Classic TMP: One-Night Stands, Walks of Shame, and Other Fun Party Games

Author’s Note: I coined a term in this column that was used to open an episode of 30 Rock some time ago. I just want to say, for the record, that I came up with it first. 😉

I’ve got a bone to pick.

I’m getting a little sick of people’s attitudes towards casual sex.  If I had a nickel for every time I heard people refer to the Walk of Shame, I’d drop out of school and start my own brothel.

What exactly is the Walk of Shame?  It’s the walk from the site of last night’s one-night debauchery to the safety and security of your own shame.

What do you have to be ashamed of, though?

I don’t mean to suggest that one-night stands are commendable Saturday night pursuits.  To the contrary, I think sex is a serious subject.  From the potential for diseases that might haunt you for the rest of your life to premature conception, there’s a lot of reasons to be responsible with your bedroom romps.

Look, I’m a realist.  I don’t expect my little speech to discourage any of my readers from their alcohol-enabled clothing-optional nighttime adventures.  But let’s get serious for a second.

First, let’s get rid of this whole gender-based double standard that’s been in place since the dawn of man.  If a man “bags a chick,” he’s a hero and she’s a slut.  Ya know, it’s nice to be a member of the gender that makes the rules.  That way, they don’t have to make sense.  Sex is sex.  Responsibility is responsibility.  Whether you have paired the two or not is not respective of your gender.

I’m not a fan of the whole “slut” thing anyway.  Is someone a slut just because they have a high body count?  What if someone sleeps with a large number of people, but only because they get emotionally attached a little too easily and every encounter is special?  There’s nothing slutty about that.

I think one of the major problems with our society is the stigma we have associated with sex.  We have taken an exceptionally complicated subject and compressed it down to some very arbitrary, black-and-white rules.

If you’ve had a large number of partners, you’re easy and dirty.  If you haven’t, you’re a saint.  Abstinence is a virtue.  Open discussion about sex leads to judgments about worth as a person (usually negative).  Unusual desires or fantasies mean you are a pervert.  Expression is bad, repression is good.

Come on, people.  You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Even if you are a sexual conservative, you should intellectually understand that repression is a bad thing.  If you block up a river with no outlet, it eventually either overflows or breaks.  What do you have then?  Catholic priests and Republican Congressmen.

Okay, that wasn’t fair.  I should be ashamed of myself.  You get my idea, though, right?  Sex is nothing to be ashamed of.  If you are a consenting adult and choose to have sex with another consenting adult, it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

What’s most important is not what you do, but how you do it.  If you treat your future sweat-bump partner with respect and communicate your intentions, you’re cool.  If you decide that you don’t ever want to see that person again, and communicate that to them up-front and respectfully, you can hold your head up high.

Two adults who want to have sex with each other and do so safely, with no expectation of anything occurring beyond that night, have hurt nobody and don’t have to answer to anybody.  You’ve both gotten what you wanted and, hopefully, had some fun in the process.  Walk home with a smile on your face and a spring in your step.

Then you can turn your Walk of Shame into a Stride of Pride.

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