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Sex With Friends

Games are fun...

Games are fun…

There’s something uniquely reassuring in the comfort of Sex With Friends [trademark pending?].

There is a different sort of intimacy that comes out of camaraderie. You know each other in ways distinct from someone you’re dating or romantically interested in. There is less rose-tinted idealizing. I might admire a friend, but I don’t put them on a pedestal. So in a way, it’s a much more honest relationship. And with that honesty comes a clarity of experience that is exclusive to Sex With Friends.

But maybe it’s just me.

I'd say this is far more convoluted.

I’d say this is far more convoluted.

Reactions to the topic have been stupid funny. Even if inexperienced in platonic explorations of sex, everyone has an opinion. [It’s one of the few things you can knock without trying, if it’s to admit that you wouldn’t be able to handle it. But please hold the judgement of others.] One friend says it would make her feel too self-concious around them after. No matter how solid the friendship, going out with the group later would be a new level of uncomfortable. Her mind wouldn’t be able to get past the “I’ve seen you naked, and you did things to me.”

Don’t get me wrong, it’s definitely happened to me. [And my mind never stops thinking about it, giggling in some dark corner of itself.] I have had more than my share of awkward social gatherings. I would hook-up with a friend and have to pretend like nothing had happened the next day. Blushes occur, and eye contact may weigh loaded and infrequent. The thing about Sex With Friends is that it isn’t dating. You’re just friends. And friends accept each new experience as they come.

It’s up to each pair whether they’re open to others knowing about their bedroom [out-of-bedroom?] activities, or not. Everyone’s unique. I’ve had deals where one group of friends were rather incestuous and no one minded. It was a specific situation in our grouplife, and we were all aware of what was happening. Then there have been times when a friend and I would hang out normally, and more-than-friendly things happened. As far as the world was concerned, we just watched TV like we did every Thursday; only we knew. Some friends don’t care if others know, and some want others to mind their own fucking business.

uBcyzCollege sees the worst sides of Sex With Friends. Adina puts it well: “It’s fun, but it’s dangerous.” Our Hook-Up Generation has a particularly terrible aspect: it conditions us to treat sex with an overly casual attitude. It can range from simply dismissive to surprisingly disrespectful, and young adults can be too underdeveloped to handle the fallout. I personally reached a point where thoughtless gossip and crass attitudes became too much, and pulled back from it all. It was emotionally damaging, because the snide comments and judgemental jokes didn’t come from random strangers or social enemies– they were spoken by friends. And during such a fragile developmental period of life as college, when you’re still learning what life is and how to deal with it, these incidents can be particularly harmful.

Such circumstances arise when people treat Sex With Friends without sensitivity. Just because the relationship lacks romance, doesn’t mean it lacks emotion. Sex is a profoundly intimate act, and should be treated with respect. You are engaging in one of life’s most penetrating experiences; anyone claiming to have sex without emotion is dead inside. [Seriously: a sociopath or zombie, but needing therapy either way.] Even if the emotion is as light-hearted as dopamine-fueled happiness or oxytocin-powered trust– the reactions are there and biologically proven. So I hold issue with people who say friends-with-benefits means sex without emotion. If it’s without emotion, it’s just fuck buddies. [See full definitions here.] Sex With Friends definitely has emotion– they’re just not romantic ones. They’re platonic, they’re sexual, they’re genuine affection. I can appreciate a friend’s sexuality, attractiveness, and fun without being starry-eyed. And I can definitely appreciate that special trick they do without wanting to be their girlfriend.


“It’s a good idea, until it’s not.”

Then there is the situation where one of the two grow more than platonic feelings, and everything goes to shit. Someone forgets that it isn’t dating. They start to take the little compliments as an intent to woo, when it’s really just a friend telling you your eyes are pretty, or they like how you do that one thing with your mouth. Suddenly the little moments become charged, and eggshells are required for walking. I recommend cutting it off immediately. Talking is necessary to make sure the air is cleared between the two of you, or you’ll never return to the friendship you had before. Note: the friendship will never be like before. Be real, you’ve done dirty things together. But it can go back to something good, if you’re up front and honest.

This is the crucial moment where most pairs fuck it up and ruin what they once had. If you are unable to talk about difficult emotions/sexual issues and don’t want to lose a friend, please never engage in Sex With Friends in the first place. Because you will fuck it up. And you will never stop regretting being such a royal fuckup. In your defense, most people are just like you. Not many are evolved or open-minded enough. So don’t even go there; you can’t handle it. Just keep it in your pants and fantasies, where it belongs.

I maintain the benefits of Sex With Friends. As a more experienced adult, I can maturely decide on the potential for fun or fallout. Unlike college, I am now much more proficient. Since joining the real world, I’ve played the game a number of times, and had plenty of fun winning. Mostly chosen for pure enjoyment, once for the solace of distraction, I discerned the value of each worthwhile. They were fun while we played, each ended amicably, and they are still in my life as good friends.

And in a city where we are all racing about our hectic professions and lives with rarely a minute to spare for groceries or the gym, let alone the effort and mess of dating… Well, enhancing your aptitude for Sex With Friends can easily make your life that much more fulfilled. If you can handle it.


4 thoughts on “Sex With Friends

  1. There are certainly other considerations when it comes to Sex With Friends (I assume all caps are necessary?). For example, because friends tend to all hang out in overlapping social circles, there’s a greater chance sleeping together is going to piss a 3rd party off.

    I remember back in college when I started, uh, not-really-dating-but-certainly-having-fun-with a girl who had previously dated a close friend of mine. He’d explicitly given me the green light, but then lo and behold, was none too happy with my newfound frolicks.

    Now, part of that comes down to knowing your friends. I should have realized the 3rd party in this case was just that sort of guy, and I never should have messed with it, permission or no. But the unfortunate fact is that Sex With Friends is more likely to ruffle feathers than random hookups, even if it isn’t a partner with the feathers so ruffled.

    Posted by Juzo | May 15, 2013, 10:38 pm
    • Oh, absolutely! There are inter-group politics that can definitely be riled up. And even if your chosen friend hadn’t previously been with another group member, your liaison could still cause trouble. What if someone else had feelings they hadn’t acted upon yet? Or the mere fact that the two of you are playing around in your free time now causes the others to treat you differently? Even the littlest things can alter a group dynamic, and sex isn’t a little thing.

      Bottom line: every friend, pair, and group are unique, so you’ve gotta take the individuals into consideration. Like I said, it’s something that requires and deserves forethought.

      But it can still be fun, if the circumstances are right.

      Thanks for the contribution, hope to hear more!

      Posted by Jules DC | May 15, 2013, 11:07 pm
  2. Timely and oh so true! I’ve been on all sides of these situations, and I can say with full certainty that Sex with Friends is way more fulfilling than I ever thought it could be. Since the basis of trust is already established, I’ve been able to explore a different side of a really good friend – and it’s clear to both of us that we are only just friends, and will only just be friends (we kind of tried to date in the past, and it just didn’t work for us. But the sex and intimacy is great.)

    The long and short of it is, hookups can be ridiculously damaging, and it takes true maturity and honesty to achieve Sex with Friends. Otherwise, someone is just going to get hurt.

    Posted by Karen | May 17, 2013, 12:06 am
    • Exactly! And there is a whole new perspective on sex and intimacy you can experience and learn from, coming from a friendship. It’s definitely not for everyone, or even most. But I’m glad it works for you!

      Posted by Jules DC | May 20, 2013, 4:13 pm

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