One Night Stands Statistics – Rates and Commonality

By Bedbible Research Center / March 28, 2023

This is the biggest meta-study on the sexual act of one night stands. In the following we dive deep into te publicly available llongitudinal data of more than 52,620 survey respondents. We have identified key survey batteries to better capture survey respondents true behavior, and reportings on one night stands.

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Key Statistics

  • 66% of people have had a one night stand.
  • The average person reports an average of 5.8 one night stands in their lifetime (women report 5.1 and men 6.4).
  • Americans on average have 10.7 sexual encounters and one night stands in their life.
  • 86% of one night stands are not planned, but instead a spontaneous sexual act.
  • 24.5% of people regret having a one-night stand.
one night stand statistics - how common are one night stand and casual sexual encounters

How common are one night standards

  • 66% of people have had a one night stand at one point in their life.
  • 86% report that the one night stand happened spontaneously, while 14% planned it.
  • The average person reports to have had 5.75 one night stands in their life.
  • Women on average report to have had 5.1 one night stands, while men report to have had 6.4.
  • On average Americans tends to have 1-2 sexual encounters they categorize as one night stands more than Europeans.

By age

  • 29% of 18 to 29 year olds report to have had a casual one night stand.
  • 63% of 30 to 39 year olds report to have had a casual one night stand.
  • 78% of 40 to 49 year olds report to have had a casual one night stand.
  • 71% of 50 to 59 year olds report to have had a casual one night stand.
  • 44% of 60 to 69 year olds report to have had a casual one night stand.
  • 36% of 70+ year olds report to have had a casual one night stand.

A similar trend is apparent when respondents in their 20s are asked to report on the number of sexual encounters they had in the past 12 months (some have been collected in previous decades).

We tabulated the data based on generations and gender.


The aftermath of a one time sexual encounter

  • 43.5% of women does not disclose to anyone that they had a one night stand.
  • 63.5% of men always tells someone whenever they had a one night stand.
  • 43% of Americans don’t talk to their one night stand after (while only 29% of Europeans do not).
  • 27.1% have contracted an STI through a one night stand.
  • 24.5% of people regret having a one-night stand.
  • 32% of American men report to feel very satisfied after one-night stands.
  • 18% of American women report to feel very satisfied after one-night stands.
  • 59% of American men think about the one night stand as a positive experience, compared to jsut 28% of women.

Opinions towards casual sex

  • 81% of adults report they like having sex.
  • 55% say that their preffered form of casual sex is with one night stands.
  • 32% think that one night stands are wrong.
  • 49% of sexual encounters that people beleive are one night stands develop into longer term sexual relationships.
  • 34.5% of men and 26.5% of women prefer to have one night stands to satisfy sexual needs when traveling.
  • 58% of women regret one night stands while only 23% of men do the same.

In a big survey amongst 15,162 respondents the following opinions towards one night stands came to light:

 : Always wrong16%21%28%30%36%49%22%28%
 : Mostly wrong15%14%16%23%24%23%15%19%
 : Sometimes wrong35%31%29%25%21%13%32%27%
 : Rarely wrong15%12%7%6%4%5%11%8%
 : Not wrong at all19%22%20%17%14%10%20%17%
 : Always/mostly wrong31%35%44%52%60%71%37%47%
 : Rarely wrong/not wrong at all34%34%26%22%19%15%31%26%
 : Always wrong28%28%33%41%52%66%30%40%
 : Mostly wrong23%16%20%25%27%23%20%22%
 : Sometimes wrong31%32%26%22%15%6%29%23%
 : Rarely wrong8%9%6%4%2%1%8%5%
 : Not wrong at all9%15%15%8%4%3%13%9%
 : Always/mostly wrong52%45%53%66%79%89%50%62%
 : Rarely wrong/not wrong at all17%24%21%12%6%4%21%15%
 : Always wrong22%25%31%36%44%58%26%34%
 : Mostly wrong19%15%18%24%26%23%18%21%
 : Sometimes wrong33%32%28%24%18%10%31%25%
 : Rarely wrong12%11%7%5%3%3%10%7%
 : Not wrong at all14%19%18%13%9%7%17%13%
 : Always/mostly wrong42%40%49%59%70%80%44%55%
 : Rarely wrong/not wrong at all26%29%24%17%13%10%26%21%

By countries

  • Finland is the country with the highest likelihood of having a one night stand – or in other words Finland is the most promiscuous country.
  • New Zealand is the second most promiscuous country on the list.
  • Slovenia is the third most likely country where people would have one night stands.
2New Zealand49.6160.4238.790.69**
8United Kingdom43.4957.3829.60.95***
20Czech Rep.39.2348.9629.490.81***
21United States38.6448.0329.240.73**
32Congo, D.R.35.3641.1629.550.51**
44Hong Kong24.5529.8819.210.63**
46South Korea23.3730.5216.220.97***
Note: For Cohen’s d values, * = small effect size, ** = moderate effect size, *** = large effect size (Cohen, 1988). Values indicate the Mean scores for SOI. SOI refers to a survey questionnaire called the Sociosexual Orientation Inventory. It is a measurement index to measure an individual’s sociosexuality, or the degree to which they are willing to engage in sexual activity outside of committed relationships. The survey consists of several questions related to mating behavior, romantic fantasies, relational emotions, and attitudes towards casual sex. By analyzing the responses, we can categorize individuals into different levels of sociosexuality, ranging from restricted (preferring monogamy and long-term relationships) to unrestricted (preferring casual sex and not investing as heavily in romantic relationships).

We also found that a lot of the same countries are repeatedly present on a list of who has the highest number of total sexual partners (body count):

#CountryAverage no. of sexual partners, lifetime
3New Zealand13.2
5South Africa12.5
13United States10.7
19Serbia & Montenegro10.1
20United Kingdom9.8
24Czech Republic9.0
38Hong Kong3.7

Other studies on one night stands

Paper titleAuthorsYearPopulationMain findings
[One-night-stand behavior and associated factors among young men who have sex with men in Wuhan, China].Y. Mao, C. Xiao, T. Wang, S. Y. Li, H. Yan2017403 young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in Wuhan, China aged 16 to 25

• 48.99% of YMSM reported having had casual sex in the last 6 months.
• 76.80% of YMSM reported having had multiple sexual partners.
• Factors associated with casual sex activities among YMSM included often using the internet and taking illegal drugs

Level of Sexual Health Knowledge and One-Night Stand Relationships among University StudentsS. Jahanfar, Z. Khalaf2022804 mostly female university students

• There is a positive relationship between the level of knowledge and a belief in one-night stand relationships.
• Male students are more likely to report a belief in one-night stand relationships compared to female students.
• A large number of students did not receive information about condom use

Hook, Line and Sinker: Do Tinder Matches and Meet Ups Lead to One-Night Stands?Trond Viggo Grøntvedt, Mons Bendixen, Ernst Olav Botnen, Leif Edward Ottesen Kennair2019269 students, 62% of which are women

• A large number of Tinder matches are required for a small number of meet ups, and result in a limited number of hook-ups or potential romantic partner meetings.
• Unrestricted sociosexual attitudes are the primary individual difference predictor of achieving casual sex using Tinder.
• Only 20% of Tinder users in the sample had one-night stands following Tinder use, and the majority of these only had one extra partner

Serosorting and sexual risk behaviour according to different casual partnership types among MSM: the study of one-night stands and sex buddiesW. Van Den Boom, I. Stolte, T. Sandfort, U. Davidovich2012The median age of 461 HIV negative men is 35 (IQR=31-39)

• Men with a sex buddy were more likely to have UAI than men with a one-night stand.
• Men with a sex buddy were also more likely to practice serosorting than men with a one-night stand.
• The proportion of UAI without serosorting is lower for men with a sex buddy, and therefore men might have less UAI at risk for HIV with this partner type.

Casual sexual relationships: Identifying definitions for one night stands, booty calls, fuck buddies, and friends with benefitsJocelyn J. Wentland, E. Reissing2014885 men and women

• A majority of men and women accurately identified the corresponding labels for One Night Stand, Booty Call, Fuck Buddy, and Friends with Benefits relationships.
• Participants with sexual intercourse experience were more likely to identify the corresponding definition labels.
• Female participants were more likely to identify the corresponding labels, possibly reflecting a greater capacity to identify subtle relationship cues.

School and Parental Factors Associated with One-Night Stand, Condom Use at Sexual Debut and Multiple Sexual PartnersTunde Adeyemo Alabi, John Lekan Oyefara, Waziri Babatunde Adisa2020450 male and female respondents aged 22.7 +/ 3.98 years in Nigeria

• Institutional type and parents’ marriage significantly influenced involvement in one-night stand.
• Age at sexual debut and parents’ marriage type are associated with the use of condom at first sex.
• Students of polytechnic had more sexual partners than their counterparts in the university and college of education, and those living inside campus were significantly more likely to have multiple sexual partners than those outside campus.

One Night StandD. Eichel2016Health conditions does not

• One night stands are a common occurrence among young adults.
• People engage in one night stands for a variety of reasons, including physical attraction, sexual curiosity, and a desire for adventure.
• One night stands can have both positive and negative consequences, depending on the individual’s expectations and motivations.

“One-night stands” — risky trips between lust and trust: qualitative interviews with Chlamydia trachomatis infected youth in north SwedenMonica Christianson, E. Johansson, M. Emmelin, G. Westman20039 young people (5 women and 4 men) aged 18-22 in Umeå, Sweden were diagnosed with Chlamydia trachomatis

• Behind sexual risk-taking was a drive to “go steady”.
• Uneven distribution of responsibility concerning condoms, with males expecting females to be “condom promoters”.
• Females experienced guilt when catching CT, while males felt content knowing “the source of contamination”.

Positioning the Booty-Call Relationship on the Spectrum of Relationships: Sexual but More Emotional Than One-Night StandsP. Jonason, Norman P. Li, Jessica Richardson2011123 men and women, with an average age of 21.58 years (SD ¼ 4.59), who have had 1 night stands, long term relationships, or both in the last year.

• Booty-call relationships are distinct from one-night stands and serious long-term relationships, characterized by frequent sexual acts and infrequent handholding.
• Kissing is a frequent act in booty-call relationships, demonstrating their romantic nature.
• Sociosexuality is associated with the commission of sexual and emotional acts in booty-call relationships.

Netralisasi Perilaku Seks Bebas (One Night Stand) pada Perempuan Dewasa Muda (Studi Kasus 2 Perempuan Dewasa Muda)S. Silvia20092 young women

• The research found that young women who committed one night stand sex used techniques of neutralization based on Sykes & Matza’s theory.
• These techniques included obtaining approval for their deviance behaviors, and reasoning that they were victims of their parents’ lack of love and an unfriendly environment.
• The research also showed that the young women felt a sense of freedom and liberation from their one night stand experiences

“Someone naughty for tonight”: sex partner recruitment venues and associated STI riskS. Aral, L. Manhart2009 

• Patterns of sex partner recruitment have changed over the past few decades, and are associated with rates of formation and dissolution of sex partnerships.
• Recruitment of sex partners through personal ads in newspapers has been replaced by internet-based searches.
• A particular sex-partner recruitment approach may be associated with a higher risk of STI acquisition if it increases the likelihood of “hooking-up”.

Engagement in one-night stands in Germany and Spain: Does personality matter?Kai Kaspar, Lene Vanessa Buß, Josef Rogner, Timo Gnambs2016913 young adults from Germany and Spain, 759 women and 154 men

• Extraversion and sensation seeking are the strongest predictors of engagement in one-night stands in both Germany and Spain.
• Personality traits are universal predictors of engagement in one-night stands across cultures.
• Adopting an individual difference perspective is important in sex research.

Drugs and alcohol consumption and sexual behaviours in night recreational settings in Portugal.Lurdes Lomba, J. Apóstolo, F. Mendes20091142 young people who attend nightlife leisure locations in 9 Portuguese cities.

• Portuguese young people regularly attend nightlife leisure locations and consume alcohol and drugs.
• Alcohol and drugs users have more regular and deeply-rooted night recreation habits than nonusers.
• Alcohol and drugs use is associated with increased likelihood of engaging in more risky sexual behaviours.

A hangover and a one-night stand: Alcohol and risky sexual behaviour among female students at an Australian universityHeidi E Gilchrist, Kylie M. Smith, C. Magee, Sandra C. Jones2012female university students in Australia

• Excessive alcohol consumption and heavy episodic drinking is increasingly common among female university students.
• There is a relationship between university students’ alcohol consumption and risky sexual behaviour.
• This study provides a platform for further research and the development of specific interventions in the area of female university students’ sexual health.

Patterns of Alcohol Consumption and Sexual Behavior among Young Adults in NightclubsBrooke E. Wells, B. Kelly, S. Golub, C. Grov, J. Parsons2010369 young adults, evenly split between males and females, in New York City nightclubs

• 52% of participants reported binge drinking on drinking days.
• 62% reported recent sex under the influence, and 29% reported being less safe in sexual situations as a result of their drinking.
• Men reported more days of drinking and binge drinking than women, and were more likely to report recent sex under the influence.

The Link of Sexual Sensation Seeking to Acceptance of Cybersex, Multiple Sexual Partners, and One-Night Stands Among Taiwanese College StudentsHung-Yi Lu, L. Ma, Tsai-Shin Lee, Hsin-Ya Hou, H. Liao2014516 Taiwanese college students

• A cross-sectional study was conducted using the multistage cluster sampling method with 516 Taiwanese college students.
• High-sexual-sensation seekers were more likely than low-sexual-sensation seekers to accept cybersex, multiple sexual partners, and one-night stands.
• The results suggest that health prevention campaigns should target high-sexual-sensation seekers with novel, thrilling, and complex messages to achieve safe sex educational campaign goals.

Prevalence and patterns of same-gender sexual contact among men.R. Fay, C. Turner, A. D. Klassen, J. Gagnon1989adult men in the United States

• Estimates from a 1970 national survey indicate that 20.3% of adult men in the US had sexual contact with another man at some point in their life, 6.7% after age 19, and between 1.6-2.0% within the last year.
• Never-married men are more likely than other men to have had same-gender sexual contacts within the last year.
• Approximately half of the men estimated to have same-gender sexual contacts are currently or previously married.

Unprotected Intercourse and One-Night Stands: Impact of Sexual Excitation, Sexual Inhibition, and Atypical Sexual Arousal Patterns on Risky Sexual Behaviors in Women.Julia Velten, Saskia Scholten, Cynthia A Graham, Jürgen Margraf20162,214 women with a mean age of 30.65 years

• Sexual excitation and inhibition were positively and negatively correlated with risky sexual behaviors in women.
• Atypical sexual arousal patterns, the tendency to become aroused in unusual sexual situations, and the importance of relationship factors were the strongest predictors for sexual behaviors at baseline.
• These variables also predicted the number of sexual partners and the number of one-night stands at follow-up.

Exploring the Venue’s Role in Risky Sexual Behavior Among Gay and Bisexual Men: An Event-Level Analysis from a National Online Survey in the U.S.Christian Grov, Sabina Hirshfield, Robert H. Remien, Mike Humberstone, Mary Ann Chiasson20132,865 gay and bisexual men in the United States who reported oral and/or anal sex with a new (1st time) male partner in their last encounter

• Most men (62%) met their partner through the Internet.
• Venue where partner was met was not significantly associated with unprotected anal intercourse (UAI).
• Venue was related to other factors that contextualized men’s sexual encounters, such as HIV status disclosure and alcohol use.

Unweaving the Rainbow of Human Sexuality: A Review of One-Night Stands, Serious Romantic Relationships, and the Relationship Space in BetweenPeter K. Jonason, Rhonda Nicole Balzarini2016 

• Relationship researchers have revealed a rainbow of potential relationships that individuals can and do engage in, which may act as “compromises” between two extremes.
• Evolutionary models can be used to account for behaviors and patterns in one-night stands, serious romantic relationships, booty-call relationships, friends-with-benefits, swinging, and polyamory.
• It is important to have an unbiased and unabashed look at the sex lives of people.

Night Moves: A Qualitative Investigation of Street-Level Sex WorkRochelle L. Dalla200243 female street level sex workers aged 19 to 56 years old in a midsized Midwestern city.

• Most participants reported developing emotional relationships and having children with clients, former clients, or pimps.
• Supportive relationships with other streetwalkers were largely nonexistent.
• Drug addiction and financial need were common motivations for entering prostitution.

Social Exchange and Social/physical Topography of One-Night Stands in College-Age StudentsW. Marelich, J. Graham201328 students aged 18 to 24 years old who attend a large university in Southern California

• Social Exchange Theory can be used to explain the sexual decision-making process of one-night stands in college-aged students.
• Common attributes and topographical features that individuals look for in a sexual partner can be identified.
• One-night stands are not casual or unemotional, and can place individuals in situations of physical, social, and psychological risk.

The pleasures of drunken one-night stands: Assemblage theory and narrative environments.Willy Pedersen, Sébastien Tutenges, Sveinung Sandberg2017104 young Norwegian heavy drinkers aged 25 (SD = 3.7) who partied hard and often participated in the NTE.

• Alcohol-fuelled sexual explorations are of paramount importance for young partygoers.
• Sexualized territories significantly shape the experience and performance of one-night stands.
• Contrary to previous research, one-night stands are to a large degree associated with pleasure.

Sex Partner Concurrency: Measurement, Prevalence, and Correlates Among Urban 18–39-Year-OldsL. Manhart, S. Aral, K. Holmes, B. Foxman2002637 urban 18-39-year olds, both female and male

• Men reported concurrency more frequently than women.
• Important factors for men associated with concurrency were lifetime partners, a night in jail, and same sex partners.
• Important factors for women associated with concurrency were first coitus before age 16, lifetime partners, and STD diagnoses during relationship. Partnership characteristics associated with concurrency included lifetime partners, race discordance, married/living together, night in jail, partnership duration of >6 months, and STD diagnoses during relationship.

Sexual behaviour of young people in international tourist resortsM. Bellis, K. Hughes, R. Thomson, A. Bennett2004around 1500 young people aged 16-34, male and female, visiting international nightlife resorts, specifically Ibiza.

• Over half of individuals (56.0%) visiting Ibiza had sex with at least one person, with 26.2% of males and 14.5% of females having sex with more than one individual.
• Having any sex abroad was associated with using illicit drugs and having more sexual partners in the 6 months before visiting Ibiza.
• 8.6% of individuals had sex with a non-UK resident in Ibiza although such individuals were no more likely to have sex without condoms.

The sexual behavior of men in the United States.J. Billy, K. Tanfer, W. Grady, D. Klepinger19933,321 men aged 20-39 in the United States

• 95% of men aged 20-39 have had vaginal intercourse, with 23% having had 20 or more partners in their lifetime.
• Only 20% of men have ever engaged in anal intercourse, and only 2% have had any same-gender sexual activity in the last 10 years.
• 75% of men have performed oral sex and 79% have received oral sex, although the frequency of these activities is lower.

Drinking and sexual experience on first dates among adolescents.M L Cooper, Holly K. Orcutt19971,678 and 1,780 adolescents and young adults

• Alcohol use was associated with a higher probability of intercourse among males on first dates.
• This effect was found primarily among males who were highly conflicted about having intercourse on the date.
• No similar effect was found among highly conflicted females.

Multiple sexual partners among U.S. adolescents and young adults.J. Santelli, N. Brener, R. Lowry, A. Bhatt, L. Zabin19988,450 males and females aged 14-22 who participated in the 1992 Youth Risk Behavior Survey

• 63% of female respondents and 64% of males were sexually experienced.
• Alcohol use, illicit drug use and young age at first coitus were associated with increased odds that females had had two or more partners in the previous three months, and being married lowered the odds; black or Hispanic race or ethnicity, alcohol use and young age at first coitus increased the odds for males, and being married reduced the odds.
• As the number of reported alcohol-related behaviors increased, the adjusted proportion of respondents who had recently had multiple partners rose from 8% to 48% among females and from 23% to 61% among men.

Use of Multiple Sex Venues and Prevalence of HIV Risk Behavior: Identifying High-Risk Men Who Have Sex with MenZachary Y. Kerr, Lance M. Pollack, William J. Woods, Johnny Blair, Diane Binson2015459 people in their 30s and 40s in United States who are patrons of 2 specific bathhouses

• 63.5% of bathhouse patrons visited a bathhouse in the 3 months before the current bathhouse visit.
• 46.7% visited a cruising area, 46.5% used online cruise sites to find sex partners, and 30.9% reported UAI.
• Men who used all three venues had significantly higher odds of UAI compared to men using zero, one, or two venues.

Sexual-risk behaviour, self-perceived risk and knowledge of sexually transmissible infections among young Australians attending a music festival.M. Lim, M. Hellard, C. Aitken, J. Hocking2007939 young people aged 16 to 29 years attending a music festival called the Big Day Out in Australia

• 80% of participants had ever had vaginal or anal sex.
• 39% of those who had ever had sex did not use condoms all or most of the time and were classified as being at risk of STI.
• STI knowledge was poor overall, particularly among male participants, those living in non-metropolitan regions, those under the age of 20 and those with less schooling.

Alcohol use, partner type, and risky sexual behavior among college students: Findings from an event-level study.Jennifer L Brown, Peter A Vanable2007547 mostly female college students at least 18 years old who reported having vaginal sex during their most recent sexual encounter

• Alcohol use is prevalent among college students and may contribute to elevated rates of sexual risk taking.
• Unprotected vaginal sex (UVS) was reported by 39% of the sample and 32% reported alcohol use prior to sex.
• Alcohol consumption was associated with an increase in UVS for sexual encounters involving a non-steady partner, whereas rates of UVS did not vary by drinking status for encounters involving a steady partner.

Drinking and sexual experience on first dates among adolescents.M. L. Cooper, H. Orcutt19971,678 and 1,780 adolescents and young adults

• Alcohol use was associated with a higher probability of intercourse among males on first dates.
• This effect was found primarily among males who were highly conflicted about having intercourse on the date.
• A similar effect was not found among highly conflicted females.

The role of substance use in same-day intimate partner violence: A review of the literatureDorien Maria de Bruijn, Ireen Maria de Graaf2016Invalid information

• Alcohol use increases the likelihood of physical violence on the same day for both men and women.
• Preliminary results suggest that alcohol use possibly increases the odds of psychological aggression for both men and women.
• Cocaine use possibly increases a woman’s risk of becoming a victim of same-day IPV.

Blame It on the Alcohol: The Influence of Alcohol Consumption During Adolescence, the Transition to Adulthood, and Young Adulthood on One-Time Sexual HookupsMatthew D Johnson, Jiawen Chen20153,733 adolescents, individuals in the transition to adulthood, and young adults

• A confirmatory factor analysis revealed alcohol use, binge drinking, and drunkenness are consistent indicators of a latent alcohol consumption variable over time, although the mean levels of the indicators were significantly lower during adolescence.
• Structural equation modeling analyses found alcohol consumption during the transition to adulthood and young adulthood predicted one-time sexual hookups in young adulthood, but alcohol consumption during the transition to adulthood exhibited the strongest association with hooking up.
• Implications for research, theory, and practice are discussed.

Does drinking lead to sex? Daily alcohol-sex behaviors and expectancies among college students.M. Patrick, J. Maggs2009218 1st year, full time students at a large state university in the Northeastern U.S., who were 18 to 20 years of age, and were U.S. citizens

• Consuming more drinks on a given day was associated with a greater likelihood of oral sex and with experiencing more positive consequences of sex that day.
• Individuals with more positive alcohol-sex expectancies were more likely to have sex after drinking.
• There was a trend-level association between drinks and condom use.