An Open Letter To My Only One-Night Stand

Dear Only Person I Had A One-Night Stand With,

Who the hell are you? No, but seriously. I don’t actually know. I slept with you a few months ago and I can’t remember your name. Do you know how strange that is for me? I can usually remember minor details like thickness of hair or the appearance of someone’s cuticles, but not with you. Not even a name.

I place some of the blame on my friends. They told me I should have a one-night stand “to experience it! If you can’t handle it, don’t do it again and you’ll always know!” What I realized, however, is that I didn’t need to have sex with you to know that I couldn’t “handle” it. Some people never try crystal meth because they know it’s not for them and no one challenges that decision. Why does the same not apply with one-night stands?

There was more to it than just the coaxing of my friends. I was also in Europe feeling this implicit pressure to be young and reckless. I mean, traveling is the ultimate set-up for casual sex. You certainly won’t see the person again and chances are they have a tenuous grasp on the English language.

There is a certain state of mind one develops when going to foreign countries too. Since you’re forced so utterly out of your comfort zone, you’re more apt to try and experience new foods, new friends and new men. It’s like that stupid saying “When in Rome….” is on constant repeat in your mind. Eating this random European delicacy that looks like vomit? When in Rome! Befriending a 50-year-old Spanish barfly? When in Rome! Spending all your money on a train ticket with no money for a return? When in Rome!

You were so “When in Rome.” You wouldn’t have happened in California, New York or even Canada. You were a result of my being possessed by the traveling spirit. The sad thing is, a lot of your “When in Rome”‘s manage to sneak back on the airplane with you back to America. Something can trigger a memory and all of a sudden your “When in Rome” becomes “When at the grocery store!” or “When at therapy!”

So here’s the deal: You were cute, I was drunk and so the story goes. I think you were also kind of weird though because during the cab ride back to my apartment, you were talking about your traumatic childhood in Camden and I was plugging my ears going, “Delete. Delete. Delete.” One-night stands can’t have a traumatic childhood. They can have a working penis and/or vagina and an open mind. That’s it.

When I woke up the next morning, I realized my self-respect had gone missing, and that I must had left it at the club when we were smooching. I stared at your naked sleeping body, which looked so appealing last night, but now looked like a cold lump of chalk. I woke you up and lied, saying I was going to vomit and that got you out the door in 2.5 seconds.

I spent the rest of the day feeling depressed and eating burritos. Sleeping with people who don’t “get” you can really make someone feel like a deflated balloon. I’ve been with people I didn’t particularly like before, but I knew them. They had context and I understood that in order for me to enjoy sex, it had to be with someone I was familiar with. I knew this then. I knew it the night you slept over and I definitely know it now as I’m writing this. So why did I ever doubt it and sleep with you?

P.S. I ran into you two days later on the tube, which I guess technically makes it a “one-night stand with an accidental ten-minute conversation on public transit.” You were pretty cool though. You laughed. I laughed. And then I sort of cried. Have a nice life. May our penises never cross again unless we decide to be in a committed relationship with each other.


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