Written by Jay Johnson

Have you ever wondered why there’s such a stigma behind one-night stands, friends with benefits, or having flings? The short-term affair has often been deemed as slutty or whorish, when really it’s not that at all. This time, we’re going to explore some of the key benefits of having a short-term relationship (STR) and personality types that gravitate more towards the less-than-traditional style of dating. We’ll also shed some light on how you can tell if STRs are for you, how you can explore an STR and how to end an STR when the sand in the hourglass has run out. So strap yourself in, we’re going for a [short] ride, ha.

Define, short..

Short-term relationships are typically relationships that the participants enter into, desiring a swift ending, mostly after sexual fulfillment. Once the bottle of lube has run out, time’s up! Only kidding, but you see, most people that are in committed relationships are in it for the long-haul, or they at least began it with the intentions of staying the long-haul. This means years and years of working to get to know, love, and cherish the other along with fulfilling their sexual desires. This means years and years of using the same sex toys, or worse, none at all (eek!). Short-term relationship practitioners begin their relationships with the objective of ending it quickly, once they’ve gotten all they need sexually and emotionally. They keep an arsenal of dildos, vibrators, BDSM toys (‘cause, you never know), lubes, and various other items you might find in a sex shop, because they know each STR is different and having a variety on-hand helps. Now in best-case scenarios, both participants are in full knowledge of the impermanent time they’ll spend together and are upfront about it from the beginning. In not-so-great case scenarios, one person has the desire of a loving, lasting relationship, whereas the other, does not. But how short is short? Well, that’s something that’s best answered case-by-case. I would say, in my personal experience, relationships kept under six months are best for the STR lifestyle, as anything longer creates the opportunity for deeper feelings to develop and that can put a wrench in anyone’s STR plans. Once the heart becomes involved, it’s extremely difficult to let go and if you aren’t ready for a LTR (long-term relationship), that’s a big fucking problem. STRs can last anywhere from one night to several months depending on the details of the persons involved, and how good the sex is. Let’s face it, no one sticks around for too long if the sex isn’t great or the sex toys are cheap, ha!

And If you think just because every relationship you have, ends after a year or two, it makes you an STR practitioner, I’ll tell you you’re not. What you are, is a serial relationship foregoer. There is a difference between someone who likes to nest in a monogamous relationship for a couple of years, then split and repeat, and someone that intends to only stick around for a few months. I myself thought I was an STR O.G., with a string of one and two year relationships, when this difference was explained to me. I naively walked into them all thinking they’d last forever (classic lesbian lol). So, if you go into a relationship already planning your escape, the STR life, might just be for you.

What’s the hype?

It is my firm belief that the main benefit to an STR is the appeal of non-commitment. Commitment is not for everyone and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. So having a working style of dating that allows you to be satisfied but also to escape the choking feeling of long-term devotion, is a real benefit, I’d say.

Is shorter better?

If you’re wondering if STRs are better than LTRs, you’d have to look at the people involved. If you’re wondering if STRs are better for you than LTRs, you’d need to look at yourself. Everything in life is relative to the person experiencing it, so dating is no different; there are simply ‘different strokes for different folks.’ Society at-large, has placed a great deal of emphasis on the monogamous, committed long-term marital association of two heterosexual individuals for centuries. This hetero ‘norm’ has been breaking down for decades with homosexuality rising in great numbers, along with the queer and fluid population. But giving gays the right to wed was still another way to keep the institution of marriage alive and thriving. But what of those [gay or straight] people that don’t believe marriage or LTRs are for them? Well, they fall into the category of ‘rule-breakers’ called short-termers. There’s absolutely no law or decree that states that we must behave like swans and find one mate for life, so why adhere to an imaginary one? If you feel like you haven’t had success in committing to one person emotionally and sexually for any great length of time, but find great fulfillment when you have brief emo-sexual encounters with other people, STR may just be better for you. If you have found that more often than not you’d rather use a vibrator or penis milker, than to commit to a relationship for sex, you might fare better in a STR. If you loathe the idea of marriage or being with one person for the rest of your life, you may find STRs more appealing, and you may want to also explore my last blog about non-monogamous relationships as well. There is no ‘better’ or ‘worse’ type of relationship, in general, but there is a better or worse type of relationship for you individually. You just need to assess yourself, your needs, your history and your dating goals; they will tell you everything you need to know about which one is right for you. And, if after your self-evaluation, you’re still not sure, try it out! The best way to figure things out in life, is to try them out. You’ll never know until you try. And try. And try again.

Ready to go?

If you’re like may people out there, you’ve fantasized about a one night stand, if you haven’t already had one. You’ve probably also dreamt about having a FWB (friend with benefits) at some point. But how do you move from dreams to reality? For starters, you should download a dating app. Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, and many more are all dripping with men, women, and non-binary or genderqueer people just waiting to jump swiftly in and out of relationships with others. Many are kind enough, in my opinion, to state their intentions in their profile to ensure that they match with the right people, of like mind. Once you have a profile on the app, start looking for people that you’re attracted to and that have the same goal in their dating, keeping it short and sweet. There’s someone for everyone, so all you have to do is exercise patience, and soon enough, you’ll have your hookup or new special friend.

If you don’t like the idea of going onto dating apps, you might have a tougher time finding a short-term mate, but it’s still possible.. you can creep in DMs, comment on pics and post of friends you like and maybe want to fuck, or you could try picking someone up at a local COVID test site, since that’s the large gathering place, these days (pending their negative results, of course). But just be aware that it can be much harder to find a temporary partner with the pandemic and lockdowns that are still persisting. So, be nice to yourself and just get a dating app.

Thank you, next

So how do you end an STR? Easy, you start the STR by discussing the fact that it is and STR in the first place, and that it will be a good time, not a long time. If the right terms are agreed upon from the beginning, it will make for a much easier split, once the time has come. In one night stand cases, it’s pretty self-explanatory how that ends, when the next day arrives, haha. But what if you’ve seen the one night stand partner for a fourth night? What then? Well, you simply remind yourself and them that a relationship is not in your best interest and that it may continue on for weeks longer, but eventually it will end soon. Always staying true to yourself and your best interests and your goals, will make endings so much easier. Who cares if they’re hot, and a good lay? If you found one, you can find another. What’s important is knowing what you truly want and need for the point in time in your life. Once you are clear on that, it becomes easy to get rid of anything that doesn’t sync with those interests and goals.

On the whole, short term relationships offer benefits similar to leasing a car.. you can keep changing out the model for a different ride without ever having to commit to a purchase. So if you are not in it for the long haul, they might be worth exploring. We are in the year 2021 and no longer have to hide our sexual identities, gender identifications, or dating styles, so feel free to flaunt that story of your one hit wonder to your friends and rest assured that it’s what’s best for you, not society, that works. Gone are the days where we need to conform to societal norms of anything, but especially our relationships. After all, most marriages are ending in divorce, so why put yourself through something society promotes, but can’t even stick to? “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

Until next time..