Friends Share Secrets, Not Fluids

Not friends.

“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.



    1. Wendy says:

      quite right.
      booo, learn too late.

    2. Katherine says:

      You brought up some valid points in this article. However…

      I was once in a friends with benefits relationship. We were good friends before. Now, our relationship is once again strictly platonic. We've both moved on and have each hooked up with other people since then. But our friendship is way stronger now even though we will never again be more than just friends. He is my very best friend and I feel totally comfortable talking with him about anything.

      Since you talked about friendship evolving into romance, I just wanted to give you an example of the vice versa. Thanks for the article!

    3. meg says:

      Ditto what Katherine said. I've gone through the same exact experience recently. I think it is somewhat rare to be that lucky to come out of a 'friends with benefits' situation and still be close with your friend but it is entirely possible. In my case, the guy is still someone I consider my best friend and I know he feels the same.

      I think the main reason for the good outcome is communication. We talked out everything, feelings, intentions, etc. No gray area.

    4. You Wish says:

      I prefer Poundtown to Pleasuretown.

    5. toni Lowe says:

      A very funny article. Your description of "joysticks" made me

      laugh out loud, friend or not. I think I would throw up if I did any of my male friends.

    6. anneymarc says:

      i want to share also some tips someone.

    7. Chicka chicka whaaa says:

      ya this is so true…my last fwb was awful and a lose for both of us. both of us had feelings for each other, but at the same time would continually deny it. until it broke off…basically we both looked like idiots to our entire group of friends. never a good situation

    8. C says:

      Ahh, how friends with benefits relationships can be confusing! I haven't been in one, but a good friend of mine made out with me "randomly"….and things like this can quickly escalate to an unwanted emotional roller coaster.

    9. Argentum says:

      I disagree.

      You said it yourself. You are a "sexually conservative" female. That's fine. I respect that.

      You also hinted that girls who are not sexually conservative "hump poles on the dance floor" or whatever. That's not ok. I'm not sexually conservative, but I am not a whore.

      People fit into distinct personality types, and these are not bound by gender, though they may be influenced by gender. Therefore, these are not the "exceptions". They are just people who are different than you.

      I have had friends with benefits relationships several times. These were during times when I didn't want a heavy relationship and I didn't want to do the whole hookup culture either. I had my freedom, I had somebody who was my friend, and I had a lover when I needed one. This was an ideal arrangement. I am not a slut or confused. I am still friends with all of these people, though I am married now and am committed to my husband. My former FWB have moved into serious relationships with other people as well.

      You're right in the fact that when two people expect different things from a relationship, somebody could get hurt. But this is in no way a reason to condemn this type of relationship.

      Just because you could never do it does not mean that others are somehow "exceptions" or that this form of blendship can never exist. Be careful how you address things that you do not fully understand.

    10. […] that was “a long time coming.”  And this is the part where I make the blatant statement that everyone with a FWB doesn’t want to admit – believe it or not, having sex with someone on a regular basis, even when you don’t put a […]

    11. […] end this because A. it’s not the right time for a relationship and B. we didn’t want it to get messy as FWBs. I was fine with it being over, but now over a week later I can’t stop thinking about him and how […]

    12. […] I hooked up with one of them. Since, my relationship with his friend has turned into a sort of friends-with-benefits situation. I would never want to be with him in a serious relationship, we’re just having fun. His […]

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