How To Have The Best One-Night Stand
BDG Media, Inc.

Maybe you've had several one-night stands and they've all been flops. Or maybe you're just curious about what having sex with a stranger really feels like. Whatever the reason may be, you've come to the right place.

"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."

One-night stands aren't for everyone, obviously, but for some people, the experience can provide a way to experience both physical pleasure and sexual expression without additional obligations that a relationship outside of the bedroom might call for, Kors says. There are plenty of dating sites to get you started, such as OkCupid, Dating Kinky, and FetLife, which is a social network specifically for people in the BDSM community looking to hook up.

It's also important to keep in mind that a good one-night stand might mean something different depending on who you're with. A recent poll by Winq, a social polling application for Millennials, found that 33 percent of participants consider pillow talk to be the best part of a one-night stand. Another 30 percent like the idea of staying for breakfast the morning after, according to the poll.

All of that being said, there are still things you can do to make sure you have a great time with whoever you're with for the night. Here are some tips for having the best one-night stand, according to experts:


Find A Partner You Actually Like

Even though you may never see the person you hook up with again, you still want to make sure you're with someone who's actually going to respect you and appreciate what you have to offer to the table (um, I mean bed). Find someone who's easy to talk to, subjectively attractive — and by that, I mean someone you are personally attracted to regardless of what's considered socially acceptable attractiveness — and just pleasant to be around overall. Heather M. Claus, owner of, suggests chatting them up first, whether it's online or in person.

If you're looking to get down and dirty with someone you already know (perhaps a friend or co-worker), you should first talk about how a one-night stand might affect your friendship, Kors says. "It takes two very self-aware individuals to be able to navigate intimacy between friends without crushed expectations and misunderstandings," she says. "The aspects of freedom, play, and escapism that make a one-night stand so attractive don’t really exist when it’s sex with a friend. Open, honest, dialogue — with each other and with yourself — goes a long way in creating the clarity necessary for a positive experience."


Pamper Yourself Beforehand

Claus, who goes by Nookie, says she always takes a "sexual spa day" before the hookup takes place, if possible. "I prepare myself physically. I relax. I pamper myself, I put on lingerie, perfume, and makeup," she says.

This is less about impressing your partner and more about making yourself feel comfortable and confident.


Safety First

The thing about casual sex is that it can happen anytime, anywhere. Consent and making sure you're both completely on board is important for this reason, as is carrying and using protection. "The last thing you want is to have hot sex and then worry if you'll catch something after," Yue Xu, dating expert and host of the Date/able Podcast, tells Bustle.

Kors agrees, adding that ideally you should have a conversation with the person about keeping each other safe. "Interrupting the magic early on means that you avoid doing so at an even more awkward moment," Kors says. "It also increases the chances that the conversation will actually happen. Don’t put yourself in a position to worry about pregnancy and infectious diseases the next morning."

It doesn't take more than a couple of seconds to throw a few condoms in your bag, so do it.


Do It For The Right Reasons

There are just as many reasons to have a one-night stand as there are to not have one. But just because everyone else is getting busy doesn't mean you have to. The key is to figure out whether hooking up is the right move for you to take at that moment. "If you want to have a one-night stand, make sure you are doing it for the right reasons," Dr. Megan Stubbs, a sex and relationship expert, tells Bustle. "That this is something you 100 percent want to do, and you aren't being pressured or under the impression that this will make someone like you more."


Ask For What You Like

"Speak up in bed," Stubbs suggests. "Ask for what you want. What kind of touch? What kind of pressure, speed, intensity? Where do you want them to pleasure you?" When you convey the answers to these questions to your partner, you'll remain engaged and feel satisfied at the end.

It's easier said than done, but if you've got a good partner, he or she will want to know how to please you, Claus adds. "There is something awkward about saying what you want if you're not used to it. However, it gets easier, and can actually be a huge part of the sexiness when you are comfortable with it," she says.


Give Yourself Permission

Whatever you do, try not to judge yourself during a hookup or think about what your parents, your friends, or other people who are irrelevant to the situation, would say if they knew. "Get clear with yourself that you are okay with a one-night stand and leave what others might think out of it," Kors says. And similarly, just as you give yourself permission, be sure to not to pass judgment on your partner, either.


Actually Have Fun

Let yourself laugh. "Slip-ups or mistakes can happen and laughter is an easy way to break the tension, especially since this is a new partner and you don't know their body well," Stubbs says.

Don't take each other too seriously. Having sex is all about having fun, not freaking out because you queefed.


Don't Expect More

If you're looking for a relationship, having a one-night stand is probably not the best way to do that. Only 28 percent of people have dated someone with whom they had a one-night stand, according to the Winq poll. A lot of times (though not always), a one-night stand experience gets ruined by unrealistic expectations that the fling is going to continue, Xu says. "If you go into it expecting just a one-night stand, one and done, it'll feel much more liberating," she says.

Kors suggests reminding yourself to be present in the moment. "Recognize this for what it is and resist the temptation to attach meaning to it that doesn’t exist," she says. "We rob ourselves of meaningful connection when we assign false meaning to an experience." Of course, if you get a mutual friendship (or even a relationship) out of the one-night stand, all the better. Just don't expect it.



A one-night stand can be a chance for you to get wild and let your inner sex god(dess) loose, Claus says. Be more daring than you otherwise would be. Roleplay, get it on with new sex positions, or even adopt a personality that's completely different from your own. Try new things.

If you're feeling self-conscious, that's OK. "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."

Above all, hookups should be enjoyable and enrich your sex life. And if anything, remember a one-night stand is exactly that: Just one night.