When I first got out of a long-term serious relationship, I indulged the irrational fear that I'd never have sex again. Over requisite beers, a friend told me I was being ridiculous. "You're an attractive girl," he said. "Just go to a bar, pick up a dude, and get laid. It won't be hard; trust me." I looked at him like he'd ask me to sell my mother into prostitution.
One night stands were for drunk people and investment bankers, I told myself. Don't get me wrong; it's not like I never had one. Years ago I went home with a hot Brazilian I met at Max Fish whose name I can't remember. I do, however, remember the sex -- fondly. And when I think about it, I have to admit that my general takeaway from that and my few other similar encounters is that sex really doesn't always have to be about a meaningful and intimate connection; sometimes it's about doing what feels good in the moment.
I'm not saying casual sex is for everybody. But, as Josey Vogels once wrote in her column, Messy Bedroom, "There is a lot to be learned about yourself through purely physical-based encounters, especially for women who are taught that sex is this precious gift that is only to be given away in the most idyllic circumstances. Meanwhile, men are raised to have a much more casual physical relationship with sex. No wonder we women give it so much emotional play." In other words, our culture is saturated with the message that women who have one night stands are desperate for attention, suffer from low self-esteem, have issues with men or are alcoholic party girls. This idea doesn't resonate for me. I think women are more complicated than this idea gives us credit for. In some circumstances, having sex one time with someone you never plan to sleep with again can be exactly what you want and need, and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Here are 8 good reasons I've identified to have the occasional one night stand: