The other day I was having a conversation with my friend about one-night stands. We came to the conclusion that the act itself is an absolutely absurd display and can often really showcase some sociopathic tendencies. Don’t believe me? Well I can assure you it’s true; I actually do have friends.
When you have a one-night stand with a stranger, you go from having never met or interacted with the person before in your life, to baring it all in a matter of hours, sometimes even less. In our culture, nakedness is one of the most vulnerable states that you can be in, and is something that I personally am not comfortable with in front of almost anyone – except my dog. Yet, with a one-night stand, people are totally willing to enter into this naked contract with someone they’ve literally just met.
The preamble itself is really just an act of manipulation by both parties. As the guy, you’re expected to say all the right things, maybe buy the person of interest a drink, tell a few jokes, and flirt underhandedly to let them know that you’re interested. No matter the person, the preamble is almost always the same. The underlying thought process is always, “What can I do or say to this person to get them to sleep with me tonight?”
Thanks to the B- I received in my Business Ethics class, I can tell you that this entire act is a violation of Kantian ethics. Treating the other person
as a means to an end, and disregarding that they’re a person of value is not an ethical way to treat someone. With one-night stands, aren’t we just treating the other person as a tool? There is almost no actual
intimacy involved and it’s really all about satisfying your own desires.
To subscribe to the belief that you are manipulating and using the other individual in a one-night stand comes with an intrinsic sense of guilt. Most people don’t consider themselves to be a bad person, but treating someone else as a lesser person is hard to rationalize. But, as my mother would say when I complained my brother was bullying me, it takes two to tango.
The other party is completely aware of what you’re doing. To believe that we’re capable of manipulating someone into doing what we want by saying the right things and buying them a six-dollar rum and coke is a bit delusional. There is no actual sexual hypnotism happening, as the other party wants it to happen just as much as you do.
When you look at it, they’re actually the smart one. They get a free drink out of it, and get to hear a couple jokes. Not to mention all of the sly comments on their looks they get screamed into their ear overtop the music. Being pursued for a one-night stand is an inherently flattering experience. A stranger finds your simple existence attractive enough to devote their entire night to you. They know nothing about you, they don’t care where you work or what you’re studying, all they know is that you’re attractive.
The realization that you’re attractive enough to be desirable is a nice feeling, albeit an emotionally shallow one. Which is a good segue into the aftermath of a one-night stand, the lack of emotional fulfillment.
Most one-night stands happen when both parties are intoxicated, when the brain is not operating at full capacity and only can pursue its base desires. These are usually more alcohol, greasy food, and sex. Having a one-night stand is like eating a greasy cheeseburger. It looks really good when you’re drunk, you don’t really need it, and you’re probably going to regret it in the morning.
“Having a one-night stand is like eating a greasy cheeseburger. It looks really good when you’re drunk, you don’t really need it, and you’re probably going to regret it in the morning.”
Alternatively, being intimate in a healthy relationship is like eating a healthy meal, maybe a nice salad. You can be proud of it, it will make you happy long-term, and it’s just good for you. Overall, probably a 4/10 analogy. I’ll work on it.
Am I saying don’t have one-night stands? No chance. Being young and promiscuous is a natural progression in life. We have the chance to make mistakes, and hopefully learn from them while we’re young and we should pursue that. Additionally, I’m sure that there are a fair amount of relationships that begin stemming from one-night stands. I imagine it’s a good icebreaker.
As long as you’re aware that the other person is using you just as much as you’re trying to use them, you will be no emotionally worse for wear after the experience. One-night stands can be unhealthy if you are expecting some kind of emotional fulfillment from the experience, as you likely will not find any. Everyone is just trying to fulfill their base desires when drunk, it’s a jungle out there.
PS: If you see each other in public after, it’s awko taco.
- Dan Tyler