Friends with benefits. The idea always seems good at first, as most of the worst ideas do. We all enter an FWB relationship thinking that we’ll be the ones that can actually make it work - that whatever happened to them would never happen to us. Until it does, and it always does. If maneuvered appropriately, an FWB relationship doesn’t have to end in the traditional ice cream binging, empty tissue box manner. If you can pull it off, a successful FWB comes with more benefits than the obvious. The pressure of a relationship is off, and you can use this opportunity to experiment and even get feedback. You can explore emotional and physical boundaries, and learn what works (and what should never be done again) in the bedroom.
I firmly believe that 99% of your potential success is attributed to what friend you choose. An FWB that stems from an existing close friendship is a recipe for disaster. For the most part, successful FWBs should really be labeled Associates With Benefits. The less you know about your partner, the better. Their mom probably shouldn’t know your name, and you shouldn’t be getting drinks on Friday night with their friends. The only time you should see each other on a Friday night is post-midnight until it's light out - if you’re cuddling in the morning and making each other eggs, you might as well put a ring on it. There’s a reason a one night stand isn’t called a sleepover.
When p.m. becomes a.m. and booty calls become breakfasts, you’re screwed (no pun intended). Given that no interfering external factors come into play, an FWB relationship usually ends in one of two ways. Friendship creates intimacy. Sex creates intimacy. Combine the two, and the result? More intimacy. The overlying issue is that the FWB definition varies from person to person. While some individuals decide to enter an FWB partnership to avoid the expectations and energy expended in a traditional relationship, others are interested in the reliability and support.
If you identify as a woman, it gets worse. Repeated studies have found that 75% of women are more likely to orgasm with a consistent partner than with a casual one night stand. The more frequently we have sex with the same individual, the larger amount of the happy chemicals are released. Men experience this as well, though to a significantly less extent. As a woman, if you’re not using a condom, STDs aren't the only risk. Male semen isn't composed solely of sperm; 97% of male ejaculate is biochemically designed to make women develop feelings of attachment. While 75% of men surveyed said it was easy to separate emotions from sex in an FWB relationship, 75% of women admitted that emotional involvement was inevitable. In other words, the negative stigma associated with the expectation for the girl catching feelings is hardly fair. If I were you, as a fellow woman, I’d run for the hills.
I’m not condemning FWBs. Lord knows I’ve had more than my share. More often than not, FWBs seem to be the college equivalent of a relationship. I just think that they should come with a warning label.