How to be Friends with Benefits with Someone You Know

Sexy young woman with long dark hair lying on top of her partner in bed and smiling at the camera

Turning a friend into a ‘friend with benefits’ – is it possible? It might seem like the perfect solution for no-strings-attached casual sex. But when it comes to FWBs, working out how to be friends with benefits with someone you already know is often more complicated than we realise.

Living in Sydney in my twenties, my social circle was sexy, kinky and open-minded. From dance parties in Darlinghurst to invite-only swinger’s events in the suburbs, we rushed from one adventure to the next. Although we met lots of interesting people, we often ended up going home with each other. It was easier – and more fun. Why risk a night of passion with a stranger when we could wake up in a friend’s bed, and go out for brunch?

But it didn’t always work. Accidental romances, hurt feelings, and dramatic mid-party arguments happened too. I learned that ‘friends with benefits’ can be just as complicated – and end just as badly - as a long-term relationship.

For those who are new to this, a ‘friends with benefits’ (FWB) arrangement is a situation where you’re friends with someone but you also have sex with them. Don’t get this confused with the term ‘fuck buddy’! A fuck buddy is a person you meet up with just for sex. A FWB, on the other hand, is a person whose company you enjoy but who you also sometimes get naked with.

An FWB arrangement is perfect for no-strings-attached, casual sex

This kind of casual sex arrangement has lots of benefits. If you already have a great vibe with your friend, adding sex to the relationship can simply make it better. It’s a fun way to add a new dimension to your friendship - and exploring together can be a lot of fun.

For those who are shy or cautious, an FWB is safer than picking up a stranger. Knowing someone beforehand eliminates many of the nasty surprises that can happen with casual dating, such as rudeness, unreliability, bad safer sex habits, and secret wives/girlfriends. 

And FWBs are fun! They’re a great way to have an enjoyable sex life without committing to a long-term relationship. If you and your friend work busy jobs, aren’t ready to settle down, or simply prefer short-term flings, this situation makes everyone happy.

But there are risks when you turn a friend into a friend with benefits…

An FWB can easily become a disaster; I’ve seen friendships break down with the same level of drama as some of the worst relationship breakups. 

Adding sex into the mix changes things in unpredictable ways. Someone might develop romantic feelings, for example. Even if neither of you want a long-term relationship, jealousy can still happen - and when your sex buddy is hooking up with others too, insecurity and hurt feelings might become an issue.

Even though it’s ‘relationship-lite’, FWBs require a level of responsibility. There are still risks involved: STI scares, unplanned pregnancies, consent violations, and disrespectful behaviour. Friends sometimes act differently when sex is part of the deal; it’s a nasty surprise to find out that a mate who used to treat you well isn’t so nice once you’ve done the deed!

How to turn a friend into a friend with benefits

If you’re sure the rewards of this kind of arrangement are worth the risks, here are some thoughts on how to make it happen.

First, make sure it’s a genuine friendship
Be honest - are they really your friend? Sometimes when we think someone is hot we’ll hang around them in the hopes that the relationship will escalate. But if you’re only spending time with them because you want to bang them, it’s not a genuine friendship. I know what it’s like to be hassled by ‘mates’ who wanted sex and didn’t want to take ‘no’ for an answer...it sucks. 

I recommend asking yourself, “If they turn me down as a ‘friend with benefits’ will I still enjoy hanging out with them?” If the answer is no, reconsider asking them, and possibly reconsider the relationship.

Get a feel for whether it’s mutual
Asking a friend to fuck you is a stressful conversation. It’s like asking someone on a date – rejection is hard, and can make things weird. It’s worth feeling out the situation first.

How to do this? It’s a bit like asking someone on a date or bringing up a new kink with a partner. I always start a low-stakes conversation then observe their reaction. For example: “I’ve just heard about this ‘friends with benefits’ thing and it’s interesting. Have you tried it before?” If your buddy shows an interest in the topic, that’s a good sign! If they shrug or look uncomfortable, you’ll need to drop the idea.

Have the conversation
Plenty of folks have fallen into an FWB after a night out drinking, but it’s not the best way. Having a good friend-with-benefits arrangement means being honest about your needs and boundaries right from the start.

Here’s a useful line: “I hope this isn’t a weird question, but is a friends-with-benefits the kind of thing you’d ever consider us doing together?” And if they’re enthusiastic: “How should we do this? Do we need to agree on anything beforehand?” As with all good conversations, inviting a ‘no’ is useful: “Of course, I understand if you don’t think it’s a good idea. I appreciate our friendship and it doesn’t need to involve sex.” Asking for a ‘no’ makes it clear to the other person that there’s no pressure.

Enthusiastic consent is essential. If your friend says “Wow, that would be awesome!” then you’re on the right track. But a shrug, a ‘maybe’ or an ‘I’ll think about it’ is a sign you need to back off. 

Agree on some boundaries
Boundaries – setting rules and limits on your arrangement – help ensure success.

Everyone needs different ground rules to feel safe and happy. It’s easy to assume that, just because you’re friends with someone, you’ll agree on everything. But people often have differences of opinion when it comes to sex and relationships, even if they’ve known each other for years! Getting on the same page will help avoid misunderstandings.

Boundaries might include:

  • A limit on how often you hang out
  • Whether you sleep over or not after sex
  • Whether last-minute or late-night calls for sex (known as ‘booty calls’) are allowed
  • A commitment that yourself or your friend will speak up if romantic feelings develop
  • Agreement on whether you’ll be ‘out’ about your situation to others
  • Safer sex standards, and what to do if there’s a condom break or STI problem

Check in often
Relationships (even non-romantic ones) grow and change over time. You might develop deeper feelings for your friend or notice that an agreement you made is starting to feel difficult. Checking in every now and again allows you to make any changes required and deal with issues before they become dramas. It’s as easy as asking, “How’s this FWB thing going for you? Is anything not working? How could we make it even better?”

A good ‘friend with benefits’ arrangement can be rewarding if you get it right. You can add new dimensions to your friendship and have great sex without the pressure of dating. But, like all relationships - romantic, platonic, or in-between, it takes work. If you use common sense, have the conversation, and check in often, you can enjoy all the benefits that an FWB has to offer.

7 comments

  • Photos in private gallery

    DeeJayBee

    More than a month ago

    I have had a FWB for 16 years. We have great sex. Gotten better and better over the years. We explore kinks, he is bi, and have the odd 3 or 4some. We met online, he had a GF then engaged then married her. So no romance was ever considered. Always friends. He is very tall so he gets to do height required stuff around my house. Text and messaging keeps us in touch. At one stage he and his wife lived a few doors down from my boyfriend's place. Has worked for us as there has never been an expectation of more than sex friends. And no one has ever found out in the smallish place we live.

    Reply
  • Photos in private gallery

    MovingOn101

    More than a month ago

    It’s such a hard one still a relationship at the end of the day with boundaries so many boundaries so a lot of work to make it work good luck to anyone who thinks they can do it

    Reply
  • Fidelio630

    Fidelio630

    More than a month ago

    My ex-wife used to have a couple of fuck buddies but also fwb for when i travelled regularly. Even if i let her into all that, she one day became obsessed with sex and started with everthing that moved. Literally. And that caused the relationship broken. Now she's my fwb only

    Reply
  • Wouldbanng

    Wouldbanng

    More than a month ago

    Only once in the last three years has an opportunity happened and she needed to get sloshed first and tell me how much she liked my humour and how good a friend I was then move up and wiggle into my groin and no wasn't very successful.i don't recommend the alcohol aproche(sic) at all hmmmmm

    Reply
  • Bwcpleasureforu

    Bwcpleasureforu

    More than a month ago

    Yes i have a fwb and we have the most incredible sex, it's a girl i see regularly and get along well together without the pressure of a relationship

    Reply
  • FuntimeCpl888

    FuntimeCpl888

    More than a month ago

    My wife's female friend,who has lunch with the wife every fortnite,and is in a somewhat sexless relationship, had a discussion over lunch about our sex life,the wife told her we doit 2/3 times a week, my sexy wife then pointed out that we could help out as a joke,,well as it turned out after a couple drinks the 3 of us have been playing,she has been comming over for the last 10 months,every 4/6 weeks for some drinks,fun,sexgames,etc,and leaves the next morning happy ,the 3 of us have great time,is she considered our fuckbuddy or Fwb?

    • AMM.Editor

      AMM.Editor

      More than a month ago

      Definitely a friend with benefits as you and your wife have a relationship with her which is outside of the bedroom.

    Reply
Copyright © 2024 Georgie Wolf It is illegal to use any or all of this article without the expressed, written permission from Adult Match Maker and the author. If you wish to use it you must publish the article in its entirety and include the original author, plus links, so that it is clear where the content originated. Failure to do so will result in legal action being taken.
The content posted on this blog is intended for informational purposes only and the opinions or views within each article are not intended to replace professional advice. If you require professional relationship or sexual health advice you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist.