Should You Have Sex With a Friend, or Is It the Wrong Thing to Do?
Having sex with a friend is as risky as it gets. Crossing the line between friend and lover changes the entire dynamic of your relationship. It conjures up a whole set of problems, especially as emotions are usually stirred and the situation can turn into something more. You can become friends with benefits, or maybe even embark on a relationship. Or worse, one of you immediately regrets the decisions or catches feelings while the other wishes to forget it all. Things can get awkward real quick and your friendship will most likely never be the same again. Even if you manage to remain mates after the deed is done, your friendship will forever be different.
Before embarking on a sexual relationship with a friend, you really need to consider all the possible outcomes and make sure you are ready for the consequences. More often than not it will end in tears and you will have some issues to work out with friend so there is no awkwardness. So before you knock back that extra beer and move in for the kill, here are some things to think about before having sex with a friend.
Platonic vs. Romantic Friendship
Before delving into the pros and cons, let’s take a look at the differences between a platonic friendship and a romantic one. Both are built on a foundation of trust and respect. There has to be a strong connection between you both that allows you to get to know each other on a deeper level. The major difference between the two friendships is the physical side of things.
As Hello Relish puts it: “A romantic relationship is a close relationship to another person that involves deep friendship as well as physical intimacy and sex, and maybe even love. A platonic relationship is a relationship between friends, and while these relationships can be loving, they are not physically intimate.”
Both types of relationships are very similar, hence the reason it is easy for the lines to be blurred and both parties to find themselves in bed together. Before this happens you want to make sure you are embarking on a sexual relationship for the right reasons.
Ask Yourself Why You Want To Sleep With Them
This sounds like a simple question but requires a little more thought than “because you think they are hot.” Think about why you want to sleep with this particular friend. You don’t want to sleep with all your other friends, do you? Are you just attracted to them physically or do you have a deep emotional connection? Are you in love with your friend? Do you see yourself in a serious relationship with them?
If you do end up sleeping with your friend, what are your expectations moving forward? If you have strong romantic feelings for your friend, you will have to let them know how you feel. Just because you have sex doesn’t mean you will automatically become a couple. Your friend might not feel the same as you and think the whole situation is a mess. You have to respect their views and feelings.
“The goal is to be really clear with yourself and with the other. And the hope and expectation is that the other does the same,” Vienna Pharaon, a licensed marriage and family therapist told Men’s Health. “Sometimes we can rely on that and other times we can’t. That’s the risk. Sometimes sex is sex, and sometimes sex has a lot more connected to it and attached to it.”
How Do You Tell Your Friend You Are Interested?
The hardest part is letting your friend know you want to take things to the next level. You may have been drinking buddies for years and told each other all your deepest and darkest fears, but telling them you want to get naked and jump in the sack is something totally different. No matter how hard the conversation is, you need to have it. Organize a catch-up and lay it all on the line. Let them know how you feel and what you want. It might not go how you planned, but it is better to get things out there and know where you stand.
Then there are those occasions when sex just happens. You have been out drinking all night long and one thing leads to another. In this case, you will just have to deal with things after the event. But be sure to chat about it sooner rather than later. The longer you leave it the more chance of things turning awkward and your friendship being ruined.
Understand the Consequences…
If it isn’t already obvious, sex changes things big time. As soon as you cross that line your relationship becomes a different thing altogether. You have to understand the consequences that come with this shift in the relationship. You might have been dreaming about getting in the sack with your friend for yours, but they might wake up instantly regretting the decision. This is something you have to be ready to deal with moving forward.
There is also the possibility of your friendship turning into a friends with benefits type situation. This can also be very dicey as there is a greater chance one of you will start to catch feelings for the other and you will find yourself in a tricky area down the line. This is something Rhonda Richards-Smith, psychotherapist and relationship expert believes. “One thing I see most often is that one person within the relationship truly sees it as only physical pleasure, and it feels easy for them because they can separate the sex from the friendship. But, while the other party will agree to that arrangement, they are secretly hoping it will progress into a romance,” Richards-Smith told Oprah Daily.
…Because They Could Be Damaging Longterm
The worst case scenario is sex ruins your friendship. Maybe the sex was horrible or something happened that has totally turned you off them. This could cause irreversible damage to your friendship. It might even make you not want to see them again, which will also impact your friendship group. Or maybe you are super keen and they aren’t, or they are actually interested in someone else who soon appears on the scene. These are both terrible outcomes.
“It often happens that one person says to the other, ‘Hey, we have this amazing friendship and this crazy sexual connection, so why aren’t we together?’ But then it isn’t reciprocated,” Dr. Jenn Mann, psychotherapist, host of VH1’s Couples Therapy with Dr. Jenn, and author of The Relationship Fix told Oprah Daily. “The other person may meet someone else and want to put all of their eggs in one basket–the friendship, the sex, and the commitment. This can be incredibly hurtful because it may cause the person to wonder why they weren’t worthy of the same level of attention. Someone almost always ends up feeling rejected in some way.”
On a more positive note, the two of you might realize you are meant for each other and embark on a whirlwind romance that ends with marriage and kids. This doesn’t happen often, but it is a possibility and one you are no doubt hoping for if you already have feelings for your friend.
Dr. Venus Nicolino MA, Ph.D., a doctor in clinical psychology, host of WeTV’s Marriage Bootcamp and author of Bad Advice, (aka Dr. V), told Oprah Daily there is one question you must ask yourself: “Is having sex with my friend worth the potential risk of losing the friendship?” This is a question only you can answer and will impact the decisions you make moving forward.
Talk Things Through With Your Friend After It Has Happened
As you can see, sex complicates friendships big time. You really have to be mature about what is happened and be ready to talk about things after the event. Ignoring what happened and trying to carry on as friends is going to cause some awkward moments, especially if one of you wants something more to come of your one night of passion. It might be hard bringing things up, particularly if your friend doesn’t want to talk about it, but it is imperative you do. You must be open about your feelings.
As mentioned earlier, there are a few ways this could work out. The ideal outcome is you both agree to put things behind you and move on as friends, or you take a chance and give the relationship a shot as lovers. Then there are the more unfortunate outcomes, where one of you is keener than the other or the sex breaks down your relationship entirely and you fall out. That’s why communication is a must. Even if things don’t work out, talking through what happened and how you feel will leave you both better placed moving forward.
Create Some Boundaries
If you and your friend decide to keep on seeing each other in some kind of friends with benefits type scenario, you will need to put some boundaries in place. This way you can protect your original friendship and make sure nobody gets feelings (although this is sure to occur at some point).
Remain Platonic Friends in Public
It is more than likely that if you embark on a FWB relationship, there will be times when you are both hanging out with your wider friendship group. Now you don’t want everyone knowing what is going on between you both, so you need to act accordingly in public. Don’t be holding hands or throwing longing glances at each other. Just act like you did before you started having sex. It might be hard to do, especially if you are catching feelings, but you don’t need everyone knowing your business.
Don’t Go On Dates
If you want to go on dates, find yourself a girlfriend. Friends with benefits are all about enjoying sex with someone you know without any of the strings that come with a normal relationship. That means you aren’t expected to go on dates or enjoy activities together. It is all about doing the deed. Of course, you are still friends and should respect each other when together. Netflix and chill or just hanging at one of your homes is cool, but actual dates are a no-no.
Keep a Healthy Dialogue About Your Feelings
You don’t have to chat about your feelings all the time, but be sure to check in every now and then to make sure you both feel the same and the situation isn’t changing. The longer you hang out the more chance one of you will catch feelings. You need to make sure this is vocalized as it will change the relationship. This is also true if one of you starts seeing someone else. You don’t want to be in that situation. Clear communication helps clarify your FWB situation and means it is less likely to end in a mess.
Know When To End It
Eventually, there will come a time when your FWB situation will come to an end. Knowing when is paramount to the two of you staying friends after. If you start to feel like your friend is wanting a romantic relationship and you don’t it is best to bring things to an end. The same goes for if you have feelings and it is evident your friend doesn’t. It might be best to call it quits so you can save the friendship. The same goes if one of you has met someone else. You need to put an end to your FWB relationship and focus on being just friends.
The Pros and Cons of Having Sex With Your Friend
If you still aren’t sure whether getting in the sack with your good friend is worth the trouble, here are some of the pros and cons that should help you make a clear decision.
- You already know each other. There is an immediate connection so you don’t have to worry about getting to know them. You already have a fair idea about their personality and what to expect from them as a human.
- You are comfortable with each other. Being friends means you already have an understanding of each other, which makes it much easier to hang out and get jiggy with it.
- You want a commitment-free relationship. If it is just the sex you are both after without everything else that comes with a relationship, you can’t beat a FWB situation with a close freind. You already know each other so the sex is just a bonus.
- The sex is bad. If you have been keen on your friend for a while, you have no doubt imagined how amazing the sex will be. When you do the deed and it doesn’t live up to expectations, it can be a real letdown. This could cause some friction between you both.
- One of you develops feelings. This can really put pressure on the friendship. If one of you wants more than the other, it can be really hard to stay friends. The last thing you want to do is ruin your friendship over sex.
- Things get awkward. Even if you manage to say friends, things could get awkward between you both. This is will become noticeable to your other friends and questions will be asked about what is going on. This is why it is always best to speak to your friend about what has happened and how you are both feeling about things.
Jumping into bed with your friend can be a friendship ender, but also the catalyst for something really special. There is a lot to think about before you take things to the next level. The impact having sex can have not on just your relationship, but for those in your friendship group. You have to ask yourself if risking your friendship is worth it, and then go from there.
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