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Friends -- With Benefits

We've all been there. That long, ... endless drought during which time you get no play. No action. No sweet lovin'. The dating life is ... and you've got no ... But as we've proven

We've all been there. That long, seemingly endless drought during which time you get no play. No action. No sweet lovin'. The dating life is mediocre, and you've got no prospects. But as we've proven time and time again, we're a resourceful bunch. Many take matters into their own hands. In the Appalachians, many fall into the arms of a sexy sibling. But there's a number of us that decide to try…
'Friends with benefits.'

Yeah, that old song. You start workin' your mojo on your friends. And try to stay friends. And, it usually ends in disaster.

FWB finds its origins in some breakup many years ago. The guy, sick of all her crap yet still lusting for her body, voiced a proposal. An agreement, if you will. Sex without relationship complications. Totally need-based, not emotion based like what those other suckers are doing. Just for a little while. It's the perfect plan. Kinda like a severance package for his package, until it finds 'new employment.'

The mistake didn't lie in the idea. Because people come up with stupid ideas every day. And trying to have sex with your ex isn't exactly original. The mistake, my friends, is that she agreed to it. So opened a new loophole for commitment-phobes everywhere. Sex with no strings. The multiple-night-stand.

The 'friends with benefits.'

In later years, FWB made way for other dating loophole innovations like Revenge Sex and the Booty Call. But I digress.

So there you are, still complaining about not being able to find someone special, but now with a big grin on your face. Why? You gettin' sum.

In order for the FWB plan to work, there must be rules in place. You must both be single. You're probably not getting any from anyone else, otherwise you wouldn’t be looking for FWB. You can't get emotionally attached, jealous, needy, or any of that crap. You probably try to keep it a secret, too. And, most of all, you can’t let it interfere with your (our your friend's) dating life. You know what? With all those rules, it starts to sound an awfully lot like a…uhm…what's it called? A relationship. Or worse, a JOB.

Anyway, in theory, it's like finding a gold mine. Pack up the wagon, Ma, you're a free sex 49er. You can't believe that you're the only one who thought of this. No anniversaries to remember, no hearts and flowers, no explaining where you were Friday night, you're in heaven. But like the great gold rush, you never know when it's all gonna run out.

Disaster comes into play when one of the two friends in the agreement is harboring a crush. Only one. And think about it folks, any friend who would just up and agree to start having casual yet semi-exclusive sex with you has to have an agenda of their own. (The fact that they look at you and lick their lips is a give-away too.) Chances are they not be fully aware of it themselves. This accounts for 90% of the FWB files. So, when the drought is over, and the emergency FWB rations can be put away, that pre-existing crush is enough to cause BIG (yet sudden to you) jealousy. The casualty? Your platonic, un-awkward, normal friendship.

That's assuming you're good. And compatible in bed.

Which leads to another kind of disaster. What if you don't click in bed? What if you chicken out as soon as they get naked? What if you end up laying there saying 'what the hell did we just do?' What if you can't finish? What if you can't even get started? These are things that start to mess with confidence and self-esteem. And make for an awkward game of Scrabble next time you two are hanging out alone. Assuming that you're even able to hang out alone after that point.

Then there are the resentment issues. Eventually, someone will start to feel like the other person's libido band-aid. Because sex without all the lovey-dovey relationship-type stuff leaves you a lot of time to think about what you just did, especially when your lover just jumped up to play a video game or to call the guy she's really interested in.

It's rare to find someone mature enough to have continuous sex with someone and not develop feelings for them. It's even more rare to find someone who can deal with those feelings if and when they show up. In the end, you've got awkwardness, jealousy, resentment, and all the other things that can stop a relationship in its tracks. And guess what, Chachi, a friendship is a relationship. And it sucks worse than the relationship that got you into this mess, because you can end up losing a lover AND a friend.

So in trying to avoid Melrose Place drama, you backpedal your way into 90210. You're stuck. You're alone. And the booty train's done left the station without you.

In the end, you ain't boinkin' like a rabbit, and you ain't no friend o' mine.

But sometimes, you look over at that other person and realize that you're having sex with someone you like to hang out with. Who likes all the same stuff you do. Who knows all your secrets and still wants to hang out with you. Sometimes, they realize it too. Then things work out.

Except in the Appalachians. Dude, she's your sister. That's just nasty.

That's the rant.

Copyright 2001 by Kwame DeRoche' ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SUBSCRIBE FREE! Just e-mail or visit

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I'm a 27-year-old Advertising/Marketing Senior Writer with a slightly skewed perception of the world. I've been writing my rants since early 1999. They're humorous brain-dumps, all about relationships, TV, movies, driving to know, LIFE. And as long as humans are humans, I'll always have something to write about. See more or subscribe at

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