What exactly are we talking about here?

  1. A one-time sexual encounter
  2. A person regarded as being suitable for the above (a.)

Is a one-night stand a hook-up? Yes...and no. Yep, you're getting sex from a person who you most likely wouldn't have a relationship with, like a hook-up, but without having any responsibility to speak to or get together with that person ever again. In short, a one-night stand is definitely a hook-up, but, a hook-up is not necessarily a one-night stand.

Hook-ups can last many sexual encounters - sometimes hook-up arrangements can go on for years. A one-night stand is a one-time sexual encounter between two people. Emotionally, they're different too. A one-night stand has no emotional involvement while a hook-up often is more emotionally invested.

Hook-ups can have a relationship outside of the sex. A friendship or just knowing each other from the coffee shop, the internet, or whatever. A one-night stand is, if the rules are played right, someone who you have met, had sex with, and will perhaps never see again. No expectations.

Statistics about One-Night Stands

Academics are not limited to research on economic theory or political strategy. Sexual behaviour is an interest to many scholars. Here are some stats and theories about one-night stands:

Orgasm and enjoyment:

Men have more orgasms during a one night stand than women.(1):
Women - 10%
Men - 64%

One-Night Stand Regrets

Regret turning down a one night stand when offered (2):
Men: 8 in 10
Women: for the most part, women do not regret turning down one night of sex.(3)

Glad that they had a One-Night Stand

Men: 80 % (4)
Women: 54 % of women who have had a one-night stand. (5)

Number of people who have had one-night stands

Percentage of people who have had at least 1 one-night stand: 66% (6)
Average number of one-night stands per person:
Men: 7 (American); 6 (European)
Women: 6 (American); 4 (European)

Most popular time of year for One Night Stands

Summer: Summer is the time when the number of one-night stands goes up. June and July are peak season for these one-time encounters. (7)
A 2014 survey by states (8) that 52% of men and 41% of women had one-night stands during their holidays.
Approximately 70% had one-time sexual encounters with people in the area they were staying in and about 44% had multiple partners during their holiday.

Are you up for a One-Night Stand?

People often go into a one-night stand for several reasons. Many people find it to be what they want, when they want it - it's all about sexual gratification when you want it. Married or single, it doesn't matter - it's all about sex with no complications, baggage, or regret.

Married people - married men and married women

We get married to who we think is our soulmate. However, the soul is fickle, people change, and stress weighs us down - kids, money, house stuff. Marriages often start to break down with time, and a couple finds itself unhappy, bored with their sex lives, and open to outside adventure.

The distraction of a one-night stand can be exciting and non-committal. It can clear the head, and provide a new point of view on life.

The explorer

Single, or in a relationship, sometimes you want something fun and that is non-committal. A one-night stand just might be on your bucket list, and alternately perhaps it should be.

It's new, it's exciting, and may be something that you have never done before. A one-night stand can be conducted on the down-low. No worries about being judged, because you'll never see that person again.

If you're coming out of a relationship

This is a strange and not very nice time for most people. Coming out of a relationship can be one of the worst times of someone's life. The person feels lost, confused, broken-hearted, and torn but may still want to be with the person she or he has just left, knowing at the same time that it's probably not the best idea.

The solution may be to get back up on the horse and ride. Everyone knows of a someone single who will go to great lengths to get that pent-up energy out. This is a good thing. This is an opportunity to explore new tastes, try new things, and find a new way to forget about the other person. Sex is healthy (actually, safe sex is healthy), so there is no reason not to go for it. With some imagination, you might wish to try something new in the bedroom (or elsewhere) that excites you both.

Threesome couples

Usually a couple will look for someone that they know or have had some communication with to add spice to their relationship. Sometimes a woman has a desire to climax from another woman, ands decide to bring her male partner along for the ride. The opposite can also hold true. There's nothing wrong with experimentation. A discreet one-nighter is not unusual in any circumstance. Bringing someone in for a night of pure pleasure may not be a bad thing for anyone.

The "I can't be bothered with a relationship" girl or guy

Everyone has something that is important to them. Their careers, their projects, their hobbies. Some people don't have the energy for a relationship, even one that has no strings attached. A one-night stand can give them what they want, without having to contact that person again. Both individuals get their desires fulfilled, and can get on with their lives. This is a sexual relationship that requires no investment. Quite a way to go make the big bucks during the day, and get one's thrills at night.

Travelers and people on holiday looking for some extra excitement.

Travelling has become quite popular. People are going around the world for new adventures, to explore different cultures, and to meet new people. One's holiday can be a great place and time to have a one-nighter. If all parties know what to expect - there shouldn't be any disappointment.

What's the attraction of a one-nighter?

It's easy:

Very easy. There are always people willing to be the partner in the relationship, and they will come out of the woodwork if one is looking and open. All one needs to do is let others know that they are available.

It's convenient and satisfying:

It's a one-night thing. One can get it pretty much whenever one wants it, and their partner will be likely willing to play their part.

It takes people outside of the norm: It gives them the opportunity to be someone else:

There is no judgment, especially for women, and you can wake up satisfied. No more "walk of shame". There are sides to each of us that we haven't explored yet. And, we have a very short time on this planet, so it is a good thing to get moving and find out who we truly are, what we like, what we like doing for others and what they can do for us.

How to turn a date into something on the wild side

Normally, we go out on a date because we see something great in a person, someone we want to get to know, and maybe develop something further. However, we can also date that person and it can be someone who we are attracted to, but someone we see lacking long-haul "must haves". So, what's the solution?

Well, to make sure the date is memorable - one can make it a one-night stand. The decision to only have this thing last one night is up to the two people. If you want it to end up as a one-night stand, let the person know. Just let them know. Message them to let them know what you want, and be upfront about it. Let them decide if that's what they want too. Always make it perfectly clear that you want one night only - nothing more. You don't want a relationship. That's the ONLY way to know what the other person wants. But, always let the person know that you enjoyed it, as you may decide that you want them for something non-committal in the future. A great night can sometimes develop into a no-strings attached acquaintance if both parties open up.

Where else can people go to satisfy that itch?

You've decided that you want a one-night stand, but you're perhaps not acquainted with anyone who could satisfy your needs. So, you need other options, and there are several ways to find a sex buddy.

Bars and clubs, parties

One can go out to the clubs to have a good time, a time with the girls or guys, just to get out and have some fun or fly solo in search of that little bit of "sumpin sumpin". The good thing about bars and clubs is that many of the people there are looking for the same thing, and can pick up someone for a random night. And, if one is in a bar in a new city, this is a good chance to try something (and someone) different.

Dating agencies

Dating agencies are usually in the business of setting up long-term relationships. They're interested in finding someone who will be compatible in the long term. This process takes time, so it's usually best to explore another avenue.

Dating apps

Dating apps are great too, but many do not focus on the short-term thrill. They are often like agencies, although there are some specialty apps that are geared towards sex.


Websites are often the way to go. Sites like may give you all of the tools needed to satisfy your search. When you set up your profile, clearly state your preferences, so others understand your interest.

The 10 Commandments of a One-Night Stand.

There are many reasons why people opt to have a one night stand. Besides ensuring that their single status remains intact, many people like the excitement, the feeling of being needed and desired, and getting in touch with a part of their inner-being that they may have lost touch with. Whatever the reason, one should always make sure that they and their partner enjoy the experience.

It's OK to do it.

First of all, make sure it's what you want. If you've decided ‘yes', and your partner agrees, then jump right in! Many people, particularly women, feel that they shouldn't go this route because it wasn't always socially acceptable, someone might find out, or they will be looked at differently. While one should feel free to do it, it does not make sense to try if it'll bring you down. Regret doesn't look good on anyone.

Be honest and upfront

You've decided that you want a one-night stand, and since there is another person involved, it is vital that you let her/him know upfront what your intentions are. If you don't, you're being unfair. Do unto others...

It's OK to not want anything more than a one-night fling. Not everyone wants or needs a committed companion, or is looking for that "one". If you don't want to be serious, and you just want a date that turns into sex, say so. If the person isn't into it, then fine.

But, as a follow-up to commandment 1, be honest with yourself too. If it is a one-night stand, there is a good chance that this won't be a relationship, so try to keep all of your feelings out of it. This is just about two people getting together for a little fun, without any involvement outside of the one night.

Be adventurous

This is a one-night thing, with someone who you have no connection with. So, go with your fantasies, experiment, and have fun. But, make sure the person you're with understands what you want. Respect their boundaries, and ensure they respect yours.

People sometimes feel more willing to engage in new positions, fantasies etc... because they are being done in a night where everything is on the table, with no commitment. Casual sex gives us the freedom to step outside of our usual boxes.

Be adventurous, but...use protection

Using protection will help you enjoy your experience without worry of unwanted consequences (STI, pregnancy). Your physical and emotional health are important. Always use barrier protection (condom), and always have a supply. No matter how much you are in the heat of the moment, make sure both of you are safe.

Be respectful

Even though this is a one-night thing, and there is no emotional attachment, you should always have respect for the person you're with. Remember, do unto others...
If your buddy's been drinking too much, don't take advantage or pressure them. Keep them safe until they get home the next morning - let them sleep off the drink. And, always take the time to enjoy the other person. Enjoy the foreplay, their body, their smell, and let them know.

Stay all night

Even though it's a one-nighter, and it's tempting to leave after you've had sex, you likely don't need to. You might wish to stay the night, because even though you both know that this isn't going anywhere, and you've agreed that there is no commitment or emotion, staying the night shows respect and won't make your partner feel like garbage.

End the evening, or morning, appropriately and politely.

Now that both of you are staying together after, you will eventually leave in the morning, or the other will leave. Make sure the trip home is safe (taxi fare). It'll help with the exit, and get him/her out of your space a little quicker with no grief. Thanking your partner for a fun night is probably a nice touch.

Be real

So, you've followed Commandment #2, and things are going well. You both know what the night is; don't get all feely by taking an interest in their personal stuff, or offer to stay longer than the night. Don't promise to text or call if you have no intention. It just hurts. Things could get confused and no one wants that.

And, if there is any anxiety on anyone's part, be kind enough to recognize it and deal with it. It'll make the night go smoother and everyone will be happier in the end. At the end of it all, just let the person know, for real, that you enjoyed yourself and it's time to go.

Be open to the possibilities of more

Even though it's a one-night stand, don't completely shut the door on more just yet. A one-night stand can be more if you two find that you really connect. Sometimes someone isn't Mr. Right, but they make a pretty good Mr. Right Now. If you both aren't interested in a long-term commitment you might decide a friends with benefits arrangement might be a good fit for all parties.

Make sure you're both getting something out of it.

Many people, women for the most part, don't have one-night stands because there is no real thrill in it for them. Women tend to want to make sure that their partner is happy and satisfied with the encounter, ignoring their own needs. Men, on the other hand, tend to just want to be there to get what they need out of it. If you're a woman, satisfy your partner, but don't let him or her ignore you. And, if you're a man, the same goes. It may only be one night, but it should be a spectacular experience for all parties.

Setting up your profile - be clear about what you want

When you are setting up your profile, there are certain things that are definitely needed to present you in the best possible light. Whether you're looking for an affair, a companion, a long-term mate, or a sex partner for a night, the following is essential:

  1. Be real about who you are. That means a current picture, current stats - real info about who you are.
  2. Be honest from the start - from your screen name, to your headline and to any stories that you want to let them know.
  3. Show your fun side. Be witty, throw on some charm, and make the person reading your profile comfortable with the real you.

If you are looking for a one-night stand, make sure you also add:

  1. That you are in it only for the sex. You want a new friend for ONE night.
  2. Some spontaneity. This is about the sex, so while you are being witty and charming, be exciting and a little flirtatious.
  3. Let your potential one-nighter know why you want this.

Dictionary References

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