Sophie Cullinane | Features Editor | Tuesday, 7 April 2015

How To Safely Have a One Night Stand

How To Have A One Night Stand. Safely

The Debrief: And, no, we don’t just mean wear a condom. Although do that too, kids...

Plenty of my enlightened, educated, sexually liberated friends still claim that they've 'never had a one night stand.' Which would be fine if they weren't talking total bollocks. And the fact that they feel compelled to lie about it shows how much shame is still associated with one-night stands.

It's infuriating,  because as far as I'm concerned, the therapeutic nature of an anonymous shag with a total stranger shouldn't be baulked at (if there’s a better way of momentarily forgetting about some twat who’s let you down than shagging the sadness out of you, I’m yet to discover it). But maybe part of the problem is one night stands - especially the anonymous kind - still feels like inherently dangerous behaviour to indulge in. When we go to bed with people we don’t really know, we run the risk of ending up with a total idiot we’ll have to ignore forever, an axe wielding murderer, an STD or (whisper it) a broken heart. Maybe we’re ashamed of having one night stands in the same way we’re ashamed of any other reckless behaviour like smoking, taking drugs and cutting our own fringes? We know it’s potentially bad for us, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re going to stop now, does it?

Thankfully there is a way do to the whole one night stand ‘thing’ without getting clobbered (either physically or emotionally). Here's how, from one who's done her homework. You're welcome. 

The Pre Plan

‘If I feel like I’m in the mood to having a one night only, casual bit of fun, the first thing I do is tidy my bedroom,’ 26 year-old Julia Hall tells The Debrief. ‘I think if my house is looking its best, then there’s more of chance that we’ll end up back at my place which just makes me more comfortable – at least my housemates are there and can stop me if they think I’m making a terrible error or doing it for the wrong reasons. And, after several years of single shagging and some absolutely catastrophic one night stands (as well as some amazing ones) I've realised that some good reasons include for becoming a part time lover are that you're feeling horny, you're bored or just keen to try something new. Some bad reasons are that you're depressed over an ex and you're hoping they'll find out or that you secretly really like the person you're about to bump uglies with and you're hoping it will turn into a relationship. When I've got with someone for the wrong reasons is always when I've put myself in danger - leaving my friends without saying goodbye and getting into an unmarked taxi with a bloke who promised we could charge my phone at his house has to be a highlight - has only happened when I didn't the necessary pre-shag chat with myself and my mates. It's far more important a pre-plan than making sure you've done your bikini line and binned the Spanx.'

 Basic Safety Stuff

‘One of the biggest mistakes that women make when they’re having a one night stand isn’t necessarily down to booze, it’s trying to keep the whole thing a secret,’ explains a 27 year-old self-confessed ‘expert one night stander’ – let’s call her Amy – who also happens to work for the Metropolitan police. ‘I think girls sometimes get embarrassed by having casual sex with someone new and don’t want to fess up to their friends, but you can put yourself in so much unnecessary danger if you’re mates don’t know where you are. For that reason, I do think it’s best if they come back to your place but, if you have to go to theirs, there are a few simple things you can do to make sure your mates know where you are. Dropping a pin earlier on in the evening on WhatsApp which your friends can later track is a good idea, as is always keeping your charger with you in case you’re caught short. I also make friends order Uber for me and give them cash because then they’ve got a physical receipt of the journey I’ve made in case anything goes wrong. And, of course, it goes without saying that you should keep your drink with you at all times but it might also be an idea to abandon the ‘one for the ditch’ as well. Not getting blind drunk is obviously the easiest way to make sure you’re not putting yourself in danger.’

The Health Stuff

‘It goes without saying that you should definitely wear protection on a one night stand and, like them or loathe them, wearing a condom is the best thing you can do to protect your health,’ explains GUM clinician Erica Clarkes. ‘It’s not prudish or unattractive to insist that your casual partner uses a condom despite what they might make you believe and anyone who disagrees probably isn’t someone you should be sleeping with anyway. Mistake do happen, though, but there are a few places you can go and get the morning after pill even if you don’t have any cash on you or can’t afford it yourself. Brook Centres are a good place to start as are other young people’s services or family planning clinics. Your GP will also provide you with one if live outside of Jersey, as will NHS walk-in centres and some pharmacies if you’re under 25 including some Boots. You can also buy the emergency contraceptive pill online for around £30 if can’t get to any of those services for any reason, like it’s a bank holiday.’

 The Emotional Stuff

‘Even if you go into a one night stand with the best of intentions, unwanted or unexpected feelings can very easily sneak in,’ explains psychologist Dr Grace Whitney. ‘Don’t panic and leave in the middle of the night – that can be very hurtful – but maintaining a fair amount of distance is post-sex is probably not a bad idea. If you’re tempted to stalk them on social media, just block them for the time being and try your best not to text too much if you genuinely don’t want the relationship to develop into anything more serious but, if you do, the best thing to do is be honest. Many a good relationship has started with a one night stand and there’s no shame in asking for more, but you could end up really hurting yourself by continuing in a causal relationship if you’re really looking to turn them into your boyfriend. Just don’t do it.’

Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

The Casual-Sex Project Forgets To Mention That Sometimes One-Night Stands Are Crap

How To Make Your One-Night Stand Better At Sex

Ribena Face. Dedicated Towels. And Other Things That Come Up When You Discuss Period Sex At Length

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Tags: Sex, Sex O\'Clock, Sex Ed