Here’s How I Finally Learned To Have A Successful One-Night Stand

Amanda Chatel

Although I've had more than my fair share of one-night stands, to say that enjoyed all of them would not be true. For me, during most of my 20s and into my 30s, one-night stands were something I did when the opportunity arose, or if it had been a long time since I'd had sex and was sort of looking to satisfy a craving or scratch an itch. To quote Gabriel García Márquez, "Sex is the consolation you have when you can't have love," and I found this to be true (in a good way) for most of my adult life.

"A one-night stand is like a vacation," Zoë Kors, a sex and intimacy coach, tells Bustle. "It can be very therapeutic to be intimate with someone who exists outside the structures of our regular lives. It’s a great way to step out of the bubble for a moment and play."

But while one-night stands are indeed a vacation, trying to have a successful one is something with which I've struggled. As someone who's had fewer relationships than one-night stands, I can at least attest to the fact that some of the best sex is with someone you really know. But, if you're willing to be open and share you wants and needs with a one-night stand, you can have just as pleasurable sex with them, too – it just took me a while to figure that part out. Here's what I learned from that process.


I Make Sure We Talk About Things Before We Go To Bed

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During my last one-night stand, something I didn't really see coming to be honest, my partner and I had an open and honest conversation about sex — which is pretty easy to do once you tell someone you write about sex for a living. He told me about his fetishes, I shared my kinks, and it was a really open dialogue.

So when I did take him home that night, a lot had already been talked about and gave us something to work with as we started getting into it.


I Finally Understand The Difference Between Sex And Love

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Although I've always known that sex and love can be worlds apart, when I did have one-night stands, especially if they turned into two-night stands, there was a part of me that had a hard time separating the action from the emotion.

"Too often women feel like a one night stand will result in a long-term relationship or that the one night stand is not just a short-term relationship," behavioral scientist and relationship coach Clarissa Silva, tells Bustle. "Remind yourself that it is exactly what it is and not what you’d like it to be in the future. Being clear and honest with yourself about your decision."


I'm No Longer Ashamed Of What Gets Me Off

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I once had a partner who, when I asked him to spank me, suggested I see a therapist. I was young and naive, and because of this, embarrassed that not only I had asked, but that it was even something that I wanted. Naturally, those days are long gone. I don't feel a single ounce of shame when it comes to asking what I want during a one-night stand, so I have zero qualms in expressing my desires.

"Speak up in bed," Dr. Megan Stubbs, a sex and relationship expert, tells Bustle. "Ask for what you want. What kind of touch? What kind of pressure, speed, intensity? Where do you want them to pleasure you?"

If you can't articulate and share what you want then, unless your partner is a mind-reader, you're not going to have an enjoyable experience. In turn, tell them to give you direction and ask them to tell you what they want.


I'm Not Afraid To Include Sex Toys — If They're Available

If there's one thing I would tell my younger self it would be this: never leave home without a vibrator. So once I saw Unbound's "Oh! To Go Bag," I knew I had to have one. Stocked with with a Zip Vibe, lube, clitoral gel, G-spot stimulation serum, condom, and personal wipes, it's exactly what you need to go into a one-night stand feeling both confident and prepared. You really never know where the night will take you and considering how small the bag is, it can even fit in your back pocket.


I See It As A Chance To Experiment

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If there's a chance that you'll never see this person again, why not take the opportunity to experiment and explore things you've never done before? There's a lot of freedom in going to bed with someone new. So why not throw out those sexual fantasies you've been having and see how they land?

"Vulnerability is an undeniable part of the experience," Kors says. "If we deny this reality, we miss the opportunity for meaningful connection. Embracing our vulnerability (and that of our partner) allows for the purest and most honest experience."


I Demand I Orgasm, Too

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"Great sex involves presence, exploration, discovery, and communication — [and] orgasm doesn’t require any of those things," intimacy expert Miyoko Rifkin tells Bustle. "Being focused on orgasm can cause large holes in our intimacy, create distance between us, and leave one or both of us not fully satisfied."

While I completely realize this and absolutely agree that when it comes to sex, it's more about the journey than procuring an orgasm, because there is such an orgasm gap between the genders, for me, it's important to close that gap right up.

In fact, last year when I started demanding that I orgasm every time with a partner, my dating and sex life changed for the better. In my mind, fair is fair, and if I can help close that orgasm gap, then I'm all for it.


It Makes Me Feel Empowered

Andrew Zaeh for Bustle

"Keeping your expectations at the level of sexual fulfillment and empowerment keeps the encounter less transactional in your mind," Silva says. "Ultimately, you are deciding what type of relationship you are engaging in, you are measuring chemistry, you are measuring compatibility on all levels, and you are determining if the relationship is worthy of you."

Every time you make a choice for your body, you're empowering yourself. In a society that still likes to slut-shame empowered women who fearlessly embrace their sexuality, every time I have a one-night stand, I'm basically saying, "This is my body and I'll decide what I'm going to do with it. Critics be damned." Empowerment comes from not just complete and total autonomy, but owning every choice you make.


No one is ever under any obligation to have a one-night stand. Some people love them, some people hate them, and some people, like me, waited a long time hoping they'd get better. At least now I'm aware of how to have a successful one-night stand where things feel good for me physically and mentally. That's what matter most to me.