“Every one-night-stand or man in a one-night-stand is like every other one-night-stand or man in a one-night-stand because the sex in a one-night-stand is without time and only time allows value.”
― Kathy Acker, Eurydice in the Underworld
Is a romantic relationship out of fashion?
Recently, talking with my Italian friends about my blog, I was sharply criticized by some of them by being incurably romantic and thus less realistic. This made me doubt: “Is a romantic relationship out of fashion?”
Thinking of what, I suddenly remembered an Italian friend of mine namely Anna, who by the age of 26 had never been in a relationship. A relashionship she desperately wanted. Nor that she was ugly or stupid, neither had any obvious personality defects. To my question “why she is still single?” She simply replied that it is all falt of modern Italian society, which values have “slightly” shifted. Hence no matter how hard she tried, or what kind of men she was going out with, the only type of relashionship she manged to have… were “classical” one-night-stands with no strings attached.
Curiosity and data collection
Since Serena’s (my main heroine on the posts of this blog) relationship strated from a one-night stand encounter, obviously I was curious to learn more about the issue… So I started to “poke and pry” in Anna’s personal life affairs. Soon I was overloaded with information on the topic. Both from Anna’s personal experience, and her single female friends. People who were glad to share and discuss the modern trends of Italian society.
Moreover, I’ve interviewed almost all of my Italian friends as well as people I barely know who kindly agreed to participate in my research… Both female and male, single and married or engaged persons were involved. Of course, no names are going to be revealed for privacy reasons.
Must say, that modern tecnologies are just fabulous for what regards mass interviews. When I had a total of 1247 persons intrviewed as the survey population, I’ve drawn down the results.
Italian people: Women vs. Men
Seems like dating an Italian man for the first time appears quite frustrating for most of the Italian women. Accroding to them, in nowadays hectic and unpredictable times, what most Italian men want is… to have flawless, one-night-only encounters! Encounters from here on out. To most of the women I’ve talked to, the scenarios where after the very first apparently romantic dinner an Italian man wishes to take a lady home expecting to “hump and dump,” sounded eerily familiar.
Italian man may be crystal clear about his “one-night stand” plan giving a girl an opportunity to “take an advantage of him” or dump him right there. Or, otherwise, an Italian men may veil his “hump and dump” intentions by telling her a heart/breaking story of how his ex wife has cheated on him with his best friend. So the lady would remove immediately all her inner defence (often together with her clothes) making herself a perfect “prey”. In any case, there’s a huge chance she’ll never see him again. On the other side, “never say never” here in Italy.
Are one-night stands actually good with Italian women?
Most single Italian ladies in their mid-twenties and mid-thirties say that they are looking for a long-lasting relationship. Moreover, some of them declaired to apply the five-dates rule. Eventually reducing it to three dates term. Boring and old-fashioned, and still there’s no warranty it’ll work. However, according to them, actual dating increases the possibility that a man may eventually fall in love. It’s math: if two spend more time together, there’s more probability he will want to learn ever more about her.
On the other hand, there are some “modern” Italian ladies who are highly allergic to any sentimental involvement. So one-night affair is actually good with them. Furthermore, these women retain one-night stands are “liberating”. So, they have no prejudice and no point to worry. Al least until all of a sudden, he wants to start dating after. Or worse…he literally refuses to leave?
According to my interviewees, one-night stands can be mind-blowing or regret-inducing, and you never really know which it’s going to be. Everything is possible in the world of casual, unpredictable, no-strings-attached sex. It is worthly a “slippery slope” to navigate. Especially in Italy, where all obvious rules seem to be invented just for being broke.
Sex with no-strings-attached or friends with benifits?
I must specify, that overwhelming majority of my interviewees retained that a one-night-stand “fa schifo” (“is disguisting”) both, sentimentally and hygienically speaking. At the same time, 87% of my survey population admitted that they had a one-night-affair at least twice in their life. Other 11%, without a shadow of what could be taken for modesty or shame, claimed that they do have a one-night encounters at least once a week. Or more if they are lucky.
According to those of my interviewees who worship being single, one can have one-night stand encounters with the same person for even hundred times. The rule is quite simple: the counterpart must know there’s no relationship between them. Moreover, that they are “allowed” to have sex with other persons at the same time.
Well, I would call that a “relationship with no-strings-attached”, or better “friends with benefits”. Don’t know, actually, if it is a sad or a good thing, but this type of relationship is amongst the most popular ones in nowadays Italy.
According to my investigation, a one-night stand, understood as singular encounter of “sexual activity without emotional commitment or future involvemen” [Jeffrey S. Turner, American Families in Crisis: A Reference Handbook (2009), p. 47.], in today’s Italy is rather popular “hobby” for following reasons:
- it allows single people to have sex with someone they are attracted to and to avoid any further relationships or commitments at the same time
- sex with no-strins-attached allows married people to have extramarital sex without destroying their marriage
- one-night stands are often seen as a theraphy when one is stressed out, tired or depressed
- it is a must-do when one is travelling (especially alone)
- one-night stands as Italian life cult: “if you want her, and she wants you, you just do it. Fine della storia. (“End of story”). Life’s too brief and too unpredictable to voluntarily deprive yourself of something you desire and can have”
One-night stand and further relationship?
At this point, the opinions of my interviewees have fallen into two broad categories.
The first group, the smaller one, retained that it’s impossible for them to imagine their “one-night-stand” as their life partner. Let alone a mother/father of their hypothetical future child. The reason is, before having sex with that person, they didn’t care to know him/her properly, and once they had finished (literally), all initial interest just vanished. Besides, their didn’t even exchange any contact information. So, one word: impossible.
The second group, instead, claimed that today they are happily married/engaged due to their first date fantastic one-night stand encounter without prejudice and expectations. According to them, they had just broken up the stupid rule of no sex on the first date, and the result is they have been together for years. They said that “when you know, that he/she is a right person and you are dying of desiring him/her, there’s no need to wait. You can wait if he/she needs you to. But there’s no point of doing so. Also because it makes you immediately understand that you two belong together, instead of feeling ill-at-ease while postponing and waiting. Hesitating. It’s a twenty-first century after all!”.
Well, these words belong to the couple of my best Italian friends. Their story? It’s quite intuitive!
Passionately, it all began from a one-night stand. That then became a two-night stand. And then, a one-week stand. Et cetera. He actually never left. After a one-year stand he proposed to her and she accepted. Today’s been fourteen years they are together and are still passionately in love. While I’ve realised to be incurably romantic!
So, is a one-night stand a shortest way to fall in Love in Italy?
This post is also available in: Русский (Russian)