Hooking Up With A One-Night Stand


I’ve done no shortage of posts on sex and hook-up culture.

Since I am not only a dating coach, but a long-time participant in the hook-up culture (1991-2008), I’d like to think I’ve got a pretty good grasp of what it entails.

And while I will defend anyone’s right to participate in one-night-stands and random drunken hookups, I will only point out the same thing that I’ve pointed out for years:

Men, in general, can handle the emotional consequences better than women.

Before you write to me and tell me that you’ve fucked 100 guys in the past two years and haven’t felt a shred of regret, sadness or emotion, allow me to point out to you that every rule has its exceptions. I’m not shaming you. I’m only pointing out that men, on the whole, handle NSA sex better than women. Per a recent YourTango article:

Psychologist Anne Campbell from the Durham University in England surveyed more than 3,300 people between the ages of 17 and 40. Half of them – men and women equally included – reported having experienced a one-night stand. She asked them to describe their experiences and, more importantly, the emotions they experienced the morning after. Her research on casual sex found that despite women’s claims that they can have carefree sex unattached: 80 percent of men had overall positive feelings; meanwhile, only 54 percent of women had positive feelings.”

I’m not shaming you. I’m only pointing out that men, on the whole, handle NSA sex better than women.

Other salient points about hooking up which shouldn’t surprise anyone with a working set of eyes:

There’s A Connection Between  Poor Mental State & Casual Sex  

“So why do we do it? Over and over again? In surveying the sexual behaviors and mental health of 10,000 people, those who reported serious thoughts of suicide or more depressive symptoms as teens were more likely to engage in casual sex as young adults. In other words, poor mental state and casual sex do reinforce each other – in both men and women.”

In other words, we’re sad. We’re lonely. We’re horny. We yearn for human touch, release, connection. We sleep with whoever will have us, regardless of whether that person is a good fit. Again, this doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with depressed people or that only depressed people have casual sex. It only suggests that when we’re in a bad emotional state, we’re more likely to pursue short-term instant gratification which may not feel good in the long-term.

Men Drop Their Standards, While Women Raise Them

“A study conducted by Dr. Achim Schützwohl and his team from Brunel University in the UK…examined how a hookup’s hypothetical physical attractiveness (slightly unattractive, moderately attractive and exceptionally attractive) would determine a person’s willingness to accept one of three hookup requests (go out, come to apartment, go to bed).

Don’t overestimate your ability to have a one-night-stand without feeling some pangs of remorse.

For all three requests, men were more likely to accept a hookup regardless of her attractiveness. On the other side of the equation, women placed more importance on a man’s looks. They were more likely to accept the “apartment” and “bed” requests from an “exceptionally” attractive man than from either a “moderately” attractive or “slightly” unattractive man.”

Men will hook up with a woman who is breathing and showing interest. Women place more importance on a man’s looks, even while they swear men are more looks-driven. (Actually, we are – just not for one-night stands.)

As usual, studies tend to exonerate what we observe anecdotally in real life. What does this mean for you, as a woman reader?

a) Don’t overestimate your ability to have a one-night-stand without feeling some pangs of remorse.

b) Don’t be too surprised if a guy sleeps with you even if he’s not attracted to you and has no intentions of dating you seriously – and has no regrets about it whatsoever.

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  1. 21

    “Men just don’t have this oxytocin thing.”


    Not true.   However, it takes a lot more than great sex to trigger it for us.   It’s more complicated than that for us.

  2. 22

    I think many women are fine with it IF it is upfront and honestly discussed that way and the guy isn’t giving any signs of wanting more, yes, I would prefer to find a committed loving man to share my life with and get off the dating carousel but it’s been a rough road. After my latest disappointment after a month of seeing each other he just wasn’t feeling “chemistry” I’m on the verge of taking a break from looking for the real deal and just having a little fun. I didn’t sleep with this last guy, he actually never tried anything too physical so it was never an issue and he still fizzled out. I’m meeting someone who may have potential this weekend but if this one doesn’t turn out I’m definitely just going to have a little fun. I’ve had two disappointments where I was seeing someone for a few weeks and it didn’t work out. I am doing online dating and have now been looking at some guys who are hot but not looking for anything to have some fun, otherwise if I meet someone out and about who fits the bill I may pursue that as well.   I am being cautious to only do this with men I see absolutely no future with and just have fun with no attachments. If I went without the entire time I’ve tried to find a boyfriend I would have been celibate for almost two years – no thank you!

  3. 23

    At 47 I’ve had ONS and long term relationships. Personally, for me, I know that IF I jump into a sexual relationship with a man very quickly, then it is solely because I don’t want an actual emotional relationship – its for sex.   That said, I don’t usually orgasm with a man whom I’m not emotionally close to, so casual sex just isn’t satisfying on the same level as that of a committed relationship.   That is just my wiring.   Fortunately I’m in a committed relationship 🙂   One reason I don’t pursue an emotional relationship if sex is initiated early in the relationship is that sex just seems to stop the actual getting to know all the facets of the personality of a person – in my experience.   For that reason I prefer to wait until I love that person, then go forward with intimacy.

    Responding to a few earlier posts – If a person wants to wait until marriage, it is a very valid position. Even though our culture seems to value “experience” when two people don’t have sexual histories with a variety of people, they make their own together, with no baggage or memories of other people.   Honestly, I would have chosen that, had I not been a “date rape” victim.

    My daughters are teens, 17 & 19, and both are currently choosing to wait. Right now my 17 year old has chosen to postpone dating until graduation – and has put the brakes on even kissing the boy who continues to hang around our house like a lost puppy, because she wants to make sure there is a really solid friendship in place before any intimacy.

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