Friends With Benefits – How To Make It Work
In my junior year of college, a lot of weird things happened. And by weird things I mean, the people I was hooking up with started to intersect at startling rates with the people who were in my friend group. And then, pretty soon, all of my friends began hooking up with each other. Chalk it up to being at a small liberal arts college where the pickings are slim, or being queer and/or heteroflexible, and therefore being able to see each other in a sexual way, a lot of my friends became friends with benefits. It sort of became a situation that could have destroyed our friendships and left all of us hating each other, but somehow we navigated it without too much drama.
How did we make maintain the integrity of our squad, while also making out pretty regularly?
1. If you’re going to be hooking up with a friend, you should probably make sure you’re on the same page. Sure, some of these hook ups were the product of drunk decisions, but having follow up conversations about our feelings (whether we had them or not) helped ease any tension and kept our friendship strong and intact.
2. I also always made sure to give the friends I hooked up with space. Just because we were having sex, didn’t mean that we needed to spend time together 24/7, and since no one was attempting to change the nature of our relationships, it kept things casual.
3. All of us made a point to keep jealousy at bay by understanding that even if we had love for each other, and provided each other with emotional support as friends, nobody was really ready (or trying to) have relationships with each other at that time. If that changed for the person I was hooking up with and not me, I would take sex off the table, since I could no longer meet their expectations or needs.
The truth is, having sex with someone who is your friend can actually be very rewarding as long as you stay up front and honest about your feelings and expectations. That’s because having sex with someone who you trust and are comfortable with is easy and just seems like second nature. A feeling that was a stark contrast from the ones I got from hooking up with randos. Either way, whether you decide consciously that hooking up with friends is something you want to do, or if it just ends up happening, remember that being honest and open can help you navigate the relationship, and most importantly, stay friends.