‘Friends with Benefits’

Tracy

When I first started writing this post I had a humorous view but when I weighed my options of making a point that I feel is very important and finding humour in almost anything, my humorous view almost flew out the window and the real me came forward.  I think I can do both, find humour and make a point.   Let’s see.  We have all heard the term ‘friends with benefits’.  It’s basically having hopefully great sex with no strings attached.  In my day, I remember that being called a one night stand or a booty call.  There was a reason for feeling bad after having one but I can’t remember why now…the age thing and memory starts to fade when you hit 40!  But with teens now it doesn’t  just happen one night or time, it lasts as long as they want it to.  But who ends it, why and when?  That’s where the emotions come in and I think where things go awry.

Am I right?  Correct me if I am wrong girls or guys out there.  My girlfriends son told her it is quite normal for teens to have ‘friends with benefits’ and they don’t get looked down upon.  Sign me up I guess if both parties are consenting and are having safe sex it’s their decision to make.  Would I want a friend with benefits?  Would you?  We all have the opportunity, it’s whether we take it or not.  I am struggling with this right now and don’t know if it’s my conditioning or a generation gap.  Part of me say’s well “Whyy nott” but the other part of me says “it’s not good for the soul”.  To not know where you stand with someone is hard enough when there is no sex involved.  Emotions and chemistry is what give sex such passion.  The moral side of me says ‘Live by example’ and the fun side not so moral side says ‘live with no regrets’. Stay with me here I am working through this as I write.

What I think bothers me about this the most is that it is happening younger and younger and some teens are not mature enough to make this decision on their own. They are afraid of being judged by their own peer groups.  It’s much like bullying in the way that when boys are rough with one another, it is possible that one of them doesn’t really want to participate but is forced to out of pressure of not wanting to appear weak.

Friends with Benefits sounds to me like a decision that is made without the thought process that should take place when deciding to give a sacred part of yourself to someone who doesn’t really care if it’s you or not.  I am a confident strong woman but I didn’t get this way from making poor moral decisions in my life.  (Bonnie stay out of it ! ha)  I think it is up to us as parents to do everything we can to make sure our sons understand the self-esteem issues young woman get when their self worth is questioned.  It’s also our responsibility to make sure our daughters have confidence and respect for themselves, as well as from the opposite sex.  I am not sure I could have a friend with benefits unless of course  Gabriel Aubry walked through my bedroom door, then I would be naked in an embarrassing nanosecond.  Humour is important in life and helps lighten certain topics of conversations, but morals and values are the basis of your character.   Teach your kids first as a parent.  Live your life as a soul enriching your existence.  Live by example.  Try to make good decisions and learn by questionable ones.  And always remember it’s about assessing blame. (joking)  So I think I like my friends just the way they are!

Tracy

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17 thoughts on “‘Friends with Benefits’

  1. Interesting post Tracy.

    As if I could stay out of it! Ha! I would never share secrets…you know mine too.

    I agree with all that you are saying but I believe you are mixing two separate issues:
    Friends with benefits for adults (with maturity) and
    Teenage sex
    Opposite ends of the spectrum in my opinion.

    I’ve seen friends with benefits work for adults when both friends are completely aware of why they are there. Some may argue that women are incapable of separating their emotions from sex and in most cases this is correct but NOT always. It can work and it can work well. I know you well enough to know you would never judge those relationships. Don’t knock it til ya try it! (sounds like a post you wrote)

    The issue of teens having casual sex without much forethought is not wise. You are absolutely right that it starts at home, teaching your children to have self respect and respect for others.
    It’s more about mutual respect and being completely honest in any relationship no matter how old you are.

    By the way, I just have to say, don’t give up on the “funny” part of you…it’s also part of who you are. xo

  2. I think you nailed this Bonnie, that is part of my struggle with it, as a ‘parent’ I have a real problem with this because these kids are not mature enough. As a woman, I agree it can work if both parties are in it for the same reason. Most important is to never judge, something you have never done in all the years I’ve known you !! I am redefining my life at the moment as you know which is forcing me to be figure out who I am again. I lost myself there for awhile as most woman do after having kids. I am in the process of finding out who I am once again but at a different stage of life. I am learning to separate the ‘mother’ in me and the ‘woman’ in me but sometimes find it difficult. Some might say I am growing up…god I hope not !!

  3. Here goes…
    I agree with you both, about young people, in my day it was called having an affair.And having mutual respect for each other. These affairs usually came from either boredom, unhappy in a marriage or just plain good sex. At least that is what my friends said.

  4. Good Post Tracy! This one is smoking. There are always new trends or different terms for the same trends coming up that we all have to work through to discover our inner take on them. Friends with benefits – what exactly does that mean – sex with no strings attached – does that mean disconnected sex? I don’t really care about you sex? I am just using you for sex? What happens if strings develop? Woops, I got emotionally involved I will just turn that off and disconect again. See what I mean. How will I feel afterwards – does disconnected sex hurt the self. Yes it does. Why would be want to do anything to hurt the self? The question is really about how we feel about the rather large issue of sex. I believe love makes the sex hot- sex does not make the love hot. We are so sexualized as a society that sometimes it is hard for us to tease apart what is personally okay and what is not. Otherwise sex is just a disconected performance – lacking soul. Similar to prositution which is just an act. She/He acts in payment for the performance. It is empty if it is disconnected. We should all expect the best for ourselves and for our children, and the best is sex with chemistry and passion which is only sex with emotion. Anybody who cannot or who is unwilling to have that is being cheated out of one of the best miracles of life – connected SEX. There is a sad reality for some men and women who will stay disconnected for life. I agree we do have to teach our children dignity and respect otherwise they will be socialized otherwise. Yes, enlightment is all a part of maturing – it is happening. Good thing too.

  5. Wow Maggie, thanks for the awesome post ! If you ever feel like writing a article of any kind and want to submit it to Tara Cronica, we are open to it! Just let me know what subject tickles your fancy! T

  6. Re Maggie
    I think your post was well written..

    The question is really about how we feel about the rather large issue of sex. I believe love makes the sex hot- sex does not make the love hot. We are so sexualized as a society that sometimes it is hard for us to tease apart what is personally okay and what is not. Otherwise sex is just a disconected performance – lacking soul.

    I truly believe your generation over thinks sex, have to disagree with the above comments.
    Sex can be good without love,sexual attraction has to be there to a point, but once the sex starts and both are aroused
    and enjoying the act who really should care who the two involved are they are enjoying themselves.You all say don’t judge right..

    People now a days having to make plans for sex on a certain night or time, to me that takes all the spontaneity out of the act.
    What ever happened to stopping at the beach late and having it right there on the sand, or in the backseat of a car. Don’t say no babysitters, or too tired. I worked full time, kept a house going and still loved the anticipation of a new escapade, with or without panties on.
    That’s the true fun, my girlfriend of many years ago said she had the best sex ever in a Firehall on the hoses with all the firemen
    sleeping up stairs, wouldn’t they be mad to have missed that.lol And she was a married women..
    But then again we did grow up in the sixties lol
    Anyways every one to their own opinion right. Sex is a good thing,enjoy……….

    • I’m with you Jane! Let’s stop over-thinking it and just enjoy it while we can. Sex doesn’t have to be a spiritual experience every time. Making love to someone passionately that you are deeply in love with certainly can be, but the post started off talking about “friends with benefits” which to me suggests sex. Plain and simple, no emotional attachments, we are both expecting the same outcome – good sex, period. Why make it complicated. I think that you have to be a confident woman who really knows herself and her limits emotionally though. You also have to be honest with yourself. No saying to yourself, I’m ok with this being just for the sex, if deep deep down you are hoping for more.

  7. I usually have a really firm opinion on this kind of topic but in this case I think everyone who’s commented has made some very valid points. ‘Friends with benefits’ might not work for everyone. You really have to know yourself and what you want out of each relationship. Is it worth risking the friendship if the ‘benefits’ don’t work out? Or maybe it’s just what the doctor ordered and works for a while. Personal choice.

  8. Friends with benefits are very much a personal choice, that is true. My take was just that sex should be healthy for all parties. I am talking about spiritual and sexual health. The comment was about friends with benefits which does mean sex with no strings attached right. Sex is sex, sex is not love that is true, but sex is best in the context of a caring loving relationship was my only point. Further, my point was only that sex is better when two people are emotionally connected and passionate. It is yummier that way. Also, to further complicate things sex can also be used in many unhealthy and addictive ways as well – power. It can be very damaging to the self if used for the wrong reasons. It is not a simple subject at all but a very complicated one in fact. There really is no correct answer. Just to stir things up one professor that I had went as far to say just on the very subject of friends with benefits (was in the newspaper) that there is actually no sexual activity without an emotional attachment bond that forms for both men and women. So that throws the whole friends with benefits idea out the window. Further, she does not buy that men do not get as emotionally involved as women, from her research she has found that men value sex and relationships just as much as women do. Sorry guys, I am a psyc graduate, I don’t think that I overthink things I just like learning from the most current research done at the university which is very complicated. Its all about how we define things really. Nothing is simple in this area just because human beings are not simple, but rather very complex creatures, there is always more. Oh, also who really knows their personal limits when it comes to emotional involvement? Being true and honest to yourself is a definite must. My take on it is that most people want more eventually. I agree relationships transform, end or progresses. At the end of the day people have to do what is healthy for them. May not be true but just my take. Sorry, feel free to throw me out! I am going on Tracy’s elastic boundaries here – really pushing it.

  9. This right here is what I absolutely love !!! Putting it out there to stimulate conversations and get great opinions and views from different women. Any guys out there was to weigh in on this ??? come on I double dog dare you !!!

  10. Hmmmm….. double dog dare…. I wrote a response to Tracy’s post yesterday and jammed out ! I also opted out on the post ” Like’em or Love’em ” I’ll continue to stay out of that one…. I’m glad in hindsight that I didn’t respond till now as I enjoyed to read the different opinions on this extremely complicated subject, for some people ? I have to agree that this subject is only complicated if you complicate it, or if your priorities are possibly not in tact…….hence the fact that our (young people) are extremely important here, as I for one was at a time in my life that my youth and inexperience did not allow me to make good choices based on good priorities ! We form our young peoples opinions and priorities… weather we want to admit that or not is another subject. Based on how we act and what we do our young people follow suit the majority of the time. With that said….. I beleive Tracy pins it by stating ” Live By Example ! ” Coming from an era of ” Do As I Say, Not As I Do ” I am truly committed to living by example not only to my children at home who range from eight years old to twenty-one years old….. but also to my younger employees at work who range from early twenties to forties. Everyone who sees you let alone looks up to you…. needs to see you as a guiding light … a living example of a human being with rock solid priorities,caring,loving and approachable. As one goes through the different ages and experiences in ones life ….. you find out that the times you had sex without strings attached were either unfulfilling or easily forgotten….. there for in my opinion leaving “Friends With Benefits” without a hope of being for real in my eye’s !
    Now, you must remember that what you are hearing is coming from not only a male prospective….. but from a tattooed ex tuff guy type. If for one second….. we can convince ourselves that sex without courtship, romance and enticement at the forefront….. and a loving, intimate, passionate connection during and after…..is an option….. then in my eye’s it’s not even worthy of being called anything. It’s as Maggie puts it, a disconnected performance, an act….. useless and unattractive. But then again it’s only my perspective……

    • Really? Am I really the only one out there that can speak from having had a good real life experience with this? Well, lucky me I guess. Cause I can tell you that my experience was not a “disconnected performance, an act…useless and unattractive, unfulfilling or easily forgotten” and please don’t assume that I had to convince myself otherwise. (You know what assuming makes you)
      It was what it was and I was able to enjoy it for that very reason. Perhaps I’m more of a realist. Although I understand everyones different perspectives on this subject I also hope you can be a little open to the idea that it can be worthy for some.

  11. I would agree with most comments here…that it’s not possible. I think definately for young people – noway! But imagine that for a limited few, that it is possible. (I keep imagining a scenario, but I always wind up emotionally involved – dang!)

    It’s been interesting reading everyone’s perspective. One of those topics to stash away to discuss further with my friends.

  12. Wow ! This is great to have so many different views and now a male perspective to boot! Now that I know double dog dare actually works I will be using that one again for sure !! I love that there is no judging here, only personal insight and open discussion. I stand by ‘don’t knock it till ya try it’ and being single now makes me wonder. I think that none of us really know what we would do until put into the situation directly in front of us. Chemistry can be strong and persuasive!

  13. Friends with benefits seems so contrived. Like a small print contract; we hereby agree to have sex two times per month. These occasions will take place on _ _ and at _ _ and will last 33 minutes per session. This will have no effect on our relationship.
    Sign here _ _ _ _
    What? And teens are doing this? They hardly know what friends are as early teens! And I have a foreboding feeling that it might be a warning sign of males denigrating vulnerable females. Agreements like this are for cold blooded lawyers.
    If we are talking about sex without love, then it still needs spontaneity, even if it is two teens fumbling in the dark back seat of a ‘50 Ford! Or two married, not to each other, 30 somethings thrown together and swept up by the sudden attraction of the office mail room. Or older strangers on holiday who steal away in the tropical night to take advantage of the swaying frangipani.
    Is there emotional harm in these escapades?
    We can’t sort and classify these individuals because they ARE unique. Each will treat the sex memory differently. If the sex is safe, and every woman needs to make sure it is as we cannot ever trust the man, then can it become a recollection of a mental state of the moment for that person? Perhaps something to smile inwardly about at a later time? If it brings a moment of regret, but is a private memory, is it a learning experience about oneself? If the mature person enjoys the memory she is just as likely to cook a nice dinner for her ‘friend’. Or he take her out for a pizza.
    A friend with benefits might be someone helping you cram for a math test. Or a coffee partner who has an empathetic ear for your situation. Or someone who drives you to visit someone else.
    But making an agreement for the benefits of sex should never be entered into. That is the indiscretion, not the sex. Sex has to be spontaneous and yes, as Tracy suggests, even laughed at. It should never have serious repercussions on your psyche.
    So don’t sign the contract, but if the friendly benefit appears one hot summer night … use an alias.

  14. I agree with DUB that ‘friends with benefits’ which is prearranged or an understanding seems to lack spontaneity and could lose it’s steam by the time you got to the act itself. Much like most marriages who don’t keep their sex lives spicy. Isn’t that basically a friend with benefits ? Unless of course you had an undeniable attraction to this person and looked forward to the next meeting whenever that may be with anticipation, which is what I think Bonnie was suggesting. Finding someone whom you have a great attraction to and live in the moment with them sexually, you never really know where anything can lead unless you try it. I am not suggesting you do but if you did…

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