“Tonight let’s be lovers…and tomorrow we’ll go back to being friends.”
Sorry Dave. While I fancy your rock band and appreciate the length you went to in order to solicit platonic sex from your besties, I simply cannot endorse these lyrics. (Sorry, male friends.) But I just do not think it is wise to play Mario Kart with your guy pal one night and doctor the next, unless you want your nipples handled like joysticks and a guaranteed disappointment.
If you’re loose with your definition of “friend,” say “I love you” to each of your hall mates, and blast mass text messages like it’s your job, then you will undoubtedly disagree. After all, what’s wrong with a little hanky panky from your drinking buddy next door? However, to me “friend” has a very sacred and categorical meaning. The fuzzy area surrounding is reserved for titles like “acquaintance” “buddy” or “pal.” Not “late night booty partner.” Therefore, to hook up with a friend by my definition is inherently incongruous and somewhat fraudulent. A truly, strictly platonic relationship never goes temporarily sexual. The beauty of friendship is that it is pure, transparent and resolute. To take things carnal is not only unnatural and um, awkward, but potentially blasphemous.
For those “friends with benefits” enthusiasts ready to Tonya Harding my cankles, relax. I am not judging you for giving your dude friend a ride to Pleasuretown. I’m just saying real friends don’t let each other shack up at the Howard Johnson…. or in your lofted twin XL.
While I don’t think boy and girl buddies can alternate between playmates and bedmates, I do believe that friendship can evolve into romance. In fact, I think this can make for a wonderful relationship. However, “friends” – girls, boys, whatever – don’t suddenly find themselves in transient, precariously intimate situations (barring healthy ecstasy consumption or an apocalypse) without some pre-existing feelings of sexual attraction or romantic affections, thereby disqualifying them as friends. A drunken, harmless make-out sesh, yes; an “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” exchange, highly encouraged. But if heads head south, you are more than just friends.
I admit this is the opinion of a fairly sexually conservative female: I have never been the girl who dry humps a pole in the middle of the dance floor, nor have I ever volunteered to french kiss my roommate for the last Natty Light. (For the last piece of pizza, however, I’d beat her up.) So maybe there are girls out there who can straddle that friend line without complications. I also recognize that there are the inexplicable moments of weakness aptly named “I just broke up with my boyfriend” or “Spring Break Rules” or “Tequila,” and that most dudes would just as soon boink their best girlfriends than mow their lawn. These “exceptions” aside, however, I maintain that “just friends” don’t “just f*ck.”
Perhaps more importantly, while the “friends with benefits” can be a convenient and quite tempting arrangement, (aka, no dinner dates required, and bodily fluid jokes encouraged), the complications that can arise and the regrets that may surface aren’t really worth the best-of-both-worlds situation. Chances are someone is going to get hurt. One player will be more emotionally invested than the other, the benefits will trump the friend, the lines of communication will collapse under the weight of the “what did that really mean?” and unless there is a simultaneous pull-out (of the arrangement), someone will feel rejected.
The bottom line is no friendship ever improves after an impromptu scissor fest or a drunken cavity search, so the next time you and your couch buddy are feeling lonely, and perhaps a little dirty, skip the tongue bath and hit the showers, cold, and separately. You may need to help yourself out, but you’ll be much more satisfied in the long run.