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One-night stand is back with a bang!; AIDS scared everyone off casual sex...but now a hit movie puts it back in the spotlight.

They have been frowned on since AIDS became part of the sexual vocabulary. One-night stands were not only irresponsible, they were downright dangerous. But now the sexual climate could be changing. In the new hit movie One- Night Stand, Wesley Snipes and Nastassja Kinski have been cheered by enthusiastic American audiences when they fall into bed together. So has the one-night stand made a comeback in Britain? Here three single people talk frankly about their attitude to casual sex...

Errol Woodhouse, 31, is single, runs his own party planning business and comes from Leeds. He says...

As a man you want to do the business, which means going out, having a good time, drinking some beer and laying some women.

The one-night stand culture is part of my life, not a conscious decision. I never think: "I'm going to try and meet a woman tonight." Every time I've said that, it never happens.

One-night stands are not just a guy thing either. The kind of women I come across are very career-minded, who feel that a long-term commitment will hold them back from what they want to do.

Just because they don't want a relationship doesn't stop them from going out and having sex. They have their needs as much as anyone else.

I meet them in bars like the Met in Park Lane, the Mezzo in Soho, and parties. There are girls everywhere.

It's the sophisticated career girls who are more likely to want a one-night stand. Women who have most things...a nice house or flat, a car, a good job and some money. What else is there for them? They have to get their kicks or their fun. They all seem to be ready for it.

Working class girls tend to have a stronger sense of morals. The higher the class of girl the more anything goes - and it usually does.

I don't chat girls up, I talk to them. There is a big difference. Once you start communicating, it often leads to something else.

A lot of women give out certain vibes. Some women show they're interested by the way they stand, the way they drink and look at you. When you come across a girl like that, it's a lot easier to read what's going on in her mind.

I've had loads of one-night stands. Sometimes you can't do any wrong and everybody wants to be your friend. Other nights nobody wants to know. That's the luck of the draw.

As a man, emotions and sex don't have to be compatible. We can have sex without any emotion. But, for me, the more emotion involved, the better the sex becomes.

I met a really great woman recently and I would have loved to have taken her to bed that night, but I thought: "This could be something special, let's not rush it." We got to know each other better but nothing came of it, so I kicked myself because I thought I'd missed out.

If two people are going out to have fun, then I don't think they'll wake up with low self-esteem. But if one person was unsure and needed convincing, then they'll wake up feeling a bit bad about having been persuaded.

What I've found is that for every man out there having a one-night stand, there's a woman doing the same thing.

The women can be lethal because they don't have to try so hard, in fact they don't have to try at all.

If a woman knows what she's about and knows she wants to get laid, then she's going to get laid - particularly if she's attractive. It's the man who usually has to make the moves.

Sometimes you meet somebody who you want to see again, but usually one night is enough. In the morning what usually puts me off is when the girl asks: "What are we doing tonight? When am I seeing you again?'" Already she is trying to make me give her a commitment.

But there are plenty of women who wake up the next day and feel comfortable with themselves. You know then it's definitely not the first time they've done it.

I never feel bad at the end of a one-night stand. I always feel good, I never feel used. I go away and think about whether I want to take it further or not. I don't commit myself there and then.

But having said that, sadly all my one-night stands have been very mediocre. There's not one I will remember when I'm rich and 80. The only difference between them is the bodies of the women.

The best sex I've had is with girls I've really loved. I know what they like and they know what I like. When you know the girl, you can do whatever the hell you like and not feel bad about it.

Yes, I would like to meet that one special woman and have a good relationship, but in the meantime I've got to make do.

Zac Jane Ken, 28, a writer, lives in Deptford, South London. She says:

One-night stands are a nice way to end a nice evening. I've had one or two long-term relationships, but they don't really suit me.

I get bored easily, being with the same person all the time doesn't really work for me. I like a lot of variety in my life. But I don't carve notches on my bedpost, although my one-night stands run well into double figures.

I lost my virginity when I was 18, but that was in a long-term relationship. I started having one-nighters when I was 21 or 22.

When I was 18 or 19 I used to discuss sex with my boyfriend and we both thought it was a nice way to have fun with a friend, although it needn't be serious.

I took it on from there and still think there's no reason not to have sex with a friendly, willing guy if there's a mutual attraction. I believe that sex and love are like bacon and eggs - you can have bacon and eggs, the boiled egg or a bacon sandwich. They're both good things, but they needn't automatically be together.

I like sex for a lot of different reasons. There's sex with somebody you know very well and are very comfortable with, there's sex with somebody who has great physical magnetism, sex with someone you've fancied for a long time, or just a quick giggly bunk-up at a party. It can all be wonderful.

When I fancy picking up a man I go to a West End club, or to parties or have a few beers and see a band.

I generally go out thinking 'it might be nice to have a bit of fun with somebody tonight,' but it depends on who's about, or who's interested. If there isn't anyone I like the look of, then it's better luck next time. I tend to go after the long-haired rock star type.

But they haven't all been like that. There was a chap once who wasn't at all my usual type. I thought: "What on earth is he doing at this club?" But he kept coming up and talking to me. I thought he was a bit of an idiot. Then he said: '"If I kissed you would you object?" So I said: '"There's only one way to find out." And he kissed me. I thought: "WOW, I'm going to take this one home!"

My best one-night stand was with somebody I used to work with. We had all gone to the pub on Friday lunchtime for a rather relaxed birthday party and people just kept drifting away until I was left with this guy.

We were the last two there and were finishing off our drinks and chatting when he looked at me and said: '"I can't believe you and I have never been to bed together." I thought: "You smooth talking so-and-so." I sort of treated it as a bit of a joke at first.

But we had another drink, chatted a bit and ended up going back to my place where we had sex.

It was lovely because it was like running away from school for the day. It was very naughty, very good fun and there were never any unpleasant repercussions. We stayed friends, as I do with a lot of the men I sleep with.

There has been the odd one-night stand that wasn't brilliant. But I've never caught anything nasty, never been beaten up or had my money taken or anything like that. I would say I'm a pretty good judge of character.

I am fussy, it's not just a case of anyone will do. I have to like a man, he has to be intelligent and friendly. If I don't feel comfortable letting someone into my house, I don't want to let them into any bit of me either. As to where I have sex, it all depends whose place is nearer and who's got to get up earlier.

As a youngster I remember saying to Mum that 'I didn't plan to get married 'until I was 35, and I wouldn't be wearing white because if I'was still a virgin at that age I wouldn't want to boast about it! My mother just looked at me.

I think one-night stands are going to be the thing with me for a good long while. I do have certain rules - I practise safe sex and I've always got my condoms with me.

And if I'm having one-night stands with two or three different people on a fairly regular basis, you have to make sure that you never make anybody feel they're second best.

I'm not a stunning siren who only has to crook her little figure for men to come running, but I do OK.

If I like the look of somebody, I'll go over and talk to them, I'm not shy. If I'm rebuffed, I go into the ladies and kick the wall. I put on my lipstick, go back out and say never mind, there's always the next one.

Heidi Early, 25, a singer, comes from Southampton. She says:

ALL the one night stands I've had have been totally unmemorable. If they had been, I would have wanted more than one night and to have got to know the guy better.

They started when I was about 17 and discovering my sexuality. I was more carefree then and it was before all the AIDS warnings started to get to everyone.

I didn't go out deliberately looking for a one-night stand, it would just happen usually because I'd had a bit too much to drink. I would go back to the guy's place rather than bringing anyone home to mine. But it's not a phase of my life I would want to repeat. All my one-night stands were awful, if they'd been any good I would have wanted to develop the relationship and I never did.

I was young and men were a novelty, but it was not for me. I never felt good in the morning and I was not at all satisfied or happy with myself afterwards.

In terms of pleasure, if two single people want to get together for a night of pure satisfaction and they both decided that is what they want then I'm not against the idea. But I need a loving relationship to express myself sexually.

I have quite a few friends who say that the best sex they've ever had was with a one-night stand because there were no feelings involved and it was purely physical. It works for some people - but not for me.
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Copyright 1997 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Nisbet, Jenny
Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 23, 1997
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