The pleasures of drunken one-night stands: Assemblage theory and narrative environments

Willy Pedersen, Sébastien Tutenges, Sveinung Sandberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)160-167
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Drug Policy
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 1
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)

Free keywords

  • Alcohol
  • Assemblage theory
  • Casual sex
  • Narratives
  • Night-time economy
  • Sexuality


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