Lance turned me on to this article on askdanandjennifer.com about friends with benefits (aka “Fuck Buddies”), and as is so often the case, we couldn’t resist the allure of our two cents on the issue. The article claims that women are more likely to get emotionally attached and want more from the relationship; while this is certainly a possibility, I have to say that it hasn’t been my experience. In my time, I have noticed way more women open to the idea of FB-type relationships, while men tend to have a huge problem with it. In any case, here is my take on the conventional understandings of fuck buddies, and why I think those conventional understandings don’t quite hit the mark.
#1: Women Get Attached Too Easily
It appears scientifically verifiable that women’s bodies produce chemicals that form emotional attachment when they’re physically intimate with someone. However, I don’t understand using that fact to warn women away from participating in FB-type relationships. Presumably, the entire point of fuck buddies is that you already have an emotional attachment to that person, which means that you:
- Feel comfortable talking with them,
- Have flirted before and have physical chemistry, and
- Also have a much better idea of their recent sexual history/STD status.
This last one is especially important–there’s nothing wrong with casual sex with people you don’t know well, but you have to be that much more careful, especially if you’re a woman. In the case of FB, you’ve probably talked about your sexual histories while flirting (a great way to build sexual tension that tends to backfire in the context of traditional relationships). You also have mutual friends, which works as a nice background check. If this were really a person that you wanted to be in a relationship with, you would have tried that by now. To me, this means that the woman is just as uninterested in pursuing a committed, monogamous, romantic relationship as the man is.
The caveat: if you do want a romantic relationship with the person who approaches you, you should not take them up on their offer. Similarly, you should not approach someone you are romantically interested in with an offer to become FBs. This is where the potential to get hurt comes from, not from the FB system itself.