Why this year, all I want for Christmas is a one-night stand

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  • Can you really find comfort and joy in a little festive fornification? Author and one-night stand advocate Laura Jane Williams thinks so. Here, she gives us the lowdown on how to keep it casual, effectively communicate - and, crucially, climax after one too many mulled wines

    Words by Laura Jane Williams 

    Apparently, we aren’t having sex anymore. Less than half of men and women in the UK aged 16-44 have sex at least once a week. So it stands to reason that the holiday season – when we’re out boozing with colleagues or old friends from home – is when we might get the horn. At the most wonderful time of year, sometimes the best gift is to scratch that itch; to give into temptation and indulge in a little festive fling. That’s why I am all in favour of a Christmas one-night stand.

    Having a bit of festive fornication can be a freeing, joyous experience. It’s the rush of meeting somebody new, the spark when you realise you’re both thinking the same thing, and the excitement of discovering how your body responds to a foreign touch. When done right, a one night-stand is a release, and a fun way to pass the time. After all, there’s only so many tins of Quality Street one can get through.

    Yes, there’s a bit of etiquette involved, but if you know the rules and you both behave with respect and open communication – why not?

    So, here’s the cornerstones of a healthy, happy shag…

    one-night stand

    Laura Jane Williams has created a guide to doing a one-night stand right

    Get personal before the clothes come off

    Listen up: safety first, always. It’s all fun and games to be spontaneous on a night out, but if you’re heading to a stranger’s house, text your BFF where you’re going and activate ‘Find My Friends’ on your phone. If your one-time lover gets weird about giving you their address, don’t leave with them. My motto? If you wouldn’t sleep with a guy who doesn’t have book shelves, you definitely shouldn’t sleep with a guy who won’t give you his full name.

    Don’t mistake sex for something more

    What we’re talking about here is two (or more) people spending the night together just for the pleasure of it. Don’t use sex as a gateway to a relationship or as a bartering tool –  it isn’t a voucher for the washing up. Also: don’t assume that all men are OK with a fling. Just because he’s a dude doesn’t mean you don’t have to articulate exactly what is happening and why. He deserves clear communication as much as you do. Treat others as you’d like to be treated.

    Use protection

    Yes, protect yourself against pregnancy, but don’t forget about STIs, too, which are transmitted via oral, vaginal or anal sex, and can lurk unnoticed for years. There’s no shame in getting checked out – STIs aren’t ‘dirty’, but they do happen. Carry condoms with you at all times, and ask him to saddle the pony.

    one-night stand


    Get mindful with your orgasms 

    For a lot of women, the odds of climaxing during a one-night are low – research shows just one in 10 of us are likely to peak. You’re drunk and dehydrated (which translates to being a bit dry down there); he’s hammered and not exactly standing to attention. What seemed like a great idea in the pub suddenly feels ridiculous now you’re fumbling around in the dark.

    Slow it down. Have a glass of water. Enjoy snogging or lightly touching each other, instead. Sex isn’t just putting the p-in-the-v, and it’s easier to see what you’re both responding to if you take your time. So get in the zone. Exhale. And if it still doesn’t feel right? Stop. Or laugh it off. Sex is pretty ridiculous, after all, and a fit of giggles might just make you both relax.

    Be selfish

    Porn, sex education, Hollywood love scenes – they all tend to prioritise male pleasure. So a one night-stand is the perfect time to start saying what you like out loud. If you’re never going to see this chap in a reindeer jumper again, why not experiment? Be responsible for your own pleasure (he’s not a mind reader) and ask for what you want. Or, better yet, show him. You can thank me later.

    Perfect your pillow talk 

    OK, you’re only in it for one thing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t debate the latest Netflix series afterwards. If you want to hop straight into an Uber when you’re done, go for it – politely say your goodbyes and head off. But if you end up hanging out, that’s cool too. You don’t have to be cold or standoffish with a sexual partner to prove that it’s only sex. After all, you’ve just shared the most intimate parts of your body together – a bit of pillow talk afterwards might actually be quite nice.

    Don’t overthink it

    You had sex with somebody you probably won’t have sex with ever again. Congratulations! The number of ways this contributes to shaping your future self? Zero. A one-night stand is sort of like a weekend mini break – a joyful escape from the day-to-day that, with any luck, keeps you smiling for a while.

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