Ask a Dude: Can We Be Just FWB?

[Got a Dude itch you just can’t scratch? Sick of getting the pity-eyes as you sift through the Self-Help section at your campus bookstore? Over wondering what those boys are thinking?  We got your back, girlfriend. Send your question over to The Dude won’t sugarcoat it, beat around the bush, or any other weird cliche that means lie to you. Like a nice, juicy hot dog, he’ll be 100% real beef, 100% of the time.  So bring it on, ladies.]


My best guy friend and I started hooking up 4 weeks ago after a kinda testing the waters to see if we were both interested in becoming more then friends. I am OK with being a FWB but am also OK with more. That being said, I am having a hard time reading his signals. He has always been the guy who will come pick me up and go to dinner, or just hang out and watch TV. He’s a nice guy. He likes to cuddle and to just look at me and kiss my body. Don’t get me wrong I’m a fan of both, but they catch me as more relationship behaviors. We are both virgins but I know that he wants to have sex and, to be honest I want to have sex, too. I’m 20 and he’s a guy that I can completely trust with anything. Am I fooling myself into thinking we can just be FWB if we have sex, does he like me more?

-New at This

Dear New at This,

According to “Friends with Benefits” is defined as: “Two friends who have a sexual relationship without being emotionally involved.” First of all, FWB cannot survive as a long term arrangement. There’s no exit strategy. One or both of you will eventually want more, or less. The other issue with friends having sex sans emotional involvement is that, because you’re friends, you’re already emotionally involved with each other! Here are possible outcomes for an FWB arrangement:

Happily Ever After: You fall in love with each other.

Boyfriend? As if!: You sleep with someone else and discover that your FWB isn’t the best option available.

Abandoned to the Land of Haagen Dazs: You fall faster and harder than he does. You ask him to sign an exclusive contract and he decides to become a free agent.

Sexual tension can be addictive and enthralling. There are several examples of friends that spent years dancing around performing the horizontal mambo (why doesn’t anyone call it the “vertical worm”?): Nigel Crane and Daphne Moon (Frasier), Ross and Rachel (did anyone on Friends have last names?), Dan Humphrey and Serena van der Woodsen (*cringe* Gossip Girl), Chuck Bartowski and Sarah Walker (curses, NBC, you’ve taken away my Chuck and replaced it with glittery Johnny Weir). Unfortunately, once the “will they or won’t they” element was removed, their ratings plummeted.

Now, I realize that your life isn’t a TV show (although, who knows? Maybe MTV will come knocking on your door for some new reality show soon), but this trend does translate into real life. Things are really good with you and the friend now, but there is no guarantee that will stay the same once you hit the sheets. Sex can change everything, especially when it’s your first time.

And especially, especially if, as it seems, one party has deeper feelings than the other.

But, if you’re really set on this just remember: the key to any relationship is communication. Whether you’re going to be FWB or more, you’ve got to set the ground rules and lay it all out there. The greatest killer of any relationship is holding back. This doesn’t have to be a make it or break it conversation, if handled with the right amount of tact, but it will alleviate any burdens from unanswered questions. He’s your best friend so treat him like one, and tell him what’s on your mind.  All of it.

No matter where you’re going, the best place to start from is an honest one.

Use contraception,
The Dude

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