What counts as a one-night stand? Everything you need to know

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It seems like everyone you know is talking about “one-night stands” but no one can seem to offer up a standard definition of what they are. 

It doesn’t matter whether they’re called something else or happen more than one night in a row, it’s time we all found out what qualifies as a one-night stand as well as the pros and cons of having one.

Here are 6 things that count as a one-night stand.

1) Sexual encounters that happen on a single occasion

Here’s an interesting fact: 

You can have a one-night stand even if you’ve never slept together.

Basically, a one-night stand isn’t defined by what happens in the bedroom (or wherever else your sexual encounter may take place), but by the fact that it only happens once.

And that means that the key pro of having a one-night stand is its very nature. 

If you’re looking for something uncomplicated, straightforward, and cheap in every sense of the word (except for the cost of drinks or dinner, perhaps) a one-night stand is definitely an option to consider.

2) No emotional attachment or commitment on either side

If you go into a one-night stand without any attachment or commitment in mind, you’re much more likely to leave with a clean conscience.

There are lots of women who go into a one-night stand hoping that there will be more than just one night. 

Women sometimes feel pressured into sex by the other person, which can make the entire experience less enjoyable and lead to feelings of regret afterward. 

If you’re hoping for something more, don’t have a one-night stand. 

But if you’d rather keep things casual and uncomplicated, you’re probably going to be better off with this kind of encounter. 

Plus, in the event that you do get attached, a one-night stand is easier to walk away from than a serious relationship and no one is going to regret anything if that does happen.

3) The person you met that night has never seen each other again

This one is pretty obvious. 

If you meet someone in a one-night stand and have never seen them again, it’s because they’re not truly a part of your life and that’s perfectly okay. 

There are so many different factors that influence how people interact with others and most people wouldn’t consider two strangers meeting for the first time to be anything but an unplanned hookup.

But if you meet someone in a one-night stand and continue to see each other from time to time, that’s a different story. 

You’re probably not going to have an intimate or long-term relationship with the person you met that night but you may have enough common interests to keep things going in the future and this is a good thing. 

Because, as you will see next, every relationship has its pros and cons.

4) The purpose is for sexual intimacy only

It’s no secret that a lot of people have casual sex (sex with no strings attached), and that’s okay. 

But when you don’t intend to be monogamous or start seeing each other in a long-term relationship, don’t call it anything else but a one-night stand. 

If you meet someone at a party who you hope to hook up with the next night, chances are your emotions will rule the day and you will want more than just sex for the night. 

So it’s worth exploring your intentions and motivations for meeting someone for sex, as well as their reasons for doing so before you get involved with a one-night stand. 

5) You both made sure consent was given and respected each other

Again, this one is pretty obvious. 

No matter what kind of encounter you’re having, or what your intentions are, if you or the other person is not comfortable with it in any way, then you failed to respect their boundaries and that’s not okay. 

It doesn’t matter if you’re both consenting adults or just two people who don’t know each other very well: 

Consent always needs to be given and respected. 

So if either person involved in the one-night stand feels the need to call it off, that needs to happen, no questions asked. 

Clearly, this is a pro of having sex with someone you’ve just met because you both care about consent and were potentially able to avoid getting emotionally attached or hurt during the course of your encounter. 

6) It often happens when both people are drunk or drugged

One of the biggest reasons why one-night stands happen is because both people were likely intoxicated or under the influence of other substances when they first met.

Let’s dig a little deeper:

We all know that alcohol has a way of making you want to be far less inhibited and a lot more affectionate than you normally would be. 

So when you’re drunk or drugged, it’s easy to be more open to this kind of experience which is completely understandable. 

However, remember that both the person you meet and yourself may have things they’d prefer to keep a secret later on. 

This isn’t just about drunken sexual encounters or one-night stands where a bunch of people is drunk in a bar; we’ve all seen too many examples of people who end up getting hurt from alcohol or drugs. 

The bottom line is that you should never drink or do drugs and have sex with someone unless you’re absolutely sure you don’t have any kind of issues with alcohol (alcoholism or another addiction), or drugs.

Benefits from having a one-night stand

Many people don’t realize that there are actually quite a few reasons why having a one-night stand can be a good thing. 

And it’s not just because you’re able to call it quits easily and walk away without any regrets. 

There are also other benefits such as the fact that you’ll have more sexual experiences if you consider handing out your phone number or first name in your first rendezvous. There are 6 benefits to having a one-night stand.

1) The person you slept with is someone you’ve never had to deal with again – an easy out

When you’re trying to avoid having a relationship with someone else, a one-night stand can be the answer. 

Sure, you may have some regrets about whatever happened that night and what could have been in the future, but at least you didn’t complicate things by getting involved with each other. 

And if you’re only looking for sex, it’s likely that the other person is too. 

That means you can both move on with whatever’s next in your life and you won’t have to make any big decisions or investments. 

2) You are free of the responsibilities of having a relationship

Relationships can be hard – really hard. 

And if you’re not in a relationship, then you don’t have to deal with all the hassles that come along with one. 

But it’s not just about sex and kids; it’s about being able to build something together and support each other through some of the toughest parts of life. 

For some people, this is a good thing but for others, this isn’t what they’re looking for in their romantic relationships. 

If you’re not looking for a long-term relationship or marriage, it’s less likely that you’ll be in one during your late teens and early 20s. 

So when you have a one-night stand and get to know each other more, you don’t have to worry about any of the pressures that come along with those kinds of relationships. 

3) There are no expectations

We’ve already talked about the importance of having consent when you’re engaged in a one-night stand. 

But there are other important things to keep in mind, and one of them is that there are no expectations. 

That means you don’t have to worry about going on and doing the same thing over and over again because you’re not going to meet and sleep with this person over and over again. 

You’re also not responsible for creating drama and strife between each other by having unrealistic expectations

Sure, things could happen later on down the line in your lives, but knowing that you’re not going to run into each other again and sleep together can be a freeing feeling. This frees you up to enjoy each other without having to worry about going out together or introducing them to your friends and family. 

4) No regrets or negative emotions after the encounter

This can happen to many people when they first meet, but once you sleep with someone, you’re less likely to have any regrets or negative emotions. 

This is because you’re more likely to think of the encounter as a physical experience rather than a meaningful and emotional one. 

And it’s not like this one-night stand will happen every single day, so you’re not going to remember every little detail. That means you won’t have to spend time beating yourself up over your mistakes. 

And when you do something that you don’t want to think about anymore, this will also allow you to move on from your other, more meaningful relationships. 

5) It’s a way of breaking free from stress and tension

There are a lot of things that can cause a lot of stress and tension in our lives, and having one-night stands can be a way to relieve those feelings. This is especially true because you don’t have to think about any of the negative things that are going on in your life. 

And even when you’re thinking about this one-night stand, you won’t be thinking about all the negative consequences or other people’s opinions of what you’re doing. 

You’re only focused on yourself and what it takes to allow you to feel better for a short period of time. 

That means you can actually focus on your own needs and what will be on your mind rather than having to think about all the cares and concerns that prevent you from being stress-free. 

6) The sex could be the hottest you’ve ever had

Trust me, when you know that you’re not ever going to see this person again, you might be more open to letting your guard down. 

You don’t have to worry about being embarrassed by anything or making sure that everything looks perfect because this isn’t going anywhere beyond one night. 

That means you can totally let yourself go and be uninhibited in your actions and the way you feel – even if it’s something new or different that you’ve never tried before. 

So if you’re someone who thinks about things in terms of what you can get away with, then a one-night stand could be the answer for you. 

If you decide to have a one-night stand, be sure to always have consent from the other person. Use your one-night stand as a way to get over your crushes and out of whatever relationship you’re stuck in.

Disadvantages of having a one-night stand

So we’ve highlighted 6 reasons why having a one-night stand can be beneficial to you. But there are some other things you should consider.

1) You might catch feelings

Emotions can be kind of funny because they can come at any time – even when you don’t feel like it. 

So while you’re having a one-night stand, you might catch feelings and you may find yourself thinking about the person in ways that go beyond just having sex with them and wanting to get to know them more. 

This is especially true if your encounter lasts longer than one night. So try not to go beyond that point and keep it strictly physical. 

2) You might have a sexually transmitted disease

Yes, it’s totally normal to have a one-night stand, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have the responsibility of making sure you and the other person stay safe. 

So, for example, if you don’t want to get pregnant, you should always use protection. But, of course, if you’re going to have a single-night stand with someone you don’t know very well yet and have only slept with once or twice before, then it’s important that you get tested. 

That way, both of you will be able to know what’s going on and whether or not you need to be concerned about your sexual health. 

3) You might have a bad reputation among your friends and family members

Though it’s not the case for everyone, when you have a one-night stand, you’re more likely to leave your family and friends with a bad opinion of you. 

This is because it can be seen as irresponsible and cold by some people. And since this is something that could happen at any time, it might cause a lot of conflict in your life if they don’t know what to think of you. 

But it’s not totally your fault that this happens. 

Instead, it’s more about the stigma associated with having a one-night stand. 

You can’t control what your family members or friends will think of you, but you can control how you feel about the one night and that’s what really matters. 

4) You might have terrible morning-after regrets

When you have a one-night stand, there is also the chance of having terrible morning-after regrets. When this happens, you might feel embarrassed or ashamed and try to forget about it as quickly as possible. 

For example, if you get embarrassed by something that happened during your encounter that made you feel awkward and less confident about yourself afterward, then you might want to keep this whole thing to yourself. 

But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn from it or improve yourself because everyone makes mistakes. 

So if you feel ashamed about your actions, don’t let that get in the way of everything – especially if you’re trying to break out of a bad relationship or move on from past experiences. 

5) It could become a habit


If you find that one-night stands are something that you enjoy, then it might be something that you stick with over the long term. But this won’t always be the case and if you keep doing it, then eventually it could become a habit. 

You wouldn’t want to do something so irresponsible and irresponsible because of how good it makes you feel for a short amount of time, so remember to do your best to keep things under control. 

And if you do find that one-night stands are something you’ve grown used to, then it might be time for you to make a change. 

Because having multiple one-night stands in a short time period is not only irresponsible and bad for your bank account, but it also means that you’re doing something that’s not good for you. 

So be sure to take one step at a time in order to reach your goals.

Final thoughts

We have covered what counts as a one-night stand and what are the advantages and disadvantages of having one in your life.

So you will be clear in your mind about whether you should or should not try out this experience.

But most importantly, it depends on your thoughts, mindset, beliefs, and values.

So if you think this is the right decision for you, then go ahead and live life to the fullest while enjoying every bit of it.