Can two people have sex and just be friends? Known as cut buddies, sneaky links, or friends with benefits– it’s an agreement between two people to have a sexual relationship while leaving feelings at the door. There’s an agreement not to expect anything other than sex.
These types of situation-ships usually lack mental and emotional commitment. They are also a stark difference from romantic and intimate ones and are known to be risky because one may become emotionally involved while the other does not. However, they can still be pleasurable and exciting.
Trying your hand at a sexual relationship with no strings attached may be feasible for some but not for others. According to U.K.-based dating and relationship expert Louise Ryan, a person needs to feel comfortable and confident in these setups. It’s not ideal for those that experience anxiety or develop feelings of rejection or emotions after being sexual with someone who may not want anything more.
While this isn’t a promotion of this type of lifestyle, people are going to live a life best for them, so why not offer an understanding of it and a few tips? Here are a few suggestions to keep a “friends with benefits” relationship going.
Get on the same page from jump.
Likely the most important tip. If sex is all you want, express that at the door and get a clear confirmation that the other person knows that’s what it is.
Set sexual boundaries.
Detail sexual expectations. There may be some hard nos on certain sex acts to help prevent emotional attachment— whether it be oral sex, kissing, choice of protection, etc.–there should be an agreement on what’s what. As well as a full disclosure of sexual health history, other partners, and contraceptive methods.
Don’t have expectations.
A person giving their body to someone can lead them to place certain expectations on the other. But if it’s agreed it’s just sex, then one shouldn’t expect “relationship” things like flowers or cooked meals.
Limit quality time.
This isn’t the time to be romantic. Setting outside of the bedroom boundaries can help eradicate what might lead to feelings. Think about what makes you fall in love. It’s probably not just sex but likely deep conversations, dates, and socializing with one another. Remember, if you’re sexually involved, there’s a physical attraction there, so it’s not uncommon for feelings to follow.
Remember, it’s not long-term.
Relationship experts suggest cutting off these types of relationships within three months. The longer it goes on the higher the likelihood of an emotional attachment. Maybe someone is doing it until they meet someone else or they don’t feel they’re ready to be mentally involved but still want physical pleasure. Whatever it is, discuss it and agree on when it will stop.
Keep your priorities together.
FWB is for sexual pleasure and whatever else having sex gives. The relationship isn’t meant to hold someone back from the real world or go after what they really want in a relationship. No one should settle if they decide they want more. Remember all the tips listed before.
Whether someone wants to continue living a life under the “FWB” conditions is solely up to them. But they should remember tip one, they signed up for a non-committal relationship. When or if it comes a time they find themselves wanting more, they can discuss it with their person or go find what they want in someone else.
Until then, have fun and be safe.