Behold, the modern dating phenomenon, where you supposedly get both your sexual needs satisfied as well as the innate feeling of ‘comfortability’ that comes with being friends. 

The term ‘friends-with-benefits’, made popular by the movie featuring Justin Timberlake, has made the detachment of ‘feelings’ normalized in casual dating. I’ve watched countless friends go through the process, and myself have recently endured it too. Previously, I had thought this was the perfect scenario where you have a solid foundation of friendship with the added benefit of releasing sexual frustration, minus the pressure of it evolving into something more. However, recently I have come to conclude that it’s utter bullshit and the whole system is rigged!

Friendships are special – I’d like to argue even more so than romantic relationships – because you have a special bond and love for each other, that does not require any form of sexual favour on either’s behalf. I love my best friend dearly, but I do not expect or want sexual intimacy with them. The thing is, once you cross that line between strictly ‘friends only’ into ‘friends-who-casually-have-sex’, the lines get blurred too much and it leaves one or both parties in an ultimate state of confusion. The fact is, the closest you can become to another human being (psychically) is through sex, and biologically it is proven that feelings of attachment often come with this. The release of neurochemicals during/after sex such as oxytocin and dopamine promote feelings of closeness, happiness and love, which you will begin to associate with the person you’re sleeping with. 

Isn’t it always the case that things end because one happens to develop ‘feelings’ or become attached? And isn’t it disgusting to think that society shames us for that? I’ve come to believe it’s inevitable not to involve emotions with sex. The two can rarely be divided over long periods of time. What’s a shame is that I feel it’s extremely hard to get back to the stage of friendship you were at before things happened. You were more vulnerable than normal, and now you have to close up some part of yourself again (this was meant to be metaphorical but ended up taking a literal turn). 

I need a partner who will simultaneously be my best friend and my lover – not one eighth of the latter. Don’t bother satisfying me sexually if you can’t attend my emotional needs for intimacy. Repeat after me: “people who are ‘just friends’ should not be having sex with me!” 

Maybe you read this whole thing and laughed because you’re one of those magical people who seem to thrive in the whole ‘friends-with-benefits’ culture. Good for you, here’s your gold star. On the other hand, if you are misfortunate like me, it’s time to learn your boundaries. If you know you are someone that gets attached after sex, than by all means do not initiate anything unless both of you are on the same page. Be wary that once you take that step, there ain’t no going back.