Friends with Benefits (I've got a long post, if size matters to you...)
Friends with Benefits. Remember the term? I can think back to high school for the first time I ever heard it. Back then, friends with benefits meant that you had a friend who you weren't dating that you would hook up with. Although at that time in life hooking up sometimes just meant making out.
Nowadays people who aren't in relationships will sometimes take lovers (I actually prefer the term luva, wink wink)... or F-Buddies... Whatever term you may wish to use, you get the gist:
I have a few thoughts, which stemmed from a recent conversation, on this topic. I'm sure most people do.
First of all most (single) guys I know go out trying to get laid. They have fun with their friends and get wasted in the mean time, but are always on the look out for an easy lay. (I'm well aware that some of our readers may not be this way though.) When I go out with my girls, we go out to get drunk and have fun with each other. Perhaps we occasionally look for some harmless flirting with a hottie... every once in a while there may be a little making out at the end of the night... but that's it.
And if anyone even tries to say that it's because guys have a stronger sex drive than women, I can tell you right now that you're wrong. I believe that (for the most part) it's because women have had it drilled in their heads that, while it's normal for guys to go out on sexual conquests, when women sleep around they're sluts. Logically, I know that this is a ridiculous double standard, but emotionally I tend to believe it. I don't really judge my guy friends for taking girls home, (ok maybe I roll my eyes at them and tell them that they're pigs) but I certainly judge the girls who go home with them.
And I also look at it from this angle as well (not that I think it's fair). While most girls assume that the guys that they date have been with tons of women, most of the guys I know wouldn't want to date a girl who's slept with a lot of people. This puts women (unless they are the morally casual girls going home with my friends) in the unfortunate position of not having sex unless in relationships. And this brings me back to the "friends with benefits" type of situation that I began the post with.
While I do think poorly of women who sleep around, if you're a young woman who isn't looking for a relationship and you take one luva to keep around, I don't see anything wrong with it. This is not to say that it is something that I'd do. But it's just what I think.
So then you break it down further. You may decide to start hooking up with someone, but whom do you choose? The ex or a friend? (because I think a random should be completely out of the question.)
The Ex Factor (yes, it is a Sex and the City title). It could be amazing because, most likely, you already know what the other likes; it's familiar territory. It won't be awkward, you've already seen each other naked and there probably won't be any fumbling moments because you've already got your pattern down pat. HOWEVER, personally I think this could be tricky to do with out feelings getting hurt. Think about it, if you once were in a relationship with them, you once held (probably) strong feelings for them which can come back easily and confuse things. So there are bound to be feelings involved here. And even if those are ignored, what about when one is ready to move on to something with someone else? Or if the physical spark fizzles on one side but not the other? If you're not very careful, you could hurt someone that you care about. I'm not knocking it, I'm just saying that it's something you should be careful with.
And then there's the friendly hook up. Perhaps you decide to pass some sexual time with someone who's only just been your friend in the past. It could be great... Think about it... Sexual inhibitions could fall away because you know they're your friend and (hopefully) not judging you. You can have fun and be totally playful. And afterwards you can go right back to watching TV together or playing drinking games or whatever. If you wake up next to each other in the morning, you can laugh about it. And then think about doing it again for good measure ;) At the same time, there could be an adjustment period while you learn what the other likes... what if you're unlucky and don't match well sexually?? And you have to wonder, if you have a great friendship to begin with, will it ever really be the same if you take that sexual dip together? And the same thing as with an ex, what if one wants out first... How do you end it with out someone getting hurt?
And in either case, either an ex or a friend, what if one person secretly is hoping for more than just a hook up... It's not that they're being dishonest to you on purpose - more that they're lying to themselves about being fine with it just being a physical thing. A slippery little slope that you have to watch for here.
At the same time, what if you go on a date while you have a luva? Do you break it off with your "special friend" or wait until you see a possibility of something more serious with whom you're dating? Would you ever let somebody kiss you goodnight knowing that you are still hooking up with someone else? (Personally, there's no way that I would.)
Finally, I have to wonder... Could a physical relationship equal better sex? No strings attached = no inhibitions? Or is the emotional pull that you feel for someone that you're in a relationship with necessary to make the best love?
And again, let me just reiterate that these are just thoughts in my head. Not about myself in particular but about the topic in general.