How to have a fun, safe one-night stand that’s actually pleasurable for you

One-night stands are typically known for being either super hot or totally regrettable. If your experiences have been less than ideal, you’re not alone. In fact, a 2017 survey conducted by data scientists at found that 81% of women felt “unsatisfied” with their one-night stand experiences — and that sucks. What’s the point of having casual sex if it’s not even fun?

The good news is it’s possible to have a one-night stand that’s actually pleasurable for you.

As Carol Queen, staff sexologist at Good Vibrations, told HelloGiggles, it really comes down to comfort and safety. In other words, having a “good” one-night stand is only possible once you get clear on what being safe means to you.

“There are a few things ‘safety’ can actually might mean, Queen said. “Being physically safe from someone harming you, having safer sex, and being able to make and communicate decisions about your limits and boundaries.

If you do feel safe, that’s a great start — but what about your pleasure? There are so many different factors that go into having an orgasm during sex. If you’re stressed over the possibility of getting pregnant, contracting an STI, or sleeping with the wrong person, reaching the big O — or even just enjoying sex — is going to be quite the challenge. So to help ease your mind, Queen has these tips for making your one-night stand much more pleasurable for you.

1 Do it sober.

If you really want to have a good one-night stand that’s memorable, do it sober. “Partying is fun, but excessive partying makes it hard to communicate, hard to use your intuition, and hard to get out of there if things go wrong,” Queen said. “Don’t get blasted to do this.”

2 Be sure someone knows where you are and who you’re with.

This is a given, but it’s worth repeating. If you’re going to be alone with someone you don’t know, be sure to give a head’s up to someone you actually do know. “Text or call one of your friends to let them know where you’re going and when you’ll check back in,” Queen said. In the unlikely event things go horribly wrong, you’ll have someone looking out for you.

3 Talk about your safe sex expectations before you even get started.

Thinking. “Oh, this person looks clean” is not a safe sex strategy, Queen said. If you want to use condoms (which you probably should), bring them with you. Don’t expect your partner to have one on hand. “Bring lubricant, too, since condoms are more comfortable and reliable with lube,” she said.

Before you get into it at all, tell your partner that you want to have the “safer sex” talk. This is a conversation that doesn’t happen in the moment, it happens before things really get going. As awkward as it may be, don’t be afraid to ask them about their preferences, for example, “What protection do you usually use?

If they don’t seem to have any preferences, laugh about it, or brush the issue off, Queen said they’re likely not having safe sex with other partners. How can you have a good time with someone if you can’t trust that they’re responsible with their sexual health?

4 Be vocal about what you want and don’t want in bed.

If you want good sex, it’s all about communication.

“One-nighters are a perfect place to practice your forthright sexual communications skills,” Queen said. Since they don’t really know you and vice versa, take advantage of that and be open about what you want sexually. If something feels good, let them know. If something needs to be adjusted, say something. Some people are good at reading non-verbal cues and some aren’t. When it comes to sex, especially with a one-night stand, it’s important to really keep your pleasure in mind.

Most importantly, if they don’t respect your limits, get out of there. As Queen said, don’t reward that behavior. “Look for indications that they don’t take your concerns seriously,” she advised. “It’s not a great sign. An awesome one-night-stand (and even a life partner) takes you seriously and wants you to be comfortable.”

5 Listen to your gut.

Just because you’re super attracted to someone and the chemistry is out of this world, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be a good one-night stand. According to Queen, a good one-night stand partner is someone you feel good around. You and this person are communicating well and your “creep-dar” isn’t going off.

So pay attention to how they act with you. Do they seem to discount you and your preferences? For instance, if you say you don’t want another drink and they get you one anyway, that’s not sweet or thoughtful. That’s a red flag you need to be aware of.

If they’re taking over the situation or trying to amp up the flirting when you’re still trying to get a feel for them, check yourself to see how comfortable you are. If your body is giving you the go-ahead, then go for it. If it’s telling you to slow down, pay attention. Your one-night stand is only as good as the partner you choose to have it with.

Also, always remember that even if you’ve been flirting all night and have hinted at wanting to take it to the next level, you can always change your mind later. Don’t let your no-strings partner make you feel guilty about that.

It may surprise you to know that one-night stands actually happen way more often than you probably think. According to the survey, 66% of American and European adults say they’ve had at least one one-night stand in their lifetime. On average, American men say they’ve had about seven while women have had an average of six.

Despite how common it is, one-night stands aren’t for everyone. But if you can handle the casualness of it, you may find yourself with some really memorable experiences. If you follow this advice, you can be sure your experience will be both safe and pleasurable for you.

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