FAQs about friends with benefits

Being single has its benefits. You can date as many people as you like, you have no one to report to when you get home and perhaps best of all you can have sex with any number of people. While it may be fun at first, visiting bar after bar or soliciting sex online can get exhausting, not to mention the sketchy or dangerous encounters that may occur. One option many people turn to is to find a friend with benefits – someone with whom you routinely have sex, but without romantic attachments or obligations.

This method works very well for some people, but for others it can be disastrous. Below, we'll discuss some of the most common questions those considering such an arrangement may have.

Is it right for me?

The first step before trying out a regular bedroom pal is to decide if it's right for you. First and foremost, if you're the type of person who tends to get jealous quickly, you should probably consider an alternate route. It's possible that the partner you choose will have other "special friends" as well, and if that thought irritates you, then you may want to look for boyfriend or girlfriend material instead. This is also the reason that practicing safe sex is important – you need to protect yourself from any sexually transmitted infections your buddy may pick up elsewhere.

Additionally, if you know you quickly form emotional attachments after sex, then you may be putting yourself on the road to disaster by choosing to have a friend with privileges. Remember, part of the definition of the practice is avoiding romantic feelings, and if that's to be inevitable, then stick to the one-time encounters until you find something more permanent.

Where can I find my buddy?

Once you've decided to go for it, the next step is finding the right person. Though the term includes the word "friends," it's not always wise to tap your own social group for this endeavor. Remember, if things don't go well, it may be difficult to keep in contact with this person, so you don't want to jeopardize a friendship that is close to your heart.

Instead, consider acquaintances with whom you have some social distance, but who are attractive to you. If you can't think of anyone in your daily life, it may be time to turn to previous hookups. Have you had a one night stand that was particularly enjoyable? Perhaps you went on a date with someone who didn't share much chemistry, but was a firecracker in the sack. Whip out the cell phone and check your list of previous sexual conquests – one of them may be perfect for the regular booty call.

How can I make sure this doesn't end in disaster?

Even for the most emotionally detached, sexually open person, feelings may develop or things may turn sour. One way to make sure the casual relationship doesn't blow up in your face is regularly talking about sex, emotions and desires with your counterpart. If you feel romantic emotions beginning to form, or you sense them in your partner, confront it head on. Don't be offended if they find another partner and want to become monogamous with him or her – after all, friends with benefits are temporary arrangements in most cases. Lay out the parameters of the relationship from the start, and discuss any alterations you may need to make – including calling it quits.

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