"One-night stands are the best way to live out your sexual fantasies."
I didn't agree, but decided to hear him out anyway.
"There are probably about five fantasies I'm keen to explore during my life," he said. "I'd like to shag in public, I'd like to try bondage, I want to try group sex, I want to try costumes and I want to do it the way they do it, but with someone like that."
He had nodded his head towards a gay couple in a bid to keep the conversation relatively cafe-friendly. The ''that'', in this case, was a beautiful blonde woman passing by on her morning coffee run. It was going to be one of those breakfasts. I got comfortable.
"See, with a one-night stand, you don't owe them anything. You don't have to be sensitive to future plans. You can do exactly what you want to do, no inhibitions, because it's not like you're trying to build a relationship with them, and you're worried your freaky sex dreams will go over the wrong way."
I elected not to tell him that, in my seven years as a sex writer, the freakishness he was so proud of wasn't really so far out. On a fantasy scale, they were pretty tame. But he raised an interesting point. Is it easier to explore the possibilities of your erotic imagination with someone you barely know? Is a person with no prior knowledge, and no preconceived notions, the best fantasy-sex buddy you can get? Or are you better off with someone you can trust - someone you love?
Let's consider the one-night stand, a common experience these days. You meet, you talk - usually you drink - then the playground is negotiated, and the play ensues. There's enough trust to make it to this stage, there's enough mutual attraction as well - there's probably also enough inhibition-blocking booze in your system to push out prudish notions of propriety. So why not suggest slipping into something a little more latex-y. Why not put to bed a fantasy as you go to bed with your one-night-only lover? You're planning to never see them again - so what have you got to lose?
I can see the reason. I can see the cold logic. But I can't get excited about the idea. It seems too much like the behaviour of a brutal user. Sex shouldn't be so selfish. Are one-night stands anything but?
Of course, there's a real chance you're both up for the activity proposed. We are talking about two consenting adults here, two people who agree they want to shag each other, and aren't so hung up on the morning-after routine.
Maybe, for example, they hooked-up online with the sole purpose of finding sex-fantasy fulfilment. Indeed, if you've orchestrated such an occasion, please feel free to share your story in the comment section below.
But my chum isn't talking about that. He's talking about putting it out there and seeing what comes back. If there's a bite, it's game on. Congratulations, you've found a willing accomplice - do the deed and don't worry about the consequences.
Except, consequences can be good. Consequences can lead to growth. Avoiding addressing a sex fantasy with your partner for fear of consequences could be a bigger mistake than thinking only strangers can satisfy your wildest dreams. Imagine, if you can't already relate, the wonderful pleasure of knowing that your partner not only wants you to reveal your dreams, but wants to help you realise them too?
Some of the best relationships I've ever known work because the people within them are deeply committed to making the other happy. They are honest with each other. They are aware of each other's needs and desires. They are open to trying new things. If it doesn't work, it doesn't work - but at least they went there. They love each other enough to move on. And, hey, they know each other enough to see when they might be on to something they both want, that works, and only gets better with exploration. The kind of exploration you can only do if you're with someone for longer than just one night.
Yet I know there are people in relationships who feel they'll never fulfil their fantasies because their partner will never understand. Just as there are people who are single, and would love to meet a stranger for the sake of wild experimentation, but feel they can't, because it's too far out of their comfort zone. In these situations, sometimes the pleasure is in the fantasy alone. Dreams don't have to be realised to be enjoyed.
They're still worth chasing though.
Don't you agree?
The question remains, how?
- Sydney Morning Herald