It’s summer, which means it’s once again wedding season. Wedding season can be overwhelming, especially when second weddings start coming around. And between the travel and the gifts (yes, you still have to buy a gift for the second wedding), it can get expensive. Weddings take up weekends when you could otherwise be enjoying the great outdoors (golf) or the great indoors (golf on Xbox). But if you’re a single dude who likes to hook up with no strings attached, I’m here to tell you why you should never pass up a wedding invitation.
To begin with, no couple thinks a single dude is going to buy them a wedding gift. They know your brain isn’t wired to deal with stuff like that. And if you do buy a gift, it will be considered a miracle and you’ll be deemed a hero for the duration of the marriage. “You know who got us this ice cream scoop? Sweetest guy ever!” So you’re good on that. And travel expenses? Who cares? It’s totally worth it once you get there, because as a single male guest you’re almost guaranteed a hookup. That’s right, guaranteed. Girls who wouldn’t let you buy them a drink will let you get them a free drink. And girls who wouldn’t let you come back to their place will be slipping you their hotel room number. Get even the prudiest of prudes to a wedding and she’ll be playing footsie under the table with the minister if she has the right balance of appetizers and “Jeff Loves Christie” signature cocktails. Because weddings equal freedom for single women. They are sanctioned anything-goes free-for-alls. But why?
I once went home with a guy on our first date because I found out he’d attended elementary school in Palo Alto with my agent. That was all I needed for him to go from internet stranger to four-night stand. It was validation that he was safe, worthy and in my world. A wedding is all in your world. Everyone is vouched for, so women are willing to hang up their pesky female inhibitions for a few days. Now, I’m not selling out women, telling you their secrets so you can take advantage of them. Women want you to know this. There’s a common misconception that women are just looking for husbands at weddings, that weddings are a good pool of “marriage material.” Maybe they are, but what it really comes down to is women like to act like dudes every once in a while and hook up because it’s, well, fun. Ladies just want a better story to go with it. Sleeping with the bouncer at her local bar because he gave her free wings during happy hour doesn’t sound as good as making love under the stars with the groom’s childhood best friend at a destination beach wedding. Even if in both situations she never sees the guy again.
At the start of the wedding weekend you may be strangers, random names on a seating chart, but women know that everyone on that chart made it through each cut of the wedding-invite list. They know there were fights in which either the bride or the groom had to defend his or her selection. “We have known each other since birth!” “I haven’t talked to her in three years, but we’re still really close!” “We killed someone together! He’s the only one who knows my secret!” Those fights are often knockdown drag-outs, and women feel good they made the cut. “She’s a writer! From L.A.! She’ll probably buy us an expensive gift!” And they feel good about the other people who made the cut. Good enough to trade in their uptight “I don’t think so” face for a too short, too tight, too expensive dress that may or may not still have the tags on it and go all-out. There will most likely be push-up bras, cute underwear, newly waxed lady bits and “fuck-me-because-you’re-one-degree-of-separation-from-someone-I-know” pumps. Pumps she can safely wear because the often terrible walk of shame could be a quick elevator ride of shame back to her own room. Wedding weekends existed before Vegas weekends, but the idea is the same. Maybe you end up having a threesome with the bride’s college roommate and the groom’s law partner. No big deal. You simply got caught up in celebrating the happy couple’s infectious (hopefully not really) love. It all seems respectable in the light of the farewell brunch the next day. Nothing to see. We’re all friends of friends here.
So if you make the cut and get invited to a wedding, show up and do your part. Women don’t always feel as sexually free as men. We have only a few weddings a season before we dust off our inhibitions and get back to the business of being serious and thoughtful about whom we sleep with. Don’t rob us of a vacation from our sexual ethics. It’s your duty, plus you know there will be cake.
This article originally appeared in the September 2014 issue of Playboy.