was off to visit family in another state and figured it was the perfect time to make something happen. I am known for my conservative approach to life, so doing something like this (so close to home) was a big no-no. I began searching the Web and landed on the classiest site I could think of, Craigslist. I posted an ad and, within minutes, had myself about 20 responses. I landed on the perfect man, a colonel. He was six feet tall, blue eyes, nice body, and the smile of an angel. I guarded myself from every possible angle. I made him meet me in a public place, where my friend and closest confidant interrogated him. The redness on his neck was my telltale sign that he was just as nervous as I was. Somehow, the anxiety on his face gave me comfort. Back at my hotel, I had protection and everything I required to make this night with a stranger feel fulfilling.

He followed me to my hotel room, where I changed into some sexy lingerie, put on some candles and music, and we proceeded to go at it. I wish I could say that the sex was amazing, but the only word I can use to describe it, AWKWARD! He was self-conscious about his (clearing throat) size and, quite frankly, he should be. I had no idea that I'd just set myself up for a waste of three hours.

I was imagining a man that would throw me against the wall and have passionate monkey sex with me and while he did work like a monkey (I will give him that), I never quite made it to the finish line. I finally blurted, ‘Are you done yet?’ Needless to say, I was a total buzzkill! He asked me if I'd achieved orgasm and all I could bring myself to say was a sarcastic ‘sure.’ He awkwardly put on his clothes, we exchanged hugs, and he left. That's three hours of my life I will never get back."

11. Lewis/Ask Lewis, then-late 20s-late 40s

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“I had many in the 1970s-1990s (about 30), usually from courses I taught for The Learning Annex (‘Make Choices, Not Excuses’) or at parties I had at my house. [They were] almost always wonderful. I'm in touch with many now and about 20 came to my wedding. I'm serious about this. Much of the richness of my life has come from these amazing women.” (In his early 20s, Lewis was a monk!)

12. David, then-23

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“During the mid-1970s, I was an active participant on the University of Illinois' PLATO computer system, which was a forerunner of the Internet. I was living about three hours from Urbana when one of the systems people asked if she could spend the night, since she had business in town the next day. I'd never or spoken to her; I knew her only by her screen name. Late that night, she crawled into my bed in the dark and, despite the best of intentions, we were soon engaged in the horizontal mambo. She left before I woke up and I never heard from her again. To this day, almost 40 years later, I have no idea what her last name was or what she even looked like. Turns out she had planned on bedding every male PLATO person she could find. Not sure I'd recommend it now, but yeah, it was memorable. Still brings a smile to my face.”

13. Molly, then-26

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“Met a dude at the bar (again). He was super cute, and became cuter as the night progressed. I asked him what he did and he told me he worked for PBR. I think this is the beer, but he clarifies that this, in fact, means he is professional bull rider. He was so confident in saying it, and being able to answer questions, that I half believed him. We ended up having a great night together. I didn't hear from him for a while, but got a text a few months later, saying he was ‘back in town.’ I decided it was fine for me to have some ‘fun.’ Fast-forward another few months, and a new co-worker is talking about her friend's boyfriend. The details of the apartment (which was very nice by NYC standards) stuck out, and I asked his name. It was the same name! Plus, the guy was in finance and had an odd amount of bull paintings around his house!”

14. Nick, then-23

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“Had, what was supposed to be, a one-night stand in Vegas a few years back. We ended up dating long-distance, she in California and I in New Jersey, for about four years and then I finally made the move to California. We moved in together and, after two years, I finally popped the question. We’re celebrating our one-year wedding anniversary on July 5, in Vegas of course. Yes, a lot of people have said ‘What happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas.’”

Images: Marcus/Flickr; Giphy