Friends with benefits possible?


Is it possible to be friends with benefits with a guy that I dated before and I thought I had very true feelings for? He says that he just wants to be friends, but we can still have sex if I want to. I want him to see me as more than a piece of ass! But, I am a very sexual person and I don't sleep around with random people. So, it seems like it might be a good idea, but I don't want to feel anything anymore if I continue to sleep with him. Do you think it's possible that he may eventually want me back?

Dear Reader,

A defining feature of a "friends with benefits" relationship is being able to have sexual encounters with someone without feeling emotionally or romantically attached, the way you would with a more committed partner. Not surprisingly, it can be difficult to have a purely sexual relationship with someone you still have strong feelings for or wish to get back together with. Sex has been known to stir up feelings and emotions, especially when the feelings for your sexual partner are already there.

Taking time to look at both sides of this complex situation is a great idea. Before you make a decision, consider what you want from your relationship with this guy. Do you want a strictly sexual relationship with him? Do you want to eventually get back together with him and have a more intimate relationship? If you decide to pursue the "friends with benefits" route, what are your expectations? (That is, will you date/kiss/sleep with other people? Will he date/kiss/sleep with other people?) How will your relationship be impacted if your expectations are not met?  

Having sex with the person you used to date doesn't necessarily mean he will eventually want you back. He may — or he may not. On the flip side, he may want to get back together even if you don't have sex with him. There is no guarantee that a specific action will lead to your desired outcome. 

You also mention that you are a very sexual person, which you've noted as a reason to explore the friends with benefits idea with the guy you previously dated. There are other options, too! Have you thought about revving up (or starting?) your solo sex life? That’s right, good ‘ole masturbation. If you already have a robust masturbation life, perhaps you might consider spicing it up by purchasing a sex toy (if you don't have one already). Masturbation is a healthy and effective means to satisfy your sex drive, while at the same time a great way to get to know your body better — and perhaps learn a few tips to pass on to a future partner. Another alternative is to find another sexual partner. Whether you choose to find another person to date or a person to have a more casual sexual relationship with is up to you.

Whatever you decide to do, if you venture into sex with another (either with the person you used to date or with someone new) remember to practice safer sex — this helps protect your health and the health of your future partners. Both male condoms and female condoms are pretty effective at preventing pregnancy and most STIs.

Take care,

Last updated Sep 19, 2014
Originally published Apr 14, 2006

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