The good old-fashioned fling has a bad rap. We may be in an age of no-strings Tinder hookups and increasingly aware of the physical and mental health benefits of sex, but many people still turn their noses up at fleeting sexual relationships. More often than not, they're considered mere stepping stones en route to something more "serious" or, worse, as evidence that someone has commitment problems or even low self-esteem.
These impermanent relationships – whether they're one-night stands or last for weeks or a few months – are rarely considered valuable in and of themselves, but that may be misguided. Even very short-term, casual attachments can force us to be present in the moment and even helping us work out what we want from long-term partners. Here five women to tell us what they learned from their most momentous flings.