Dehydrated: The infamous ‘Friends with Benefits’

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This month, Kim is tackling the unspeakable, the one 95% of you have probably given a go, the infamous ‘friends with benefits’.

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The problem with friends with benefits is what masquerade as the main benefit: the loose definition of the phrase means that most of these ‘relationships’ end up not really having boundaries. What’s okay to do as a FWB before it crosses over into relationship territory? And just how ‘friendly’ can you be with one another without either being considered “possessive” or “just using one another” for sex?

I’ve had two FWBs throughout the course of my fairly miserable sex life and, unsurprisingly, neither worked out.

I think the first one was inspired by the movie of the same name, and he was bitterly disappointed that I don’t actually look like Mila Kunis when naked (though, honestly, he wasn’t much of a Justin Timberlake either).

It was a mostly tame, teenage affair; we were both rebounding and so neither of us were keen on entering a real relationship, he would bring weed and ice cream to my house (always a winning combo) before mounting me at every opportunity. Afterwards, we’d eat bacon and watch Hot Fuzz, quoting line by line in a smoky daze.

It was fun, for a few weeks or so. Then he got a girlfriend at college (who really did look like Mila Kunis), I made up with my boyfriend and we basically stopped talking. This was partially because I couldn’t speak to him without remembering his chode, and partially because now the sex was gone so had the, err, “thrust” of most of our conversations.

My other FWB relationship basically taught me that there is nothing I won’t do for pizza. As these things do, it mostly happened by accident; after a few drinks too many on a night out before he had sex with me in the same manner of how I imagine most men wank into a sock. I asked him to stop around fifteen minutes in because I was bored (and chafing).

But it kept happening. I don’t know why – there was no attraction between the two of us, but I considered him one of my best friends; we had a lot of things in common and had the same sense of humour, we spoke every day and, although he clearly didn’t want me as a girlfriend (as he kept reminding me) we sort of fell into this mock relationship routine where we would meet up for no reason at one in the morning, go back to his, have unsatisfactory, awkward sex, and then he would buy me pizza and cheesy chips, which I would eat before skulking back to my own place at about 5am. Like I said, there is nothing I won’t do for pizza.

I realised it was probably time to get out lying in bed next to him one night after another round of awkward sex. He said, totally unprompted, my vagina looked like it should be called ‘Gary’. And the name, has, unfortunately, stuck. Needless to say, we’re not friends, with or without the benefits, anymore.

I suppose it was because we had great friendship chemistry with these two beforehand: we sparked so much as friends we all naturally assumed we would spark elsewhere. We were all young, free and single (and STD free), we got on well, so why shouldn’t we take it to the bedroom?

Well, in my case(s), bringing the element of sex ruined the two friendships we had because we were all unwilling to define what it was. We all knew that this wasn’t a relationship; we were never going to get married and have kids at the end of it all, but our friendships literally cracked under the weight of adding sex into them.

If you are willing to enter into a FWB sitch, then God speed, but ask yourself these questions before actively pursuing it:

1) Do you genuinely only see this person just as a friend, or do you want something more on a more permanent basis?

2) how long are you going to be doing this for? FWB has to have an end date.

3) will you be happy knowing they may have sex with other people? If not then you may be letting feelings get in the way, and feelings are icky.

And the biggie…
4) will fucking the friend fuck your friendship?

Friends with benefits shouldn’t really be a long term substitute for a relationship – there needs to be more of a literal stop-gap. You have to consider the risk that you may lose your friend by having sex with them as sex isn’t always as no mus, no fuss as we would like it to be. That, or they may show their true colours and nickname your vagina Gary.

Words by Kim Bond

Rebecca Curry is your Editor-in-Chief

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