In Defense of the Bed Buddy
With an increasing population of singles - 86 million and counting - who are marrying later or not marrying at all, Americans are spending the majority of their lives uncoupled. That adds up to a lot of folks looking for someone to hook up with. And for many, that someone is likely to be a friend.
For mature, experienced adults, who are able to disentangle their sexual needs from emotional needs, that can be healthy. Here's why.
The obvious draw is the idea of easy sex without the pressures and limitations of a relationship. There's one necessary key to this, though, and that's clarity. You both need to be honest that you're using each other (but in a good way), that you're not secretly hoping for more. No getting territorial or possessive when one of you is dating someone.
'Friends with benefits,' to use the parlance of the young, is often employed by people who don't have time for a real romance, but still want to get some action (without misleading dates and breaking hearts). You can get what you want - and not have to go through the charade of flirting, buying drinks, trying to figure out what each other wants. Remember though, that this isn't like ordering take-out. You don't get to be mad or get insistent if your bed buddy is busy or tired when you call.
You're not out to impress, or be impressed, and, because you're already friends, there's a level of physical and emotional comfort already there. That doesn't give you permission to get lazy - the goal is mutual satisfaction, remember? Beware though picking a friend you're too close and comfortable with. Some friends are better than others when it comes to changing the dynamic by sleeping together. If you're getting more-than-friendly with an acquaintance, rather than a close pal, it will be less painful to sever ties should things go sour.
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