What It's Like To Be Completely Incapable Of Having A One-Night Stand

Dejan Ristovski

I've never, ever had a one-night stand. Trust me, I'm not proud of this.

All the times I've experienced a sexual encounter that could have been a one-night stand have always been plagued with my feelings, which ultimately renders those encounters as not one-night stands and renders me as a pathetic hopeless romantic who just wants to believe love is real, dammit.

I sprouted through puberty, endured four years of college at a school that prides itself on working hard as hell and playing harder and officially entered the so-called 20-something era of "doing you," but none of these phases consisted of a hot-and-heavy, one-night-only, take-me-to-your-apartment-but-don't-tell-me-your-name f*ckfest.

In fact, before I started writing this piece, I learned the one time I thought I had a real, emotionless one-night stand wasn't actually a one-night stand at all; it was just me being a weird teenager and making out with some random dude at a pool party. A pool party.

I'm embarrassed to even admit I thought this was a one-night stand, but that just further proves how completely, undeniably, wholeheartedly incapable I am of having one.

Historically, my love life seems to be the total opposite of a typical Millennial's: I've been wined-and-dined at a five-star Italian restaurant in a major metropolitan city and fallen deeply in love as a result, but I've never had that raw, carnal and often really bad sex that only happens between you and a stranger.

And I know it's a little ridiculous to complain about my lack of one-night stands when I have some fulfilling romantic experiences under my belt, but I can't help but think I'm missing out on some important life lessons that come with having one-night stands. I've never experienced that exhilarating power that comes when you don't give a flying f*ck about an outcome. I naively expect the best out of men and set my expectations for romance way too high and then get disappointed when everything inevitably goes to sh*t.

I'm so laughably bad at not caring and at not believing in love that my best friend actually had to coach me through the morning after I hooked up with a guy I'd just met the night before. She knew he would probably only see the encounter as a one-time thing, but I kept insisting that I thought he really liked me.

Guess who was right? (Hint: It wasn't me)

I simply can't separate feelings and sex. If I hook up with someone, there's a 99.99 percent chance I have feelings for him. And no, when I say "feelings," that doesn't necessarily mean I'm ringing the wedding bells. It does, however, mean that I feel some real attraction to him and that I would probably go on a real date with him.

It also means that if we continue having sex, my feelings will grow rapidly and intensify unexpectedly. Before I know it, I'll be gabbing to my girlfriends about how great he is, Pinteresting my wedding dress and fantasizing about our life together in our shared apartment.

You could say I have love-at-first-sight syndrome. Or you could say I'm insane. I'm fine with either one.

I've had some semblance of feelings for every single guy I've ever hooked up with, which means I've always wanted more out of the hookup. "More" has meant everything from a casual, ongoing thing to a full-fledged relationship.

I've never been able to actually identify any sexual encounter as a one-night stand because I can never just let something happen and be done with it. I always ruminate on it, think deeply about it, wonder if this guy is “The One.” To me, a one-night stand could never just be a one-night stand. It's always a potential for something else.

Unfortunately, most (dare I say all) men don't view a one-night stand with that same potential, which traps me in a nightmare cycle of unrequited lust after unrequited lust.

I don't need those guys, though. I know how much better sex is when you have feelings for someone.

People whose sex lives consist mainly of emotionless one-night stands don't know what real sex is. They don't know what it's like when your entire soul intertwines with another human being's, when you don't know where one person begins and another ends, when you're convinced your veins are made of electricity.

I don't say all of this self-righteously -- like anyone else, I've had some awful sexual experiences, including and especially with guys I've had feelings for. But once you've experienced that kind of intoxicating nirvana, the kind of sex that shocks you into remembering you're actually alive, it's really, really, really hard to lower your standards to anything that isn't that.

Why would I want to settle for mediocre sex with a one-night stand when I can wait for someone with whom I feel an actual spark? It doesn't take long for me to feel one, so I'm honestly better off just waiting.

Plus, even if I did attempt to have a bonafide one-night stand, even if I did make a real attempt to thwart my tendency to become emotionally attached to every man who sticks his d*ck in me, I would fail.

Because if aloofness is required to ensure a sexual encounter is a one-night stand, I simply can't provide that. I thrive on self-disclosure, and that becomes even more amplified when I go out and put a little alcohol in my system. I love asking people questions about their past, what makes them tick, some event in their lives that hurt them the most. I love getting to the root of people's existences and learning everything about them. And all of this means I automatically establish some kind of emotional connection with a guy before I even get in bed with him.

It's my desire to see the humanity in every human being that has probably prevented me from ever having a one-night stand. In every guy I've had sex with, I've found something to love: the blinding whiteness of his man-thighs, his pudgy stomach, that look on his face when he whips his d*ck out for the first time and studies your reaction, the weird sounds he makes when he's about to finish. I seek out the vulnerability in his raw nakedness, and I fall for it, which only adds to the budding feelings that had been present before we began.

I don't know if I'll ever have a bonafide one-night stand. I don't know if I'll ever be able to meet someone, have sex and never speak to that person again. That feels so impersonal -- but I guess that's kind of the point.

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter whether or not I ever have a one-night stand. Because if I really need to get off, I can just do it myself. It's way better than casual sex anyway.