Sure, hooking up with a friend might seem like a convenient outlet for commitment-free sex, but there are pitfalls involved too. Here’s how to navigate this this tricky situation.
Friends with benefits. Fuck buddies. Booty calls. Casual partners. No strings attached. Whatever you call them, sexual relationships without commitment can be excellent, even ideal, arrangements. They can also blow up in your face if you don’t treat them with care (like putting more emphasis on the “benefits” than the friendship). If you’re unsure if an FWB relationship will work for you, it’s important to not only weigh the pros and cons, but to consider what ground rules are best for everyone involved.
What are the benefits of being friends with, well…benefits? Sex, obviously—but a different kind of sex than you’d have with a partner, or even with a one-night stand. A fuck buddy situation can be great if you’re getting over a breakup or divorce, and you’re not ready for anything serious: it’s familiarity without the contempt, excitement without stepping into the scary unknown. There is a shared understanding, but the stakes are low. Instead of questioning where it’s going, both of you can relish in being exactly where you are (most likely in bed).
FWB can also be the perfect solution to a dilemma that often pops up between friends who have known each other for years: You know there’s mutual attraction, but you also know that you are not right for each other. Maybe you want different things out of life, or you know too much about each other’s flaws, or there just isn’t a romantic component. Or maybe you have a shared sexual interest—like kink, or swinger parties— but you don’t have a whole lot in common otherwise. Jocelyn, 25, likes FWB situations because she “gets to have great sex without forcing aspects of the relationship that don’t work.” She also sees them as “good practice for setting boundaries, and good for busy schedules where low frequency and low commitment is preferred.”