Relationship Thesaurus Entry: One-Night Stand Lovers

From Writers Helping Writers:

A relationship involving two people who are sexually intimate one time and have no further contact is considered a one-night stand. The intimacy may have been fueled by desire, emotional pain, alcohol, drugs, or sex addiction. It may also have stemmed from the thrill of having no strings attached. One-night stands may be chance encounters or they may be facilitated through an app or website.  

Relationship Dynamics
Below are a wide range of dynamics that may accompany this relationship. Use the ideas that suit your story and work best for your characters to bring about and/or resolve the necessary conflict. 

Two people hooking up for one night with no expectation of further involvement
A relationship where one person is emotionally invested while the other is not
The two parties staying in contact, resulting in a longer-term relationship
One party pursuing a lasting relationship with a lover who isn’t interested
The parties having to hide the one-night stand from others (because they work together, they’re involved in other romantic relationships, etc.)

Challenges That Could Threaten The Status Quo
Encountering the other person after the fact
One of the participants becoming pregnant
A bystander or witness gossiping about the encounter
Encountering the other person in one’s social or professional circles
A spouse or partner finding out about the one-night stand
Getting caught leaving the site of the liaison
Being diagnosed with a sexually-transmitted disease after the fact
One person becoming curious about the other and trying to contact them
A third party discovering evidence (a hotel bill, condom wrapper, etc.) of the encounter
One person developing feelings for the other
One party experiencing extreme guilt or shame over the encounter
One party leaving something behind that the other lover has to return
One person accusing the other of sexual assault
Images, video, or another form of evidence of the act being shared publicly
One of the parties losing their job as a result of the encounter
An unrelated tragedy happening as the encounter occurred (a loved one dying in a car accident, someone in one party’s care being neglected, etc.)
One party having an ulterior motive for participating in the one-night stand, such as them wanting to blackmail the other person

Link to the rest at Writers Helping Writers

  1. Reading items like the OP makes PG extremely glad to have been married to Mrs. PG and more committed to continuing that relationship for as long as possible.

2. With regard to the wording of one of the Challenges That Could Threaten the Status Quo, specifically,

One of the participants becoming pregnant

While PG believes he understands the general usefulness of gender-neutral terms and knows he is definitely not au courant with respect to 21st-century relationships, is a participant in a one-night stand who is not a female going to become pregnant?

PG is pretty certain he knows the legal answer to this kind of question in Georgia or Nebraska, but are there one-night stands that do not involve long-standing biological principles for causing a biological female (who may identify as whatever she/he/they please) to become pregnant?

Do fertility clinics host one-night stands?

PG is, of course, being silly and means no offense to anyone, but he has noticed the occasional use of gender-neutral pronouns where they raise more issues than they resolve.

7 thoughts on “Relationship Thesaurus Entry: One-Night Stand Lovers”

    • Are you sure it’s PG that’s being silly?
      Maybe it’s the lingo warriors living in their own bubbles… 😉

  1. “is a participant in a one-night stand who is not a female going to become pregnant?”

    There are certain subgenres of Internet writing where this is the case. One wonders if the writer of the OP dabbled in them.

  2. The assumptions in the OP do make me feel old. Not the existence of one-night stands themselves, of course, but the “one person developing feelings for the other” as a possible development.

    Outside of sex-for-hire (which is not how I would define one-night stands), I would certainly hope that at least “one person developing feelings for the other” would be a pre-existing condition. I grant that one side might just be randy, opportunistic, and unreflective, but both… that’s an ugly thing.

    Shows how out-of-touch I am with today’s pressures for casual sex and the diligent avoidance of anything that might be self-perceived as shame.

  3. That’s a pretty speciesist statement, PG. For all we know, this could be a one night stand between a pair of hermaphroditic beings from another solar system where either can become pregnant from sex if they have particularly strong emotions toward their partner.

    Slightly more seriously, overuse of non-gendered language can lead to eye-rolling nonsense that only provides a subset of humans more ammunition to “own the [other subset of humans].”


  4. While useful in speculative fiction (i.e., sci-fi), in REAL LIFE, the “Birthing Person” is the one that has the Female Parts below the waist (not the pseudo or manufactured type).
    Thank you for forthrightly stating the Unbelievably Obvious.

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