one night stands

(43 Posts)
NeedAView Mon 14-Oct-13 12:09:04

I've changed my nickname for this thread as I'm so embarrassed. I had a one night stand over the weekend with a complete stranger which was totally out of character for me.

Up until last night, i was feeling just fine about it. It was a casual encounter. I hadn't had sex since the birth of my daughter (almost 6 years ago!) and i suppose i got what i wanted. No strings attached 'fun'.

But this morning i have woke up feeling very angry. At him. At me. I'm not sure.

I was very drunk, but completely in control of my actions. My friend and I were at a bar and went back home with 2 men. TBH, there was no attraction there. And i thought they were both quite dull. But again, i just wanted a casual sexual encounter. It didn't bother me that i didn't find him attractive.

Anyway, we got to his home. The four of us had a sit down in the living room. I pretty much jumped on 'my' guy blush and then we went in his room. We DTD... Now i've been out the loop for a while. It was enjoyable, yes, but looking back, there was just nothing. No connection. Very cold. No communication. I can't even remember if there was kissing!

Anyway, after it was done, he got up to go to the bathroom and said 'Back in a minute.'

I got dressed super quickly. Went in and got my friend. She and the other guy were just dozing off, nothing had happened between them. I said i was ready to go, as i felt suddenly very unwelcome. My friend's guy kept saying 'just sleep on the couch. What's the big deal? you can go home in the morning." But after my guy had come out of the toilet, he'd stumbled into bed and shut his door. Not speaking to me at all. I called a taxi, and then had to go back into his room for my shoes. I knocked, he let me in with a lot of huffing and puffing - clearly he was trying to get to sleep. I said, "Sorry, think i left my shoes in here." He said, "Hurry up and get them then."

So i got them, left, and he slammed the bedroom door behind me...

I told my friend that i wanted to go as i felt a bit awkward/unwelcome... She was a bit annoyed because she didn't want to have to stand outside in the cold for a taxi. Thankfully it came within 5 minutes and we left.

This all happened Saturday night. Sunday night, my friend phoned me and we had a laugh about it. It was all very lighthearted. She thinks - and so did i - that we were the ones in control. And i agree. But looking back, i'm so ashamed of myself. He was a complete dick. He's the 2nd person I've ever had sex with. (the first person being my daughter's dad). So I have nothing casual to compare it with. But he barely even spoke to me. He sort of got up from the couch and walked towards his room. he looked at me and said "Coming?" and i followed after him like some stupid giddy sheep.

I just don't understand why i feel like this. I don't even understand what it is i'm feeling. I wanted casual sex with a stranger - the only details i wanted exchanged were our first names. And that's what i got.

I'm really not making sense here am I? I don't even know if this is in the right bit!

I felt that if i posted in relationships, i'd get replies saying, "Well, you'd got what you wanted didn't you?" Which is completely true. I don't regret it at all tbh. I just feel like i can no longer hold feminist views, stand up for myself when I'm made to feel inferior just for being a female, after i allowed that man to treat me in such an ignorant manner on Saturday just because i wanted sex.

My friend thinks that so long as it's consensual and i use protection, there's nothing to be ashamed of. And i agree with her. As i said before, there's no regret whatsoever. And there's nothing stopping me from ever doing it again. So what's wrong with me? Why do i have a nagging feeling about what happened? Is it because deep down, I'm uncomfortable with casual sex? Or is it because i picked a guy who doesn't even have a decent level of manners?

Actually, this is what i think it is. The shift in power. It was halfway through sex that suddenly i no longer felt like i was the one in control. But i still wanted the sex to carry on. But it was then i realised how much of an arse he was.

I'm really not making sense am i? Possibly still a bit hungover... I rarely drink. Perhaps once every 18 months. And these hangovers (and lack of babysitters) are the reason why.

Okay, basically, it is possible for men and women to be equal when it comes to one night stands? Or are men always the ones in charge? They call the shots. They decide when and where you're going to have sex. You can either refuse or just go along with it. They decide how long you're going to stay afterwards. They don't care how you get home.

Or is it all down to whose house you're at? So the 'host/ess' call the shots?

i would feel so much better if the reason i let him be a dick is because it took place at his house, so i sort of granted him some extra power/control, rather than it being down to him being a man and me a woman.

I'm really over thinking this!

Yougotbale Mon 14-Oct-13 13:20:31

If you hadn't forgotten your shoes would you have done a runner whilst he went to the bathroom or would you have gone back up and said good bye? He may have heard you saying you want to leave 'now' to your mate and gone to bed.

I think you're more upset by casual sex. You are not sexual experienced in terms of numbers. Maybe it was the lack of emotion you struggled with. There shouldnt be a perception of power for one member or another during an encounter. I think there will be an eliment of feeling awkward in a strangers home. Be it making yourself a drink or whatever.

Maybe you should try a friend with benefits if you don't want commitment

Phaserstostun Mon 14-Oct-13 13:34:57

As you said, you could have posted this in relationships. But you didn't. So I guess you are looking for some feminist-y kind of validation. You know, about male dominance, power, coercion and the all enveloping Influence of the Male Illuminati. Fact is, you had a crap shag. It happens. Between two consenting adults, this is not a crime. What were you expecting, really, from someone you don't know? I would imagine that the same kind of unsatisfying sexual encounters are perfectly possible between gay and lesbian couples, so gender has nowt to do with it.

You can either decide that this type of fling is not for you, or you can keep at it until it improves. Practice makes perfect, they say. But I wouldn't go looking for anyone to blame.

ParvatiTheWitch Mon 14-Oct-13 13:36:04

It's just because he was a dick. You needed a shag from a man with a bit of charm, not an overgrown school boy.

Next time, pick a real man, someone you've at least had a laugh with at the bar. Don't feel bad and don't give up.

dyslexicdespot Mon 14-Oct-13 13:41:20

If you decide to have a one night stand in the future pick a guy that you are attracted to. In my experience, sex is always crap with people ( male or female) if you are not turned on by them.

BuffytheAppleBobber Mon 14-Oct-13 15:00:28

I think that as women we are conditioned to think that this is not an ideal way for us to behave. Your feelings of anger with yourself might be due to this? That you subconsciously feel you let yourself down in some way by being "easy" not playing by "The Rules" and making him put lots of effort into chasing the reward of sex with you?

I don't think you did anything wrong, and the fact that he wasn't polite means he was a mannerless idiot. Or, he might believe that women who are "easy" are not worthy of respect and being treated well. Who knows? Either way, his behaviour was impolite, you did nothing wrong in seeking casual sex.

You know that, but I bet it doesn't make you feel better! That's probably because you haven't behaved according to patriarchal societies norms of a "good girl".

Am I helping? Not sure my thoughts are very clear on this, but I was having similar sorts of reflections the other day watching the first Homeland when Carrie shags some random guy from her local shops. I thought how if I did that that it would make me feel that I had shown myself a lack of respect, but then I pondered whether it's in fact the way we're told to withhold sex so that people will respect us...

Um? grin

Phaserstostun Mon 14-Oct-13 16:25:17

'I think that as women we are conditioned to think that this is not an ideal way for us to behave.'

Buffy, do you know anyone under the age of 50? grin It certainly isn't true of the current teenage/20's generation. Your reference to Carrie in Homeland being a prime example.

BuffytheAppleBobber Mon 14-Oct-13 16:42:56

Yes, I am in my 30s grin

Note that being conditioned or socialised to behave in a certain way is different from actual behaviour. Evidenced by the whole movement towards "empowering" women through expressing their sexuality. I can't think of a similar cultural phenomenon whereby men are encouraged to do so. Why would that be?

Phaserstostun Mon 14-Oct-13 18:22:41

Maybe not sexually, but what about changing attitudes towards stay at home dads and full-time parenting for men? Is that a fair example of men moving against societal norms, i.e. being a carer rather than breadwinner?

And if women are acting in ways that goes against their conditioning, then perhaps that conditioning no longer holds much sway, and will continue to diminish. Which is a good thing.

PumpkinGuts Mon 14-Oct-13 19:44:16

his treatment of you after the fact was probably a feminist issue.. he thought he could treat you like crap cause you were a woman (or maybe he is just a user and you're better off).. But I think you're real problem is not a feminist issue..you're real problem is you have not had sex for 6 years and this was a massive ahem anti climax to that kind of waiting.

Fuck someone you fancy next time. And who is not a wankbadger

PumpkinGuts Mon 14-Oct-13 19:45:16

I used you're twice, and trust me that I do know the difference.

DropYourSword Mon 14-Oct-13 20:13:12

I'm struggling to understand exactly what you're asking here so I'm going to concentrate on this bit:

Okay, basically, it is possible for men and women to be equal when it comes to one night stands? Or are men always the ones in charge? They call the shots. They decide when and where you're going to have sex. You can either refuse or just go along with it. They decide how long you're going to stay afterwards. They don't care how you get home.

Or is it all down to whose house you're at? So the 'host/ess' call the shots?

Yes, it's absolutely possible for men and women to be `equal` having one night stands. I've had 4 or 5 one night stands in my life. The men weren't in charge or calling the shots, nor did they decide when and where. I was in charge of my own actions and decisions, and they theirs. Regardless of location. I think I just picked people that were compatible with what I wanted, and there was no emotional connection. I wasn't ever kicked out, and didn't kick anyone else out, but I have chosen to leave before. It wouldn't necessarily occur to me that they should care about how I got home. However on the occasion I chose to leave I was somewhere I didn't know at all, had no phone, no money and no real clue where I was. Started walking back to the hostel when he caught me up to walk me back because he wanted to make sure I got back ok.

I think the difference is that men really can just have one night stands purely for the sex with no emotional extras. Some women can do that, others can't. I think that you don't sound to suited to having one night stands as the level of analysis you've written here makes me think you're not suited to going out and having pretty mindless sex with a stranger.

I appreciate I have been lucky with the decisions I made. As the other major difference is that I think women put themselves in a more vulnerable position when they have one night stands. You are basically going to a strangers house, or taking them to yours and expecting them to not do anything illegal. So if they started smashing up your house, stealing your possessions etc I believe as a general rule that a man would be physically more able to deal with the situation/protect themselves.

FloraFox Mon 14-Oct-13 20:29:10

I think it's perfectly reasonable OP to want to have a discussion about your experience as a woman from a feminist perspective. The first response is from a man telling you how you feel about casual sex hmm Then some more responses telling you this isn't a feminist issue and you should try having more ONSs hmm

There is conditioning involved on your part and his. Women are conditioned in society as the passive partner and the man as the active partner. This is patriarchy at its root. This may have been lessened by the era of "sexual liberation" but it is still there by the bucketload. Now there is added conditioning that women must "empower" themselves sexually. In theory this might mean becoming a jointly active partner in a sexual experience which is itself redefined on a joint basis. In practice however, the patriarchal conditioning is still there so the outcome is generally telling women that they can empower themselves by choosing to participate in the male-defined sexual experience i.e. make themselves available to men on a wider basis.

Women's lived experiences of ONSs can lead to mixed feelings. I think lots of women will recognise your experience and your emotions OP. Taking off all your clothes and participating in sex with a stranger makes you vulnerable, not just to pregnancy and STDs but also to having the experience defined by someone who may be an entitled dick.

Phaserstostun Mon 14-Oct-13 20:42:55

I wonder how, from a feminist perspective, an experience like this could ever end up any other way? Isn't confusion, anger and regret inevitable?

BasilBabyEater Mon 14-Oct-13 21:33:58

"having the experience defined by someone who may be an entitled dick."

I think that sounds like it's at the nub of your disquiet OP.

I've had a few ONSs in my life, when I was younger and less discriminating. grin I remember one where I felt really angry because of the shabby way the bloke treated me. I had no emotional ties to him, didn't particularly like him that much, didn't fancy him that much tbh, though he was extremely handsome and didn't particularly want to do it again because he wasn't very good in bed. However, he felt that he had the right to treat me like shit because having gone to bed with me, in his mind that meant he'd taken some power away from me.

Does that sound mad/ hyperbolic? But I think that's what this is about - in patriarchy, women are given all this shit about empowerfulising sexing, but still the term slut is bandied around like the sexual revolution never happened and many men assume they've got one over on you if you've shagged them - that you've somehow given them something of your's that you should have kept. And many of them think that if you've gone to bed with them so quickly, it must be because you really, really like them and you are desperate to be their girlfriend and they have to be rude to you to put you off, because they are not very well socialised. When actually, what we want is not love, affection or false intimacy, but common or garden civility, hardly a bunny-boiling demand in the circumstances.

And even though we know they're nobs, it is galling to feel that they are defining our experience in that patriarchal wanky way. We want to tell them how mistaken they are, but that would be petty and silly and bewildering, because nobody ever acknowledges that this is even a thing.

BasilBabyEater Mon 14-Oct-13 21:40:49

worth a read

I read the intro to Shelia Jeffereys' Anticlimax today and this quote really struck me (it's in the link as well):

"As an influential 1920s sexologist, Stekel, quoted in my first book, The Spinster and Her Enemies, put it, ‘To be aroused by a man means acknowledging oneself as conquered’. So women needed to permit men to do PIV sex and show appropriate enthusiasm not just because this gave men pleasure, but because it subordinated them"

There's a whole social construction out there about women being conquered by men via sex. And so when you have sex with someone who is not a friend, or a decent or nice person, that narrative which is so pervasive, no matter how much you consciously reject it, comes bobbing up to the surface to make you feel uncomfortable.

FloraFox Mon 14-Oct-13 21:46:32

I would say that an individual woman cannot avoid this experience if she has ONSs. She may be lucky and not encounter entitled asshats. It's only down to luck though because she is unlikely to identify this trait before sex (feminist theories on sex not being very successful pick up topics) and she can't change his social conditioning or personality flaws in a one night stand even if she can change her own.

All she can do is figure out whether the likelihood of it being an enjoyable experience is worth the possibility that it will lead to confusion, anger and regret (or worse).

This issue about women's attitudes to casual sex gets brought up by MRA whingers and pimp-lobbyists quite a lot. They promote an idea that women have an unlimited supply of sexual partners available to them unlike poor men who have to resort to paying women who don't want to have sex with them (or actually being a decent human being to find a willing partner or lowering their sights to someone in their own league).

Of course women know it's not true that any woman can have sex any time she likes unless she is young, thin and conventionally beautiful (i.e. a small proportion of women). They also know (even if they are young, thin and beautiful) that if they shag random men, there's a fairly small chance of encountering a rapist or getting an STD or pregnant, but a fairly strong chance of encountering an entitled asshat and having a shit experience.

FloraFox Mon 14-Oct-13 21:49:19

Cross post with Basil YY to that and not mad or hyperbolic. These are the truths we know from our lived experience which directly contrasts with the too prevalent for too long empowerfulising shit. (Love that word.)

NeedAView Mon 14-Oct-13 21:50:45

Thank you so much for the replies. I'm feeling much better about things this evening (namely because my hangover's gone!)

I think this is a perfect description of how I felt/am feeling:

I remember one where I felt really angry because of the shabby way the bloke treated me. I had no emotional ties to him, didn't particularly like him that much, didn't fancy him that much tbh, though he was extremely handsome and didn't particularly want to do it again because he wasn't very good in bed. However, he felt that he had the right to treat me like shit because having gone to bed with me, in his mind that meant he'd taken some power away from me.

And this!

And many of them think that if you've gone to bed with them so quickly, it must be because you really, really like them and you are desperate to be their girlfriend and they have to be rude to you to put you off, because they are not very well socialised.

This played a huge part in why i wanted to leave so quickly. I sensed that he felt i was going to hang around. I wanted to prove that i wasn't remotely interested in getting his number or staying the night. I wanted to prove that the 'clingy one night stand' cliche you often see in sitcoms/films was just a stereotype. I was just as capable of remaining indifferent to the situation as he was.

In fact, Basil, the whole of your last post has given me closure. You've described my thoughts/feelings far better than i ever could have done.

It really isn't about guilt or me wanting more. Well, in a way i did want more. I wanted a bit of respect. The respect he showed me at the bar and before we had sex at his home, completely disappeared halfway through sex. The sex itself was very enjoyable. And tbh, i don't regret it, nor am i against having a O.N stand again.

So the reason i was feeling so angry about things earlier is that i could see his opinion of me totally change right in front of my eyes just because I'd had sex with him. And this angered me. All respect went out the window. And i feel it's because i was a female who had just 'put out' within 4 hours of knowing him.

Whereas he'll likely never think of himself as 'cheap' for doing the same thing.

I'm rambling again.

Note to self - if going to have another of these encounters, do it with someone I'm 1) attracted to and 2) i feel confident has a decent level of manners.

Darkesteyes Mon 14-Oct-13 22:40:53

NeedaView you have seen the Madonna/whore complex in action.

It's possible that the man was aware - or became aware during, or just after, the sex - that you considered him dull and not that attractive, and that you were only after a quick shag, and this was why he wasn't particularly courteous and romantic. If you were not bothered about his feelings, why should he be bothered about yours?

There's nothing wrong with one night stands - I've had dozens, some great fun, others a bit 'meh' - but you seem to be expecting this man to treat you better than you intended to treat him, and that failing to do so makes him a villain.

DropYourSword Mon 14-Oct-13 23:44:17

Needaview - it really sounds to me from your posts that you felt you needed to `prove` something when having a ONS. You mentioned about about you and your friend agreeing you `were the one in control` and that you wanted to prove `you could remain indifferent`. Except it doesn't sound at all like you were really in control or indifferent. It sounds like some complicated game you are playing with yourself and if you feel `cheap` for doing this (which I absolutely don't think you should) then I think you are setting yourself up to lose. You don't have a ONS for respect, you have it because you want sex. You do it for the excitement of taking a chance on the stranger being good in bed. I have never for a second considered that the men I had a ONS with thought I was desperate to be their girlfriend, ha! And I couldn't honestly give a shit if that was their opinion, because I got what I wanted out of the situation and because we always make assumptions about them also, which may or may not be correct. Two guys I ended up having ONS with ended up contacting me again, became friends with benefits with one until he wanted more...I didn't want a relationship so had to call it off in the end. The other one could have ended up being a fuck buddy also, but I actually started a relationship just after our ONS. He messaged me quite a few times asking if he could see me again...probably because we'd had amazing sex and he wanted a repeat performance. I bet he didn't feel at all that I'd taken any power away from him or that he was being clingy, he just asked for what he wanted. It's only our own perception of what the other person's perception of things is that fucks it all up.

mayorquimby Tue 15-Oct-13 16:17:07

"It's possible that the man was aware - or became aware during, or just after, the sex - that you considered him dull and not that attractive, and that you were only after a quick shag, and this was why he wasn't particularly courteous and romantic. If you were not bothered about his feelings, why should he be bothered about yours?"

Is a question I wanted to ask also.
It just seems like post-sex while he was in the bathroom the OP had gotten out of bed, grabbed her friend and was being very insistent on getting out of the house right there and then. I don't see how either person involved behaved any better or worse than the other.
I don't see him as entitled a wanker etc. based on what has been posted, as the OP said in the last post she wanted to prove she could be disengaged and as casual as him etc., but then when his behaviour matched hers he is branded as a twat etc. and she unlucky to have given the time of day to such a twat.

I'm not trying to go down a gender reversal argument as those threads are tedious, I was however interested in how the OP objectively views her actions.
I acknowledge that she is in a much better place to judge the subtleties of the situation and the nuances of body language etc. which has informed her opinion of this guy but at the same time if someone (male or female) told me they had bedded someone they thought to be quite boring and dull, weren't that interested in them, got dressed and was halfway out the door while they were in the bathroom post-sex but were also angered that the other party hadn't been exactly courteous to them afterwards when they went back in to get something from the room part of me does think "Isn't that pretty much exactly how you treated them?"

BuffytheAppleBobber Wed 16-Oct-13 11:42:21

That is a very interesting point SGB and mayor

My opinion is that there are two levels at which this can be analysed: personal and societal (not mutually exclusive).

Personal, it may well be that the man was upset that the OP jumped up and seemed desperate to leave. Maybe he was paranoid that she hadn't had a good time and he just wanted her to go if she felt so strongly that she didn't want to be there.

Societal, women are generally thought less of for engaging in casual sex (slut vs. stud) and some men may think (consciously or unconsciously) less of them for being "easy". It may be this latter feeling that was making the OP feel annoyed with herself and perhaps judge the man's actions differently than if men and women were both celebrated equally for having casual sex.

Yougotbale Wed 16-Oct-13 11:54:31

I made that point on Monday in the first post

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