one night stand, sex, female biology, emotional attachment, oxytocin, single girls

I am, surprisingly, an advocate of the one night stand. The story is always titillating; you’re at a bar/club/party and you’ve ended up with THE MOST EXTRAORDINARY LOOKING guy. He’s nice, he’s funny and he’s clearly after one thing.

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Maybe you’ve just come out of a relationship, maybe you haven’t done the horizontal tango in a while, or maybe you’re just bored. Either way, you end up back at his/your place and magical, mind-blowing, monumental sex occurs. You’ve confirmed you’re happy for it to be a one-time thing. And you’ve definitely said, probably multiple times (along with multiple something else): “Whatever, it’s just sex!”

Sounds perfect, in theory. You’ll probably be fine the next day. However, soon you start to think about him more than necessary. You wonder why he hasn’t texted you or friend requested you. Then you do the internal Mexican hat dance of whether to text him or friend him or not because it was just sex, but what if he’s thinking about you so maybe you should text him or call him or stalk his mutual friends – and voila! You’ve become emotionally attached to something that should be emotionally detached. The worst part is he’s actually doing nothing wrong. You fully agreed to a one-time, one-hit wonder of an evening, so why does it hurt so much when he doesn’t call?

Ladies, it’s not, in fact, your fault, at least not consciously. The reason is purely chemical. During sex, the brain releases oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” which lowers the defences and increases trust. It’s designed to make partners bond. However, women release higher levels, and oestrogen tends to enhance the effects.

On the flip side, men also release dopamine, the “pleasure hormone.” This is a single hit of good feels, which, along with testosterone, tends to mute the effects of oxytocin. Therefore, men are primed to spread their seed elsewhere and continue populating the planet. By contrast, women are primed to nurture and protect their partner and potential offspring, hence those annoying feelings of lovey-ness.

In terms of procreation, this is great. However, if you’re a single girl who wants to get laid, it sucks. But there are ways of wading through this sea of hormones. Here are a few tricks that, coupled with a little self-discipline, will help:

1. Avoid one-nighters if you don’t think you can handle them.

I’ve noticed that some women just don’t have the constitution to handle one night stands, especially women under 25. If this is you, kiss him goodnight and leave him at the front door; it’s not worth the angst.

2. Remember WHY you did it.

If those post-coitus butterflies are starting, swat them away by reminding yourself of the situation. He was hot, you were drunk, he got lucky. That’s usually it. Remember?

3. Replay it again and again and AGAIN in your head.

This sounds counter-productive, but it works. It doesn’t matter how good the sex was; if you think about it constantly it will get boring. It’s like watching an episode of Friends 56 times in a row…eventually you’ll want to watch the next one.

4. Think of reasons why he’s un-dateable.

Too short, too tall, too old, too young, too boring, too loud, too immature, too busy, too lazy, too fond of absinthe, anything you can think of. NO EXCUSES. It doesn’t matter how perfect he seems, there’s ALWAYS something wrong. Find it.

5. Acknowledge your biology.

If pesky hormones really won’t leave you alone, research every little thing that goes on in the female brain during sex in minute detail. You’ll soon convince yourself that you’re simply a slave to your biology.

No matter how extraordinary the sex, no matter how delightful the toy-boy, just remember this: a one night stand means one night only!

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