Friends with benefits, or whatever you choose to call it, using a friend strictly for sex has been explored both in real life and in the movies—most notably through the flicks Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached.
Having a ‘friend with benefits’ can be useful in this day and age, where being single is tougher than ever. Sometimes you get lonely and searching for a casual, no-strings-attached hookup is oftentimes similar to navigating through a field of land mines, with the threat of hooking up with creeps being possible at every step.
This is where having a friend with benefits comes in. You trust each other, use one another for sex, create your own rules—and it’s all done with zero commitment.
Here, a look at 15 awesome reasons to get between the sheets and indulge in a friend with benefits.
15 Sex is healthy, according to science
Yet another reason to love science (and sex). According to YourTango, sex reduces chronic pain, lowers the risk of breast cancer and keeps your cardiovascular system healthy through its heart-pumping workouts.
A study done by Beverly Whipple, a professor at Rutgers University, found that when women had an orgasm, “the pain tolerance threshold and pain detection threshold increased significantly by 74.6 percent and 106.7 percent respectively.”
Let the numbers speak for themselves: kissing burns 68 calories per hour, undressing burns 8+ calories and having sex burns approximately 144+ calories per half-hour.
14 You trust them
The word friend is right there in the term, friends with benefits,—and for good reason, as this person may be someone you know well and trust. They could be an old friend, an acquaintance, a former flame or someone you just met yet felt an instant sexual attraction with.
Either way, trust is an essential ingredient to the success of this type of relationship. It ensures that both partners feel at ease in trying new things, keeping your arrangement secret or being open in communication when needed.
13 Make your own rules
Relationships are known for being conventional. Most begin with a few typical dinner and movie dates, only to evolve into marriage, kids and a white-picket fence a few years later.
That isn’t the case with a friends with benefits relationship. Instead, the rules are up to those creating them. Common rules that are laid out include deciding when and how often to get together, the plan for what happens if feelings turn serious and if the arrangement is exclusive or not.
12 Sex reduces stress
Having sex isn’t just good for your physical health—it also benefits your mental health by releasing those feel-good hormones.
During sex, several endorphins are released (similar to those released during exercise). This, along with an orgasm, keeps stress at bay and makes you feel more at ease. The hormones found in semen also have something to do with how you feel. According to Medical Daily, these hormones reduce depression, as evidence has shown that the vagina absorbs it into the bloodstream within a few hours of sex.
The thought of living out our wildest sexual fantasies sounds more appealing to do with a trusted friend, compared to, say, the man you hope to spend the rest of your life with.
This is where experimenting comes in as it creates the ability to gain more knowledge about sex, fine-tune what you do and don’t like and have lots of fun in the process. It also helps in communication as you learn to be open about sharing your sexual fantasies—something that many people tend to shy away from.
10 Can leave your emotions out of it
Emotions play a big-time role in serious relationships. You worry about getting hurt, about hurting the other person and wonder endlessly where the relationship is going and if it will end with a proposal.
This emotional rollercoaster is often a non-missed component in a friends with benefits relationship. Instead, it’s based strictly on sex. You can still flirt with others without worrying about hurting the other person’s feelings and its not uncommon to make a clean break if things are no longer compatible.
9 Get it out of your system
Having a friend with benefits, often means that you are casually hooking up with one person. This is good news for those partaking in it and, sadly, bad news for those sticking to one-night stands as a study reported that people who had more sexual partners went on to have unhappier marriages.
The study was done by two University of Denver professors, Galena K Rhoades and Scott M. Stanley, as part of the National Marriage Project. They looked at relationship data of 1,000 unmarried Americans from the ages of 18 to 34, which was collected from 2007 to 2008. After the following five years, 418 participants of the study got married.
The researchers looked at the data closely to find that 23 percent of those who reported only having sex with their spouse before getting married reported happier marriages, as compared to those who had multiple sexual partners. This is good news for those in a friends with benefits relationship as they often only share each other as sexual partners for a certain amount of time.
8 It can lead to love
Like most romantic comedies, Friends With Benefits and No Strings Attached, provided viewers a picture-perfect ending as the friends in both movies ended up falling in love and giving a real relationship a try.
While Hollywood can’t certainly be looked at as a place for dating lessons, it is likely that two people casually hooking up will fall in love or spark up similar serious feelings. The evidence speaks for itself as a study done by the University of Iowa found that a large percentage of relationships began with nonromantic sex. Turning it into something more involves open communication and the willingness of both partners to be all-in in giving it a try.
The ‘no strings attached’ part of a casual hook-up relationship is undeniably one of the biggest perks. As you’re not in a relationship with the person, you still maintain the single freedom that many envy. There’s no checking-in with them during a night out with the girls, no thinking twice about flirting with the guy offering to buy you a drink or considering how they’d feel if you went home with him.
6 Steady sex
For many people, the word ‘marriage’ brings about the fear of non-existent sex. Yet, it has been found that having a ‘sexless marriage’ is quite common.
Those in a friends with benefits arrangement can reap the benefits of not having to worry about this. There isn't kids or shared money stresses and other worries to bring libidos down. Instead, having this sort of arrangement helps ensure steady sex as the nature of the relationship is based on using one another for sex.
5 You get the best of both worlds
Mixing friends with sex seems like a dangerous combination— especially if things go south. But you get to experience the best of both worlds: having a best friend and a partner for sex. This can make things feel natural instead of awkward, as you may know the person well beforehand. As well, since most one night stands can involve a lot of drunk fumbling around, trying to figure out what each other likes, a friend with benefits will already be privy to these sorts of things, thus making sex easy, fun and much more uncomplicated.
4 Save on costs
Dating and relationships in general can put major stresses on a person’s wallet. There’s buying flowers, new clothes, dinner date costs and buying extravagant presents to impress the other person. All this adds up, as Forbes magazine found that the cost of being married is far steeper than being single. This was due to the “honeymoon” phase being over and many couples shuffling out cash for major expenses like homes, cars, children, vacations, etc. A friends with benefits relationship on the other hand, is much more cost-effective. Not only that, but it frees up time to spend with friends and focus on other things.
3 Can skip the one-night stand guilt
Having a friend with benefits makes it so that you don’t have to dress quietly and sneak out the morning after. There’s no lingering guilt over just having a one-night stand and possibly never seeing that person again. Instead, you may find yourself cozying up to them in the morning, relishing in the guilt-free relationship you’ve developed. This helps as feelings of worthlessness, depression, guilt and regret are common after one-night stands. Not so glamorous.
2 No anniversaries to celebrate
The only date two people in a friends with benefits relationship may have is one between the sheets. This differs greatly from those in relationships who may celebrate every anniversary under the sun, from their first time meeting to the infamous six-month mark.
All this can equal up to an extravagant and expensive affair, which usually involves reservations at a fancy restaurant, pulling the tags off a new dress and making sure to pick up the perfect present.
It can be sweet for those who enjoy that sort of thing, but not every person does as anniversaries can quickly become a hassle. A casual relationship removes the need for all this, making it so that frivolous celebrations like this aren’t even discussed.
1 No post-breakup awkwardness
The ending of a typical relationship often includes any or all of the following: tears, lots of yelling, painful insults, personal items being thrown out of windows onto lawns and so on. The same doesn’t necessarily exist in a friends with benefits arrangement. If things end, there is the risk for a friendship to be damaged, yet it’s easier to end things on a rather good note in a relationship sense.
Since emotions didn’t play a large role (hopefully), there’s no moping around for weeks, crying at sad movies or hitting the bottom of another ice cream jug. In other words, a clean break is possible with none of that post-breakup awkwardness.