Let’s face it, millennials, we’re already at that age where our elders are suddenly very curious about our dating lives. Who we’re dating, when we’re getting married, yada yada yada. We can divert the conversation to something else, but our age group is beginning to move from its “singlehood” phase to its “settling down” stage.
Marriage, or at the very least, cohabitation, isn’t for everyone. And there is nothing wrong with that. You do you, boo. Along with the rise of dating apps, though, is the rise of another type of relationship – being friends with benefits.
Friends With Benefits: Defined
Friends with benefits, as the term suggests, is a relationship where you get more than what “regular friends” do. And by more, I mean sex.
You get the good stuff without the drama and the commitment, which is quite the deal. Not everyone is the relationship type. Sometimes, you just need a good old-fashioned banging to clear your head.
The “friends” aspect doesn’t have to be literal. It could be someone you happened to meet randomly, someone you swiped right on, or, if you’re risky enough, someone you’re already friends with.
Whatever the case, this person (or persons, no judgment) is someone you know enough to turn you on to do the dirty with now and then. Let’s call it what it is. They’re your booty call.
Why Do It?
Here are some logical reasons why having a friend with benefits could be good for you.
No Strings Attached Fun
As I’ve said in the definition, friends-with-benefits relationships allow you to enjoy physical intimacy without the complications of traditional romantic commitments. Whether for financial or emotional reasons, this setup allows you to have that orgasmic release without worrying about ghosting and all the other baggage a serious relationship entails.
Exploration and Experimentation
It’s also a way to get to know yourself sexually. A casual, sexually consensual relationship allows you to experiment with ideas, fantasies, and kinks that you might be too shy to voice out in a serious relationship.
You’ve both agreed to this setup, so it would also come with no surprises on either party. There are fewer chances for drama while you wade your way to sexual satisfaction.
This setup is probably for you if you want the best of both worlds. Some people value their independence and autonomy in all aspects of life, including their love life.
Friends with benefits allow for emotional independence while enjoying physical closeness when desired.
While my experience didn’t end well, this phase of my life was a good learning opportunity.
We met at a dating app and soon enough hit it off. It was wholesome until it wasn’t. The sex was surprisingly good (at least at the time it was lol). I guess it was because we both had nothing to lose.
We knew we were both only giving in to carnal cravings. We also knew that if things went south, we could quickly call it quits and move on as friends.
It was the perfect setup at the time. You get a good conversation from a friend and the orgasms from a lover with the bonus of having your own life.
I met the FWB guy at a time when I was lost. I came out of a toxic long-term relationship and rebounded with an emotionally challenged guy. I just wanted to bang the stress of being in limbo away.
I didn’t know what I wanted, and I definitely wasn’t ready for another round of drama.
We became actual friends who talked about random things throughout the day, but nothing about each other went beyond the two of us. None of our friends and family knew about one another until it got messy (we’ll get into that later).
We did get the best of both worlds. Before having a friend with benefits, I used to be vanilla. I did everything in service of my partner and didn’t mind if I didn’t finish.
Other than masturbating, I settled for hit-and-miss orgasms during sex, which I realized was a sad way to live. This setup taught me never to settle moving forward and that I deserved to be consistently satisfied.
This period in my life gave me the leeway to explore my sexuality. He also taught me how to ensure I’d service my partner right, which I think applies to my current boyfriend. Our openness to trying different positions and testing out kinks gave me a learning curve that led to the satisfaction of my sex life. It was a win-win situation.
It doesn’t necessarily apply to all, but the growth of feelings caused the demise of my one-time FWB period. We both knew it and thought we could make it work, but it turned ugly when I realized he wasn’t emotionally ready for an actual commitment.
The sex was still good, but it now came with drama. And while I was already ready to try again, I wasn’t going to offer myself to becoming an emotional punching bag once more.
I guess this is the downside of having a friend with benefits. The comfort in the familiarity makes you loosen up, and you tend to forget the rules of the engagement.
Is It Worth It?
Ultimately, it all depends on what you want. If you’re tired of the complexities of a commitment and (seriously) are just looking for a way to release all your pent-up sexual energy, this is a setup for you. Trust me, it’s worth trying at least once in your life. If not for the lightness of it, then do it for the sexual journey.
But if you’re on the fence or hoping it leads to something more, I suggest you veer away from this. A relationship like this needs more emotional strength.