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A one-night stand is a sexual encounter that occurs as a stand-alone event with no recurrence or further relationship between the participants. A one-night stand can be intentional and entered into with no expectation of repetition, or may happen if partners simply do not contact each other after a first encounter.
One-night stands fall under the umbrella term casual sex although they are distinct in their one-time-only nature. One-night stands can be the cause of hurt feelings when one party intends for an encounter to be the beginning of something bigger while the other does not.
One-night stands are not limited to encounters between strangers. When people who have a friendship or business relationship have a one-time sexual encounter, and subsequently resume their previous relationship, it is still considered a one-night stand.