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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Relationships » The Friends w/Benefits Debate

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Author Topic: The Friends w/Benefits Debate
MapleJar
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It's just a moral dilemma I guess... My best guy friend and I are very close. It's very much a touchy feely friendship. We constantly hug and well to be honest, grope each other and hook up. I've given him oral sex on a few occasions.. hey it's kind of nasty but it makes him really happy, lol. We dated before and it didn't work out so he doesn't want us to risk hating each other by dating and breaking up again. Well the last time I was with him, the subject of sex came up. We didn't have any contraceptives so of course it was a complete no-go because I'm NOT getting pregnant while a teen thankyouverymuch... but now it makes me wonder. I definately have strong sexual feelings for him, and it is a situation of complete love and trust. He loves me very much and I love him and care for him and we trust each other completely... but we're not together. Is it wrong to sleep with just a friend?
Posts: 7 | From: quincy, ma usa | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
logic_grrl
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Personally, I don't think there's anything wrong with having sex with someone who's "just" a friend (as opposed to a monogamous boyfriend/girlfriend) - if that's what you both want and are comfortable with.

Obviously, if your personal moral beliefs say it's wrong (for example, if you believe you should only have sex in the context of romantic love or marriage), then you're not going to be comfortable with it, so you have to decide what's right for you.

If you're thinking about agreeing on a friends-with-benefits situation, it's important to communicate and make sure you both have the same expectations and are clear about what you want and don't want. For example, are you going to be non-monogamous? If one of you finds another partner, how will you handle that? Do you want this to be an on-going thing, or a one-off, or a "we'll try it and see how it goes" type of thing?

Since dating each other didn't work out, you also need to ask yourself if any of the factors that caused problems there might also cause problems in a friends-with-benefits situation. And, to be honest, sex can potentially cause awkwardness and complications in any relationship, so you need to be prepared to handle that possibility.


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Beppie
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Okay, there are a few issues here that need dealing with.

Firstly, no it is not wrong to sleep with just a friend IF both of you are comfortable with that, and if both of you are willing to handle the fact that it may involve feelings changing towards each other. While its not wrong, it can be very emotionally risky.

You say you've already started to explore sex with your friend, through oral sex. My concern here is that you say it is "nasty," but you do it because he enjoys it. Honey, PLEASE don't do anything sexual that you're uncomfortable with, just because you want to please another person. Caring about your partner's pleasure is great, but you have to care about your own too.

Here is an article about Oral Sex that you may like to read:
Mouthing Off On Oral Sex

Now, as for having intercourse, which is what I assume you meant by having sex: You already mentioned that you're concerned about safety, which is good to see, but if you want to avoid STDs as well as pregnancy that means using condoms, unless you've been monogamous for six months (and you clearly are not in a monogamous relationship with him) and have been tested twice for all STDs and STIs. The same goes for oral sex- to avoid picking up any nasties, use a condom, and have him use a dental dam if he performs oral sex on you.

Here's a few more articles to read:
Ready or Not? The Readiness Checklist
First Intercourse 101 Safe, Sound & Sexy A Safer Sex How-To

Lastly, I wonder, if, as you say, the two of you love each other and are sexually attracted to each other, why you don't feel that trying a monogamous relationship is an option? Certainly, monogamy is not the only option for you, and its not something you should do if it doesn't feel right for you, but if everything is as you say, then maybe its something worth trying. Many of the best relationships ever start out as friendships- friendship provides a good solid base for any relationship.


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-Jill
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http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum3/HTML/001777.html http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum3/HTML/001856.html http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/Forum3/HTML/001828.html

A few other threads on the subject.


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Beppie
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Mindmeld.
Posts: 2710 | From: Australia | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
celery
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I think 'Friend's with Benefits' are perfectly healthy, but it has to be something you and your mate have to have the same opinions on.

If you both don't want a relationship, and are both remotely having sex as close friends that's great, but my only worry is, is that one might want a relationship, and the other one won't and things might get messy.

My best friend has a guy that she has casual sex with occasionly, maybe a few times a week, and they are still friends, and nothing has really changed with them.

So if your decision is to have sex with this guy, go ahead, I don't think it's wrong, but it's not what everybody else thinks, it's what YOU think is right.


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Heather
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What I have to wonder when I hear that term and resulting discussions is when friendship becamme a small thing, as in "just friends."

It's HARD to be a real friend, and I hope that all our users here in sexual relationships have partners who very much ARE their friends. They may also have agreements attached to their relationships that tend to fall under what people thinnk of as romanttic relationships, but if your boyfriend or girlfirnd isn't also a very good friend, you're likely missing out.

I think the term doesn't express what young people really seem to mean when they use it (I say young people, because it's not a term that was used for the same sorts of relationships when I was a teen -- we didn't call it anything at all, really). Basically, you're not talking about "friends with benefits" (after all, friendship has plenty of benefits, and sex isn't really a "benefit"). You're asking about having casual sex, period, no? Which is fine if that's fine with you and your partner, and that's what you want, and you can do so responsbly, but why call it something else?

All of the pros and cons that go with casual sex come into play here, and all the same responsibilities that ANY sexual relationship entails also come into play.

If you aren't talking about casual sex, then it seems to me that you're talking about nonmonogamy. Again, being friends doesn't change what that is. Honestly, I just find it a lot easier to discuss issues like this outside the current terminology because it seems to try and cloak all the real issues, which doesn't make sense to me.

(Or maybe I'm just getting old -- the other day one of our users was talking about her "old" mother who was literally two years older than I am. Eeek!)

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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logic_grrl
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quote:
What I have to wonder when I hear that term and resulting discussions is when friendship
becamme a small thing, as in "just friends."

Yes, that usage bothers me as well. I know of so many friendships which seem to be much deeper and longer lasting than many of the "romantic" relationships I see around. And the strongest romantic relationships I know of are the ones where the people involved are also friends.

quote:
You're asking about having casual sex, period, no? Which is fine if that's fine with you and your partner, and that's what you want, and you can do so responsbly, but why call it something else?

I'm inclined to disagree, personally - I think that there's a difference between sex with someone who's a close friend, and sex with people who are strangers or merely acquaintances (which is what "casual sex" often seems to be used to imply). I'm not implying a moral difference, and in both cases you have to be prepared to deal with the situation and consequences responsibly. But the situations are different in some practical respects, and so I can see why a term like "friends with benefits" might be useful to describe the former.

Conversely, I think "friends with benefits" are in a different situation from, say, people who are non-monogamous but in a committed "couple" (girlfriend-boyfriend, boyfriend-boyfriend, or girlfriend-girlfriend) relationship.

At the moment, for example, I'm sexually involved with a very close friend of mine (someone who I hope will be a friend for the rest of my life, regardless of what happens sex-wise). We've both agreed that we don't want to be a "couple" (monogamous or not) at the moment. So "friends who also have sex" seems to be the most accurate description of the situation. Just calling it "casual sex" or "non-monogamy", although both terms apply, doesn't describe it so well.


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MapleJar
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I just wanted to say that I have AOL tell me every time someone replies so that I can read it. I appreciate this so much and it is giving me so much perspective. I have come to what I think to be my decision. I'm going to continue what is going on right now in terms of our hugginess(Yes I think I made that one up) I've decided not to sleep with my best friend, but for sort of a different reason. Here goes:
Until I am at the point where I can sit down with my mother and say, "Mom. I'm pregnant and going to have an abortion/put the baby up for adoption/marry the father" I have no business having sexual intercourse.

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"I'd rather a half hour of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special"
MEG


Posts: 7 | From: quincy, ma usa | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
logic_grrl
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That sounds like a decision you've put a lot of thought into - good for you .

But even if you are not going to have intercourse with your friend, from what you say you are already having sex with him. Oral sex is sex too, and carries all the risks (except pregnancy, obviously) of any other sort of sex. The same issues about "friends with benefits" still apply, even if you're not having intercourse.

So it's really important to be clear about what you want and don't want (I'd agree with Beppie's concerns about doing something you find "nasty" just to make someone else happy), and to practise safer sex and so on.


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Heather
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Logic, I can see the point that you're making, and I do see the difference. Food for thought, that.

I do know the term still rubs me the wrong way, though. Non-platonic friends? Friends and lovers? VERY close friends? Clearly my brain isn't up to thinking of better copy at the moment.

And "hugginess" is a lovely term, Maple. Most of us can likely use a little hugginess in our lives.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson


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phattygirl1589
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Hey, i think theres nothing wrong wit dat. It seems like you have a real tight realtionship wit him and it lookslike you already are boy freind and girlfreind. But some girls don't have that good of a realtionship with there boyfreinds and they have sex with them. So just beacause he's "just" a freind it dosen't matter. YOU GO GURl!!!!

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PHATTY GIRL


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tiredgirl1218
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So I guess I'm a little confused and not sure where to post this. Most of my relationship with my best friend falls under this. We've know each other for two years, the last year we got really close. Spent lots of time together, he's the only person who I've ever really opened up to. We started just playing around, nothing really serious. He kissed me once a few months ago, then told me that we should stay just friends. I said ok.
Things were awkward for a few days but we talked and worked thru it. Two months after that we talked again because it was obvious that I had/have feelings for him. He told me that he did want to be with me but didn't think it was a good idea. We decided that our friendship was way too important to both of us to mess it up, along with a few other reasons, nothing that I disagree with tho'.
That was fine, but things didn't change between us really. They actually seemed to get better. We were talking alot more about alot of things. Then nothing. I have barely heard from him in the past three weeks. It's like he has no time for me at all. Like I said, not sure this was the right place to post but I needed to vent a little and wasn't sure where else to put it.
Thanks for listening

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mnsouthpawjr
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If both of you are content with being best friends and being intimate then that's fine provided you've discussed the pros and cons of each.

I really wonder if you 2 are TRULY meant to be as a couple. You've tried it before and it failed but you care deeply about one another. I wonder if you 2 examine what caused to break up if that could get you back together as a couple. I'm sorry for pushing this but you'll never know unless you re-evalute it. My wife and I broke up 5 times within 2 years and we're extremely glad we finally didn't let each other run.


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vbchick
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i duno if anyone alreayd posted somthing like this.. but in a tiny way i kinda disagree about the friends with benefits i mean sex is somthing you do with someone you have sexual feelings towards. but it sounds like you guys are in a relationship but dont know it
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starlight23
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i have to say personally i couldnt' have a relationship like that, but i get attached easy and real jealous about stuff. two of my best friends do have a 'friends with benefits' type deal. it started back in 8th grade (we're gunna be seniors this year) and they would fool around on occasion, nothing serious, and never when either had a b/f or g/f, just inbetween. They've had alot of ups and downs, part because of this. everytime it happens it seems like one person wants more and the other doesn't. and then the next time its the other way around. but my friends and i all kinda think they're gunna end up together in the end (as long as he gets his act together but that's a whole other story...) they have that pact, 'if we both haven't gotten married by ___ age, then we'll marry each other' BUT anyway, what i'm saying is, i think its really important to know what you're getting into and what the other person expects from the relationship before anything takes place. but thats just me.
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