Friends With Benefits: Awesome When It Works, Even Though It Usually Doesn’t

Full Disclosure: I was asked by our sponsor to host a discussion where two bloggers provide the male – the uber masculine gentleman, ahem, cad behind The Superficial – and female perspectives – that would be moi – on having “friends with benefits.” (If you haven’t figured out what the movie is yet, here’s a hint: I would have sex with both of the stars and not just because I am a wee bit slutty.)Where to begin? Here are my feelings on “friends with benefits” summed up in two words: doesn’t work. Except when it does, which is rare, but not as unlikely as, say, me having sex with Ryan Gosling tonight. (Which, P.S., Ryan, if you’re reading, I am totally down for just sex if you ever want it, don’t worry about me getting attached, not gonna happen, I am SO not looking for anything serious like marriage and babies, totes swear!) So, it rarely works and when it does, it’s awesome. But the thing is, even when it doesn’t work, it can be kind of awesome too. To the point where, unless you are seriously mentally unstable, I would recommend everyone give it a shot at least once.

Now, the head penis over at The Superficial says that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were the first recorded case of FWB, but I would like to politely disagree. Anyone who has ever seen “Passion of the Christ” or “Jesus Christ Superstar” knows that despite his devotion to God, Jesus totally considered Mary Magdalene his boo. In fact, I am pretty sure that had the whole “hung on the cross” thing not happened, Jesus would have totally made Mary his official girlfriend. I’m kidding, sort of. My point is that the downfall of most FWB situations is that the relationship is not sustainable; feelings change and the arrangement evolves into something else, either A) a real relationship with, like, feelings and brunch and stuff, B) back to just being friends, or C) none of the above, but hopefully not mortal enemies. For a FWB relationship to work, it has to be kept short and sweet.

Unfortunately, I have never been able to perfectly execute the elusive FWB situation. In college, I started screwing this guy who was on the newspaper staff with me. It was fun until I fell in love with him and pushed him into oncoming traffic one drunken night when he refused to say he loved me back. Last year I got a little closer to doing FWB right, in that my emotions were completely detached from the person I was having sex with, except that detachment was based on the fact that I kind of, sort of hated him. There were benefits, but friendship? If you consider a “friend” to be someone whose personality and views on the world don’t make your skin crawl, then not so much.

The Superficial’s Dick-In-Charge has laid out some Pros and Cons of the FWB relationship and for the most part, I agree, especially with the fact that there’s one very big PRO and multiple CONS. If you’re someone who is into gambling, you would likely reason that entering into a FWB relationship is not worth the risk of failure, even though the lone Pro is oh so enticing — sex without obligation, oh my! (The Cons include the risk of contracting STDs, a baby in the belly, or, you know, feelings.) Except the pro is not even all that accurate. I hate to break the bad news, but sex with a FWB is not always so convenient; we’re still talking about two people with two separate lives coming together to have sex as one throbbing, sweaty unit. The Superficial gives the impression that a FWB always means having sex on a call, like ordering takeout, but that’s just not true.

The closest I’ve ever come to a fun, tension-free FWB relationship was about seven months ago. I starting making the beast with two backs (excuse my King Lear reference, just can’t help it) with a dude about four years younger than me who was still trying to make his frat boy-lifestyle happen post-college. He was fun, decent in bed, he didn’t annoy me, and he sometimes brought over Little Debbie snacks. An all-around beneficial relationship so far, right? Well, making plans to partake in the less-clothed benefits was never that easy. When I would booty call him, he was out with friends and nowhere near ready to call it a night. When he would booty call me, it was usually way too late because I’m an old lady and like to get my freak on before 1 a.m.

Honestly, it just became increasingly difficult to get together and you want to know why? When you’re in a FWB relationship, you just don’t care all that much about seeing the other person. Sure, sex would be nice, but if the timing doesn’t work out, no big deal, you can just masturbate. FWB not only takes two perfectly matched people who want the exact same thing from each other, but who also happen to have their schedules perfectly in sync. If you get all of that at once, you’re golden. (You’re also a pair of unicorns and I would like to keep you as pets!)

So, even though my FWB relationship fizzled, I gotta say, it was just what I needed at the time and it was worth the failure of all my previous attempts. It was fun while it lasted as any good FWB relationship should be. Just make sure it doesn’t last too long — and that it includes Little Debbie.

[The Superficial]

This post was sponsored by the film “Friends With Benefits,” starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, which opens July 22. However, the opinions expressed by the writer of this post are her own.

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