Sexy Time: FWBs can be a stepping stone or just a liberating experience

Nothing says “you’re my best  friend” like an orgasm with no obligations. For people looking  for a no-strings-attached casual  sexual relationship, friends with  benefits seems the way to go.
Relationships, like professional tennis, require a lot of energy from both people, as well as pretty outfits. For college students trying to balance school, social lives and  jobs, they simply don’t have time  to play the relationship game. Friends with benefits ensures that  both academic and sexual needs  are met and allows each person the freedom to do their own  thing. However, sex can make any  relationship messy. If a student  doesn’t have time to participate in  a relationship, do they really have  the time to pick up the pieces of one? Does friends with benefits really work?
Having a friend with benefits  can be a freeing, gratifying  experience. You get stuff done,  and stuff gets done to you. In my interviews with Florida Gulf Coast University students, the response  to friends with benefits has been  overwhelmingly positive. Being  in a relationship can be draining  and stressful. You have to put the  other person first and give away  parts of yourself, whether it be money or values that money can’t  buy. Having a friend with benefits  gives you an opportunity to really  let loose and have some fun. As opposed to learning how to please someone else, you learn new things  about yourself and what you like. Like going  to a sexual  tutor, a  friend with  benefits  shows you  new tricks  that will wow  your future  partner. You don’t have to stay and cuddle after sex, but if it’s good you  may high-five.
A friend with benefits  may also be  more open  to new kinks  or positions  that someone  you are  committed to is inhibited or  unwilling to try. However, as with  all sexual relationships, there  is the chance that your friend with benefits could leave you for  someone else, or worse: You could  develop unreciprocated feelings for them. Oxytocin is a chemical  released in orgasm that promotes bonding. While this may have been  a useful evolutionary tool for our  ancestors, it can be a drug that ties two unlikely people together and gives the  illusion of love. To sleep with someone for sexual release can  be psychologically dangerous if you don’t know what you truly want.
The biggest  problem of the  friend with  benefits is poor  communication. In college, a time  when we don’t  know what we’re  going to be doing  next week, it is  perfectly normal  to not know who  you are dating.  If your relationship status is  unknown with your significant  other, the best thing to do is to ask,  or, like fourth graders studying for the FCAT, look for context clues.  Are you talking a lot? Do they do  things with you  that do not involve  condoms or lube?  Do they do things  for you, like walk  your dog or make  you call them  when you land  at the airport?  Unlike dating, a friend with benefits involves few sentiments. If  you are going to have a friend with  benefits you, need to make it clear  what you want; and if the other  person develops feelings for you,  have the decency to walk away.
To make your casual relationship clear, the time spent  with your friend with benefits  should be in a bed. This means no going as dates to weddings or  baptisms. Got the hots for that  eccentric lady who always brings  a watermelon to class? Go for it, stud!
Your friends never have  to know. Being with your friend  with benefits should be as easy  as stealing a mood ring – and just  as thrilling. Usually, you see your  friend with benefits at night, like  when you’re looking inside the  fridge at 2 a.m. for some leftover  pizza. You should never give gifts,  as a present can be misleading.
The most important friend with  benefits rule is not to get attached  – so don’t hookup with a Clingy Candace or a Depressed Daryl.  These people don’t have a lot going  on and are more likely to get hurt. This person should know that you  have tattoos, but they should not  know what they mean to you. They certainly shouldn’t have been there  holding your hand. You also should  never have sex with someone with whom you have a previous emotional history.
In many ways, a friend with  benefits can be a stepping stone to  making a commitment and having  a relationship. It all depends on  what each person wants. After all, good relationships and great sex  come from communication and freedom.