How To Be Friends with Benefits?
The term “friends with benefits” often denotes different things to different people. While some people see it as sex without commitment with a random partner, for others it is regular sex with a good friend. It could be a frequent lunch break arrangement between co-workers, or college mates who just like to ‘Netflix and chill’ after classes and during weekends. Former couples who decide to rekindle the sexual spark between them without any emotional investment also fall under this category. Either way, it involves sex without the romantic obligations of a regular relationship. The partners involved in a friend with benefits arrangement enjoy spending time together and being physically intimate with one another, but the relationship is simply no strings attached.
Becoming friends with benefits with a potential partner
Most times, a friend with benefits situation kicks off naturally, maybe after a random hookup. However, if you’re actively looking to kick-start one by yourself, you need to put some consideration into it. One non-negotiable condition is to pick someone who is available and emotionally stable. You should also try to get someone who has hooked up before or has had casual flings in the past. Even though it can be enticing, avoid entering this kind of relationship with someone you have a crush on or someone you’ve always wanted to date.
It also works to have the friends with benefits talk after you’ve had sex at least once to avoid uncomfortable situations. You shouldn’t assume you are on the same page with someone because you have had casual sex multiple times. Let the person know you are suggesting friend with benefits relationship or just casual sex.
Also, there is a reason why it’s called ‘friends with benefits,’ and not acquaintances with benefits.” Ensure your partner respects you and treats you as a person, not just something whose feelings don’t matter. Even though it isn’t a regular dating relationship, it would be nice to find someone with similar interests who can keep a good conversation and help you live your sexual fantasies. The relationship works out better when there is mutual respect with both partners who can separate their emotions from the arrangement and set boundaries when necessary.
Tips to make friends with benefits arrangement work
There is the risk of feeling used or unfulfilled in this kind of relationship without emotional attachments. In some cases, some people get into the friends with benefits situation and end up feeling like that is not what they want or get caught up in things. This section outlines important tips that can help you maintain a healthy FWB arrangement.
- Ensure you define the existing relationship: It is very important to define the existing relationship and ensure you are going into the FWB arrangement with the same expectations as your partner. This is to avoid issues that arise when one partner enters the arrangement with unrealistic expectations and unguided ambitions. Also, if you were friends before, consider whether the intimacy of sex will change anything about your friendship or make things awkward.
- Set the rules and boundaries: Both partners need to have a conversation to decide the ground rules before agreeing on this arrangement. Is cuddling an expectation? Will there be sleepovers or any other form of intimacy? This part of the relationship lays the foundation for a healthy arrangement as long as both partners agree to the conditions. Another issue that should be discussed is whether to keep stuff and which stuff can be left at the other person’s place. If you both think leaving some personal items like a toothbrush and few clothes is fine, then you can go ahead. However, some people are not cool with this because it seems more intimate than what they are looking for in the FWB arrangement.
- Consider how to act around other people: You also need to set rules about acting around others, most especially when you have interconnected networks and mutual friends. Are you going to be mushy in front of them or keep the relationship on the hush-hush? These discussions will help avoid awkward situations where one partner wants to let everyone know everyone about the relationship while the other wants it to remain on the down-low.
- Talk about protection: The fear of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be a major dampener of great sexual relations. You should talk about the method of protection and contraception between both partners. It is also a good idea to discuss the frequency of tests for STIs even when you use protection.
- Talk about what happens when the arrangement ends: An FWB situation is usually a short-term arrangement and rarely lasts as long as conventional relationships. It is quite important to consider and talk about what happens after. It is worth noting that most people who were friends before the arrangement find out that they cannot go back to being just friends after it ends. In addition to that, be prepared for the next step if you or your partner meets someone else during the FWB relationship. You need to consider if the feelings will be hurt if the one party ends the arrangement abruptly to start something new or more intimate with someone else.
- Check in with yourself and your partner regularly: Effective communication is very important in FWB. Regularly ask your partner if it is still working for them and constantly remind them that they can let you know if their feelings change or they lose interest. Also, ensure you don’t get hot and heavy, especially if your partner is still cool with the arrangement. Take some time to examine if the arrangement still works for you and if it is really what you want. Explore more commitment if the offer is on the table if you’ve started feeling more romantic emotions towards your partner.
- Have fun with it and experiment sexually: Friends with benefits arrangements let you experiment sex and sexuality with your partner. You can explore your sexual fantasies and use sex toys to spice up your sex life. Explore different sex styles and regular sex toys like dildos and vibrators to “play” with your friend.
The idea of having sex without commitment sounds very appealing, but you need to genuinely consider if it was made for you and your partner. Ensure that you set the rules before going in and keep communication lines open at all times.
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