Modern dating has changed significantly in recent years, as the era of digital communication has made it easier than ever to find fun, friendship and maybe more. And while FWB is not a new phenomenon, there is more potential for hooking up a FWB relationship.
Yes, a friends with benefits relationship is a real thing and is much more common than it used to be.
But what are the benefits of FWB relationships, and is it really all that it’s cracked up to be?
We’re going to dive into the world of booty calls, fuck buddies and the drawbacks and benefits relationships that a sexual but non-commital approach can bring.
What is FWB?
To put it succinctly, friends with benefits, or FWB, can be described as a relationship where two friends engage in sexual activities without the emotional entanglement or commitment usually associated with romantic relationships.
The theory is that a man and a woman (or sometimes same sex partners) can have a genuine friendship but with a casual connection based on sex.
The FWB situation should mean that the friends agree to hook up for sex on an ad-hoc basis, or perhaps when they’re horny or drunk, for example during the week or after a night out.
It’s like the perfect blend of camaraderie, sexual tension, and light-hearted fun, all without the emotional rollercoaster ride that comes with dating. And while this might appeal to commitment-phobes or people who like to live their life on the fly, it doesn’t suit everyone.
It’s like having your cake and eating it too – you derive pleasure from your bond and also from the physical intimacy.
Oh and you also need to remember that a friend with benefits relationship should be FUN. If it isn’t, then the benefits might not be worth it.
Want to date two or more people? Check our guide to polyamorous relationships.
Is Friends with Benefits also a Fuck Buddy or a Booty Call?
While these colloquial terms might seem interchangeable, they have nuanced differences that are important to distinguish. Friends with benefits normally implies that there is a deeper emotional connection beyond simply sex, but that the people involved can enjoy sex without romantic attraction.
Usually, an FWB (Friends with Benefits) scenario is where you’re in an authentic friendship with the person. You share common interests, hangout together, and genuinely enjoy each other’s company. The added exciting dimension is that you also share a sexual relationship, adding a thrilling twist to the usual “let’s grab a coffee” hangouts.
What is a Fuck Buddy?
A fuck buddy is an acquaintance or someone you casually know, with whom you engage in regular sexual activities. It’s a no strings attached setup that’s purely there to fulfil sexual desires. In most cases, a fuck buddy is someone who is not part of your social circle and is available on a mutual arrangement to enjoy casual sex .
Emotional attachment or any real commitment is a big no-no here. In fact, the whole point in a fuck buddy is that there are zero string attached and you can literally enjoy the sexual encounter and go your own way.
Find out how to ask a woman to hookup.
What is a Mistress?
The term mistress is usually used to refer to a female sexual partner who is not your wife or long term partner. Obviously you need to be either married or in a long term relationship to have a mistress. But they are often seen as an additional romantic relationship alongside your primary partner.
Mistresses are often seen as emotional support, and then soon become sexual companions too. Men usually cheat on their wives either because they are not enjoying the sexual activity that they’d like at home, or due to the fact that their sexual or emotional needs are not being met.
What is a Booty Call?
A booty call involves reaching out to someone specifically for sexual needs. This person might be your FWB, or it might be your fuck buddy. It’s usually a sporadic occurrence stemming from spur-of-the-moment urges and doesn’t require emotional investment, consistent communication, or even a genuine friendship.
People sometimes refer to their fuck buddy or FWB as their ‘booty call’. However, in theory the booty call is the act of calling someone for sex, rather than a sexual partner.
Does Friends with Benefits Mean Casual Sex?
In a nutshell, yes and no. A friends with benefits relationship certainly encompasses casual sex, but there are notable differences. The key is in the term itself: friends—with benefits. So, it’s essentially casual sex but with a friend.
The benefits of friends with benefits relationships can include:
- You get to enjoy a sexual relationship with someone you like without emotional baggage, expectations, or commitment.
- You get to explore your sexual boundaries, desires, and fantasies with a willing and trusted partner without fear of judgment or vulnerability.
- Open communication is a given as you’re friends and can frankly express your likes, dislikes and boundaries, unlike a fling where you might not be comfortable discussing your preferences.
- The risk of developing feelings is considerably lesser as both parties have mutually agreed to keep things casual.
- You possess the freedom to continue seeking other relationships, experiences, or even other friends with benefits if you wish.
What is the Downside to Friends with Benefits?
However, a friends with benefits relationship isn’t without its fair share of challenges. Some potential downsides include:
- With regular intimacy and affection, it’s easy for romantic feelings to develop, making it tricky to keep things strictly platonic/sexual.
- Setting and maintaining clear expectations can pose problems. Being clear about your desires and intentions right from the beginning is vital. And making sure they’re on the same page is also key to a healthy FWB relationship.
- Jealousy can creep in, especially when one of you begins dating, and it can cause a strain on the relaxed arrangement. This is a common problem with friends with benefits relationships, and one that needs to be emotionally managed before it happens.
- If the friends with benefits relationship does not work, it can get uncomfortable, leading to potential loss of the friendship altogether. This can also be awkward for the individuals involved and their social circle.
So yes, a fwb relationship can be a fun way to have non committal sex. But you do need to manage your emotional expectations and ensure that your partner has the same expectations and understands that the intimate relationship is separate from the social relationship.
Can You Break Up with Your FWB but Stay Friends?
When it comes to ending a FWB relationship, it can be tricky. Yes, many people do manage to remain friends even after the benefits have ended and their dating lives have moved on.
But ensuring that friends with benefits transitions smoothly to just friends, you do need to keep the conversation open and talk before it comes to that.
Here’s how you can land safely, preserving both your feelings and your existing friendship:
- Communicate Honestly: As in any relationship, honesty is crucial. Approach the conversation tactfully, expressing your intention to stop the FWB arrangement. It’s essential to also listen to their feelings and ensure a mutual understanding.
- Give Each Other Space: Post the talk, arrange for some distance to allow emotions to settle and to reestablish the boundaries of your relationship.
- Reestablish Your Friendship: Begin refocusing on mutual interests that initially constituted your friendship. Initiate hangout plans that don’t revolve around sex to enable transition into a non-romantic bond.
- Practice Empathy: Understand that this transition phase can be challenging. There might be lingering romantic and sexual feelings. Be patient, understanding, and empathetic during any awkward phases.
Remember also that a FWB relationship should be fun. That means that the two of you enjoy each others company and know how to enjoy sex without too much emotional baggage.
How to Find a FWB?
If you’re actively looking for a friends with benefits arrangement, it can be very hard to establish this type of sexual benefits relationship. Many people in FWB relationships have fallen into them as a consequence of past interactions and relationships.
But that being said, there are ways to find and nurture a friends with benefits relationship. Some common places to find these no strings attached relationships include:
- Ex-Partners: If you’re on good terms with an ex-partner and share an amicable relationship, you can always offer a friends with benefits relationship. The advantage here is that trust, compatibility, and a comfort level are already established. But be careful as the shared history means that there is more potential for jealousy or other complications.
- Online Dating Platforms: Online platforms can be a goldmine for finding individuals with similar interests. Be clear about your FWB intentions in your profile, mentioning that you’re looking for friendship and the potential for sex without the commitment. Having frank conversations with potential matches will save both parties from discomfort later.
- Occasional Sex Partners: If you have one or more casual sex partners, you might consider discussing the possibility of evolving into FWB. In this case, it is, however, imperative to be sure that they won’t develop romantic feelings.
- Social Circles and Events: Sometimes, you need not look beyond your social circle for a suitable FWB partner. But tread carefully, as it can lead to uncomfortable situations if your intentions are misunderstood.
Which are the Best Dating Platforms for FWBs
When it comes to finding a casual dating relationship, there are obviously lots of dating platforms available. While Tinder and Bumble get the attention, there are plenty of options where you can find a potential friends with benefits relationship.
The key on any dating platform is to make sure that the person can be a friend, and that they are comforable with an fwb relationship.
Our preferred online dating option for open, mature and sexy singles is definitely eHarmony.
The phenomenon of friends with benefits relationships provides an equitable solution for those longing for a personal connection and sexual excitement without the commitment and complications of a relationship.
Understanding its nuances and ensuring clear communication can make the journey a lot more enjoyable.