I would love to tell you all the story of the time I lost my virginity, but I’d also really not love to tell you that story, so I’ll start with a different one — my first one night stand. In today’s “hookup culture” (is that really the best we can come up with?), the one night stand is becoming less of an anomaly and more of a rite of passage. No matter what our feelings on it are, it’s definitely happening, and I think we should talk about it. Unfortunately, my first one night stand stemmed not from powerful sexual liberation, but from a much more vulnerable place of heartbreak and insecurity. I say this because it is often those emotions that drive us, with our heads full of slut-shaming, to have one night stands. We have to excuse them, provide an explanation for our behavior. “I was just out of my mind;” “I don’t usually do things like this;” “I was drunk/lonely/sad.” Why do we feel the need to make excuses? Why the explanations? Why the evaluation of ourselves based on this completely meaningless occurrence? Can we instead learn to embrace our one night stands?
I was 18, and the afore-not-mentioned guy to which I lost my virginity had just broken up with me. Okay, so it was a month prior, but it takes time to heal! Especially from someone who a naïve mind thinks is its one true love (luckily there have been plenty of those since). I was quite (devastatingly) depressed, so my friends decided to take me to the nearby college town, where they attended school, for a healing night of underage binge drinking, because when you’re 18 and stupid, you think that’ll actually help. Hell, when you’re 25 and stupid, you think that’ll help. We pulled up to the run-down apartment building where their friends lived in the majestic town of Bowling Green, Ohio. “S” answered the door wearing nothing but a pair of jeans and an ample amount of chest hair, and the night began.
S was nice enough, and I suppose he was charming and funny in that I-just-came-off-a-hunting-trip-way, but mostly, he was there. He was a distraction, something to take my mind off the sadness that crept its way into my mind, despite the amount of cheap vodka I used to wash it away. S thought I was cute, and he told me as much. We celebrated our mutual cuteness in the only way that stupid college students know how, by taking vodka shots. Before we knew it, I was sitting on S’s lap. We flirted, and I forgot about my sadness for awhile, so I guess my friends’ plan worked. After things got too hot and heavy for us to stand it, S and I retreated to his bedroom for the main event.
How was the sex? Not that great, but I think that it’s that way for a lot of people. We usually equate one night stands with regret and shame, sloppy, often inebriated sex with someone who we don’t care enough to really please. It even feels like a dream — a fuzzy, vaguely satisfying thing that we have trouble quantifying in the morning. You never hear someone saying, “That one night stand changed my life,” because if you did it probably wouldn’t have been a one night stand. However, even if they don’t provide the rush that we wish they did, they’re still fun. And isn’t that one of those things that sex is supposed to do for us? I mean, women are often raised with this idea of “only have sex with people that matter to you,” which I think is an elaborate way of further solidifying slut-shaming in our society. The thing is, sometimes it’s fun to have sex with someone who doesn’t matter. Sometimes it feels good to do something just for the visceral pleasure that it brings. And what’s wrong with that?
What do you think Sarah should talk about in her next installment of this series? Let us know in the comments!
Written by Sarah Garner
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