In theory, having a reliable sex partner who’s always down for no-strings fun sounds like a sweet deal. No commitment? No expectations? “Sure, why not?”
I hate to be the bearer bad news, but fantasy rarely matches up with reality, especially when it comes to friends with benefits. A lot of people end up finding these arrangements to be more complicated—and a lot messier—than anticipated. But is there any way to avoid the drama? Is it possible to get the “benefits” without the baggage?
As someone who has studied friends with benefits relationships for the last six years, let me offer you some hope (and the research-based insights to back it up).
One of the biggest concerns people have about entering friends with benefits relationships is that one person will end up developing feelings that aren’t reciprocated. There’s good reason to worry about this. People often come into relationships wanting very different things. In 2011, I asked men and women who currently had a friend with benefits why they started their relationships and what they hoped would happen to it in the future. People’s responses were all over the map.
Although most people were in it for the sex (duh), a sizeable minority of mostly women said they started the relationship mainly because they wanted to connect with their partner emotionally. And 43 percent of women and 24 percent of the men even said they hoped their friend would eventually become their romantic partner. (You can check out the entire study in the Journal of Sex Research)
Obviously, people can bring wildly different expectations into these relationships, and more than that, these expectations seem divided by gender. When seeking a friend for benefits, then, clarify what you want from the get-go and make sure that your partner wants the same.
FROM THE BAR TO THE BEDROOM, MAKE GROUND RULES
Research finds that most people who have a friend with benefits don’t take the time to set up rules. One study of college students found that 73 percent reported not discussing any relationship ground rules with their friend with benefits. This lack of communication can be costly in the long run. In a longitudinal study I conducted on people in friends with benefits relationships, I found that the people who took the most time making rules and communicating were most likely to be on good terms with their partner a year later.
Think about these questions: Are you only going to have sex with each other? Or can you see other people? This isn’t something you want to assume, if only to protect yourself from the risk of STIs. Beyond this, you should also discuss whether you’re going to tell other people about your arrangement and what rules, if any, you need to lay down about how the two of you interact in public. Does kissing cross the line? Oh, and what about spending the night?
DON’T LOSE SIGHT OF THE SITUATION
Above all else, be realistic and be prepared for the unexpected. Even if you clearly establish what this relationship is early on, it’s possible your friend may not be totally honest about their true motives. Also, consider that neither you nor your friend may be able to predict how you’ll feel once you start having sex. Psychologists have found that, in general, we tend to be pretty bad at affective forecasting, or predicting our future emotional states. As some evidence of this, research has found that people overestimate how happy they’ll be when entering a new relationship. In other words, just because you think everything is going to go well doesn’t guarantee that it’ll actually happen.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Many people find it difficult to navigate a friend with benefits situation; however, the difficulty stems largely from poor communication patterns. If you want to make one of these relationships work, it’s important to talk early and often. Keep in mind, though, that even with a lot of communication, situations like this are often still unpredictable and don’t always end happily. (Only about a quarter of these relationships last a year, according to my research.) The unfortunate reality: sometimes even the best-laid plans don’t turn out to be the best way of getting laid.
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One of my most fond memories is when a friend’s cousin came into town. He was a cute blonde guy, a little shy for some reason, but it was no surprise he had a girlfriend back home. It didnt stop me though 😉 I love corrupting innocence.
I acted really friendly and flirty with him over a couple of days, would brush my tits on him whenever I got a chance, even gave him a little cleavage shot in church. I eventually asked my friend if I could get him to myself for a little bit and she tried to talk me out of it since he was apparently planning on saving himself for marriage to his gf…. But a girl has needs and she understood, though she wanted to claim innocence in it.
So one day she left him alone at her apartment for a little while and I came over wearing a low cut top and jean shorts (didnt bother with any underwear). It took a little sweet talk to get inside but I eventually did and I really laid on the flirts, now being open about my intentions. He was a good boy, tried to make excuses, but he didnt resist when I leaned over and kissed him :3 I told him that his girlfriend would never have to know and said we could stop whenever he wanted to. So we ended up making out and fondling each other on my friend’s couch. It didnt take long before his legs were shifting and trying to hide his hard on 🙂
I told him we’d better let it out so he didnt cut himself on his zipper. He hesitated, said he was attracted to me but wanted to stay loyal to his gf. I asked him what she did when he got like this. Naturally the answer was nothing since they only lightly kissed. I asked him if it would be too sinful and wrong for me to finish him off and get rid of that desire he’d built up. He said yes but couldnt really argue (or didnt want to) when I told him he’d be jerking off to me after I left, so I might as well do it myself.
And so began negotiations 😛 yes, he would take his pants and boxers off. No I couldnt take off more than my shirt. No he wouldnt get fully naked. I wanted to give him a porny handjob kneeling in front of him and have him splatter my chest, but I had to settle for jerking him standing in the shower (so we didnt have to worry about making a mess). Whatever, right? At this point he was just unknowingly negotiating his future deflowering. So I ended up with him in the shower dirty talking him and rubbing my bare chest and hard nipples against his arm as I stroked his cock. He wasn’t badly hung at all, about six inches and uncut. I knew I’d want more.
You know when I knew he was mine? When he asked me to slow down. I didnt of course, this was about relieving him of his pent up desires. He soon squirted his pearls (boy did he shoot!) and I made sure he saw me lick a drop off my fingers. After that, I told him he could just run the shower to clean up and I put my top back on and left. I called my friend and told her she was good to come back.
And thats the end of the story…. For that day anyway, the next day is another