Background: In this study, we use assemblage theory to investigate the link between alcohol use and one-night stands.
Methods: The data come from qualitative interviews conducted with 104 young participants in the night-time economy.
Results: We show that: (i) alcohol-fuelled sexual explorations (e.g. erotic fantasizing, flirting and sex) are of paramount importance for young partygoers; (ii) sexualized territories (e.g. private parties, rural feasts and the backseat of cars) significantly shape the experience and performance of one-night stands; and (iii) contrary to previous research, one-night stands are to a large degree associated with pleasure—the immediate pleasure of having sex and the long-term pleasure of telling about it to others.
Conclusion: We argue that drunken one-night stands are part and parcel of a drinking culture that places high value on sexual encounters and personal sex stories.