Friends With Benefits: Does it work?
Written by
Stella Painfree
October 2019

Hearing about friends with benefits is almost like hearing about Bigfoot; everyone knows what it is but rumors of its existance are found only in folklore. Movies have been made about it -mainly romantic comedies, resulting in boy and girl realizing they’re madly in love- and drunk college kids have discussed it over beer pong. But have you ever really SEEN a friends with benefits (FWB) relationship actually SUCCEED?

First things first, a distinction needs to be made between FWB and meaningless sex. The two concepts are wildly different. FWB implies a relationship beyond sex (i.e friendly group outings, nights playing video games, getting drunk and telling your “friend” about your pill popping mother.. etc) Meaningless sex, on the other hand, is just that: meaningless. There is no fine print and nothing to read between the lines -you greet, you get naked, you shag, you say thank you and bow, and end it with a polite, “I’ll call you.”

The idea of FWB sounds fantastic. You get sex whenever you want and you have someone to talk to and hang out with on boring weekday nights (while getting shagged). Neither has claim over the other and you’re free to do whatever you please without worrying about the other persons feelings…. HA. And then, you wake up.

Unfortunately, our species is a bit more complex than that. We’re not walking, talking advertisements for Darwinism. Chemical activity occurs in our brains, neurotransmitters are fired -we fall in love.The concept of friendship implies a sense of intimacy and trust. Not only that, but it’s also safe to say that not many of us would bone the next thing to walk by with genitals that happen to fit. We have to have SOME sense of attraction, right? You’d have to at least think to yourself, “Meh, I’d do her.” And what happens if you hang out a bit before the session, have a really good time and happen to lock eyes while you’re screwing? Whether we like to admit it or not, sex is an intimate act. Two people really couldn’t be any closer -we’re attached, for gods sake!!

And not everyone is as strong as they’d like to believe themselves to be. If you happen to shag on a day you’re feeling particularly down, the site of him “exiting” and immediately jumping into the shower isn’t going to make you feel like a million bucks. You might even feel used.. and leave the shag hut feeling like a piece of meat. (This happens to occur on the chance that you don’t orgasm and your partner does. It’s different when you’re dating, but this is supposed to be a business transaction, right?)

And if feelings don’t develop, a sense of ownership does. What happens when you find out a person you know is shagging your same “friend”? What happens when your “friend” starts cancelling on your shag dates to spend time with another “friend”? Even if you don’t have feelings for this individual, you’ll inevitably feel a sense of competition.. or jealousy.. or worthlessness. You’ll think, Oh no! Can she give a better blow job than I do? I’ll have to up my game! And ouila! You’re now involved.

So if you’re not falling in love with your screw buddy, your ego is now involved. Either way, it’s best to steer clear.

How do I make being Friends with Benefits work?

In the history of f..king, if you look hard enough, I’m sure you will find successful incidents of meaningless sex. It takes a certain kind of person in a certain phase of their life to successfully take on a sexual relationship without getting emotionally attached. But it’s rare. So you have two choices: either you risk it and find out if you’re ready the hard way (by getting your heart ripped to pieces if you fail) OR you shift the relationship of “friends with benefits” to one of an occasional “booty call.” That’s right, I said booty call.

Space your sessions out accordingly and refrain from sharing too many intimate details about your life. You need to give your subconscious something else to latch on to; another penis to daydream about. Also, make sure it’s ONLY about the sex. Sure, you’re supposed to be able to “tolerate” the others company.. but don’t get too attached. Once you start craving something besides the steam between the sheets, that’s when you get into real trouble. Keep your focus on the “benefits” and steer clear of the “friends.” Now, I’m not saying you walk into his apartment, undo your trench coat revealing red lingerie, and guide him directly to the whipped cream and sex toys. You’re allowed to talk.. Just steer clear of secrets.. and anything else that would expose your vulnerability.

Let's be friends

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