3 Rules That Will Make Friends With Benefits Actually Work
Relationship-wise, in comes the idea of friends with benefits. Also known as FWB or fuck buddies, a friends with benefits relationship involves all the fun sex stuff between two friends without having to deal with complicated commitment bullshit. Reliable go-to sex and conversation without monogamy — what’s not to like?
As fun and frivolous as it sounds, there always has to be something that fucks things up, and in this case, it’s your emotions. Research shows that it’s almost impossible to have sex without feelings getting in the way. With the abundance of sexual hormones, close contact, and great chemistry from just being friends, it’s hard not to find yourself falling for your hook-up buddy. And ladies, research also shows that you’re generally more likely to develop feelings first (damn you, estrogen).
While science and your own two eyes show that people do tend to fall for their FWB, I’ve compiled a list of things you could do to maintain just the sex and friends part without going any further than that. In other words, fuck you science!
1. Don’t start a FWB relationship with a best or even remotely close friend. Hollywood has milked this story line a dozen times (think No Strings Attached, Friends with Benefits, etc.) and nothing’s more believable than modern-day cinema. As obvious as it seems, you have to keep sex and really close friends separate. From your darkest secret to hidden family skeletons, a best or really good friend tends to know a lot about you, which makes you vulnerable. And mathematically speaking, sex + being emotionally vulnerable = you’re fucked.
If you want a fuck buddy, pick that casual-Friday-night-hangout-but-he-doesn’t-really-know-me friend and nine times out of 10, you’re less likely to have actual romantic feelings. Plus, even if you do, you’re not losing an actual REAL friend.
2. Have more than one FWB relationship at a time. The whole idea of this sort of relationship is that you don’t have to worry about being committed. You both get sexual release, maybe get a drink after but that’s it. No why-didn’t-you-call-last-night, no feeling guilty if you want to hook up with someone else; no commitment. So, stick to that very idea and play the field. Generally, when you keep doing something (or someone) day in and day out, that thing (or person) becomes a habit — you depend on it/him/her and it becomes routine. Same goes with a hook-up buddy.
To eliminate that dependability and the possibility of developing any attachments, have more than one hook-up buddy. This way, you’re less likely to keep going back to that one person for sex, which means less chances of actually feeling something. Just play it safe each time and you’re good to go.
3. No relationship-y stuff. The basis of a FWB relationship is that you fuck, you may hang out once in a while but that’s it — no after-sex cuddling, no staying to watch a movie, no spending the night. Anything that’s even a little bit coupley or is something you see in a rom-com is a definite no-no.
And yes, while this may get confusing if you guys are friends and do want to hang out outside of the bedroom, the key is to not be alone together. Try and hang out with mutual friends around and definitely no holding hands or overly touching. If you wanted a relationship, you can go get it elsewhere.
Then again… If feelings do start to bloom, it’s probably time for you to reassess what or who it is you really want. Do you genuinely like-like him or the idea of him? Is she being extremely more-than-friends sweet or is she just being a good friend? Fact is, it’s hard to separate sex from wanting more but if that’s really want you want, make sure you stick to it.
After all, nothing, not even casual sex, comes easy.
Art by Shawna Rabbas