Franki Cookney | Contributing Writer | Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Calling Bullshit On The So-Called \\\\\\\'Half-Night Stand\\\\\\\'

Calling Bullshit On The So-Called 'Half-Night Stand'

The Debrief: It’s not that sex has to be 'special' every time… but shouldn’t it at least be sociable?

Illustration by Marylou Faure

One night stands? OMG you’re so 2015. It’s all about the half-night stand now. Yes, according to the internet, more and more 20-something women are choosing to slip off in the early hours after a one night stand rather than sleep over.

Of course it’s all down to 'the rise of Tinder' (isn’t everything?). Apparently these days, once the bump n grind is out of the way, we’re knocking off early in order to avoid awkward chit chat and the “walk of shame”.

Personally I am baffled by anyone who thinks heading home by the light of day, possibly via the nearest Costa for a gigantic vat of coffee and a tuna melt (just me?), is worse than trying to navigate public transport in the wee small hours. You could call a cab, I suppose, assuming you have the money to do that, but even then you have to find your knickers, check your wallet, rummage under the bed for the earring you saw roll under it out of the corner of your eye while you were doing your best arched-back cowgirl… then you have to wait for it to arrive and get all the way home. I just don’t see how that adds up to less of an inconvenience. 

As for the dreaded small talk, COME ON, PEOPLE. You can put your tongue – your actual tongue - on someone’s genitals but you can’t summon the courage to ask them what they think of Making a Murderer

The half-night stand is not a sign we’re more relaxed about sex. If anything it’s a sign we’re more uptight. If we can't even make conversation with the person we just had sex with, how we possibly see ourselves as sexually liberated?

I understand that there are sometimes genuine reasons for wanting or needing to leave early. Snoring was one complaint of the half-night standers, as was rudeness, poor hygiene and an early start. But often the reasons are psychological, and not particularly constructive, either.

'I went through a stage of deliberately having sex with people I didn't like or respect or necessarily feel in control of my feelings with,' a friend told me. 'Leaving in the night was like taking back the control in some way. Or avoiding any danger of developing feelings for them.'

I can relate to that. I’ve only done what could reasonably be called a half-night stand once but it’s not something I’m proud of. My partner was a nice person, attractive, and the sex was good. They were genuinely baffled when at 5am I said I was leaving.

It boiled down to insecurity. Like many thousands before me, I thought I would seem cooler if I was seen to be 'not bothered.'  I highly doubt it had the intended effect. Either way, the early escape was little more than a dick move on my part and I’m still slightly ashamed of it. 

Not everyone agrees, however. 

'I am quite pro the glory of my own bed,' said one friend, a sentiment that has been echoed by many of the half-nighters. I can understand this to an extent. But I also can’t help thinking people need to chill out. It’s one night, after all. It might not be as comfortable as my own bed but if it’s a choice between passing out on an unfamiliar pillow or trekking across town to get home, I’ll be taking the post-coital snooze option every time. 

Then there’s the argument that leaving early avoids the apparently inevitable trauma of having to wake up next to, what one friend described as a 'horror show' as you realise the person you were rubbing your leather legging-clad lady boner up against in the bar last night isn’t quiiiiiiiite as attractive as you first thought.

'One of the joys of the half-night stand,' enthused 31-year-old Rara Armstrong, a case study in a recent feature on the phenomenon, 'is that you can wake up in your own bed and pretend the whole thing was just a bad dream!' 

Well, that’s something to celebrate. 

Hey, if it happens, it happens. The beer goggles are a force to be reckoned with, I know. But it strikes me that if 'pretending it was just a bad dream' is becoming a regular feature of your sex life, maybe – just maybe - it’s time to rethink your strategy?

You may accuse me of being old-fashioned but is aspiring to have sex with people you actually fancy really so outlandishly retro?

In what might be one of the saddest sentences I’ve ever read, Rara said: 'Sex has become disposable – you do it, then you want to get out as quickly as possible, get home and share the experience with your friends on Facebook or Instagram as a laugh.'

This, for me, is the crux of why the half-night stand is such a depressing development. It’s not that sex has to be 'special' every time… but shouldn’t it at least be sociable? This fear of communication doesn’t suggest that we’re getting any better at sex. And as for wanting to get out of there as quickly as possible, let’s just say if you gave a restaurant that review, people would wonder why you kept going back. 

Plus leaving early is downright inconvenient. 5am night bus? I'll take clunky small talk and an awkward battle over the duvet any night of the week.

Like this? Then you might aslo be interested in:

Why It's Important To Learn How To Have Sober Sex 

10 Girls Share Their One-Night Stand Rules 

Sex Moves For When You're Feeling Tired And Lazy 

Follow Franki on Twitter @FrankiCookney

 

Tags: Sex