College can allow a student to explore his or her sexual life for the first time by living alone and being at a naturally sexual age, said one sex therapist.
Dr. Melvin James, an adjunct professor at USF and a sex therapist, said because of this, college students, and generally people in their 20s, are more likely to have a one-night stand. Yankelovich Partners, a survey company, concluded this year that 48 percent of Americans have had a one-night sexual liaison at least once.
One-night stands tend to have a negative connotation attached to them, and James said this is because the people involved are generally not concerned with relationships – only sex. But according to James, it depends on what the person is looking for going into the situation.
The Yankelovich survey also reported that men are twice as likely to have a one-night stand.
“With men, especially young men, there often is a need to ‘score,’ a complication of the Don Juan complex,” sex therapist Kenneth Fineman said in a news release. “With others, it may be due to anger or frustration at another (person).”
Bob, 19, who wishes to not reveal his last name, said he has had two one-night stands but doesn’t plan to make a habit of it. “I don’t like mindless sex like that,” he said.
He said he had the one-night stands simply because he wanted sex at the time.
And according to James, Bob fits in with the average male his age concerning the subject. James said a combination of biological and social factors lead a male to have fewer emotional ties to sex, although this heavily depends on the individual’s personality.
Many times, men use sex as a form of power, while others develop a caring atmosphere in order to facilitate one-night stands, he said.
“It’s a mode of operation,” James said. “But it depends upon a person’s personality.”
As a contrast, James said women tend to link sex with a relationship. But as with the opposite sex, each female has her own outlook on the issue. Some women find one night of sex boosts their self-esteem, while others feel used, angry or upset. Many times a woman’s reaction to sex in general is based on the relationship she had with her father. If it was a foul partnership, she may be looking for a connection with another man.
“She’s seeking all the time to become sexually involved,” James said. “(She’s) trying to meet and fulfill a void.”
Other times, the woman may feel she is overlooked by men, and although it may not be a normal lifestyle for her, she may choose to have intercourse in order to gain attention.
“It depends on her interaction between men,” James said. “And there are so many different variables involved.”
Women, however, tend to be more emotional about sex in general because they go through biological changes such as puberty, pregnancy and motherhood, James said.
Sex, however, can be a stress reliever, and people may choose to engage in sexual activity to relieve stress.
“It’s one of the most powerful ways to release (your) energy level,” James said.
However, James said sex can also create stress. Humans have natural sexual urges and hormones may raise stress levels. But, he said, if one chooses to have one-night stands, always make sure to use protection.