No strings attached: Are “friends with benefits” as complicated in real life as they are in the movies?
- written by Justin J. Lehmiller
- edited by Dylan Selterman
Many people become “friends with benefits” to avoid drama and to have sex without getting tied up in emotions; however, the reality is that having a friend with benefits often becomes complicated. Why is that, and is there anything you can do to avoid these complexities? In this article, we will explore the science behind friends who decide to have sex.
– Jamie (Mila Kunis) and Dylan (Justin Timberlake) negotiating the rules of their sexual arrangement while swearing over an iPad bible in the film Friends with Benefits
“Friends with benefits” (FWB) relationships have become increasingly common over the last few decades. As some evidence of this, data from the General Social Survey reveals that among college students surveyed between 1988 and 1996, 55.7% reported having had sex with a friend; among students surveyed from 2002 to 2010, that number jumped to 68.6% (Monto & Carey, 2013). As FWBs have increased in popularity, so have media depictions of these relationships, including the popular films No Strings Attached and Friends with Benefits. These and other media portrayals of FWBs suggest that they tend to follow a pretty standard narrative: two friends talk over drinks about how complicated and messy sex and relationships tend to be. These friends then come to the conclusion that the solution to their problems is to decouple sex and emotion solteros cristianos and just have sex with one another. Things get hot and heavy and seem pretty exciting for a while; however, things inevitably get messy because the partners cannot keep their emotions at bay. (more…)