Friends With Benefits Is Fine By Me — As Long As You Follow These Ground Rules

Having a successful friendship with benefits is tough, and it’s not surprising that so few people can pull it off without at least one person in the arrangement getting hurt. What often makes the relationship fall apart is a lack of respect coming from at least one side. I really enjoy being in a casual sexual relationship with a friend, but if you can’t get these things through your head, it’s never going to work out:

  1. Sex is a big deal to me. It’s more than just a fun thing to do; it’s an exercise in trust. If I’m having sex with you, it means that I trust you, regardless of whether or not we’re actually dating. Don’t give me a reason not to.
  2. I’m not here to serve you. I’m not doing you any favors here, so don’t treat me like I owe you something. Just because we’re sleeping together doesn’t mean I’ll be at your constant beck and call, so if I don’t feel like hooking up one night, I expect you to accept that gracefully.
  3. It needs to be fun for me too. I’m doing this because I actually want to have a  no-strings-attached kind of situation in my life right now. This relationship we have going isn’t going to be all about you and your orgasm. The experience needs to be mutually enjoyable, or I’ll go back to watching funny movies and eating ice cream on my own.
  4. Don’t mess with my head. If we agree that this is going to be a friends with benefits situation, then I don’t expect to be treated like a girlfriend. I don’t want any sort of special treatment. When you bring me a coffee to my workplace “just because”, it’s not sweet — it’s confusing, and it makes me feel wonder what your intentions really are.
  5. Don’t try to get out of using protection. I’m really not going to get upset if I’m not the only sexual partner in your life, but I WILL get upset if you try to slip it in without a condom. Even if you say you’re clean or that I’m the only person you’re banging right now, my health is too important to me to take that risk. Either wrap it up, or GTFO.
  6. I deserve more than a booty call. First of all, I’m your friend and second of all, we’re both better than that. Planning out our rendez-vous shows that you respect my time. How would you feel if your friend always messaged you right before the party started? Even though we’re not in a romantic relationship, I expect to be treated as more than a last-minute thought.
  7. I expect to still be treated as your friend. I might not always be down for sex, and if that’s the case, I don’t want you to drop off the face of the Earth. We can (and should) hang out as friends while remaining fully clothed. I enjoy hooking up, but I don’t want that to be the only thing we do together.
  8. Don’t treat me like an object. Trust me, I’m totally fine with this arrangement, otherwise I would have never agreed to it. But being a FWB doesn’t mean that you can just use me as your own personal sex doll. What I like is important, too, and you’re out of your mind if you think you can unleash all your own sexual desires onto me without making sure I’m cool with them first.
  9. Keep it between us. If we’re going to do this, please respect my privacy. Our friends don’t need to know about what we have going on or the things I like in the sack. It’s none of their business, and although I’m no prude, I don’t need my sex life to be common knowledge among our mutual friends.
  10. Be honest with me. Really, I can handle it. Don’t be afraid to tell me about another girl you might be seeing. I enjoy sleeping with you, but I’d never want to stand in the way of someone you actually want to date. My feelings aren’t going to get hurt if you tell me you can’t do this anymore, but they will be hurt if you ghost me with no explanation. I’m still your friend, and I expect to be treated as such.
Jennifer is a playwright, dancer, and theatre nerd living in the big city of Toronto, Canada. She studied Creative Writing at Concordia University and works as a lifestyle writer who focuses on Health, B2B, Tech, Psychology, Science, Food Trends and Millennial Life. She's also a coreographer, playwright, and lyricist, with choreography credits for McMaster University’s “Spring Awakening,” “Roxanne” for the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, and “The Beaver Den” for The LOT, among others.

You can see more of her work on her Contently page and follow her on Instagram @jenniferenchin.