Guide to Being Friends with Benefits

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PinkCherry Guide To Being Friends With Benefits


Your last serious relationship is in the rear-view mirror. You've moved on. You got your sexy back in the best way possible, and you might've already started having sex after the break-up. You're looking for something a little different, with no strings attached — and friends with benefits just may be the ticket.

This could mean having sex with a friend you've known for a while, or someone you've recently met. You might even consider being friends with benefits with...your ex. No matter who it is, we're not just talking about some simple rebound sex. This is someone you're getting down and dirty with on the reg, but aren't in a committed relationship with. Maybe you're just not ready for something serious, maybe you're looking to score, but what this means is that you want to get down with a "friend" — someone you're close to, but also find attractive. It might sound like the perfect scenario, and it can be great, but sex with friends is not without risks. Call it friends with benefits, call it a romantic friendship, call it an "f" buddy, call it whatever you want — just don't go into it unprepared. We've got some helpful tips to keep it fun and sexy.

The Friends with Benefits Basics

First of all, it's hard to create a friends with benefits situation out of thin air. It's much easier to go into it with someone you're already friends with — you've already established a connection and care about each other's feelings. That makes dealing with problems a lot smoother (and there's a good chance problems will arise in some form or another). 

Your "f" buddy could be someone you've met fairly recently but have a good rapport with. It doesn't have to be your longest, closest friend (in fact, it probably shouldn't be). It's just better to have sex with a friend you already care about on some level. Hitting up a rando online and saying, "Wanna be friends with benefits?" isn't going to lead down the path of success. 

It might not be necessary to label things right off the bat anyway — see what happens and evaluate it as it develops. But no matter what, you'll want to keep the "friends" aspects solid at all times and always check in with each other. If either person doesn't feel their needs are being met by the relationship, like if they need more emotional support or you want something more serious, end it immediately.

Trust and Communication Are Critical

This is why you need to maintain the friendship — you must be friends with benefits with someone you trust to ensure you don't hurt each other. Communication is key to this, as it is with most relationships. Both people need to clearly communicate their feelings, goals and expectations. Ideally, neither one should be interested in a serious relationship, and if that changes, it should be expressed. Always let the other person know if your feelings on anything are changing. Most friends with benefits relationships start by being purely physical, but many develop emotional intimacy over time. That doesn't mean you necessarily want things to get serious, but it could. Keeping the lines of communication open will avoid any potential problems, but it may require brutal honesty.

There Will Always Be Risks

Sex is an incredible physical release, but the rush of hormones you get can also make you feel bonded to someone. That's why in any friends with benefits scenario, the biggest risk is always someone catching feelings and wanting it to become more serious. If the other person doesn't feel that way, it's going to cause pain. The only way friends with benefits will be successful is if the situation BENEFITS both parties equally. You both have to be getting exactly what you want out of it.

Both People Must Be on the Same Page

Since you both have to benefit from your arrangement, you need to always be on the same page about every aspect of it. Having sex with a friend you care for will likely lead to an increase in trust, intimacy, emotional connection and familiarity — all of which can make things tricky. If your communication is open, you can bring up these feelings as they develop and evaluate the situation. You can't keep things going just because you don't want to jeopardize the friendship. That's why you should be friends with benefits with someone you're close to, but don't want to be serious with — it's easier to be honest and end the sexual relationship if necessary.

That said, you can form a level of intimacy with someone and be friends with benefits on and off for a long time — provided you're both always on the same page and neither one feels the need for something serious to develop.

Establish Guidelines and Boundaries for Sex with Friends

Along with concepts of honesty and being on the same page, it's crucial to establish guidelines and boundaries as soon as you become friends with benefits (well, maybe not while you're still in bed naked). You both need to be comfortable with these rules, but open to compromise and discussion. Your expectations should also be the same — that is, neither one expects something serious to develop. When discussing this, be clear and non-judgmental — listen to your partner, but speak up for yourself. Here are some good questions to get the ball rolling:

  • Are we seeing other people, as well?
  • Do we have to tell each other if we're going out with or sleeping with someone else?
  • How often should we communicate?
  • Should we tell our mutual friends we're hooking up?
  • How often should we have sex?
  • What happens if someone starts to feel romantic?
  • Do you want to cuddle or sleep over?
  • Are booty calls okay?

Every friends with benefits situation is different, and you'll want to check in with each other regularly to ensure that you're both happy. You must know where to draw the lines. For instance, if you both want things to be strictly physical, you might decide that hanging out is off the table — even if you did so when you were just friends. Questions of cuddling and staying over are about acknowledging your comfort zone — both of you need to stay within those boundaries. While it will differ for everyone, here are some common guidelines that pop up in successful friends with benefits relationships:

  • Keep It Fun — If it stops being fun, it's done.
  • Use Protection Safe sex is important, especially if you're having sex with other people.
  • Be Open — Express your feelings if they change or if you start to feel for someone else.
  • Decide When It Ends — This type of relationship isn't meant to last forever, so talk about when you might stop having sex upfront (if someone catches feelings, starts seeing someone else seriously, etc.) so you can try to maintain the friendship.

None of these things will guarantee that you're in the clear, but having established guidelines will give you a better chance at successfully having sex with a friend.

Is Friends with Benefits a Good Idea?

If you're both careful and honest, and you establish strict boundaries and good communication, being friends with benefits can be healthy and rewarding. It's not a bad idea, but it's not easy, and the lines can blur quickly if you're not cautious. Complications and jealousy can creep in out of nowhere, and it's best to end it as soon as they do. Additionally, some people can start to feel shut off from the opportunity for a different, more serious relationship, which can make them feel held back — even though no strings are supposed to be attached.

If you're having sex with a friend you've known for a long time, it will likely change the dynamic completely. After all, once you've seen someone naked, you can't take it back! If the sex isn't good — or it doesn't feel right in some way — things can get awkward, making it quite difficult to go back to just hanging out socially. It can change how you see that person, especially if there's something kind of gross you just can't get out of your head. On the other hand, if the sex is fantastic, it might be hard to see them platonically. The dynamic can shift so much that being friends at all could be out of the question afterwards.

All that said, there are some immense advantages to having sex with friends if done right. You can reap all the exciting "benefits" of a relationship — sexual adventures, open conversations, tons of laughter — without any of the boring stuff that drags a committed relationship down. Plus, if you simply don't have time to date seriously — or don't want to if you've been through a bad break-up — friends with benefits can sometimes work better than a traditional relationship. You can release yourself from feelings of jealousy, ownership and judgement, which will allow you to be more sexually and emotionally honest and experimental. That freedom can open you up to trying things that you might've been embarrassed or uncomfortable doing before. Maybe you weren't into lingerie with your ex, but now you feel liberated enough to try on all kinds of sexy lingerie for your friend with benefits. Or, perhaps you've never really delved into kinky stuff for fear of judgment — now's the time to strap on a dildo to do some pegging if your buddy's into it. They certainly won't judge you since the relationship is all about sex anyway. Friends with benefits can lead to an overall higher sense of sexual liberation than a more committed relationship would.

Can You Be Friends with Benefits with Your Ex After a Break-Up?

If being friends with benefits is risky, this is a whole different can of worms. The temptation often exists, though, and it's easy to see why, especially if things ended amicably. It's comfortable and familiar, and your feelings don't vanish immediately when you break up with someone. Plus, there's almost certainly still a physical attraction. Maybe you didn't work emotionally, but you can reintroduce the physical aspect of your relationship?

However, just like the attraction doesn't go away, neither does the baggage. You'll be bringing all of your past into this situation. If someone suddenly wants to get back together, things will get really messy, making the break-up even harder to get over. You could also fall into a situation where you start as friends with benefits, but then you're "sort of together," and that's just an emotional crutch. Can you be friends with benefits with your ex? Sure, but it'll be incredibly hard and even more vital to maintain boundaries and communication, often leading to more drama than it's worth. And remember — this is never a way to "win someone back." Being friends with benefits is about sex, and that alone is not a foundation for a serious relationship.

We Can Spice Up Sex with Friends

PinkCherry is your friend, and we've got plenty of benefits to offer. Whether you're trying out a friends with benefits relationship for the first time or you've been having sex with a friend for years on and off, we can make things even sexier. Our selection of sex toys is filled with tantalizing treats to make things extra friendly in the bedroom, from vibrators to male masturbators and more. You'll thank us for being a friend!


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