By Bunmi Sofola
VERA was in the midst of friends who were gaping in disbelief at her exploits when she continued, obviously enjoying rattling her listeners. “I had sex with an old boyfriend last week when I went to his office. Later in the afternoon, I had a date. Sex was on the cards and we got down to it. That night, I went to bed satisfied for having gotten laid without suffering a broken heart.” At 36, Vera confessed her life had gone crazy since she was dumped by her live-in-lover with whom she had two children at the beginning of the year when he met someone new.
Speaking of her former partner, she said, “He was a year older than I am, good-looking, funny and a real charmer and I fell like a ton of bricks for him. And at first, it was brilliant and we went on to have our kids in quick succession. By this time, I had discovered that he had a drink problem which I got caught up in. We would be drinking till late in the night after work, day after day. I hated being hung over all of the time.
“Inevitably, he started cheating on me and became really abusive, so I packed my bags and left with my two children. I was lucky to have my parents’ help in raising them as I was really depressed about the break up. My self-esteem was so low I started going for any man that showed any interest. I work in a large insurance company and there are lots of fix guys there. I had flings with a few of them in succession and colleagues started talking about me behind my back and sniggering at me. So, the affairs at work stopped.
“Shortly after, a guy I went to university with came into the office to sort out his insurance without knowing I worked there. He asked me for a date and even though the date was dismal, I still had sex with him at the end of it. Unfortunately, the sex obviously meant more to him as he later declared his love for me. I had to tell him I’d just separated from a man I had two kids with and wasn’t looking for a replacement so soon. He was quite angry I hadn’t been on the level with him about my past before
leading him on. I mean how would he feel if I’d confessed that having sex with him on a first date seemed easier than telling him he didn’t turn me on at all.”
One night stands, like Vera had, could be therapeutic even with your long term lover. In the past, no-strings sex was easy for men, but left women emotionally broken. Not any more. “Despite ‘experts’ saying the oxdytocin released after sex means a woman gets quickly attached,there is no neurobiological evidence to support this,” says Kayt Suken, author of Dirty Minds: How our Brains influence Love, Sex and Relationships. But don’t go in search of a casual hook-up just yet as it’s been discovered that while 80% of men felt positive after a one-night stand, the figure for women is 54 % with many saying their overriding feeling was one of ‘being used.’
According to Kayt: “If you’re sure you can bring your body to the party and leave your heart at home, fine. But we’re also dealing with psychology here, in which sex and self-esteem are out wined. Chemicals aside, when someone walks away after a fling, the other person can feel, ‘I wasn’t good enough to see again.’ Before you embark on a one-night stand relationship, here are five questions you should tackle:
WHO: “Avoid relationship material” —advises Kayt, otherwise you risk emotional investment, which will ruin the disposable thrill factor. If you don’t share an emotional history and anticipate how it could affect mutual friends, a mate can be fun. Exes can also work. They already fancy you, but be honest: is one night worth relieving the break-p?
Strangers are dodgy. They really could be anyone, into anything, plus you risk the dreaded day after; the best option is the friend of someone you rarely see—someone you can vouch for him. For a candidate who will make it memorable, choose a man with more hair on his body than on his head. They’re supposed to be the hottest one-night stands due to their hormonal make-up.
WHY? Gratification. A one-night stand is great for dis-stressing, and being busy distracts from any residual longing after the event. A fling is a way of seeing “what else is out there and establishing what you need in bed before you form a relationship. But if what you’re really after is a confidence boost, grab your vibrator instead; a one-night stand will make you feel worse.
WHAT: A good one-night stand should be simple and experimental. Just don’t go down a too complicated track that could transform excitement into a try-hard test that’ll ruin your kicks. Adopt the mind-set that this is a clean sexual slate. Challenge yourself to experiment. One of the benefits is you do this without worrying about the emotional aftermath for your relationship. If you’re at your place, go all out for fore-play. Let your imagination and preference run riot. Men enjoy this but would never request anything kinky from a partner.
WHEN: Straight after a break-up can be great. According to Kayt, “Two to three months after a split with someone you loved can make you susceptible to pining afterwards, so hold off. Also being drunk makes you more adventurous, but it can be risky. Relaxed is the state to aim for. The more in control a woman is, the more she enjoys her one night stand— you can articulate what you do and don’t want. Meeting at Saturday lunch and staying in bed all afternoon means extended foreplay, which is great for your orgasm. You can even pick the best week for a day session; we produce” more testosteron days six to 14 of our menstrual cycle, which means we crave no strings sex, while the premenstrual week chemistry makes us more experimental. Avoid days 15-21, however, when hormones may make you feel clingy post sex.
WHERE? You’re most likely to orgasm in the kitchen at your house. Fact: Just make sure that everyone is out! If you’re in your ‘nest’, says Kayt, “it’s the optimum place to orgasm because you’re relaxed and have whatever you need nearby. Men (the victims?) prefer going back to the woman’s place because they could tell she’s more relaxed. Going back to his means you find out too much about him and that’s already investing too much in a one-night stand. Neutral ground— like a hotel room—is best for the walk-away element and makes everything even more exciting.