Girl Talk: Friends With Benefits Didn’t Work For Me
It was summer when Andrew and I met. He was a straight-edge hipster DJ—a slutty vegan in organic American Apparel underwear. We had sex the first night we met, the kind of sex that is so good it seems choreographed. The kind that reminds you what kissing is—all catching your heart and secret parts of yourself opening up.
I shouldn’t have left his bed. Maybe then we would have gotten it out of our systems, or gotten to really know each other. But instead I kissed him goodbye and said, “You are really fun. Text me if you want to do it again.” My heart fluttered—an angelfish gasping for air—and our game began.
See, in the classic f**k-buddy dance, one person has to play the detached counterpart while the other person, it seems, always wants more. It’s a relationship archetype—one that is inherently broken. F**k-buddies, too often, are in a relationship without communication, which will never work. Either you start talking and become something—monogamous or non — or you don’t and perpetually stay in limbo.
Txt msg 11.11.06: “Send pixxx and let’s have a threesome. call back. Andrew.”
Reply: “I want to go out dancing … did you have someone in mind?”
He wanted sex. I wanted all of him. So I went to his apartment in a matching Hello Kitty sailor themed bra and undies set and got f**ked with a banana. I came over in full lingerie and he wanted to do anal, since I never had. He didn’t have any lube. I bit his pillow and thought silently: Let me prove that I will do this for you. It was all part of the game—it was scary and hot and felt real.
To me, “I love you” means “I accept all of your parts, as they are.” But I was becoming obsessed. And obsession is the antithesis of love. It is the anti “I accept you as you are” because obsession accepts all—it is blind.
This is where I should have said to him, “Hey, I feel uncomfortable with this. I feel confused and hurt and crazy.” Instead, I entered his world with a plan, bent on convincing him I was his “perfect match.” I downloaded his music, went to his parties.
I learned that his friend, Will, lived in my apartment building. One night, Will, another guy and I got drunk. Will started to kiss me. I said no, then we’d kiss again for a bit and I’d decide again, no. The vodka made holes here, blacking out, coming to. His pants were off and he pulled out a condom. “No. No. Nonono.” But then, Will was on top of me. I remember, thinking, Just go with it, it’s already happening, then feeling angry and saying, “Asshole, why are you f**king me?”
I left Will’s, grabbing his jeans, thinking I wanted to take something from him. But I didn’t process it. The next day, I only thought, What would my next move with Andrew be?
Andrew became my main focus, and finally, it seemed to pay off. In Andrew’s bed, we kissed and cuddled and touched each other’s hair. But he became weird; he started asking me who else I had slept with—any of his friends?
The next weekend, at a club, Will came up to talk to Andrew and I. “Will is a date rapist,” I said, surprising myself, as though all the anger and hurt from that night months earlier just bubbled over. I was looking Will in the eye, sipping a vodka and soda through a straw.
But it was all okay because Andrew and I were going out dancing more, moving on heaven, our bodies buzzing on what was to come. “I love you,” Andrew said. “I love you!!!” he shouted in the street.
I was the exception to the f**k-buddy rule! I waited eight months, and now I had what I wanted.
We were going to start DJing together, but when I showed up to our first gig, Andrew seemed distant. Afterward back at his place, he told me: Will told Andrew I said no to using a condom, not to no to having sex with him. Andrew said coldly, “I can’t be with a liar.” Our game would not change. I was crushed by everything but I didn’t know how to respond.
Now I know this was part of the game. He couldn’t hear me.
I waited on Andrew. My heart open, able to be grabbed again like a goldfish. But when I almost drunkenly went home with him, things stopped. A guy friend stepped in, asking if I was okay. Andrew started fighting with him—“You’re just jealous I’m a better DJ.” I remember the sound of Andrew’s fist hitting his face. I felt frozen, suddenly sober. Someone broke them up as I turned and walked away.
I walked away, knowing I might drop my heart again. But it was up to me to catch it.
We all have the capacity to fall in love with someone who is bad for us. This is why serious relationships should be built on more than love—on support, respect, on intellect. But maybe that’s why these f**k-buddy interactions form. It’s people who aren’t healthy for us, who can’t be a potential partner … yet that magnetism is so strong, we go back. And maybe that’s why the f**k-buddy archetype is simply, f**ked. It’s the game of emotional push and pull, of non-communication, but also it’s the people we choose.