Three of the most exciting words in the English language: one-night stand. It can be disastrous, it can be hilarious … it can even lead to love.
They Shoot Unicorns, Don't They?
by Evan James
Andre was part of a glitter-smeared dance troupe that performed gleeful, sexually confusing choreographed numbers in an SFMOMA variety show inspired by the art of Weimar Germany. The kind of boy you might bring home to mother, as long as your mother didn't want to talk about books.
I approached this blithe hooligan one evening after a performance. My better judgement had drowned in a tumbler of vodka about an hour earlier, so I sauntered up to his sweaty, sparkly person and suggested we pair off. After a bit of unseemly public canoodling, I took him home to my place in Duboce Triangle.
Andre and I groped at each other wildly. The removal of one garment led to another, and soon we stood naked. That's when I saw it: Across his chest, in a menacing gothic script normally reserved for gang tattoos, was the bold statement, "MY FRIENDS = MY UNICORNS."
"My friends equal my unicorns?" I said, stunned.
"Uh-huh," said Andre dreamily, kissing me.
Was it a gang tattoo? Was there a gang called the Unicorns, like the Sharks in West Side Story? Confused, I pulled him into my bed and turned him onto his stomach, thinking I wouldn't have to contemplate unicorns that way.
Wrong! On his back, an enormous, full-color tattoo depicted the mythological creature in all of its mood-killing splendor. The fey steed was surrounded by the usual trappings—rainbows, a rushing waterfall, twinkly stars.
No longer aroused, I sat up in bed.
"What's wrong?" asked Andre. He turned toward me, and I was faced with the "MY FRIENDS = MY UNICORNS" tattoo again.
"You're covered in unicorns," I said, shielding my eyes.
No one-night stand should involve an ideological debate about unicorns, but there you have it. After I condemned his world view, Andre and his unicorns left in a huff. Sex with a nonbeliever was, apparently, out of the question. The next day I received a text message asking if we could be "just friends." Not wanting to equal a unicorn, I respectfully declined.
Bed and Breakfast
by James DeKoven
You ever get a hotel room just for the hell of it?" At first I didn't realize that her question was actually a suggestion. My cognitive abilities had been frozen by her flowing strawberry-blonde hair, and Alexis might as well have asked me about the subprime loan crisis. We were sitting at a cafe on Columbus Avenue. She was at the table next to me, deep into a tattered copy of The Brothers Karamazov, an easy conversation starter. We covered the plight of the outsider, consumerism and conformity, the individual versus society. The longer we talked, the more the desire grew. Then she posed the question.
I tried keeping my cool as we trolled North Beach searching for a hotel. In my head I felt like Woody Allen, looking at the camera, mouthing to the audience, "Can you believe this is happening?" But my disbelief evaporated within moments of entering the room: Clothes here, bodies there, two strangers misbehaving the way two strangers do when they get a hotel room just for the hell of it. If there's anything better than hotel sex, it's anonymous hotel sex.
Morning came. Alexis was late for work. An exchange of numbers, a kiss good-bye and she was gone. I noticed she forgot her tobacco and figured if I had until 11 a.m. to check out, I should savor it. So I got back into bed, rolled myself a cigarette and turned on the TV, settling on a History Channel documentary about 1920s Paris: jazz musicians, writers, artists, all seeking to break from convention and live on their own terms. I smoked that cigarette thinking, they probably had nights like this.
by Shannon S.
Ithought I hit the booty jackpot when a new 25-year-old acquaintance with the body of a god started texting my world-weary 39-year-old self. ITunes gift? Check. Sushi? Sure. Can I come up and see your place? You bet. He didn't have to ask me to service him for 20 minutes; I wanted to. When he laid me on my back I relished the thought of my reward.
Three minutes later, I lay there thinking: I am definitely not cut out to be a cougar. Give me a grown man any day.
Once in a Lifetime
By Samantha Perry
Ihad a one-night stand with a devilishly handsome, and romantically attached, acquaintance. We made out in the bathroom of a bar on Castro Street until we were asked to leave. ("Only one at a time please, ladies!") After a totally wild all-nighter at my place, we vowed that was the end of that.
Five years later, we are happily married.
by Amy B.
My ad on Nerve said I was looking for "sexual experience with mutual respect and human connection." I got 25 responses the first day—Peninsula tech geek, Oakland motohead, Mission gym rat. I chose a writer living in the Presidio, who impressed me with his language ("Your photos display a palpable sexuality"), his take-chargeness (choosing the time, place and location of the date) and his confidence ("I'll be the tallest man in the room").
After a glass of wine at Yield, we headed to Slow Club for a burger. He was an easy conversationalist, handsome, obviously intelligent, but I felt little chemistry until he reached across the table and brushed my fingers as I put my glass down. Outside, as he opened the passenger door, he turned to face me, gently tugged on the waist of my coat with one hand and said, "Can I have a kiss?"
"Maybe," I said.
"It's more interesting than ‘yes.'"
He pulled me within an inch of him, his eyes intent on my lips, his mouth curving into a smile. He hovered there unmoving until I reached forward and kissed him. Fire. Several minutes later he pulled away, holding me by the shoulders. "You're such a good kisser," he said.
"I'm just following you," I said.
He drove me home, pulling up next to my building on 18th. We spent an hour in the car, and during that hour I did things I'd never done before—not with any boyfriend, not with my ex-husband, not in my imagination. The world outside the foggy windows fell away, and my entire universe condensed to the size of an Audi. I heard no sounds, saw no passersby, had no idea where I was. Every concern that existed beyond the boundary of my skin fell away.
When it was over, I slid my coat back on and looked at him. "Thank you," I said, and as soon as I uttered it, we both laughed. His breath was uneven. A flash of sadness passed over his face.
I knew that if I asked him upstairs, he would change my life, so I kissed his cheek, got out of the car and stumbled to my front door, relieved.
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