By: Frank Kermit, MA, CH
Sex between friends!
There are some different names this particular relationship structure goes by: Sex-friends, Sex-buddies, C.S.B.F. (casual sex between friends) are among the less vulgar terms. Virgins, or those people with just a little sexual experience, call them “practice partners”. The one that seems to be the most popular is F.W.B (friends with benefits). It really does seem like a good idea at the time. Neither of you are in serious relationships. You are both friends. You like each other…enough. You feel comfortable and trust each other. You are lonely, horny, curious or just bored. However, like any relationship structure, there are guidelines to follow and not managing your FWB well, will not only cost you the “benefits”, but could also cost you both the entire friendship.
A proper FWB relationship means you only see each other once a week. Twice a week on occasion if you plan a special getaway. One of the biggest mistakes that partners make in FWB is that they try to see each other as often as they can in a short time period. All this will do is confuse the issue. Seeing each other more than once a week is acting like a more serious relationship than it is, and can nurture romantic feelings. If you act like you are more than just a FWB, you can expect one or both partners to start feeling, wanting or expecting more from each other, even if you had “the talk”. (“The talk” is when you talk and both agree that this is just friends having sex, that it will not change anything in your friendship, and you both understand that this is not going to turn into a relationship. FYI: “The talk” does not work if you act like you are publicly dating regardless of what you agreed to in private before sex.) When you do see your FWB, make sure that it is never on Friday or Saturday nights, as those nights are best left reserved for family and social outings, where you are likely to meet someone that you can have more committed love relationship than that with a FWB.
It is key to remember that FWB is a time-limited affair. You are only together for as long as it takes for just one of you to meet, date and get serious enough with another person such that being FWB would become an act of infidelity to the new partner. Once your FWB finds someone new, or you do, you stop being FWB. If you have managed it well, you will hopefully still be friends. If you cannot wish your FWB to be able to find love and happiness with a potential soul mate that is not you, then be ethical and do not become FWB.
FWB is a discreet engagement. No one should ever know you even have a FWB. No one should ever be able to find out just by seeing the two of you together that you are being intimate when alone. When you and your FWB are in the same social circle and happen to be at the same party or social event, you behave like friends who are NOT sleeping together. FWB works behind closed doors when no one is looking. You do not hold hands, kiss or show romantic affection for each other in the presence of your other friends. If your FWB is talking with someone that could be a potential future date for him or her, you cannot express any jealousy. You are not in a public romantic relationship. You are having a private intimate exchange with someone that is a friend. To the rest of the world, you must present yourselves as nothing but friends. You do not “date” your FWB. You do not attend events with your FWB. You can meet up afterwards in secret, but again, keep your mouth shut, as no one should know your private business. In fact, you never even tell your FWB about your other FWB, nor should you ask whom else your FWB has as a FWB. For this reason, use protection and practice safe sex. There are many secrets you can share with friends, but who else is your FWB, and or whether or not you even have one, is not one of them.
Virgins can find lots of benefits as FWB. The opportunity to practice kissing, touching, being sexual, without the pressure of trying to get a partner to keep liking you, adding to that the comfort of being vulnerable with someone that is already deemed a friend has prompted many virgins to lose their virginities with FWB. At least that is the theory. Some people who lost their virginities as FWB feel it gave them the confidence they needed to take a chance on the future relationships they went into, while others regret not waiting as they wished they would have experienced their first times within relationships that were more meaningfully committed.
Be sure you know what you value. There are things you simply cannot take back.
Frank Kermit, MA, CH www.FrankTalks.com is a Dating-and-Relationship Coach, Certified Trauma Counselor and Certified Hypnotherapist working with singles and couples. He is an author, speaker, matchmaker and relationship columnist for The Suburban Newspaper Online Magazine, who appears regularly on Dr. Laurie Betito’s Passion on CJAD 800 AM, and other programs. Get Frank’s 13th ebook “Frank Talks: Articles” as a free gift when you sign up for www.FrankTalks.com/newsletter or call 514-680-3278.