Once upon a time, I had a lover. This lover made my broken heart feel whole again. Roses regained their red; strawberries regained their succulence. Sex was once again hot, hot, hot—instead of a routine cobweb clearing.
And then my lover uttered the words no woman wants to hear when they’re hot, hot, hot over someone. He asked if we could just…be friends. And although he didn’t come right out and say it, our next rendezvous revealed…he also wanted benefits.
The storm clouds rolled over once again. Baby Cupid cried bitter tears and chucked his arrows into the “Fail” bin. My biological clock started ticking like a bass drum. Sex became a twisted emotional mind fuck; every thrust said, “I’m, just, using, you.” And then, it ended horribly, as all of my other FWB attempts have.
But apparently the jury is split on the topic of FWB, and whether there can ever be a happy ending. Fifty percent of Think Tank voters insist that when it comes to being friends and lovers, there’s nothin’ to it. While I used to shrug and assume all FWB-subscribers were unfeeling androids, the recent Think Tank results made me reconsider my view. Perhaps it’s possible to extract the “motion” from “emotion” and reap the benefits enjoyed in powerful, deep-attraction sex—without the dependency that commonly accompanies it.
After doing some digging I found that all it takes is a bit of strategy to turn your FWB situation from a cluster suck to a cluster of satisfaction. For example, it turns out Hannah’s days-long jaunts with Mr. Smyth were a bad move; excessive periods of time with a person release oxytocin in the brain, which is responsible for warm and fuzzy bonding. So the moral of this Think Tank: if you have a FWB, keep the encounters short and simple; a movie, a drink, a quick romp in the sack. No staying overnight and no weeklong Tahitian pleasure cruises.
It’s also best to ensure your FWB is a person with whom a relationship would never work out, be it for disparate points of view, incongruent lifestyles, or really gross pizza-topping preferences. While this person is suitable for a midnight booty call, spending a lifetime together should seem like bikini-waxing a sunburn. Hannah’s rendezvous with dear Angus is definitely a good example of that, but that’s a whole other story.
We next ponder: Is there really any benefit to NO sex before marriage? Weigh in now.
Jenni Perez authored the 2008-2009 edition of the popular sex issues column, “The Wednesday Hump,” in UC Santa Barbara’s Daily Nexus. When she’s not contributing her thoughts about the trials of modern romance, she devotes much of her effort to sustainable living and recording music.