The One Night Stand

You would think, the threat of AIDS would have slowed down our promiscuity levels but clearly it did not happen. Men are still doing it and women love it. Hook up sex is dangerous but that was never good enough a reason for people to stop delving into it.

Smoking kills and everyone knows the more you drink and drive the more likely it is for trees to start crossing roads.  We are living in the era of the hook up culture. Men are absolutely in love with it and women continue to oblige.

It all starts out so casually.

A man walks into a nightclub. It’s a busy night and the club is bursting at the seams with beautiful women. He is not particularly on a stake out. Just a regular night, a loose beer and chat with buddies. Two Tuskers later, none of his mates have shown up so he scans the scene.

“Some fine women in the house tonite”.

Then he sees her.

“She is out rightly provocative!”

And the eye tango begins; every time he looks in her direction their eyes meet.

“Could she be coming on to me?”

Evidently, it has been awhile since he got laid and he could be reading too much into it.

He tries a distraction,

“A Man U game is showing on the screens and they are playing well”.

 But the boys at Old Trafford are a poor substitute for the African goddess that has left him restless. The temptation starts to build up and he knows what he felt when their eyes locked. Old enough to know when a woman is really checking you out. He starts to wrestle with his ego.

Are you a man or mouse?

Their eyes meet again and that is only cue he needs.

He starts circling the prey like a hawk waiting for the right moment to pounce.

She gets up, “Is she leaving? Just the bathroom break probably to touch up”

This is the moment and he makes his move weaving past the sea of bodies to where she was seated. There is a scarf draped on the seat but he ignores it and seats anyway.

It seems forever before she returns and she startles him slightly when she says,

“Excuse me, I was seated here. This is my scarf”.

Up close, she isn’t that pretty and the heavy make-up job shows but there is something so sensual about her. Maybe it’s how confidently she wears her sexuality, her full lips, thick and curvy body and strong voice. She knows who she is.

“Am sorry, I was absent minded” as he gets off the high stool slowly,

“Forgive me my bad manners, can I make it up by buying you a drink?”

She gives him a stern look but he does not flinch,

“I insist, Barman! Whatever she was having! Tafadhali?”

She looks at him hesitantly for a moment then nods. She prefers her men confident.

The conversation is stiff initially until the DJ starts playing a Macy Gray song that slices through the tension. What are the chances, that they love the exact kind of music. They both start to sing along,

Games changes and fear,

when will they go from here,

When will they stop?


I believe that fate has brought up here,

we should be together babe,

but we not,


I’ll play it off but I am dreaming of you

I’ll keep my cool but I’m feenin,


try to say good bye and I choke

try to run away and I stumble…..


It is a wrap, they are kindred spirits, smiling hard like two lost siblings who had just reconnected after a war. He watches her as she continues to sing the words and he knows instinctively that the sex is going to be good.

The conversation after that song leaps from the cranky first gear to a smooth overdrive. They are getting along like a house on fire and sexual tension between is thick. Everyone else in the bar ceases to exist.

Then she reaches for her lip balm and smears her full lips, running her tongue over them for what he thought was too slow. Someone squeezes past so she has to get off her seat to give him room.

He knew right then that he should have been an artist. A body like that deserves canvas treatment. An hourglass figure with a narrow waist, sprawling hips and flawless legs, oh! His loins were on fire! They get really comfortable and her body language relaxes and she touches him every time she makes a point or he makes her laugh.

A few hours later, they leave. Her place. Nobody had talked about sex but they both knew what was going to happen. The rules had been set. Unconditional lust, no emotions.

The next morning he leaves, before her neighbours get up. Definitely worth his while and she even had her own stash of condoms. No promises made, no love, just a phone number. Two weeks later they hook up again.

Then they start meeting regularly. Always behind closed doors, mostly her place for an SBJ (sex bila jokes) session. Just a man and a woman whose only purpose was quenching their ravaging carnal appetites. She is never introduced to any of his friends.

Technically she is not even his girlfriend. Just, a thoroughly compatible sex mate who isn’t interested in a relationship. A convenient fucking arrangement.  Every time they are free, they would get together.

All it takes is a simple phone call, “Can I come over!”

Conversation is kept to the minimum. No space for small talk. They are not in it for love either. They are together, curtains drawn shielding them from the curious eyes of a restrained society, to get down and dirty. To have uninhibited, wild, no frills attached sex.

The greatest appeal about one-night stand is the duty free tag. No emotion. No baggage. You could be married for all we cared. All that counts is the night spent together, where fantasies are relived.

The sex is momentary and it’s only objective is pleasure and stress relief. Plain and simple. Nothing more, nothing less.  Call it the pleasure principle.


A man can keep the one-nightstand philosophy going on forever. So long as the woman remains strong and doesn’t demand a relationship. But soon she wants more. She is not willing to believe that it is entirely about sex.

“If we are so great and compatible, there must be other possibilities. There has got to be some emotion, some feeling, a hint of love behind the dark veil”.

She wants to go out.

Why don’t we do any dinners?

How come I never get to meet your friends?

Can’t we at least do a movie, like a normal couple?

The man can’t tell her. How does he say to her face without appearing cold and heartless?

“You are just my pleasure toy and you spoiling a good thing by getting involved with your feelings”.

 The one night stand is a total commitment to lust. Sometimes, one of the partners tries to move beyond the one nightstand assuming that the compatibility is a sign for greater possibilities.

The man does not want change. It is the perfect sin and it can be kept discreet.


The rest of the world only gets to see what you allow them to. The faceless woman is the perfect accomplice in this act of transgression. Now you are asking him to give you want he does not have.

So he turns his back and walks. A normal relationship is complicated.  If it’s going to get complicated, we might as well gather the dowry, get a joint account, make babies or something as mundane as that.

“I mean. Why did she have to spoil a good thing”, he will think to himself later.

This relationship was built on the one thing they knew to be true-their commitment to good sex. It had taken them months to refine the fun element and carefully extracting it from the mumbo-jumbo they call a love affair.

They had agreed, though it was never spoken to stick to the principles of the first night out and keep it as untainted as possible. No hearts in this game. The spades will do just fine.

But a man has to be selfish to maintain the philosophy behind the one nightstand and no good thing last forever. Extreme pleasure comes at a price. The one nightstand is like a high, a drug. All frequent users eventually become addicts and they keep coming back for more because they believe they can keep the repercussions in check.

Eventually they realize that they are powerless to stop the self-loathing, anxiety and shame that haunts them after every round of illicit sex.

That they cannot run away from their inner pain for ever. At some point, you have to stop and face your demons.

This post was retrieved from the Mantalk column archives. The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Oyunga Pala is a Kenyan newspaper columnist. The blog examines the texture of everyday Kenyan life and the challenges of modernity and disillusion. The writings commonly feature the struggle of the Kenyan male to maintain integrity in contemporary society.


  1. I see this time you wrote about me.

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