One-night stands usually mean drunken nights and walks of shame, but the stigma is slowly fading. According to a new survey, people are into the sexual expression and independence of a one-night stand.
The survey asked 990 people if they had a one-night stand over the past year—the men surveyed had an average of 3.5 one-night stands, and women had an average of 2.7. While men only had a slightly higher average in the past year, the difference between genders was greater when looking at the average number of lifetime one-night stands. On average, women reported having 10.8 one-nighters, compared to an average of 14.6 for men.
So who are people choosing to spend the night with?
The majority took to the sheets with someone they met online or through a dating app. But people are also still meeting their hookups in the real world, even if it’s just for the night. Almost 53 percent of people had one-night stands with someone they just met in person, and 52 percent even hooked up with a friend.
For most, they said they viewed one-night stands as fun and lighthearted, with only 2.7 percent of women and 1.6 percent of men reporting they were not at all comfortable with the idea. The biggest difference between men and women was those rating their comfort level as “extremely comfortable.” 28 percent of men had no doubts about casual sex, but only 16.2 percent of women felt the same.
The biggest concerns?
Sex with a stranger can be extremely awkward, not to mention the awkwardness of waking up the next morning. Almost 70 percent of both men and women said the risk of STDs or STIs was their biggest concern regarding casual sex. While this was the main concern for most men, women had far more varying concerns, including personal safety. Women were more likely to worry about their personal safety than the risk of unintended pregnancy. 54 percent of women feared their personal safety would be at risk due to casual sex, while that was only a concern for 34 percent of men.
Women were also more likely to be concerned about body insecurities, fear of regret, and being labeled promiscuous. Casual sex brought up fear of being labeled promiscuous for just 11 percent of men, but this stigma was a fear for 27 percent of women. Both men and women practiced carrying extra condoms or contraceptives with them at 55.7 percent and 55.5 percent, respectively. The two genders were also just as likely to ask their casual partner about his or her STI status before getting it on.
The genders differed greatly when it came to other precautions. 55 percent of women said they told a friend where they would be, while only 23 percent of men did the same. Women were also more than twice as likely to carry self-defense items with them. 32 percent of women worried about personal safety enough to bring protection, while only 11 percent of men entered a one-night stand carrying self-defense protection.
Having a one-night stand doesn’t always mean going home with a stranger, so who are people most concerned about spending the night with? For men, 30 percent were wary of having a one-nighter with a co-worker, and 25 percent were most worried about sleeping with a friend. Only 12 percent of men thought going home with someone they just met in person was worrisome, while almost 24 percent of women felt the same.
Women were also more concerned about having a one-night stand with someone they met online or through a dating app – nearly 24 percent of women were leery of those situations.
Overall, the key to a successful one-night stand is being aware of the risks, taking precautions, and, most importantly, following your gut. Do what makes you feel the most comfortable, even if that means going home alone, says the study.
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