FRIENDS IN­DEED

#Trend­ing’s res­i­dent sex coach, Jade Zwane, has some ad­vice for those who find them­selves in a friends-with-ben­e­fits sit­u­a­tion

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So, here’s the def­i­ni­tion of “friends with ben­e­fits”, ac­cord­ing to the Ur­ban Dic­tio­nary: “Typ­i­cally, two good friends who have ca­sual sex with­out a monog­a­mous re­la­tion­ship or any kind of com­mit­ment.”

Now we’ve all known some­one in a friends-with-ben­e­fits sit­u­a­tion. Hell, you may have been in a few your­self.

When you’ve picked some­one you trust and re­spect, and get over the fear of los­ing your friend “be­cause of sex”, then hav­ing a friend with ben­e­fits can be a thrilling af­fair. The sit­u­a­tion is kept be­tween the two of you, with no pub­lic dis­plays of af­fec­tion. You would do well to re­mem­ber that it’s for a good time and not a long time, and what­ever you do, don’t fall in love!

I’m sure all the guys read­ing this are ask­ing where to sign up. Let’s face it, a non-monog­a­mous, sex­filled and un­emo­tional re­la­tion­ship is ap­peal­ing to the male psy­che.

But it is also be­com­ing ap­peal­ing to more women. Although sex re­leases hor­mones that make you feel like you’re fall­ing in love, women are per­fectly able to leave their emo­tions out of sex.

You are not be­ing used for sex. It is con­sen­sual, and there is noth­ing wrong with giv­ing and re­ceiv­ing plea­sure.

Aside from the very ob­vi­ous ben­e­fits of com­pan­ion­ship and sex, a friend with ben­e­fits can be a space filler while wait­ing for “the one” to come along.

Some of us are just not in­ter­ested in re­la­tion­ships at cer­tain times in our lives. We’ve gone from an age where sex be­fore mar­riage was un­heard of to a time of ca­sual sex and onenight stands. Peo­ple are putting sex on their to-do lists out­side of love and for­mal re­la­tion­ships. They are re­al­is­ing that sex is im­por­tant, just like gym and other hob­bies are im­por­tant, and they are do­ing it for the grat­i­fi­ca­tion, not be­cause it is ex­pected of them, like it would be in com­mit­ted re­la­tion­ships. When de­cid­ing on a po­ten­tial friend with ben­e­fits, be sure to pick some­one who is avail­able. He or she must be sin­gle and not get­ting over a bad or emo­tional split. Emo­tional sta­bil­ity is cru­cial. They must be fun-loving and open­minded. They should be ex­pe­ri­enced and not from your so­cial cir­cle – and def­i­nitely not from work. Chem­istry be­tween the two of you is im­por­tant. Don’t pick any­one who is clingy. Choose some­one you like, but wouldn’t or­di­nar­ily date.

Here are a few guide­lines to bear in mind when de­cid­ing on whether or not to be­come a friend with ben­e­fits:

Mu­tual re­spect and hon­esty are a pre­req­ui­site for the friend­ship, with or with­out the sex.

Don’t be apolo­getic about want­ing sex.

There are no guar­an­tees. The ar­range­ment could come to an abrupt end should one of the friends meet some­one.

Be care­ful it does not mean more than what it is: sex.

Do not have sex with your friend if you are look­ing to be in a re­la­tion­ship.

Do not have sex with your friend if you have ro­man­tic feel­ings for him or her.

Do not have sex with your friend if you are un­able to sep­a­rate emo­tions from sex.

Re­la­tion­ships and emo­tions are fluid. Should you de­velop feel­ings for your friend, dis­cuss it with him or her be­fore go­ing for­ward with the ar­range­ment.

I know of two stud­ies that were con­ducted around this type of re­la­tion­ship.

Only about 10% of the af­fairs end up as monog­a­mous ro­man­tic re­la­tion­ships. Eighty per­cent of re­spon­dents said they felt closer to their friends after a friends-with­ben­e­fits re­la­tion­ship had ended, and less than 20% found that the re­la­tion­ship was strained.

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