ASK THE SEXOLOGIST... “Should I be a ‘friend with benefits’?”
question: A male friend recently asked me if I wanted to be his “friend with benefits”. I’m not against casual sex, but I haven’t had much of it – I’m a relationship girl. He is a good friend and I trust him. He says having that kind of agreement can help me get into a relationship with someone else because I won’t feel like a “desperate single”. I don’t know – am I being conned into easy sex or is this trend a real thing? answer: There is much debate about the “friends-with-benefits” trend as there is no right or wrong – it’s a matter of personal values. Only you can decide whether the arrangement is right for you.
It is a real trend, though, and a new Deakin University study showed women found the arrangement just as enjoyable as men. And while many assume it is the domain of university students and the very young, the study found the arrangement was also popular with people who had recently left long-term relationships or marriages.
The benefits don’t just centre on sexual pleasure. The study found people gained emotional and physical intimacy, when they were not ready to move on to a new relationship.
The men in the study found the arrangement gave them confidence to pursue romantic relationships. But that may not be the case for you. Do you want a casual-sex arrangement with a friend while you look for a romantic relationship elsewhere? Will you be honest about your arrangement with a new partner? Will you stay friends with your sex buddy once you meet someone? Could you handle that? Will you become romantically attached to your sex buddy? These are all questions you need to answer before you go ahead.
Many find it difficult to remain unattached to someone they are having regular, exclusive sex with. The arrangement may not be against your values, but you may not be able to handle it psychologically. In that case, you would be risking your friendship.
Either way, things won’t stay as they are, so it’s up to you to decide what kind of change you want.
bodyandsoul.com.au + Can a casual relationship turn into something more? Read Gabrielle Morrissey’s advice at bodyandsoul.com.au