How to Survive Being ‘Friends-with-Benefits’

Violet Ivy By Violet Ivy, 2nd Jun 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Sexuality & Gender

Yes there is a fine line. And yes, some friends cross it. It can happen during a drunken night between house mates. Waking up the next morning. Sneaking off to manage the walk-of-shame only as far as their shared lounge room allows. Maybe two people who have been friends for years find themselves suddenly single, bored and flirting over a third bottle of wine. Discussing what they’ve never tried.

How do you even begin this type of relationship?

Yes there is a fine line. And yes, some friends cross it. It can happen during a drunken night between house mates. Waking up the next morning. Sneaking off to manage the walk-of-shame only as far as their shared lounge room allows. Maybe two people who have been friends for years find themselves suddenly single, bored and flirting over a third bottle of wine. Discussing what they’ve never tried. Or how about a simple, ‘I’ll-show-you-mine-if-you-show-me-yours’, leaving two best friends forever shocked over bald mounds, overly large, furry testicles or a third nipple.
Some friends enjoy that brief, shining, sexual moment as a one-time occurrence. Other besties keep right on doing the nasty…at least for a bit. Sometimes this can be converted from being friends having sex, (friends-with-benefits or FWB), to a true romantic couple. But too often, as I’m sure you have either heard or experienced for yourself, friends who have been ‘beneficial’, especially past a one-night-stand, see their relationship break down. They stop having sex with one another. Don’t retain that friendship. Don’t have nothin’ left…not even the ability to sling a good ole double negative.
How does one roll into a friend’s-with-benefits situation with a bro, buddy, B.F.F., girlfriend or boyfriend without experiencing collateral damage after the affair? How does one stay friends after/if/when the benefits run out? Are there rules to the classic F.W.B. or does each couple have to make their own way through it all? Is it generally not a good idea to even consider having sex with a friend or can it be some of the best sex you’re ever going to have? Are you man or woman enough to deal with the possible embarrassment over body parts you wished were bigger or those that scare you when they are?


Let’s face it, other than masturbation, (sex with the one person you know damn well indeed….yourself), your best friend should be the next easiest person to have intimate relations with. A friend knows your peccadilloes, your goods and your bads. There’s no need for any of that getting-to-know-the-new-guy/girl-well-enough-so as-not-be-surprised-they-are-a-serial-killer pre-sex dating. Sure, it might be awkward at first jumping that hurdle getting naked with a buddy, but really this is your friend. You know they inherently should have your back. So why not give your backside as well? Once you and your pal declare a mutual attraction, or at least your shared trust, and you both seem game and horny, jumping into bed shouldn’t be all that hard, (yes another obvious pun sorry).
Beyond simply undressing for a friend for the first time, and they you, having sex with a bestie often sees us dealing with whiplash-like changes to our perceptions. It’s as if you’re updating a Facebook status in your head. You’ll still regard your friend the very same way you always did, just now you know what they look like naked! You’ve discovered their furry parts. Suddenly you’re introduced to some very personal facts about them, and they you. And where you might have had a certain view of them, and they you, you now get more colours and textures added to the tapestry of who your friend always was in your mind.
It’s no big deal really. Or it need not be unless you choose to make it one. A little shake-up to some cemented core beliefs or solid perceptions is a good thing from time to time. And just think about all the positives in having sex with a friend:
-Switching. Are you gay and want to play hetero for a time? Or hetero and want to try your own gender? Who better to experiment with than a tried and true friend?
-Kinks. Who could you trust better to utter/stutter your more unusual sexual needs to?
-Convenience. Hell, you’re going to be hanging out anyway, why not make the most of your time?
-Full disclosure. Talk about knowing someone’s medical history well!
-Good sex. Although there’s no way of knowing for sure, since this person is your friend you already like them right? Remember you can’t often choose your boss or your uni lecturers, but you always have a say in who your friends are. Hopefully this liking will lead to some good sex.
Despite the above though, in a classic FWB situation, you should first be cautious before it begins. Be ever on guard as it is happening and then work hard after if you want things to go as smoothly as possible.


Unless you and your friend suddenly want to court a deep, romantic relationship then set definite parameters in your mind, and make sure your friend does the same. That you’ll take out the ‘good china’ but also stay just friends. If you even have a hint at the beginning stages that maintaining this balance might, even might, be hard for you and/or your friend…don’t get into a friends with benefits situation. You are opening up a tributary to the wide river that is your closeness with your friend not a whole new waterway. If you feel doing this will cause you to drown in a loosed damn of emotion then you have probably coddled lust/love for your friend all along. Taking the plunge to a FWB state will most likely mess you up mentally and emotionally. If you really fear a well of emotions might visit you the minute you get your nay nay out and your friend their nook nook, then it’s best keeping all private parts well covered in each other’s presence.
This is what I mean by WHAT IT SEEMS…MIGHT JUST BE WHAT IT BE. Go with your gut here. If you are feeling emotions you think might screw with your head once you begin to have sex with your friend, you should address what you’re feeling. Sure, you might be in for a little embarrassment, a heart-to-heart neither of you want to have sober. But it’s essential to save yourself all that heartache and possibly the friendship. Seriously, this is your friend, you can talk to them, can’t you? Think about it. You were just about to have sex with them! If you don’t consider the psychic knocks at your cranium and go marching blindly into being FWB you are setting yourself up for a rocky road at the very least. And some possible real emotional upheaval at worst.


Now, not all of us are astute enough to know beforehand what might do us harm. Lots of people start down the road of the FWB relationship and find in not so much time that they are FUG, (fucked up good). Plenty of men and women both suddenly realize that, uh oh, when they start having sex with their friend they experience stronger feelings for their buds than just the heat of their loins pulling at them. While the possibility of this happening never crossed your mind before in the WHAT IT SEEMS…MIGHT JUST BE WHAT IT BE, (or you simply did a damn good job of repressing your true feelings), things might suddenly grab you hard during the WHAT YOU FEEL HAPPENING…PROBABLY IS HAPPENING part of the program.
Suddenly discussions like, “Yes, I’d love for you to put your finger up there”, morph into, “Is there a way to take this to the next level?” That ‘next level’ phrase is kryptonite to the FWB relationship. Quickly feelings rise with the nipples and erections and suddenly two people, or what’s worse just one person, begins to feel emotions they had not detected during the WHAT IT SEEMS…MIGHT JUST BE WHAT IT BE.
This is why it’s important that friends with benefits explore their feelings constantly. Why you should as much keep an eye on your friend, if you happen to be fucking them, as you should yourself. Should you feel a hint you are beginning to feel something beyond a simple need to bust a nut with your nearest and dearest get the hell out of there! Address these feelings, at least with yourself, as quickly as possible. If you even get a whiff that your partner is suddenly feeling stronger towards you than simply their usual loving friendship, and maybe placing their mouth on one of your southern body parts, you should certainly reassess what it is you are doing. Communication is key here. And not in the bedroom. Go out for coffee. Escape to the kitchen. Just get out of that love nest and discuss any and all issues. A roll in the hay is NEVER worth risking your best friend for. Be tactful but honest. Lay it all on the line. You may not get a second chance, at the conversation or the friendship. Don’t expect your friend to have ESP. You need to tell him or her how you are feeling or what you suspect they might be.


The most any true FWB can hope for is a nice, long-time humping. There are, however, those friends-with-benefits that stay in sexual affairs long after they are dating other people, sometimes engaged and even married. Sure, your significant other is bound to grow suspicious but there are FWBs that can and do carry on carrying-on well into generating a romantic relationship with another partner. Not for the weak of heart surely and certainly not many FWBs get to this point, but it is possible.
What’s more likely to happen is that WHAT IT SEEMS…MIGHT JUST BE WHAT IT BE will win-out with one friend having to extricate him or herself from the proceedings before some real wounds get embedded. Perhaps one of the friends meets someone else they want to have a monogamous situation with. Or, if one or both, without the entanglement of romance, grow bored of the sex after a time. But remember, even if you and your friend only have sex for a brief period you’re still better off than most. You had something grand before you even began the sex and hopefully the sex was infused from the fact that you were close to begin with.
So you can just go back to the friendship. Nothing’s changed right?
Well….some people can. Lots of people do. But just as many do not. This is why.
WHEN IT BE OVER…IT’S OVER is an important distinction to declare. For whatever reason you are stopping the FWB part of the program. If you want to salvage the friendship, (and really why wouldn’t you?), do yourself a favor and put the sex to bed once and for all! Blurring the line by dipping your toe, or whatever body part, back into the warm waters of sex with your friend when you two have declared the sex should be over, is not a good idea. It will fray the very last thing the two of you have left…the friendship. So not only knowing when to call it quits is important, but also calling it. This will save you a lot of ugly clean-up and hopefully keep you two friends. You’ll have good memories and that ability to always be able to smile knowingly at one another across a crowded room.


In the end one needs to keep things in perspective. Whether it’s the FWB circumstance they might be considering, the one they are presently acting on or the one they have just extricated themselves from. There are just too many people presently estranged from friends because they either went ahead with the belief that WHAT’S SO GOOD IS…THAT IT IS SO GOOD ignoring their WHAT IT SEEMS…MIGHT JUST BE WHAT IT BE or a little later a WHAT YOU FEEL HAPPENING…PROBABLY IS HAPPENING and simply did not want to declare a WHEN IT BE OVER…IT’S OVER when they should have well before getting to the simple fact of a WHAT IT WAS…WAS WHAT WAS.
We need to realize that some things, especially of human making, have their own time frames. Their individual windows of opportunity. Some situations present themselves, and are what they are, only for the flicker of a pubic hair’s width worth of time. Sometimes all any two people need is basic trust, a muggy night and a couple of beers. The trust and the muggy night are optional too. Often what the thing was, even if in and of itself wonderful, might simply not last. If it gets pushed beyond its time or reason it won’t even be viewed as so wonderful anymore.
Unlike the fully-turned-to-stinking-shit-and-then-more-shit-after-that end to a love affair, being friends-with-benefits can see us wiggle free of the physically intimate. We might end up keeping a friendship intact. But it takes guile, forethought, some good common sense and a holding on to the assurance of WHAT IT WAS…WAS WHAT IT WAS. For many of us that acquiesce is impossible. For others empowering. But rest assured if you have a buddy holding your hand along the way, a truly good friend who you don’t mind seeing naked from time to time, then the surrender, the allowance and even the occasional bump-and-grind without too much consequence could be very much fun indeed.

moderator Steve Kinsman moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


Add a comment
Can't login?