How to Have a One-Night Stand in 10 Easy Steps

Yesterday our first weekly column appeared in Metro, the 6th largest circulated newspaper in the U.S., with an audience of more than 1.2 million daily readers in New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. If you’re outside these three cities or missed us on your morning commute, we’ll be reprinting our how-to column, unabridged, every Wednesday. This week’s edition is on one-night stands.

Just because the sex is casual, doesn’t mean your manners should be:

  1. Don’t have a one-night stand with a co-worker, sibling’s friend, friend’s sibling, ex’s friend, friend’s ex, mail carrier, or anyone else you’re likely to bump into often. Do have one on vacation or a business trip, but only if you don’t have someone waiting at home for you.
  2. Make sure the fleeting nature of the encounter is mutual; if you think the other person foresees a beautiful relationship developing, abort mission. In the right kind of environment, you might even be able to say, with a cheeky grin, “Let’s have sex and never see each other again.” If not, you’ll just have to intuit things.
  3. That said, once mutual casual interest is established, no need to harp on the issue (for example, with a post-climax “So just to confirm, I can go now, right?”).
  4. Keep the emotional baggage light and the mood breezy: Don’t talk about family, exes, therapy, or love. And no candle-light.
  5. But just because you may not care to see each other again, you still need to care about each other’s safety. Talk about your sexual history and health: “By the way, I have HPV” won’t be so difficult to admit when you’ve only got a fling to lose. And condoms, of course, are a must!
  6. That said, remember that condoms can’t always protect you from everything (including a fibbing stranger), so don’t be surprised if you wake up with a case of herpes a few weeks from now.
  7. Because this person doesn’t know you so well, use it as an opportunity to experiment: be a little kinkier, whatever that means for you. Perhaps it’s role-playing and spanking, or perhaps it’s just doing it doggie-style. But if you’re going to attempt any dirty talk, never demand, “Say my name,” just in case the other person already forgot it (awkward). Also, never let a stranger tie you up (duh).
  8. Remember that reciprocity has to happen now, during this one-and-only session, so be giving…and demanding.
  9. No need to spoon, but let’s be grownups here: Past midnight, it’s just polite to offer to share your bed for the night — and a cup of coffee the next morning.
  10. If you never want to see them again, don’t lie and say you’ll call. Go instead with a simple, sincere, “I had a totally awesome time” (high-five optional).

Read Metro online every day right here


  1. I am still single since i had caught my in my room sleeping with my closest friend, just two days to my wedding, and i shut my heart from relationships, but i have decided to open my heart and learn to love and trust again, and i am here to find a new love.

    The kind of Man am looking for should be very well responsible, honest, caring, lovely, open-minded and i dont mind if he has any kids or not, and i promise to take care of him with everything i have in all aspect and also make him happy till the rest of his life if he can, in return give me his love.

  2. And. I forgot to add

    Don’t get pissed if your mate then does same thing on occasion. I would prefer to be honest about these things but I found out the hard way that sometimes people don’t want to know the truth. They want you to keep it from being flaunted in their face …., which is understandable.

  3. And remember to get their number if they especially good in bed. NEVER GIVE YOURS AND USING A FAKE NAME AND NO TELLING OF COMPANY YOU WORK FOR WILL HELP TO KEEP THINGS QUIET. I find these things work out best if both people have something to lose if it found out. No black mail later. Great if you can set up a great hook up way ahead of that out of town business trip. Waste too much tme you could be humping calling around and bar hopping. You catch my drift. Oh yeah and tell front desk to not give anyone your room number. And tell your spouse the wrong room number in case she/he takes it upon her/him self to take a sudden check up on you trip.

  4. @curious Hell Yeah you are supposed to go up to a man and ask him if he wants to Fuck. I love a powerful women. The question is how to ask a woman for a 1 night stand? They definitely have to be clean of any diseases . Any girls in So Cal?

  5. ok so how do you ask for a one night stand? I personally feel weird just going up to a guy saying “hey you wanna come to my hotel and have sex” that’s why I never have had one before!!

  6. Absolutely love this article! As someone who just had my first one night stand reading about it and realizing it’s totally normal is great. Mine didn’t involve a hive though, lol, maybe next time. It was a hug, a kiss, and out the door.

    As for the comment about women having to be out of their bodies to not get attached, I disagree. Generally speaking I’m fairly emotional but it was really easy to walk away feeling unattached and released.

  7. You had me onboard until I got to the herpes line…. then I remembered why I’m out for 1 night stands every night. (Just a few times a month…)

  8. What’s a One Night Stand? And can I get ten of them. Did I miss something.

    I am so out of it. Can I up size, or get fries with this order.

    Custer mad his last stand. I know where there’s a Custard Stand.

    I am just starting to date again. You had me at WHAT?

  9. I find it very hard to orgasm my first time with a guy… so that means one-night stands don’t hold much interest for me, because I won’t have tons of fun. However, flings are a whole different story. A couple weeks with a person can be tons of fun, especially when you both know it’s not going anywhere serious. It takes so much stress out of the equation, and lets you discover new playful sides of yourself, when you have little to lose. And I don’t think wanting to have fun makes anyone a whore, as long as both parties are aware of what’s going to happen, and everything’s safe!

  10. One night stands most of the times leave a missing something kind of sensation for both the guy and the girl. Specially if it was a good one

  11. I agree with Wendell I think most guys should know to slow it down when the girl is not there yet..
    Question here..How wouls you tell the guy that you’re not there yet when he’s done?
    And yes I agree a high-five is a must..he might even give you a booty call as a bonus..haha lol

  12. I must be getting old…

    I remember the joy of sex as sport, but now I think of it as a team sport.

    Even though I don’t currently have a special woman in my life, I’ve not been tempted by opportunities for one-nighters. If a woman interests me, I want more than her body.

    I don’t think I’m saying “never,” but she would have to be really hot, highly persuasive, and on her way out of town (or otherwise unavailable for more than the one chance).

  13. you know, if you want to be kinky with your one night stand. Just dance with somebody at the club and if he seems worth while, just say “Do you wanna come back to my place and fuck” easy as that.

  14. Wendell asked: “Tanja, what about the men who become emotionally attached? Do they have this hormone? Has someone checked?”

    Yes the hormones involved are oxytocin and prolactin. Both are released by orgasm. Men have a lot of oxytocin, but women have anywhere from 10 to 400 times more prolactin on a daily basis.

    Prolactin causes “bonding” which is why one night stands may lead to more heartbreak for women. Both of these hormones are also released by childbirth and breastfeeding, so the mother becomes attached to her child. That’s why women have more prolactin, no prolactin (VERY VERY RARE) not much milk. MOST women who claim they “can’t” breastfeed, however, have completely normal prolactin levels. Men have and make some prolactin, but nowhere near as much as women make. Oxytocin is neccesary for orgasm (as well as the expulsion of the child, and milk ejection) and during and right after orgasm men seem to have about the same amount as women, sometimes more. There used to be an Oxytocin nasal spray which was used for both milk ejection issues and orgasmic difficulties in women. Although it sold well, the drug company pulled it because it didn’t make enough money for them and doctors didn’t know why or when to prescribe it. Sad that these things happen.

  15. This is the weirdest article i’ve ever read!!!!
    1. There are no rules about how having a one-night-stand! A one-night-stand just happens (you meet a nice guy, have some drinks, end up in his place and the next morning you leave – finish!)
    2. to Tanja: One-night-stand is reciprocal, also for the woman.
    3. to Tanja: to really let go, I need to be really in my body, I am just totally out of my mind (in a literally meaning): no thoughts, just 2 bodies, sensations and passion

  16. Regarding reciprocation, with experience guys can learn enough self-awareness to slow things down when they find themselves getting close when their partner is nowhere near.

    Stupid metaphor: one-nighter = not a sprint or a marathon but a 10k.

    P.S. Tanja, what about the men who become emotionally attached? Do they have this hormone? Has someone checked? Do the women who don’t have this response to sex have something “wrong” with them in your worldview? To make a hilariously paradoxical statement, generalizations are stupid.

  17. wow, this was pretty sad. I concur with the one person that asked if a one night stand was ever reciprocal for a woman… and no.. mostly not.. Also sex for women releases a bonding hormone and it cna be difficult for her to really let go. To do so she must not be really present in her body to begin with and why have sex like that???
    http://www.learningtantra.com I think education is a great idea, forget the one nighters..

  18. I agree with Willie–the size/shape of a female can matter too and it’s just as unfair to ask her as a guy. And things can totally change when a person is about to reach orgasm and blood rushes to the genitals.
    I’ve always kind of wondered how a guy deals with a fit he doesn’t find, er, complementary (which doesn’t automatically = “loose”) You don’t know what you’re getting into until, well, you’re in there! I’ve been with guys that aren’t so good at hiding first penetration reactions but they’ve all been very positive ones so it’s all good 🙂

  19. Dez… that would be like asking a girl how loose she is. How would you feel if a guy asked you that? It’s one of those questions that will not get answered honestly by anyone with a small penis or loose vagina.

  20. its easy for a guy to find a good one night stand but what about for the ladies? i always prefer the sexy bedroom eye kind of guys but they end up lacking the inches or a two minute man and i end up not enjoying the night… is it acceptable to ask a guy how big it is then determine if hes good enough?

  21. high five will be very weird your not borat lol.
    there are 2 options to say farewell if the sex was bad then do or say something very weird like start twitching or acting crazy so that you make him/her feel like they slept with a crazy person 2) if it was goo sex then just say farewell or as nora said high five.

  22. Does reciprocity in fact happen during one-night stands? Isn’t it too easy for the guy to just go for his satisfaction and finish fast?

  23. For me cuddling is HUGE no-no during a one-night stand. It’s far too emotional. In some (not all!) ways I consider it more intimate than sex.

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