Showtime explores what makes the “friends with benefits” relationship work… And what can cause it to fail.
In a previous blog post I talked about the pros and cons of being in the friend zone with a woman. This article got a lot of great feedback from people who had different feelings on what the friend zone entails exactly. Since we have broken down the friend zone, I think it’s only right that we discuss friends with benefits.
For those who don’t know, the term “friends with benefits” is usually some type of arrangement between two people that basically says “we’re friends but we have also decided to do the grown up, bump ‘n’ grind, and get our freak on all at the same damn time.” These arrangements usually happen when the two people have some sort of chemistry or history, but neither of them is looking for any sort of commitment or long term relationship. Sometimes women will refer to a man who is only there to fulfill her sexual needs as a “maintenance man“. Usually, guys don’t mind being in a situation with a woman who only wants sex because…well, he’s a guy…and it’s sex…and guys love sex…Get it? Got it? Good!
Similar to the friend zone, friends with benefits has it’s pros and cons. It can be something that works out really well for everyone involved, or it can turn into something completely disastrous.
The main factor in a friends with benefits situation is that both people are single. Lets just be clear, you should NOT have any type of sexual encounters with one of your friends when you are in a relationship because that’s just a disaster waiting to happen. Even though it should be obvious that this scenario is for single folks, I want to make sure you understand what I am saying: you can’t have friends with benefits AND be in a monogamous relationship at the same time.
Over the years I’ve had conversations with plenty of people about having friends with benefits. As time goes on it seems to be more and more acceptable simply because people don’t want to deal with what goes on in relationships. People are tired of being hurt, they are fed up with meeting people who lie to them, and they often times just lose faith in the possibility of having a healthy relationship with someone who loves them. They don’t want to deal with the drama so they resort to an easy solution of instant gratification.There usually isn’t a lot of drama when both sides agree that there are no titles, no expectations, and no real obligations….Just sex!
Even though being friends with benefits is primarily about sex, there still needs to be a chemistry between the two parties outside of the bedroom in order for it to work. Not many people are going to be willing to carry on any type of relationship with someone they don’t get along with. Even if there is a great chemistry in the bedroom, there still needs to be something outside of sex to keep things flowing. It’s called FRIENDS with benefits because usually the people involved are friendly in some way. I have seen situations where two people have absolutely nothing in common and end up sleeping together, but that doesn’t happen very often because you usually have to pique a woman’s interest before she will even entertain the idea of sleeping with you.
As with any relationship, communication is the key to making friends with benefits work. Whatever expectations you have going into it should be addressed from the beginning so the other person is on the same page. It would suck to find out that the person that you think is going to be your go-to for convenient sex is actually expecting you to be in a long term relationship with them. You don’t want to be responsible for setting someone up and letting them down in the long run.
Also, friends with benefits usually have great sex because they are extremely sexually compatible. Most women aren’t just going to give up the goods without a title if there isn’t some benefit in it for them. So fellas, if you do find a friend who is just wants some good conversation and some good sex, make sure you are bringing your A-GAME. You shouldn’t half step in the bedroom, and neither should she. Just like when you are in a relationship, it is your job to make sure that she is satisfied and getting what she needs out of the situation. If you don’t, your services won’t be used for very long.
On the flip side, the friends with benefits scenario can be detrimental because it can spoil you. It’s easy to get used to being able to fulfill your sexual needs and forget about the benefits of true romance and companionship. It’s easy to get lazy when you have this type of arrangement. You really don’t have to put forth any effort. You aren’t going to be in a rush to buy a cow when you are getting the milk for free as the old folks used to say. The art of pursuing a potential partner gets lost when you’re getting sex without putting forth any real effort.
There is also an emotional element that has to be taken into consideration. Most normal people will gain some sort of emotional attachment to the person that they are having sex with on a regular basis. It’s just human nature. If the person that you are sleeping with isn’t on the same page as you are in the book of emotions then eventually someone is going to get their feelings hurt. The friend with benefits can often times dwell in the gray area between love and lust, leading to love for some and simply remain as lust for someone else. It is a very thin line that needs to be treaded lightly. If you are both having fun, and enjoying the time that you spend together, there shouldn’t be any thing else expected aside from just that.
Usually, the woman is the shot caller when it comes to friends with benefits. This is no different than any other type of relationship. The woman has the goods, so she makes the rules. If you’re not ready, willing, and able to commit to this one element of the agreement then this might not be the best situation for you. I’m not saying that you have to come across as some desperate loser who couldn’t get laid if his life depended on it. But just know that she is driving the car and you’re just along for the ride…literally (lol).
If you do happen to find a friend with benefits you also have to make sure that the boundaries are drawn. Both of you are single and free to date whoever you choose. There shouldn’t be any unexpected visits, random “thinking about you texts”, or badgering about why they weren’t available when you called them. Those are the things that will leave you left out in the cold while your friend is getting her benefits from someone else. Just be cool, and go with the flow. Things will happen the way that they are supposed to happen.
Most importantly, make sure you and your partner are being safe. There is no commitment, which means that either of you can do whoever whatever you want to do. Don’t ever get so comfortable with the situation that you stop using protection. Nothing is worth the risk that comes along with unprotected sex, so strap it up! The person who you thought was a friend could quickly turn into an enemy if an STD pops its ugly head into the picture.
Friends with benefits isn’t something that’s for everybody. Some men and women prefer something that has more substance to it. Some want to give themselves to someone who is going to reciprocate something more than just sex. Whatever your case may be, do what suits you. Do what makes you comfortable and remember to keep the other persons feelings in consideration at all times.
What do you think about having friends with benefits? Is it okay to sleep with someone who you are not in a relationship with?
Image courtesy of Cali4beach