The One-Night Stand

The One-Night Stand. I am entering into a very sensitive area in this post. Sex. We all know about it; most readers have partaken in the activity at some point (don’t blush) and have hopefully enjoyed it. Without sex we would not have a population problem in some parts of the World, and neither would we have the horrendous violence in the name of sex all over the World. It is essential for evolution and people spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about it. Some faiths guilt you into not having sex, others insist that sex is the answer – dear old Rasputin. As a global civilization we have codified sex into what is allowed and what is not. Allowed by mutual consent as a social system. And thus we have the one-night stand. The disallowed. Considered taboo in most cultures this is precisely where sex has the singular purpose of pleasure. You will never see the person again, but that moment of pleasure was sufficient to make it memorable. Institutions have developed to make it possible. I was looking through the rule books of hotels and resorts (not because I was looking to figure out about sex) to see what options exist for short vacations (I was looking at India) and found some interesting rules that exist. There are places that do not allow a single male to enter a resort, but unmarried couples can stay a night. Most hotels in India would not allow unmarried couples to share a room, a gift to us from you know who's prudish legacy left after 200 years of domination. But there are places in India which will announce that unmarried couples are allowed. That is the invitation and the unique selling proposition for the place. There are many such places. In some countries this does not matter, but in India it does. A solo male traveler is shit out of luck, but a single woman can get in anywhere. So let’s play this out. A female can get into a place without a partner. But a male cannot get in without a partner. So, this has to be carefully planned. The unmarried couple must plan before hand to go together, because the hapless man cannot enter without a woman by his side, and the lone woman has no opportunity of finding an available man once inside because lone men are not allowed by themselves. I am introducing a sense of the absurd in this. Because it is absurd. A one-night stand for either gender is an impossibility at these places. And if you have hooked up already, then why go to these places, might as well go somewhere else. For sex. Which brings me back to sex. I have lived in a place where a bondhu was saying how in the college days they would all get happy on chemicals that are still considered illegal and have sex. Very distant from my college days because the colonial past would weigh heavy on us the brown people who were "civilized" by them. Ever watched "My Fair Lady?" Eliza's father was not a part of the civilization process when he states, the night before his marriage, "Girls come and kiss me, say that you'll miss me." Most of sex is actually taboo. Other than the narrow space of sex within marriage everything else is considered irregular within polite society. I am not a great fan of polite society because people in polite society have the express objective of containment. Lest things go out of control. Unmarried couples allowed. The end of the World is near. But think for a moment outside of polite society. Imagine the possibilities. Imagine how shocking. To be sitting (which I cannot by myself) at a night club and a man (not sure how the rules would allow it) walks up and there is instant attraction, and a room (when they say unmarried couples allowed, does it have to be hetero-sexual? Need to call and ask) and the one-night stand. The morning after and the walk away, never to see each other again. Shocking in ‘it? But it can certainly bring perspectives that mundane lives do not allow. And the guilt. And the extreme need for secrecy. And the thought - will it happen again? Thus the one-night stand propagates, and for the good, because these are the moments that tell you that you are human, that tell you that restrictions are meant as exactly that - restrictions. It tells you who you are. While some will never be able to pull it off, but for those who can, remember what Donna Summers said, "Soothe my mind and set me free, set me free, uh"


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