Home Featured When is a One Night Stand Not a One Night Stand?

When is a One Night Stand Not a One Night Stand?

Will I break one or both legs jumping out this window?

Don’t ask me why, but I was trying to figure out the definition for one night stands recently. Apparently, like most things involving sexual relations, there is no agreed upon definition. As a side note, the same thing goes for the phrase “hooking up.” I’ve heard people – mostly women (all women) – use the phrase “we hooked up” to mean everything from kissing to group relations and everything in between. That’s another blog for another day. Today I want to focus on one night stands. As usual, I posed this question to Twitter first and there were roughly four categories.

1) Must be a stranger. I found this weird but most people focused on the idea of the person they’re having relations with being a stranger. For example, if you’ve casually known of this person for years because you run in the same circles then finally “hook up,” that isn’t a one night stand. I guess. If the first time you talk to me you have your jeans around your ankles, I’m going to feel some type of way about that even if you are in a friend of a friend’s Google Plus circle.

2) Met a stranger and had relations within 24 hours. This definition is pretty straightforward and I think we can all agree on this one with no debate.

She said I was the best she ever had.

3) Met a stranger and had relations within 24 hours with no contact after. Now we’re starting to enter the Twilight Zone. I’m afraid things will only get more confusingly diabolical from here. A lot of people said you could have relations on the first night, but if you kept in touch with the person, however minimal, then it wasn’t a one night stand. I gotta say this doesn’t make a lot of sense.

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The time frame within relations occurred has no bearing upon whether it was a one night stand or not? This means if you send so much as a text message to say “had a good time last night,” the person can consider you more than a one night stand. I think people are just trying to save face. I personally still consider this a one night stand because I believe it is timing, not communication that dictates if it were a one night stand or not. How well can you know a person you met 24 hours (or less) ago? You might get to know them after; not that there’s anything wrong with that. But, if it quacks like a duck and looks like a duck, it is likely a duck…a duck you had a one night stand with.

He put you to sleep?! Houston, we have a problem.

4) Met a “stranger” for the first time in person and had relations within 24 hours, with or without contact afterwards. This one is a byproduct of social media. In this day and age, people can “talk” for days, weeks, or months without ever having a single face to face conversation. For men, this makes “dating” extremely easy and studies have shown that social media communications benefit men more, too. The question becomes, how well can you really know a person when all you’ve ever exchanged is characters and emoticons?

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If the first time you really meet and you exchange bodily fluids, how is that not a one night stand? Does the barrier of on-line (or text message) communications in between negate the fact that when you first met you had relations on the first night? I’m not sure I agree with that logic, but I understand how someone can reach such a conclusion. In addition, referring back to category #2 does it matter if you never communicate again – through whatever medium?

What are your thoughts on these categories? Do any or all encompass how you would define a “one night stand”? Do you think men and women define them differently? And what the hell does “hooking up” mean?


  1. I think the 24 hour can apply, but doesn't absolutely have to. I think the only prerequisite as far as knowing can't be any more than casual acquaintance that you may remember the name of depending on when you're asked. After contact? I don't know. I think for it to qualify as a One Night Stand they have to be a relative stranger. Not necessarily someone you'll never meet again in 3 lifetimes, but not like a damn co-worker. I think it matters if you never speak again because the entire allure/fantasy/freedom/blah blah blah of it is the fact that you know so little about them and that it's a spur of the moment type thing.

  2. It's definitely one of those things that seems fairly straightforward until you consider the logistics of it all.

    1. Re: the "stranger" issue. As far as I'm concerned, it's less an issue of a perfect stranger, and more so about a person with whom one is not regularly acquainted, e.g. strictly a friend of a friend. However, the "one night stand" as originally conceived was a meeting and physical greeting within the span of one day or night.

    2. In keeping with the original definition, "one night stand" usually meant no contact with the person afterwards. However, as with all things, interactions between people have evolved. As far as I'm concerned, you can have conversations until you are blue in the face after the fact, but if you have sex only once with someone who you don't really know, you had a one night stand.

    3. To be quite frank with you, you can learn a significant deal about someone without speaking to them on the phone or seeing each other face to face. How so? Well, people simply write down what they would have said verbally. Taking people intentionally misleading others out of the equation, the great benefit of in-person or phone conversations is context cues such as body language. However, it doesn't invalidate all the things they could have shared about themselves overtime that would give you great insight into their personality. An example is olden day pen pals who would eventually meet after years and carry on their jolly friendship. This is where things get awkward. I was about to say that even if you've been going back & forth with someone and then happen to sleep with them once, then it's a one night stand. If you've been paying attention, this contradicts my previous two sections. So to make things easy for all involved, I have decided that I henceforth define a one night stand as sex that takes place once, and only once. Which makes sense, because I have heard of friends saying that they had a one night stand.

    The end.

    1. I really only have one definition:

      I didn't know you before

      I won't know you after

      I knew you that night.

      That's about it for me. Considering my introverted @$$ has trouble even hugging people I am meeting for the first time, more props to people who are capable of this.

      1. @Amaris: "That's about it for me. Considering my introverted @$$ has trouble even hugging people I am meeting for the first time, more props to people who are capable of this."


      2. My introverted ass has no problem hugging and carrying on with people I've just met for the first time as though I've known them for an eternity (I've been asked numerous times if I knew certain people I'd just met from high school or earlier), but knowing them in the carnal sense is not happening. Point.blank.period. Not giving props for it, though…I don't judge per se, but I don't congratulate, either.

        1. It's more a "do you" than a props, lol.
          But no, I can't. I kinda squirm when people I just met greet me with a big hug & a two-cheek kiss (I seem to meet a lot of Europeans). I hide it well, and I am very gracious, but I'm just wierd that way. I just am not very physical w' strangers (which makes me REALLY boring at a bachelorette party, but I digress). ( ._.)

  3. I think a one night stand is basically if there is not repeat business so to say. you had relations once and it never happened again. You most likely lost contact after it.

    I think when people converse via text or social media for long and hook up (read segsy time), it is definitely different because the person does not feel like a stranger but to me the point would be did we hook up once and then never hook up again? if yes then it is a one night stand.
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  4. I view an one night stand as smashing the first time we meet and then there is no further conversation. If I smash again then it doesn't matter how long it's been since we smashed before – we no longer have an one night stand.

    1. I agree wit Naija, Amaris and Will Wavvy.
      As for "hooking up" I first heard that from my white friends.
      When my peoples ie black friends/family say it it'sa different meaning.
      White definition of "hooking up" is – sex ie smashing, hittin it, etc etc etc. Meeting up with someone specifically to have sex with them. Planning to have sex with someone when you see them.

      Black definition of "hooking up" is – just getting together, meeting up, hanging out, etc etc etc. No sex is necessarily involved.
      White version used in a sentence – "I think Jenny is finally hooking up with me tonite."
      "I'm definitely hooking up with Vinny tonite, he is so hott."
      Black version used in a sentence – "Aight my dude, I gotta get back to work, lets hook up later.
      "Hey girl, lets hook up after work and hit up a happy hour or something."
      "After talking on the phone for a month, me and Tre are finally hooking up tonite."
      This is based on what I"ve heard.

  5. I always wondered what hookup meant. I'm not going to lie, I watched Jersey Shore for the first two seasons smh. Their difinition was making out. I always thought hooking up was smashing. I guess it depends on your area/region or circle of friends. I think all the categories encompass a ONS. I didn't like the no contact after but it makes sense.

    I think women see it as no contact after. Alot of times its just fun for that one night and just a memory. After the night, they keep it moving if thats not their thing. To men if we add you on facebook but don't see each other again it is still considered a ONS.

  6. I consider all but #4 a one night stand. That would be like im vistiing an area, happen to link up with a fellow sbm commenter, smash and i go home and we go back to innuendo tweets. While i may not “know” said person, hooking up one time thru circumstances beyond my control doesnt constitute a ONS.

  7. One night stands are the scariest thing in the world. I can't say that i've ever participated in a complete stranger situation except for that time my arm fell asleep. I mean, when you have no clue who you are sleeping with anything can happen. What if her boyfriend pops out of nowhere and starts whipping ass like Dragonfly Jones? What if her is really him? My thing is this, I need to know some ish about you so that if need be I can find you.

    1. I feel u on that Doc J. I've heard about women doin a "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and "hookin up" wit men while on vacation. Usually men from whatever island they are in. I went to Jamaica and the last thing I was thinking about was "hooking up" wit any island men. I had a few ask me about it and try me and I was like hell to the no. I don't see how women can do sleep with men they don't know on vacation. I understand the excitement and mystery of it all. Thinking nobody will ever know and u can get away with something naughty that nobody will ever know about, not your man or husband.

      1. But what if the woman gets pregnant??? Your baby daddy is in another country and he is a foreigner.
        I'm sure there are men who may purposely try to get a woman pregnant so she can help him get to the U.S. and become a citizen.
        And these men don't have any money, they are dirt poor compared to us here in the U.S. so the woman would have to pay to bring him here and pay for his citizenship and all and that is costly as hell. I know a few people who have married people from other countries and I know a lot of people from other countries who had to go through getting to the U.S. and gaining citizenship.
        To me it's not worth all that just because u meant to have a "fling" or one nite stand with a stranger while your on vacation. You end up coming back home to the U.S. wit a hell of a lot more than u went with.

        1. This really happens, like more than you would think. But men and women do it, so I can't really only hold it against the men.

  8. People are really out here having sex w/ complete STRANGERS when the "monkey" is running rampant? Wow…..

    I don't think s*x on the 1st night w/ someone you've gotten to know via social networking/texting/caking on the phone counts. Mainly because you've built up a connection w/ them so sex is just a natural by-product of your interest. Having said that, I see a 1 night stand as a situation where your specific goal is to get it and go. There's no agenda to hang out afterward or become text buddies on the regular. This probably has been covered in previous posts, but the quality of the box may dictate a changed agenda later on though.
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    1. Agreed. While I didn't cover it in the post, the whole though process around relations is strange if you think about it. A lot of people frown on one night stands but will have relations on the second or more likely, the third date (I know a number of women with a 3 date rule). That's cool, because yall know my rule: what you folks do with your nether regions is your business. Still, it seems weird that 24 hours is frowned upon yet 48hrs or 72hrs is perceived as somehow relatively much better. lol

      I mean…do you really know a person any better from 24 hours – 72 hours? I'm just asking questions…


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      1. Um…wouldn't that be assuming that the dates are on consecutive days? Because, if it is the third date…for me that would equal that I have known you a month or more. I just don't see people that often, and I would hope that we communicate at points inbetween, no?

        1. I think yall date differently up Nawf. I can easily knock out 2 dates in a weekend or 3 dates in a week. Actually, if I only went on 3 dates with someone in the span of a month I'm probably not that interested. If I like a girl, I want to see her and I make time to do so.

          But to answer your question, this seems to be one of those times when I think the "90 day" rule makes more sense than the "3 date" rule.

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        2. Yep. NY usually goes like this:

          *Guy Retrieves #
          *Guy Calls back NO SOONER than one week, call lasts NO LONGER than 12.5 minutes, sets up date for NO SOONER than 4 days after initial call
          *Guy sends obligatory post-date text, but NO actual voice heard for MINIMUM three days (can't be accused of 'thirst', y'all!), date set for a few days later
          *Intermittent random texts MAY be sent during this holding period.
          So, between the actual procurement of the number and the second date, three entire WEEKS may pass. There is a reason women complain about the NY scene all the time.

        3. That 'cant be accused of thirst, yall' statement is a very huge, huge, HUUUUGE….point. Cuz nowadays a guy that shows interest at all, before or after sex, seems to be automatically placed in the 'thirsty' category. Which, to me, is creating an even larger divide between men & women. And the NY scene totally sucks, throughout the state (Im on the west coast of NYS) & not just for women

  9. Never had a one night stand – but id assume id have to not know her last name in the morning and never care to learn it after the due has been done..lol

  10. i agree with your parameters of the one night stand. i'm not going to lie and say that i haven't had one or two in my youth. probably wouldn't ever happen again.

  11. Generally speaking, #3 is the definition I go by. The "(minimal) contact after", in my experience, leads to a repeat performance, in which case, it's a "casual relationship" (and oh, how I wish I could single-handedly abolish these), with an "agreement" that it's "just sex". If you have contact after, but it doesn't lead to a repeat, then it's a one night stand, but I've never found that to be the case. Why is the guy keeping in contact after hooking up with a stranger, if not to hit it again?

    I also include people you've been "talking to" via the internet or texts but never met in person and then subsequently sleep with within 24 hours of meeting in person, and then never hook up again, as a one night stand.

    If, by some strange occurrence, you meet someone, hook up once, and then continue to keep in contact and become great friends but never have sex again, I guess you can say that you hooked up with your friend, but that it wasn't a one night stand, because you've known him way more than one night and the relationship has evolved beyond what that title implies. I have, however, NEVER experienced this.

  12. Eitherways…….I don't understand how people engage in them. What if I were falling into bed with a homicidal?

  13. "3) Met a stranger and had relations within 24 hours with no contact after"

    I would think that this would be the ultimate definition of what a 1 night stand is. Well, not even necessarily a stranger. It could be someone you hollered at or was talkin to for a bit & had sex anywhere between like 2 days & 2 wks. If you dont contact them again or have sex, then Id think it was a 1 nighter

  14. What about … met a stranger on the street, he gave me a ride to where I was going. He contacts me the next day to make a date a few days later. We go on that date and no sex, just kissing. Next date gets cancelled a few times because he says he's sick. Then the date happens, but it's really just sex. Then he says, "Call me." Now, I've heard all the rules and all the games and the let him chase stuff, but honestly the sex was fun, but not smashing, and he's a nice guy who is in the middle of a major life transition. And I am also in the middle of a major life transition. So I figure, yeah, I texted him to say hey, how's it going? And he said, Is this your new number (I didn't have one before — just back from being out of the country). Now, I expect to hear nothing, he's probably hoping I won't be one of those stalker one-night stands (you know the kind: it's a one-night stand and then that person keeps calling or texting or looking you up online. You don't like it when they do it to you so you make it a rule to not do it to them). Haha. Funny thing is I don't usually do one-night stands, but, as they say, sometimes your hormones get the better of you. And the other issue is that, well, it appears from our talks (the two or three we had) that he is totally still in love with his ex and I am still pretty pissed at mine. So that means unresolved emotional baggage. So maybe pure sex was just the right medicine. Instead of being upset, feeling rejected, feeling bad that I contacted him a few days after (cuz supposedly girls aren't supposed to do that — rules and all), I felt like we had fun, we talked and hung out, we don't have enough in common to justify anything more than what we had and now it's time to move on. But the weird part to me is that I have never really had a one-night stand with anyone I haven't known for at least a few weeks or months which, according to all the stuff I read above, means that those weren't one-night stands even though we only had sex that one time. So who knows? We are swimming in a sea of semantics. The questions are, did you like it? Was it fun? Do you really want to get with that person again or was it all just your ego saying that he should want to get with you again? The wisdom of turning 40 is working its wonders on me.


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