Self-esteem or lack thereof
Sex is one easy way to boost self-esteem when feeling low. It can be like chocolate or the equivalent of a shopping spree. Especially when that sex is with someone new, different, or maybe even a stranger. Sometimes sexual attention is all that’s needed to get back on top (metaphorically not literally). And being able to brag to your girlfriends – ears and eyes of envy – can be all that’s needed to feel good again.
But what happens when those feelings die down, or he has stopped returning your calls? A one-night stand might be one night of fun, but often those positive sensations don’t last, and they can leave a person feeling even lower than before.
Beware the crush
There is one thing women know men want – sex! We have been taught to use it not only as a weapon but also as a tool to get our own way. It’s ingrained in our brains: dangle the carrot and there is a high possibility he’ll eat with you. It can be frustrating when he isn’t making his intentions clear or his attentions aren’t directed at you. He just might not be into it, or maybe he doesn’t want any type of romantic connection. But sex is one way to get intimacy from him.
Many women convince themselves that sex is also the only thing they want, while on the inside they desire something more than a casual hook up. So when a one-night stand with a man you are secretly crushing on does not progress, what happens next? Another one-night stand with the intent of increasing your self-esteem and mending a bruised ego can lead to a dangerous sexual cycle continuing.
Feeling in the mood
Women are just as sexual as men, and sometimes those desires can trump all sense and sensibility and lead people astray. Sometimes your vagina just really does get the better of you. Sexual desires are healthy, but going out when you’re in the mood for sex can be like playing with a loaded gun. Just like beer goggles, our desires can lead us to sexual decisions that might not be the healthiest, and not allow us to clearly assess the real situations we are in. Our minds (and genitals) say yes, but there can be unseen consequences.
Did you just engage in one night of passion with your boss or colleague, or with a friend’s ex? Has a friendship just been ruined by a horny request? Did you just reconnect with a toxic ex because you knew you could have sex? While sometimes women have an itch that needs to be scratched, that itch can lead to it being scratched by the wrong person. It’s not that the act of having a one-night stand is harmful. But having one with a particular person might be. Ask yourself: is giving in to those sexual desires worth the consequences?
Is it right for you?
If you are in a good state of mind, you’re aware of the possible consequences of a one-night stand, and you understand that your partner might only be there for one night, then this type of thing might be right for you. But even if you have ticked all these boxes, there are no guarantees. All sex comes with risk, and your emotions and feelings might be affected. I also need to highlight that the one night of passion, especially if alcohol is involved, comes with higher risks of STIs and accidental pregnancies. Just as women need to be aware of the emotional risks, so do they need to be aware of the physical.
We shouldn’t demonise sexual behaviours. One night stands happen. It’s natural and normal and probably more common than you think. What we need to do is ensure the facts are available, and that this type of sex is being had for the right reasons – not for reasons that could lead to harm.
Nikki Goldstein’s new book #singlebutdating published by Random House Australia is out now and available for purchase here