by Jeanson Benoit, World Association of Sex Coaches Certified Sex Coach
You may recall the movie Friends with Benefits. Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis start off as friends. Then, they decide to move toward the rollercoaster of excitement and confusion as casual sex partners only to end up… well, I don’t want to spoil the ending for you! Anyway, that movie was a good depiction of the friends with benefits, or FWB, lifestyle. It can be fun, thrilling, disappointing, and confusing as hell with little to no guarantees at the end. Interestingly, that sounds like most traditional romantic relationships as well.
At any rate, the appeal of a relationship with someone you know well and can actually tolerate is obvious. So I’ll point some of those out while also explaining some of the disadvantages to the FWB setup.
I am all about positivity so let’s start with the GOOD first!
- Who Are You Trying to Fool, I Already Know You
You can’t beat the comfort you feel with a close friend especially if you’ve been friends for a while. You know each other on deeper levels than most do so there’s no use trying to be anyone other than yourselves. That can also translate to a higher sense of openness on a sexual level as well because a rapport has been established. This eliminates the period of “feeling each other out” that occurs in the early stages of dating.
- Let’s Keep It Casual
Agreeing to be friends with benefits usually implies a relationship that involves sex or some other form of intimacy with little to no strings attached. It’s meant to be extremely casual so there’s no pressure of progressing into anything committed. This is a major advantage when one or both parties is not prepared to invest a lot of emotional energy in a romantic relationship.
- Friends to Lovers to Life Partners
On the other side of that same coin, there can be optimism towards a successful committed relationship with someone you have great chemistry with. If the sexual chemistry is strong especially, your F#!& Buddy also starts to look like a viable long-term partner for the future. This can be a very comforting thought as long as both people share the same sentiment.
- So, What Are We Doing Exactly?
The once clear lines of a friends with benefits relationship can become blurred so quickly it’ll blow your mind! What began as a mutually agreed upon situation can soon turn into a confusing mess of “So, what are we doing exactly?” This is especially true if one or both partners decide to date other people while maintaining the sexual relationship. Now, you must contend with not only confusion, but possible heartache, tension, and jealousy as well. It’s important to truly audit your personality to find out if you’re more likely to get emotionally attached or not before entering into an friends with benefits relationship because areas can get very grey.
- Once a Friend, Now An Enemy
The reality is that a FWB can blossom into something magical straight out of a Disney fairy tale OR it can totally ruin a friendship. If negative emotions find their way into the relationship and aren’t dealt with in an appropriate manner, things can go completely south (and not in the pleasurable way)! Make sure you consider this VERY REAL possibility when deciding on whether to mix romance with friendship. Losing a good friend may not be worth it.
- Sex with a friend is a practical way to gain sexual experience in a trusting and pressure-less environment.
- Things can be awkward between friends if the sex isn’t enjoyable. However, depending on how long you’ve known each other, you can probably get through that with some comedy relief about the situation.
- The friends with benefits situation may help to form a stronger bond for the friendship.
There are many things to dissect when thinking of whether a friends with benefits relationship works for you. At least now you have some direction on what to anticipate and look out for when doing so!
Jeanson Benoit is an Intimacy, Sex, and Relationship Coach. His specialty is assisting men with common sexual barriers and women that desire more connection with their sensuality. He uses his years of experiential and theoretical research to guide people to happier, healthier, and more fulfilling romantic connections. His vision is for everyone to unleash their inner Sex God and Goddess by awakening their sex lives now. Jeanson can be found at awakensexnow.com and can be booked for intimacy and sex lectures, live Q&A speaking events, and personal couples coaching done through video correspondence.