One night stands have a pretty terrible reputation. You imagine the stumbling awkwardness of two strangers coming together after a long night of appletini’s and shared misery. The sex is “meh” at best and leaves both parties feeling disappointed at best, and downright shitty at worst.
But I don’t think it has to be this way. I have over the past few months started to open myself up to the possibility that good sex, or a good connection can happen between two people who don’t necessarily intend on spending the rest of their lives together. As we get older, we tend to reserve our best moves and most intimate feelings exclusively for people who we are in a relationship with. This sounds great in theory, but in practice it means we can go for months without connecting sexually to someone. That sucks! It also makes finding a partner more and more of a lifelong mission and we slip into the “destiny mentality” that there is our One love out there, our Soulmate… which as you know, is bullshit.
Instead of rushing from relationship to mediocre relationship in order to connect sexually and intimately with someone, it feels absolutely mindblowing to create that connection with someone who you have no intentions of moving in with or having babies with. A person who treats you with respect and love and kindness can do so for the rest of your life, or for the rest of the afternoon. Either way, it’s important to invite these people into your life and make the most of the time you have together.
Sounds idyllic, right?
But how exactly do you connect with someone and also let them go at the end of the day? That feels counterintuitive (but it really isn’t).
The practice of inviting love, intimacy and a super-hot lover into your life, and then loving that person completely as you let them go on their way. This creates a constant flow of love in your life. And it feels freaking amazing. You breathe love, you move in love, and people can feel that shit!
This means when you meet someone who you DO want to spend the rest of your week, year, or life with, you are already in a place where it is easy for you to love. You don’t have to remember how it feels, or get out of your selfish lifestyle in order to drag yourself back to a place where you can show love. Instead, you’re living in the love already! It’s so easy to invite someone into that amazing space. But intimacy isn’t something you think about or talk about – it’s something you do. And instead of spending a year going through a self-inflicted dry spell, consider practicing intimacy, one One Night Stand at a time.
Ok, now for the logistics:
Because this all sounds pretty fluffy and amazing, but reality is a little harder to wrap your brain around. Here are a few of the things I do to make sure the intimate One Night Stand works for me, my partner and my life.
Talk about what really matters
It is easy to create intimacy through shared experience, and if you’ve only got 45 minutes, the next best thing is shared knowledge. Knowing where someone went to high school, what the name of their pets are, whether their parents are boat people or motorcycle people; these insights are great for building longterm relationships but completely unnecessary in an intimate One Night Stand. And under no circumstances should you talk about your past relationships. period. These details can be counterproductive, since it might give you a reason to follow up on mundane details of someone’s life after you’ve agreed to go separate ways. It’s a tempting string to pull on when you feel lonely, but that’s not a healthy way to rekindle a relationship that was meant to end. Instead of listing the details of your life, concentrate on telling great stories. Talk about your passions, dreams and things that make you laugh so hard you snort just a little. You’ve only got 45 minutes, make it hilarious!
Acknowledge how vulnerable you both are
It’s important to acknowledge your feelings. Admitting that you feel a little scared or excited can make asking for what you need more comfortable. Women in particular, tend to put on a strong and sexy facade as a part of their “femme fatale” seduction process. This facade comes with communication barriers and sometimes the false sense of having no boundaries. You need those boundaries! and you need to make them incredibly clear. But vulnerability is not weakness, vulnerability is a huge turn on, and when you find someone who can communicate their insecurities and raw feelings, ding ding ding! you’ve found the perfect match for an intimate one nighter.
Don’t make it more than it is
I once had the most amazing One Night Stand. Unfortunately, it lasted 14 months. We both felt such a connection that it was hard to accept that it would only happen this one (or 12) times. We both agreed, that the feeling was so strong and so soul-merging that we should definitely be together, despite the fact that we lived 3000 miles apart and were terribly incompatible partners. whoops. lesson learned. Don’t feel bad for walking away from something that felt great. You can always come back to a relationship that pulls at your heart over time, but don’t try to force something that was never intended to last more than a few nights. Maybe it turns into a Sorbet Relationship or just stays a one nighter. Accept it for exactly what it is.
Don’t get hung up on the resume
It’s easy to talk yourself out of a good time. He’s not your “type”, you only date people with PhDs, you need someone who understands art. For a one nighter? Really? Let it go snobby-mcsnobberpants!! Don’t let logic kill a great vibe. You aren’t taking them home to your parent’s place for Thanksgiving, you’re taking them to your apartment for a long and lusty night. Drop the pretensions and stereotypes and try something a little different. Intimate One Night Stands are the best way of testing some of your preconceived requirements for relationships. I mean, how is that list of “must-haves” working out for you? Maybe you’ve been looking for an academic who can keep up with your brilliance, but when you find an inspiring college dropout you find the real connection you’ve been looking for. Experiment!
Practice Letting Go
Wax on, wax off. That’s my basic theory on love. Every lover that I’ve brought into my life and then let go of, has made my heart bigger and bigger. I never get filled to capacity. This isn’t a tank of gas or a box of donuts that can only fit a dozen. (mmmm… donuts) Usually it’s the ones that I hang onto for too long that piss me off. When you practice letting love come into your life and easily out when it no longer makes sense, the stress of finding a lifelong partner melts away. We get so hyper-focused on finding The One, but maybe we should start looking for The One who can teach us to appreciate foreign films, The One who shows us how to change a car battery, The One who makes us listen to the B sides of The Kinks albums. Every lover has a purpose and can be loved and let go of. This is crucial for creating the space we need to invite in The One who sticks around in a partnership for most of our life.