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Friends with Benefits - Can it work?

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/23/2006 | Dating
Is there ever such a thing as No Strings Attached? Can a friendship between two people withstand casual sex? Or is that just an idealistic concept?

One night stands arent as in as they used to be. Now lovers are coupling up for more long term sex. Its called Friends with Benefits. They get all the benefits of a relationship without the commitment. They start out as friends. They enjoy each others company and then one night start sleeping together.

They dont date. Its not a traditional significant other type relationship. In many cases, the other friends dont even know about their sex on the side. Its set up as a mutual gratification, friends helping friends arrangement.

What most Friends with Benefits fail to do is set up the rules. It generally starts out as either happenstance or perhaps a small dialog exchange, I dont have anyone, you dont either, so lets do it, no strings attached. What do you think? It all sounds well in good; at least initially when both are hornier than a unicorn. But can friends who sleep together remain friends once it ends? Or is the start of mutual sex the start of the end of their friendship?

Sex creates a bond, no matter how discussed up front it is. Someone always gets hurt in the end of a no strings attached, Friends with Benefits arrangement. Booty Calls always start out with mutual orgasms as the sole purpose. Yet when two people share that kind of closeness, and if it's a recurring buddy booty call, then they spend time together. Someone is doing something very intimate with and to the other. Who isnt always appreciative of a good orgasm?

One or both may know that they don't want a commitment and that's why the No Strings Attached agreement was conceived. But when the ooh baby, ya that feels so good, I love what you do to me occurs regularly, how can they NOT start to feel something for the other? One person will inevitably feel a stronger emotional bond than the other; it's not male/female bias. One will still only love the physical benefits and the other will enjoy the great sex so much that they get attached, even though they weren't looking for any relationship.

Or perhaps one person may have always been secretly attracted to the friend and knew the other didn't want a relationship, yet figured a Friends with Benefits arrangement was better than nothing. Hence they verbally agreed to the arrangement but emotionally they were already hooked.

Develop some rules before entering into any such arrangement. Consider these suggestions: No going out with each other unless its in a group situation or you know the night will end in sex, therefore the outing is part of foreplay, no public affection, no gifts and any other boundaries you want to instill. Before it starts, decide how it will end. If starting out as friends, the goal is to end as friends. If new love interests were previously discussed among friends, shouldnt those types of conversations still be allowed?

Use your head to consider wisely what may be lost if you enter into a Friends with Benefits arrangement.