1. I count this as a one-night stand, even though it technically wasn’t once or night-time. I was at a townie party in high school when I found myself drunk and making out with one of my best guy friends. We were horizontal on the couch and I knew that we were about to fuck—he was a virgin, I wasn’t—but the whole time, I kept making him check his phone because I had curfew at midnight (I was a boarder, he was a day student with a car). So at 11:30 I said, “We have to stop.” But I felt so bad about it—I was wasted but I still knew intellectually what he expected out of the evening, and besides, it was so nice of him to drive me all the way back to school so I wouldn’t miss curfew—that I told him we could “continue the party” the next day. (Yes, I actually used that phrase.) So the next day, when everyone we knew was at an a capella concert (really), he snuck up to my room, I put on the Frou Frou album (the one with “Let Go” on it) and we fucked. And then we caught the last half hour of the a capella concert together. All I could think of was, I’ll always know how you lost your virginity: the chick was on top and you were listening to Frou Frou.
2. The last night before everyone left for winter break, junior year of college. We’re all out at our favorite campus bar and I black out somewhere after my third Long Island iced tea (and after many, many shots of terrible Georgi vodka in someone’s dorm room). Fast forward to the next morning. I wake up in my nightshirt, a man’s oversize sweater on the floor next to me. I look around for my clothes, my purse, my shoes. Nowhere to be found. I try to remember whose sweatshirt this is and come up with a candidate: a peripheral guy friend of mine, in one of the jock frats. I spend the day trying to get in touch with him—difficult without a cell phone. Eventually, I went and banged on his frat house’s door for an hour until someone let me in. The stranger let me up to the guy’s room—he was gone for the break already—and surprisingly, none of my stuff was there. Later that night, after I’d canceled my credit card and ran down to the bank to get an emergency ATM card, my dad called my dorm phone. It turned out the night bartender found my stuff, tracked down my parents’ number and called to tell my dad his daughter’s purse was at the bar. My purse was there, and all my clothing was in a plastic bag. So apparently I’d walked home in the middle of the night, barefoot and in a sweatshirt, in December, on NYC sidewalks, and browbeat the security guard into letting me in without my keys and ID card. So obviously I hooked up with someone, because why else would I have needed to take off my clothes—probably in the bathroom of the bar—but who? I never found out.
3. May 2010. My best friend had just broken up with her fiance and we were in need of some serious girl time. So she and another good friend of ours from high school came down to NYC for the weekend. I was still living at my parents’ at the time, so I got us the cheapest hotel room I could on short notice—some $90 place in the west 80s on Riverside. I was on a mission to get BFF laid (other friend had a boyfriend and would be wing-womaning for us). We spent the day drinking and then went to my old reliables near the hotel, the stretch of fratty bars in the 80s on Amsterdam. We met three British tourists at 3am, one of them not-so-cute, one of them cute and tall and the other cute and blond—in other words, perfect for our individual needs. At 4, third wheel had gone home and the four of us were looking for places to get busy. BFF took Tall back to the hotel and ended up hooking up with him in the hallway bathroom. Blond’s name was Sam, and he was traveling the world before working for his family business. I took my guy west, thinking to go to Riverside Park, but we only made it as far as the benches facing the park. I pulled up my dress and we hooked up in full view of the street. Thank god the Upper West Side is almost exclusively populated by rich old people and families—no one was out walking around. Walking me back to the hotel, he kept repeating, “I can’t believe I hooked up with a real Manhattan girl.”
4. An overcrowded bar in midtown East. I was pissed off from having to babysit my friend—eventually I’d have to take $40 out of the ATM for her to take a cab home to Brooklyn because she was too wasted to figure out the subway— and badly in need of some male attention to feel better about myself. Voila! I walked by the bar and a tall, tan blond dude locked eyes with me. Done and done. He pulled me aside and offered to get me a drink. It turned out he was an Australian who ran his own coffee importing business (he wouldn’t be the only Australian coffee importer I’d sleep with—what is it about Australia and coffee importers? Someone please enlighten me) and surfed. Several uncountable hours later, we were on the street and I was telling him I live outside the city (I didn’t say with my parents) and didn’t have anywhere to bring him. He said, “I’ll get a hotel room.” Something inside me clicked and suddenly, I had a mission. I whipped out my phone and screamed at a W Hotels dispatcher until she scared up a room for us at the midtown hotel, the whole time thinking: I must look like such a classic hard-assed, no-nonsense, ball-busting New Yorker to him. The next morning, we had sex again, I took a cab to Grand Central and went home, changed, and went right back into the city for work.
5. One of my best friends from high school is a consultant with a million travel points, and since me and our other best friend didn’t have jobs that paid us much of anything, she’d get us amazing suites at the W whenever we’d visit her in DC. After getting kicked out of the bar because one of my friends didn’t have a valid driver’s license (apparently DC is strict about things like that), we ended up running around the hotel looking for dudes to join us. Eventually we accosted a pair of older traveling salesmen-types who agreed to come help us finish the booze we bought. I don’t remember this happening, at all, but when I made it back to our suite the next morning, my friend told me she’d come looking for me the night before. She’d pounded on the guy’s door until I opened it, wrapped in a bedsheet. She asked if I was ok and I just nodded, with apparently totally vacant, brain-dead eyes. As she said, “The lights are on but no one’s home.” She concluded I was enjoying myself, closed the door and left me to it.
6.March of this year, my second Aussie coffee-importer ONS. I met him one Thursday night when we ran into him outside a bar while thinking of our next location, and he asked if he could tag along. He was cute and had an accent, so I said sure. I had to work the next morning, so after a few drinks I got his number and we agreed to meet for lunch on Saturday. I thought, WTF, lunch? How is lunch conducive to hooking up?, but went with it because I’m always willing to get a free meal. Hours later, we ended up drinking leftover beers and watching Crocodile Dundee with my roommate until she pulled me aside to say she’d go in her room and turn her music up loud. We fucked twice and went to sleep. I woke up the next morning at six, couldn’t fall back to sleep, and went into a tailspin after checking my phone and reading a cryptic and infuriating BBM from my ex. Suddenly, this guy—nice as he was—was driving me crazy just by taking up space next to me, so I woke him up and told him I had to go to church. I tolerated a ten-minute shower from him before he finally left and I could obsess over the BBM in peace.
I realized I was tired of one-night stands when, after complaining to one of my friends that I hadn’t had sex since New Year’s, she reminded me that I slept with the second Aussie in March and then said, “I guess the sex wasn’t very good if you don’t remember it at all.”
This isn’t to stand one-night stands aren’t a lot of fun. They totally are. Plus, your friends can laugh at you for literally years afterward. But if the sex isn’t memorable and/or you’re too blackout to remember it, maybe it’s a good idea to take a break.