Urban Dictionary describes friends with benefits as “Two friends who have a sexual relationship without being emotionally involved. Typically two good friends who have casual sex without a monogamous relationship or any kind of commitment”. Some people do just have casual sex with their friends with benefits with “no strings attached”. Others end up falling for their friend with benefit and it develops into a relationship. It is not uncommon for college students to have multiple friends with benefits during their time at college. In fact, Psychology Today reports that about 60% of college students have had a friend with benefits.
There are many different kinds of friends with benefits and every situation is different and unique. Sometimes we are open about our FWBs and are quick to boast about them to our friends – while other times they are our dirty little secrets. Sometimes you are perfectly comfortable around your FWB and have a close relationship with him or her, and other times, you may not know and don’t care to know their last name, favorite color, college major, or hometown. Everyone has a different experience with FWBs and has a unique (and sometimes embarrassing) story to share.
SGP is here to decode the different types of friends with benefits you might have and give the pros and cons of each type.
1. The Substitute Boyfriend/Girfriend/Partner
This type of person would totally be your romantic partner, if you weren’t already happy being FWBs. They will go with you as a date to your sister’s wedding. They probably know your extended family’s names better than you do and they are constantly proving that they are always there for you. Your family members constantly mistake them for your partner and are always asking you how you two are doing.
The Pros: They are the partner you never really admitted that you wanted. It is basically all the positives of a relationship with minimal negatives. Your relationship may develop into something more serious in the future, and you will feel confident in it because the have proved time and time again that they have and will continue to be there for you. They’re somebody who picks you up from the bar when you’re too drunk, and reminds you how beautiful and awesome you are.
The Cons: They are basically your partner. Like it or not, you’re with them and have started to catch feelings and are very connected. You rely on their support and their constant presence. Your relationship could end badly. Though you claim that you are “just friends”, it’s annoying to explain this to friends and family.
2. The Drunken Decision
This is the type of person you go to when you are shit faced. You don’t recall a time when you have both been sober… You really do have a good time together, and they are a great drinking buddy… but there’s not much more to it than that.
The Pros: After a long night of drinking with your friends, you will have somebody to go with or come home to. Somebody who won’t judge you for being a bit too drunk, getting too many numbers while out, or slurring your words. They won’t try to cuddle after sex, linger in the morning, or make you breakfast. Let’s face it; the sex is probably pretty damn good. They are reliable and your first call when it’s last call.
The Cons: You are both shit faced all the time, and sometimes you feel like you are their parent if you have to take care of them. The relationship is strictly physical, which in theory is not a bad thing, but the fact that you two rarely have conversations or even communicate while sober may be. You will never be able to introduce them to your parents, and your friends totally judge you and your relationship with them. If you’re looking for anything more, look elsewhere. They will want to be out of your apartment before the sun rises, and you should be out of theirs before their 6 AM drunk munchies.
3. The Ex
They were once somebody who you were involved with. You were probably dating seriously or had a brief fling with each other. You realized that you are not compatible, yet you are physically compatible, so you decided to keep fooling around.
The Pros: You know them, totally and completely. You know their kinks, the positives, and the negatives. You have dealt with them before, and know that they like to be on top and to play with your ass when they wake up in the morning, or whatever it may be. You won’t have any awkward sex or surprises because you both know exactly what the other likes. You also already know you don’t work as a couple, so you may not attract feelings.
The Cons: Although you may claim that you don’t have feelings anymore or won’t develop feelings for them, if you loved them once, chances are, you will go through moments when you feel like you should give it another try. You will probably get jealous if they have someone else on the side and hate every person who they hit on at the bar. Don’t let having sex with your ex run over your emotions. Read this guide!
4. The Peter Parker
They are literally Spiderman. They will have a great time with you, then pretend like you don’t exist when they see you in public. You’re literally their dirty little secret, and they will only acknowledge you when it’s convenient for them.
The Pros: They are the perfect casual hookup. Your friends won’t know they exist unless you tell them. They probably won’t even acknowledge your existence when you walk by them, yet they will whisper sweet nothings into your ear as they finger you until your insides are quaking. Your relationship with them is casual. There don’t have to be any feelings attached and you can truly let go.
The Cons: Either they are keeping you a secret for a reason, or they’re just rude / immature and don’t know how to handle being a decent person after sex. They. may even have a partner. You’re in trouble if you start developing feelings for this person, because you’ll probably end up hurt.
5. The Serial Fucker
They probably has several FWBs and may have diseases on top of diseases. You wouldn’t ever have sex with them without a condom, and are constantly wondering how they are so experienced. You’ve found other people’s underwear at their apartment and probably have gone home with mystery bras/underwear that most certainly are not yours.
The Pros: They aren’t looking to settle down anytime soon and if you aren’t either, so you two will have a beautiful friendship. They are dependable and you can always count on them for a good time.
The Cons: It’s probably a good idea to always get yourself routinely checked for various STIs and to use condoms (as you should with any partner). Sure they know what they are doing and are experienced, but what happens if you develop feelings for them and want to be their only partner? You will not be able to trust them, and will always worry that they are seeing somebody on the side. You may also be viewed by their friends or your friends as just another one of their “conquests”.
6. The Good Friend
They are the person who you go to every party with. They have always been there for you at moments when you have needed them, and is happy that you two can connect on a friendship and physical level. They held your hair back when you were vomiting last Halloween and is one of the few people who pay you back when you loan them $5. They are loyal, sweet, and a great match for you.
The Pros: You are already really good friends with this person.They will not likely try to screw you over and you will probably have fun with them. They know you well and know what you like and don’t like. They are looking out for your best interest and might wait a while to have sex with you. They don’t want to jeopardize your friendship so they are always incredibly cautious.
The Cons: They or you might get jealous when you go on dates with others. You guys work well together and were friends before yet, there is likely no way you two can revert to your pre-FWB relationship. You can try your best to pretend like everything is back to normal if you two decide to end the benefits portion of your friendship, however, it is nearly impossible. You will probably want to hook up with them when drunk from time to time and aren’t able to look at them the same way.
7. The Just Sex
You likely don’t even know who they are. You don’t know their eye color without looking into them and what is their last name again? You have no idea. All you know is that they know where your special happy zones are and how to make them feel amazing.
The Pros: Your relationship is casual. There is something so sexy and erotic about a mystery. You don’t have to have awkward conversations with them after sex when all you want to do is take a shower, gather your underwear, and get home.
The Cons: You really don’t know who they are. You don’t know where they graduated from, what they do for a living, or where their hometown is. You don’t know that they’re allergic to shellfish or has a secret love for the opera. You literally only know that they are good in bed. They could be “trouble” and no good for you. They could have 4 children or hell, they could already be married and you could be their side chick.
8. The Ashamed Game
You don’t want your friends finding out about this person. He might be that person your BFF has had a crush on since freshman year, or it might your BFF’s little sibling. It could even be a person you think is totally sexy and badass, but your friends think is disgusting. You never talk about them and if you slip up, you deny their true identity or the truth about your relationship.
The Pros: Sneaking around can be kind of fun and sexy. They literally are your dirty little secret. Your friends don’t know about them nor do any of your other potential love interests. You are super careful to always have your alibi straight and your facts straight.
The Cons: Keeping this secret is literally going to become taxing. You’ll slip up every now and then and your friends will wonder why you “study in the library” all the time but they never see you there. They will probably see you saunter into the apartment at all hours of the night or head out at odd hours, and ask what’s going on. Also, if you do end up developing feelings for them and reveal it to your friends, they may feel hurt that you didn’t tell them sooner or that it is occurring all together.
9. Secret Feelings
You are pretty sure that they are your next future partner. You totally are in love with them and really love spending time with them. You want to be their girlfriend/boyfriend/partner but are unsure of how to bring up the topic or how to make the leap from hookup to relationship.
The Pros: You have feelings for this person which makes the physical aspect of your relationship so much stronger. You enjoy spending time with them and cuddling with them. You are ready to put the work in to take your relationship to the next level.
The Cons: You will put your feelings out there. They. might reciprocate, but they might not, which will break your heart and ruin the relationship you have. You may claim that everything will go back to normal, however there will always be a sort of tension between you two. If you two are able to somehow defy the odds and continue hooking up like nothing happened, you will likely develop feelings for them again.
Good luck and always stay safe. Your college and young adult years should be dedicated to finding yourself and experimenting. There are some amazing people out there in the world and you will meet some cool people in these years. Never sacrifice yourself for somebody else. If a FWB is not what you are looking for and you want a relationship, don’t settle anything less than that. If you want to have a friend with benefit and want little commitment, use protection and use your best judgment. As I said before, friends with benefits are not for everyone. But if you do have friends with benefits and have in the past, I hope you were able to decode what type of friends with benefits relationship you had in the past or currently had. Always remember that regardless if it’s just casual sex or a relationship, your partner should always respect you and you should feel comfortable being around them. If at any point the sex feels “forced” or you are not comfortable and okay with something your partner did or said, don’t be afraid to stop them, tell them how you are feeling or end the relationship. You all are awesome and deserve to feel safe, comfortable, confident and beautiful. Remember to always stay safe and never compromise your beliefs and a part of yourself to please your partner.
Read more in 5 Tips for a Great Friend With Benefits Relationship!