I have had my share of one-night stands. In fact, a significant percentage of the people I have slept with in the nearly 10 years since losing my virginity have been one-time deals. There was that guy at Mardi Gras—hold on … have to ask my friend what his name was … damn, she doesn’t remember either. Laird! His name was Laird, right? Anyway, there was Andrew, my realtor, who showed up at my apartment in the middle of the night and I was like, “Hey, why not?” The second guy I had sex with was also a one-night stand—his name was Sean. He was really good-looking and when it was over he said it had been “lovely” and I remember he had a cute face, but I cannot remember how we ended up in bed together.
What I also didn’t remember, until recently, was that most of these one-night stands didn’t make me feel very good the next day.
Let me give you a little context here. I waited longer than most to give up the ol’ V-card and when I did, it was to someone who had apparently had sex with me without my knowledge two days before. (It’s a long story that you can read about and comment on here.) Then I had the aforementioned one-night stand with Sean and never saw him again. The third person I had sex with was the guy who I’ve written about as “my first love.” He was someone I had a crush on, that I went after with the enthusiasm of one of those annoying and untalented “American Idol” contestants, and finally we slept together. The next morning my heart sang a tune it never had before—“I love him,” it said. And from then on, I have been incapable of having sex without emotion. Each and every sex partner I had after him brought out a desire to love and be loved. Not getting that in return—sometimes not even getting a second shot in the sack—well, it f**ked me up.
Up until a couple weeks ago, my last one-night stand was in December of 2004. I slept with someone I had a crush on, my heart sang the “I could love him!” tune, he had no interest in actually dating me, and I kind of hit rock bottom. I found myself crying, again, over someone I barely knew. Mind you, this was before I finally sought therapy and began tackling my anxiety and depression issues, but regardless, my reaction was unhealthy and I vowed not to put myself in that position again. I made a New Year’s resolution to abstain from sex, from dating, from contact with men in anything but a professional manner, for six months. And what do you know? On New Year’s Eve I met the man who would become my boyfriend/fiance of nearly five years. I didn’t sleep with him until a full month of dating had gone by, when I knew he really cared for me too. And for the record (and perhaps this is TMI), he has been the only man who’s been able to make me orgasm.
Since our breakup, I had only slept with two people, both of whom I dated exclusively. Then recently I slept with someone, a guy I’d been pining after, crushing on, whatever, for a while. I hoped that maybe there would be something more, but kind of ignored the fact that all signs pointed to “not likely.” It was fun, I (briefly) felt powerful because I had set my sights on someone I wanted and “got him,” albeit for just an hour. But then the high wore off, reality set in, and I’ve felt pretty crappy in the aftermath. Rejected, dejected, all of those familiar emotions that I wish I was above feeling. But, to be honest, I’m glad I did it, for all the points I listed in “Five Perfectly Good Reasons To Sleep With Him On The First Date”—I did really want him—but also for one more. I needed to be reminded that I can’t have sex without emotion. And that’s OK.