Are friends with benefits a good idea?
It depends. Most people want the warmth of another body, to get sexual pleasure and (if they are smart) give it in return. Unfortunately it’s not as easy as hitting the drive through or grabbing a few scratch-offs, unless of course you want to pay for it. Sex is an intimate act, to some the ultimate form of bonding which means you can’t just walk up to anyone, say you need a quickie and they are going to say, “Sure!” Okay I pulled it off a few times back in the day.
However that means more than just a pump and run, there usually needs to be some kind of relationship as a basis, but sometimes a full relationship isn’t in the cards. Maybe you have plans to travel, go to school, take a job far away, focus on your career or maybe you are waiting for that special someone that you can spend the rest of your life with that hasn’t shown up yet. Does that mean you are supposed to go without it until…
For some people it means just that, I’ve even known a few that men want to wait for the right one. I personally think that is a bit antiquated thinking for a few reasons;
- Times have changed. Pregnancy was a common result but with modern contraception methods the risk has gone way down.
- Sexually transmitted disease were also a major concern, however with the ease and availability of condoms today this problem can be substantially reduced. Also medical treatment can deal with most of these afflictions.
- In many countries/cultures women are no longer looked at as a slut or whore because she has had more than one physical relationship (whereas for men it was acceptable to have physical encounters with many women).
- I’m going on thin ice here but often these beliefs were based on religious themes.
- Or (for men in particular) they are worried someone before was a better lay. Me, I’d rather have a woman that has had a few relationships so she does have someone to compare me to and if I can’t deliver the goods then teach me, if that doesn’t work then either we move on or live with it. I used to be a pretty good baseball player and could swat the long ball, but I couldn’t hit a home run every time, however I could make some spectacular catches. Sex is important but there is a lot more to a relationship.
My words of advice are;
- Dig deep within yourself and ask if you can emotionally handle a physical relationship without the full commitment, but think long and hard. I’ve personally known a fair number of women and even men say they regretted some of the sexual encounters they had in the past because it’s not uncommon for someone to go a little wild during certain periods of their life, like after a breakup, moving out on their own or going off to college but years later they look back and are not proud of what they did, I’m one of them because I’ve had sex with a few women I know I shouldn’t have…and I knew it at the time but did it anyway.
- If you don’t think you can live with it then don’t do it. But if you think you can perform your due diligence first. Look at your circle and evaluate each one. Do you find them appealing? Do you have other facets of your personality that come close? Do they “brag” about the other FWB’s they have (which means you could be just one of many and as the saying goes, you are not just sleeping with them, you are sleeping with everyone they are and have been sleeping with).
- If you find someone that fits the bill don’t just ask, “Want to screw?” You may not like the answer because they could hold sex sacred and by you coming on to them so boldly they could lose respect for you. Instead when in private steer the conversation towards FWB’s and note their reaction. They may say they would never do it because of their personal beliefs and if so stop right there. However if they react positive then elaborate on it and let things progress. That may get it started.
- Set the rules and boundaries before you hit the sack, like where, when, exclusivity (keep in mind part of the reasons for FWB’s is to minimize the risks of STD’s and that means not hooking up with someone that is bagging any and all cummers), etc.
Gets the point across
Confidentiality (also addressed in the above video). Be aware most will tell someone. Me, I’ve mentioned to a few people when I’ve been in a FWB’s however I have not identified who they are, even going so far as to mislead them, like referring to them using a first name only and not the one they go by. Not all people are like that and do you want someone that is going to blab it to the world?
- If you find one that fits the bill and agrees to the rules then give it a run. However be aware things may not always work out the way you expect.
If the sex is bad and it doesn’t get any better, well now you either endure it or have to tell them the deal isn’t working out because they are a hobo-sexual and telling a friend they are a bum-fuck can be a little uncomfortable.
- Make sure they know this is temporary and could end anytime and when (if*) it does you both agree to end that part of your friend relationship with no hard feelings.
Don’t cave to peer pressure! This is your personal choice based on your own moral code, not your friend’s and guess what, the world is not going to end just because you aren’t getting your end wet.
*Most successful long-term relationships start out as acquaintances that grow into friendships because they share similar goals, values and beliefs. By adding in the physical aspect it could escalate to a full blown relationship so be aware that could be a result and why carefully picking your FWB is important, not just because they are hot.
I am a guy who had been in a FWB relationship for around 2.5 years.
So, it started like this I was a teen age guy back then, the girl was a friend of mine . I never had any sexual feelings for her initially, but later ended up being in a fwb relationship with her .
We used to meet each other everyday, we both didn’t have any thought about kissing each other . We used to hang out in the evenings , went out to eat, went on long drives together and we were really emotionally close .
We used to laugh, play , and the strange part , She was in a relationship with another guy at that time while she was making out with me probably everyday. One fine day, we were just hanging around in the streets in a car , and we hugged each other , hugging for us was a common act . But,this wasn’t so common. This was the first time we kissed . It was not at all done intentionally from both the genders . While hugging our faces came towards each other and the lips locked , we didn’t think much about it and carried on doing it . I checked her out by touching her body which was really intimating .
Btw I forgot to mention (I was a school going guy, but she was 3.5 years elder than me) .
After that day , making out became a part of our meetings , why would I mind to get physical without any emotional stress .
This carried on for around 2.5 years , we knew each other to the deepest extent physically and emotionally too, though we were not dating . Then later, we ended up being in a relationship with each other and were now sexually involved . But the relationship didn’t stay long .
I feel fwb is a great idea to be in.
“Friends with Benefits” is a sort of vaguely-defined relationship category in society, just like “Relationship” or “Friendship” or any number of other human relationship types.
I don’t find these categories a particularly useful framework for thinking about relationships, and I find that thinking in these ways is prone to misunderstandings and sometimes tension or emotional hardship in the long-run, like if people have mismatched intentions, boundaries, or expectations from these sorts of connections.
On the other hand, I don’t think there is anything inherently bad or unhealthy about non-exclusive relationships where you have some sort of intimate, romantic, or sexual connection.
What I find is a much better framework for approaching these things, is a framework of open communication and negotiation of boundaries, much like is the norm in many polyamorous circles.
Instead of trying to fit your relationship into a set category like “friends with benefits”, instead, ask yourself questions like:
- What types of physically intimate connections are you comfortable having or not having with the person?
- What kind of emotional bond are you wanting to have with the person? How much detail do you want to share with them about your life? Do you want them to share similar things with you?
- Do you have any boundaries about the person being intimate with other people? Which, if any things, would be a hard limit of “I don’t want to be involved with you in X ways, if you are also involved with other people in Y ways?”
- What sorts of connections with other people do you want the person to talk openly with you about? Are there any things you would rather them not share?
- How often do you want to see this person? Do you want to be able to depend on or count on a certain frequency of contact? How much do you want to be able to count on each other to be there to talk and support each other through life’s challenges?
- Where do you see the connection going long-term? Are you thinking long-term, or not? Are you open to long-term potential, or is it a definite short-term thing with a finite end (such as if a person moves, finds another partner, etc.)
I’ve had a number of relationships over the years that haven’t easily fit into a box.
You will have a much better time with these sorts of relationships if you know what you want out of them, and what boundaries you have, and the range of experiences you’re potentially comfortable with, and communicate this to the other person, and find out what they want and what their boundaries are.
These boundaries will likely be different with each person! There is no substitute for communication about these things!
And remember, there will always be some “saying no”. Just because you’re mutually attracted to someone doesn’t mean it’s good to get involved. There are times you and/or the other person will decide that you or they don’t want to get involved because there is too big a disconnect in what you want or what sorts of boundaries or parameters you want to have for the relationship.
It can be, depending on the maturity of the people involved and the surrounding circumstances.
In my experience, females tend towards emotional attachment towards the person they are intimate with; it’s a chemical/hormonal thing (Oxytocin: The Love and Trust Hormone Can Be Deceptive). This may have contributed to most of my casual sex relationships progressing into more socially acceptable relationships. Although, it’s also worth stating that these were good and long term relationships.. until they weren’t. I know it’s a little hypocritical of me to say that someone who engages in casual sex is less likely to be loyal, but most of the girls I had casual sex with have also cheated on me; while I’ve never cheated on my partners.
Your choice to have a friends-with-benefits relationship will most likely depend on how you and your partner the act of sex. And you should also be aware of any ulterior motives your partner has… few people are mature enough to be sexually attracted to a person, yet also be aware that the two of you are incompatible (in terms of a formal relationship).
I’d assume that, most often, the choice to engage in casual sex relationship is based primarily on a need for sexual intimacy. If your hormones are high enough to impact on your choice to initiate a casual sex relationship, then those same hormones may also result in more long term choices about the person you are sleeping with. And this is where maturity comes in.. you need to be mature enough to separate out those emotions from the logic of why you haven’t simply started dating in the first place. What makes this person suitable for sex, yet not a relationship… And if (like me) you engaged in casual sex with the goal of progressing towards a proper relationship, would your partner consider this manipulative..? Would they be upset if, after starting a formal relationship, you were open and honest about your motives?
You also have to consider what happens when one of you starts dating someone else. At what point do you stop having casual sex.. is the other person going to accept this with maturity? Will having a relationship with a new person affect the friendship you have with you ex-sex partner? How would you handle seeing someone else get close to someone you used to have sex with?
In short, a friends with benefits relationship complicates things. You need to weigh up your need for sexual intimacy with the baggage that a sex-relationship with a friend comes with. How much baggage there is is going to vary depending on the maturity of the people involved.
As an example, many years ago I lived with a couple of friends. The friends sister had recently broken up with her partner and was looking for a rebound guy. I stepped in and started a casual sex relationship with the girl. This lasted for a few months.. The reason I put a stop to this is because at some point, she had gotten back together with her ex-boyfriend but failed to let me know about it. Ironically, it was her mother that called me to let me know. I called the girl and let her know that I wasn’t upset, but that I could no longer sleep with her. She offered to come over and talk about things to clear up any problems. I explained that it wasn’t necessary… we had fun, but there’s a natural ending to that fun. I wished her the best for her and her boyfriend and left it at that.
If you’re going to start a friends with benefits relationship, you (and hopefully your partner) needs to be mature enough to handle the problems that come up. And you’ll need to be able to do so without overreacting or becoming jaded.
Not even remotely.
The idea of FWB probably comes from watching too much porn. It looks fun having sex, so guys think if I can find a girl to have sex with it will be fun for both of us. But sex is not “fun”. It is emotionally bonding. Porn is a lie. It is usually sexually abused young women who were victims of rape or incest who have lost their self worth.
When you try to drag that fantasy concept of FWB into the real world, it is nothing more than a man sexually abusing a woman.
Men enjoy sex from the get go, because their bodies are designed that way. Women’s bodies are designed to find sex painful from the start, and it is not until they learn to orgasm (which can take 3 – 50 years) before it becomes enjoyable.
So the man feels good for a while, like he is a porn star, he can order sex on his phone for free. At some level though he would also feel guilt for taking advantage of a woman who likes him. He has offered to abuse her sexually and she accepted, but calling her a “friend” tries to make it sound better than it is.
So why has the woman said “yes” to such a one-sided arrangement. She is satisfying his needs for sex, while it hurts her. So why would a woman say yes to that? She has either been sexually groomed since a young age (incest or raped), or has low self esteem and cannot ask for what she wants – a relationship.
For the past 31.5 years I have had a friend with great benefits. (Smiling about what happened this morning.)
So many have the illusion that marriage is some sort of endless romantic passion or perpetual infatuation. It is NOT. It is living with your best friend. Sure, there are hugs and kisses, but not always every time you may want. You have to put up with the personality quirks and emotions of another person. You have to learn to forgive and to ask forgiveness. But there are indeed benefits. For one, married people report a much higher level of relationship and sexual satisfaction than others.
So, NO friends with benefits is not a bad thing. But sex without commitment is going to result in two people with different expectations. A relationship built on “I can walk away any time I want” is not going to last.
I remember reading a few years back that one of the women living at the Playboy Mansion had decided that she wanted to have children and a stable home. Shock and surprise, she reached the conclusion that living at the Playboy Mansion and having sex with an 80 year old wasn’t going to get her to that goal.
With FWB, eventually someone decides that it isn’t what they want. Some people decide that after being married, but they or their partner have unrealistic ideas of what they will get in a marriage.
Why are Friends with Benefits bad?
They aren’t inherently. Like all types of relationships, you can have good ones and bad ones depending on the people in them and how they go about handling them. They can be tricky as well.
A lot of people are confused about friends with benefits as well. People often use the term synonymously with casual or no strings attached sex, but not only are they different, but they are mutually exclusive. FWB is a relationship that is friendship first, and then later has the “benefits” of sexual activity without being in a committed romantic relationship. So it’s the opposite of no strings attached sex.
People can struggle with them if they aren’t open and honest about what they want and their expectations are (but this is true of any relationship) and the most common failure you see is one person wanted more commitment and the other person not, but in general they are not bad.
Hi! So I’m in high school. I was in love with one of my best friends for a really long time and he really liked me back too but he didn’t want to date. Nothing came of it, no kissing hand holding or anything and in the long run he ended up breaking my heart. It’s been about 4 months since I completely got over him and even though I see him and we hang out together a lot I have been feeling fine. I don’t think about him the way I used to or anything but I sometimes still get that urge to kiss him or make out with him. I’m a very innocent girl, I have never gone farther than a peck with a boy, but I am 17 years old. He really wants to make out with me and has told his best friend (who I am also good friends with) several times. There is quite a lot of tension between us. Tonight I went out on a double date with the guys (the best friend had an actual date, the guy I liked was my “date” but it was fairly clear we were just friends). Throughout the night it was fairly clear that we both wanted more but neither of us made the move. When I got home we texted back and forth and the topic came up. I asked him about us making out and he said he really wants to but it has to be a low key thing and he wouldn’t want to do it if I think I will end up liking him the way I used to. Since I used to be totally in love with him I think that a part of me will always like him, but I don’t know, I may be okay and not like him to that extent. I am so torn over this, what’d ya’ll think I should do? Also, is it possible that if we do this together he will end up liking me and wanting more than just friends with me? Is it more likely than not? I’m so inexperienced with this and I feel slightly guilty about it!
Sweetie, you’re young and have the whole world ahead of you. You can do plenty of of messing up and still get up because you’re young. Enjoy.
That being said, I do think it’s important to have some ground rules:
1) Don’t make a mistake that’ll have big long-term consequences. What do I mean? You fall for your guy again and get heartbroken again? That’s fine: hearts heal. You fall for your guy and decide not to go to college though you got a scholarship? You decide to not use condoms and wind up getting pregnant? Seriously, don’t make me reach out from the computer monitor and rattle you.
2) Be honest with yourself about what you want to do and why you want to do it. For instance, you’re wondering about whether you should do friends with benefits with your friend. What is the reason? You’ve come out and said you are hoping that he can fall in love with you. Great, it’s good that you’re honest. Now, say you go ahead and do it and he doesn’t fall in love with you–will you feel cheap? used? guilty? or will you be bummed but ultimately move on because hey the physical exploration was pretty fun? The answer to that question will pretty much dictate what you should do. Now you may not know yourself quite as well at this point yet. No worries, go back to point 1: as long as it’s not going to lead to permanent damage, it’s okay to trial and error.
Well there is nothing wrong in that unless both the sides agree mutually.
Let’s be honest here I won’t try to be a diplomat I don’t believe in this idea at all if you are friend and to an extent that you ready to be intimate with each other in the most personal way then surely one of the two falls for the other and then the whole idea becomes one messed up situation.
If by any means you found such girl then you are in a mutual business with each other, there will be no friends part as both of you are too busy in your own life and sex is just a tool for pleasure, the thought itself for me is disturbing. The whole concept of respect for an individual is vandalised here.
For FWB you need to separate love and sex that most of the women can’t sustain for long and the price of few sexual encounters may cost you a beautiful friendship. It requires a level of maturity and understanding and if you fail either you fall in love or become strangers.
Honestly I don’t have much idea about this and its my own personal thought maybe I wasn’t the correct person to ask this particular question because I feel friendship is too pure to pull benefits out of it and if you desiring benefits in return you are business partners not friends.
All answers (and my own initial reaction) to the contrary, I had a five year FWB that was perfect for both of us. We would not have done well as a committed couple, nor did either want that. Once a week we went out for dinner, watched tv, talked about anything and everything, went to the occasional sporting event, and had mind-blowing sex. We developed a definite affection, exchanged holiday gifts…and had relationships with other people who knew nothing of our FWB. We would occasionally discuss the other relationships like old friends: no heat, no judgement, no gory details.
The only commitment we had was to not put each other at risk. No exposure to STDs, of course, but I also never invited him to my home due to certain of my landlord/neighbor’s highly illegal activities. My FWB understood, without asking for unwelcome details, that it would not be a good place for him to be if his fellow cops came by in an official capacity. I never met his grown children, he never met my friends or colleagues–we sort of had our own little bubble for about six hours every Sunday evening.
It ended because I moved 2000 miles away, but we stayed in touch for a long time after that. I guess it worked because we were both completely up-front about our expectations and limits, and we enjoyed the relationship exactly the way it was. YMMV.
It can be really fun and a great way to meet your needs without getting into the throes of a relationship, but it can have it’s pitfalls. Below is my protocol:
- If the sex is good, then keep it going until one of you develops feelings.
- One of you likely will develop feelings. It takes 2 really emotionally unavailable people to sidestep feelings.
- If you’re the one to develop feelings, there are 3 options:
- Option 1 – Tell them and hope they feel the same way. If they don’t, then check Options 2 and 3.
- Option 2 – Get out and get out fast before you get really hurt. Unless, the sex is really, really good, then tough it out and limit contact.
- Option 3 – If the sex is really, really good, and you’ve decided to tough it out, start dating other people. Dating others will distract you and you will eventually find someone you like as much or more. Then ditch the friend with benefits and move onto a person that better meets your emotional and sexual needs.
- If your friend with benefits develops feelings, there are 2 options:
- Option 1 – Start an awesome relationship with this person you already enjoy sex with.
- Option 2 – Tell them you don’t have feelings for them and let them decide what they are going to do. Suggest they see Options 2 and 3 above.
I fell hard for my last friend with benefits. I tried Option 2, couldn’t handle it emotionally, then moved to Option 3. Added benefit (no pun intended) was that I was extremely picky in dating because I already had awesome sex on tap. I landed a really wonderful girl and was not overly fast to have sex with her and got to know her a little, as I was already getting my needs met. This was a win-win!
It depends. People are different. Men and women are different and like the other poster said, people are different at different ages. But here is my theory. Even in your 30s, it only works if there are structural reasons why you cannot be in a committed relationship because someone is bound to develop an emotional connection (likely the woman but it could be the man) and even that is not a guarantee.
Some structural reasons could be socio-economic, distance, or one or both is already in a committed relationship. If you both run in the same social circles, I would highly discourage it because someone is bound to get jealous. It is inevitable, emotions will creep in. And what would happen when one person wants to move on and the other does not? Friends with benefit is like a poorly defined business agreement. At some point, there will be conflict.Honestly, that can be said for all relationships. And there in lies the problem, a FWB situation is still a relationship. Call it what you want…it is still a relationship.