Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Proposed Ettiquette Rules For One Night Stands,

One Night Stands Suck. Or rather, One Night Stands themselves don't suck; it is the emotional fall out, which inevitably occurs (unless you are completely dead inside) after one.

Existential Angst and Sex are my favourite topics of discussion. As is reading about Existential Angst and Sex and writing about Existential Angst and Sex. The book I am currently writing is nothing but Existential Angst and Sex; however I have been forced to cut a lot of the smut out, on account of my fear that it was turning into some younger, scummier Punk version of Sex and The City, which is set in London rather than NYC, or the literary version of a Dandy Warhols Song. I don't like either of these options, I fucking hate Chick Lit. I am way too angry to write something that makes me look human. I want my book to make people feel like crap when they read it, not enjoy themselves.

For the past few weeks, for some reason, the topic of One Night Stands has been discussed a lot amongst various acquaintances of mine, and the general consensus of opinion is; One Night Stands Suck. With the exception of one or two cases, the results of the opinion poll of people-in-their-20s-who-know-Felicity-in-some-capacity is; One Night Stands Are Awful; the day after and to a lesser extent, the following week, are dominated by a general feeling of self loathing, guilt, resentment towards the other person, and depression. All that lovely stuff.

To clarify what the term "One Night Stand" means. I am not talking about the situation in which you have (usually drunken) sex with a person in your acquaintance, who you already know beforehand, and continue to speak to afterwards, with an added bonus of awkwardness and sexual tension. This is fine. Not to over share or anything, but I have erm, some experience with this, and the worst thing about it, is the sense of childish embarrassment, the first time you see the other person, which is actually quite sweet, and usually dissipates very quickly.

No, when I say "One Night Stand" I am talking of the much darker cousin of the
situation I have just described. It is when you pick up a total stranger somewhere (e.g. a bar or club) that you have had no prior knowledge of, or a formal introduction, and you wind up having (usually drunken) sex with, then never see again after this encounter.

In theory, this should be fine. Some people (I am one of them) have a natural aversion to the whole "relationships" thing. People should be able to have angst free sex with strangers, should the mood take them, and feel good about the whole thing afterwards. However, it doesn't work that way.

The best song ever (to my knowledge) to be written about One Night Stands is "Leave Before The Lights Come On" by The Arctic Monkeys. One of the lines is "How can you wake up, with someone you don't love and not feel slightly phased by it?" I personally don't believe in the concept of "love" as expressed in this song, but I agree with the sentiment. In my opinion (although for artistic reasons it blatantly couldn't be this) the line should read "How can you wake up, with someone you don't know, and have no desire to, whilst being brutally aware that they feel exactly the same way about you, and are desperately planning how to get them out of your house/get out of their house with the least stress possible, oh yeah and you also have to navigate a stinking hangover/comedown whilst doing this?"

I have experienced two genuine One Night Stands in my life, both in the immediate aftermath of a 5 year relationship. My memories of both of these events are dominated by what happened the next day. Gentleman Friend A; fucked off at 8am claiming he "had something important to do" which obviously made me feel great about myself. Gentleman Friend B; on the other hand, stuck around until 6pm the next day, when I was forced by my hangover to walk him to the DLR Station and pay his train fare, just to get him to fuck off and leave me in peace, so I could recover. Both these events were unpleasant, and not ones that I wish to repeat, but pale in comparison to the really nasty experiences of a female friend of mine, who is as beautiful, intelligent and nice as a person can be, and told me of some extremely shitty treatment by One Night Stands, I wont divulge the details, but I was fucking horrified that anyone could treat a friend of mine in such a blatantly evil way, and it was this horror that lead me to write this Blog (that, and the fact I haven't been able to write one for a while, because I have been too busy, and I miss writing them).

Anyways, if (as I state) there is nothing wrong with One Night Stands in theory, however the general aftermath of them is unpleasant/horrific, then there needs to be a set of ground-rules/etiquette established in order to make them as easy as possible for the people involved.

I have a whole heap of theories about why One Night Stands are so dysfunctional (all long, drawn out Socio Political Ones, which I cant be arsed writing, and you wont be arsed reading) however I think practical steps can me taken by the people involved in order to stop the repercussions of One Night Stands adding to the general pool of misery that ruins the human condition.

Most forms of "Alternative Sexuality" are based very strongly on ground rules. They have to be, otherwise there would be a total shit-storm around them. One Night Stands are a form of alternative sexuality, but the people who have them often don't realise this, and as a result, do not know how to behave.

There are three reasons that people feel the need to act the twat on the morning after a One Night Stand.

1; Is through fear that the other person may think that said One Night Stand is going to morph into a monogamous relationship; this is ridiculous (but yet again, there are exceptions to this) however I strongly believe that this fear is the basis for a lot of twattish behaviour.

2, Is through fear that the other person totally regrets the whole experience, and loathes them as a result. Yet again, this is a valid reason for acting the twat.

3, Guilt and self loathing. You have just had sex with someone you have only just met, and this is really sleazy! What would your parents/ex girlfriend/The Pope think? YOU ARE SUBHUMAN!

To deal with these issues in a civilized way. I propose a suggestion that I think would solve all of the issues that arise after One Night Stands.

One of the people involved (I suggest the person whose house it is that they have stayed at) treats the other person in the same way as they would treat any friend that has stayed the night. They make them a cup of tea, tell them the best way to get home, and get rid of them at a respectable hour. The other person doesn't misinterpret this niceness as an attempt at starting a relationship. Rather they realise it is just an attempt at avoiding drama and appreciate it.

At some point the next day one of the people (it could be either of them) says something along the lines of

"I am really pleased I have met you, because I feel that last night we shared something special. I can't get involved with anyone at the moment, because I (INSERT FEASIBLE EXPLANATION HERE) but it would be nice if we could stay in touch, so if you give me a phone number/email address I will contact you in a few weeks (not too soon, because it would be weird) to see how you are, and if we are capable of forming a friendship"

You see. It is that simple. There is a very high chance that this person will never become a serious presence in your life. However, there is no reason that you cannot incorporate them into your wider circle made up of ex-co-workers, housemates, and school freinds etc, e.g. people you have civil dealings with, but are very much on the back-burner of people you know. I am sure that a conversation like this would go a long way towards preventing any sort of emotional fall-out occurring. And you never know, you might actually wind up making a new friend as a result.

If on the other hand, you have just had sex with someone you genuinely loathe and believe that you are incapable of having the vaguest of dealings with in the future, then there is something really wrong with you. You should get this sorted, seriously. But for the rest of the population, I really think this is a good idea, because it would save people a lot of angst and trauma, which has to be a good thing.