Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How beneficial is it to have 'friends with benefits?'

You enjoy each other's company. You spend a lot of time together. You're both single and maybe not looking for anything serious. Why put all that effort into dating shenanigans when you could just hook up with a friend?

Because it's a bad idea.

A bad bad bad idea.


It is the quickest way to ruin a friendship ... even quicker than running over their dog.

Chuckles, D., MacGyver and I were all discussing this topic last night. They are three very handsome, intelligent and funny guys that I regularly imagine naked – but that doesn't mean I'd ever want to pursue them. Sometimes they might fulfill that masculine roll in my life... like when Chuckles will stop by my job with a cup of coffee, or when D. would rescue me from being harassed at a bar. MacGyver may come over and play Rock Band until 4 a.m., but there's a line. We don't cuddle on a couch or kiss hello on the lips.

I don't have romantic feelings for them, though I love them dearly. I would never want to use them just because it's getting cold at night.

Sex will completely change the dynamic you have. Now, if two friends decide they BOTH have real feelings for each other, that is the basis of a potentially successful relationship. But your friendship is still screwed. Sorry.


Chrissie said...

i think there are only a few occasions when this might work:

1. if you weren't really close friends to begin with. there have been times for all of us i think where we meet someone new, realize we don't hit it off in the "lets be together forever" department and might start up something more FWB oriented. you enjoy one another's company and body temperature, but beyond that there is nothing.

2. if you're both on the EXACT SAME PAGE. sometimes one person may feel more than the other, and is looking for the "real thing" rather than a plaything. this leads to disaster. only disaster.

3. if the timing is right. i really chalk the "perfect relationship" up to timing. i've loved people dearly and known it just wouldn't work... but i think a friend could offer benefits in the future even if it doesn't make sense "now."

Anonymous said...

the key to making FWB work is that you must disconnect the sexual experience from the rest of your reality. you must be a completely different person when having the FWB sex. who you are when having FWB sex is not who you are to the rest of the world, including the friend. you can never walk up to the friend and say, "hey, good sex last night," because you wouldn't be talking to the same person. you must keep the sex world completely separate and distinct from the friend world.

there are a set of rules, kept in secret, by the men and women who have freed themselves of the stifling constrictions suffered by those who do not know how to successfully manuever the FWB relationship.

i now disclose these rules to you:

the first rule of FWB is, you do not talk about FWB.

the second rule of FWB is, you do NOT TALK ABOUT FWB.

third rule of FWB, someone yells stop!, goes limp, taps out, the sex is over.

fourth rule, only two friends to a FWB.

fifth rule, one friend at a time, gals.

sixth rule, no shirt, no shoes, and (most important) no socks.

seventh rule, the sex will go on as long as it has to. mutual satisfaction is key. no self-serving egoists here.

and the eighth and final rule, if this is your first night having FWB sex, then you have to speak all your dirty talk in a menacing voice. oh and you can't laugh. oh and you have to speak all your punctuation (e.g "am in in yet question-mark"). oh and you have to keep your elbows on the table. oh and if a joker is drawn, you have to raise your glass and say "to heath". and... uh... blah.

(all those number-8 rules were made during the last drinking game i played).

good luck.

Sten said...

Well, Anon, those are some fantastic guidelines. Basically it sounds like entering in a FWB arrangement is like joining 'Fight Club.'
Although, I think people get less beat up in a physical fight than in an emotional one.

Anonymous said...

I've got to agree with my fellow anon on the main point of needing to keep the FWB side of things partitioned from the actual "friends" end of things. If you can separate it all out and not become attached, it works. However, that can be very hard to do, especially if you find that the beneficiary in question has a lot in common with you and many other redeeming qualities aside from their ability to play a great game of "hide the sausage". I guess I'd say that the key to being successful FWB is that you aren't really "friends" as much as "acquaintances" with benefits.

thecodemachine said...

FWB should be like having an ice cream. You can have an ice cream now and then and it won't ruin your diet.

I don't see the friends with benefits different from a breakup period. Its good to have that release. Its good to have that fun from time to time. However you can't have it every day.