Friends with Benefits, No Strings Attached... popular culture is obsessed with the concept of a sex buddy. But is having a fling with a friend ever really good for you? Or are they are one-way ticket to low self-esteem and a messy personal life?
“Sex buddies can be great when you’re single because you get to have the physical contact people love – you can have your cake and eat it too,” says sex expert Chantelle Austin.
She isn’t the only sex therapist pro casual sex either: Daily Mail’s resident sexpert Tracey Cox says “If you've got the right personality for it and are both single, personally I think both sex and snog buddies can be a very good idea.”
According to Austin, it’s the perfect arrangement for people who find their career gets in the way of having a relationship, but who still crave companionship.
“It’s the fun of having someone you can just get really “grrr” with. There is so much energy that can come from an awesome sexual experience. You get to have the party without having to do the clean-up,” she says.
Besides, studies show that casual F-friends are more likely to use condoms and have protected sex, than established couples. This seems counterintuitive but you might actually be protecting your sexual health more if you are sleeping with someone who is just a “friend”.
“Sex buddies serve an extra purpose: they provide a safe, sexual outlet and stop us taking risks with someone we shouldn't. If you're a horny little thing, tempted to start humping your workmate's legs when deprived of a bit, they're an even better idea,” says Cox.
But the good time pal doesn’t even need to be a full-blown sex bud. Even having a friend in your back pocket for the odd cheeky pash can be a good reminder of how awesome kissing and affection is.
“It keeps us feeling sexy and attractive. The "drought" between partners leaves us a lot less parched and panicky than we would without someone's lips attached to ours on the odd occasion,” says Cox.
Most sex friendships develop because you both don’t want a relationship or wouldn’t date each other in a million years. But unfortunately the heart can't totally ignore sexual chemistry and that’s when there can be trouble in paradise.
“The problem is when one partner becomes emotionally attached; it can start to get complicated,” says Austin. When the “understanding” you have with your F buddy starts to get blurry, this is when the casual, carefree relationship may actually start to cause emotional harm to one or both of you.
The other issue is when you’re single and sated you might find yourself switched off to potential relationships. Even worse, you might use it as an excuse to avoid attachments.
Austin warns, “There are some people who only have sex buddies because they are emotionally not ready for a relationship or still in a hurt phase. They stay with sex partner to avoid going into a loving relationship and they may never find love.
“They lose out on deeper emotional connection and all the benefits that come from being in love. And they’re also dooming themselves to falling into the same pattern again and again. If they don’t have relationships that can help them work through their issues, they may never confront them.”
Sounds kind of lonely, right? Having your old pal help you meet your sexual needs is very handy, but it isn’t a permanent replacement for love.
Sex buddies are a great way to quench your thirst during a relationship drought and make you feel like a total vixen, but you have to steel your mind for it. You need to make sure you don’t start associating those amazing feelings you get in bed with the actual dude himself. Remember this mantra: it’s not him, it’s the orgasms. With that in mind, go get your fling on!