Women and men have a different approach, thought process and physiological make up about sex and intimacy. This is true in all aspects of sexual relationships and certainly true when it comes to one-night stands. Men may be able to enjoy a casual hookup and then move on with their life feeling satisfied and fulfilled by the evening, not looking back. Women, on the other hand, need to process the events of the night, evaluate their feelings and ensure that everything is in a good place before comfortably moving forward.
Regardless of how the night went, how great the sex was, or how exciting and energizing the evening was, the first things a woman feels the next day is usually regret. This is especially true of her first casual hookup. The feeling of regret can be very strong, fueled by her feelings of insecurity, embarrassment at being in a vulnerable situation with a stranger, guilt, and possibly shame. Her regret is a complex feeling mixed with others that will take some time for her to sort out and begin to feel more comfortable about.
After the initial feelings of regret settle in and she begins to accept and process the situation, a woman’s next step is to retrace everything about last night and the one-night stand in detail to answer the question of “What really happened?” She will rewind to her feelings and activities leading up to the moment she met her hookup and decipher the things she was feeling and thinking that lead to her decision to pursue the one-night stand. Next, she will evaluate the wooing process and re-discover all the things that attracted her to this partner and made the possibility of the hookup exciting and real. This will be followed quickly by re-living as many details of their intimate activities as possible to discover what she enjoyed the most and what she might regret having done. Finally, she will evaluate how the one-night stand ended and explore how she feels about herself. All of this processing is critically important for a woman to feel good about herself, her decisions and her actions in the context of her everyday life.
At some point during all of this emotional processing, or immediately afterwards, her logical and responsible self-steps in to ask the question, “Were you responsible?” Worried both about becoming pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted disease, this is a vitally important question that must be answered right away. Did she practice safe sex? If there was a lot of alcohol involved during the evening, this might be a difficult question to answer. She might have to search for the empty condom wrapper, or worse, ask her partner for the answer. Hopefully, she can quickly and with certainty reassure herself that she did indeed practice safe sex. If not, this can be an ongoing nagging issue that can become a significant cause of worry as time passes.
Finally, if the evening went well, if the sex was great, and if she is still attracted to her one-night stand partner in the morning, a woman might begin to consider what’s next. Clearly, on the morning after she has a high priority to leave, process all of her feelings, and return to her daily life. However, after evaluating the hookup, her feelings, and how much she enjoyed the experience, she might start thinking about hooking up again for some more great sex, or even wonder if there is potential for a longer-term relationship.
A woman needs to feel good about the experience and herself after any one-night stand. She may end up regretting parts of the encounter, but typically will walk away feeling positive about herself and the night.