“Sheldon [about Wolowitz and Leslie]: What exactly does that expression mean, “friends with benefits?” Does he provide her with health insurance?” ~ From The Big Bang Theory, Episode 2.21 – The Vegas Renormalization.
Lately, I have been thinking about friends with benefits relationships. I’m not sure what triggered such thoughts but they are here and they have been very interesting. I have been trying to wrap my head around the concept, to figure it out….
I found the following definition at about.com:
Friends with benefits refers to an agreement between two people who are both friends and physically attracted to one another to share a sexual relationship. Neither party is considered committed to the other, and both can start dating someone else at any time with prior warning. A friends with benefits arrangement is not considered dating, a relationship or even casual dating by most people who use the term.
My initial thoughts on the subject are that no strings attached sex must be nice. My only question is does this stuff work? At what point do you decide you are sexually attracted to your friend? At what point can you end such a relationship? Isn’t the pillow talk somewhat awkward? What do you talk about post-coitus? How do you let the other one know you are in the mood? Do you just call and say do you want to come quickly (excuse the pun)? What interested me the most about the definition was the fact that either party can date someone else “with prior warning.” That must make for some very interesting conversation.
“Please find herewith notice of the fact that i have met a potential mate with whom i wish to pursue a relationship. Accordingly, I am terminating our liaison… until further notice. Please note I reserve the right to renew the said liaison in the event that my new found relationship fails.”
Jokes aside, I did a little research to see what the views out there on the subject are.
Dr. John Grohol is the CEO and founder of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health and he says the following:
“… I also think it’s difficult for us, as humans, to separate sexuality from our emotions (even though it appears men are more able to do so than women). Even when men do so, I believe many do so only outwardly. Inside, perhaps unconsciously, they still feel the connection they’re making through sex.
Because sex is more than just a physical act of pleasure. It strips us, if just for a moment, of all of our social masks, and bares our physical desires (and some might argue, our souls) to the other person. While men may deny that happens, I can’t help but believe it does. Maybe not in everyone, but I think in more men than research shows.”
I am uncertain that I agree with the Doc. I think if we tell teenage girls that you can not make a person love you by sleeping with them then this argument is flawed. Having sex with a person does not mean you will fall in love with them. I imagine its the surrounding association that does. The friendship itself. Hanging out with person. Bonding with them. Most fatal of all, feeling good while doing it. This sort of association will no doubt come to a disastrous end when one party walks into the beneficial friendship with the hope that it may turn into something else and the other is pleased with the status quo.
In the end human relationships remain a mystery to us despite the countless books, movies, philosophies and theories the human race built up on the subject over the years. Despite all that, a regular supply of no strings attached sex with a friend would be nice….. just a thought #sigh.