Oh Hollywood, you did it again! You managed to take casual sex and turn it into a slew of romantic comedies. As if young girls weren’t already misguided enough on the matters of love and sex, you threw in Ashton Kutcher and Justin Timberlake to really shake things up! Oh, but this is much more realistic than those When Harry Met Sally romantic comedies, isn’t it? I mean everyone’s had a friend with benefits, haven’t they? I have, but unfortunately my own stories have never ended with running into each others arms and professing our undying love for one another. Instead, they usually end with lots of drunken crying, mostly from me.
So let’s discuss this strange phenomenon. This confusing place between love and friendship. For those of you who may not know, a friend with benefits is someone you have fun with. It’s someone who you share common interests with, care about enough to consider a friend, and are attracted enough to sleep with. Friends with Benefits is a concept that I still haven’t been able to fully wrap my head around. For me, this is usually the stand-in. The person you otherwise use until someone you truly feel a romantic connection with comes along. In which case, you must seize all the sexy-time nonsense and go back to being “just friends”. Let me tell you that this can make parties and casual hang outs really awkward for both the friend and the new romantic partner.
For me, sleeping with a friend usually starts with a slip up resulting from way, way too many lemon drops. It’s when I continue sleeping with him that I really know I’m in trouble. It took me a long time to realize something really important about myself. Which was, I cannot have casual sex. I either don’t enjoy it at all or I become completely attached. Either way, there can be serious consequences for someone like me. One problem was that for so long I really believed I could be like everyone else. Which makes me wonder, who else out there is faking it?
For almost two years I had a “friend” with benefits and it was SHIT. Not shit because he wasn’t a great friend, or because the sex we had wasn’t good. It was shit because I wanted to punch every girl in the face who talked to him, I wanted to punch him in the face for not falling completely in love with me like I felt she should have, and I wanted to punch myself in the face for having absolutely no willpower. The real problem was that we didn’t begin our relationship as friends, we began romantically but he didn’t want to become exclusive with me. So with broken pride I turned my back and walked away. Though, somehow we kept finding each other again. This would’ve been fine had we began a real friendship and allowed the sexual aspect of things to fall away, but of course we didn’t. So with that it continued. I fell harder and harder under the guise of, “He doesn’t matter…it’s not like that…we’re just friends.” But that’s not really how I was feeling at all. So why couldn’t I just be honest? I really felt like I could maintain this friendship as it was. I really tried to convince myself that I was unattached but the only person I was fooling was myself. It took being apart from him for some months for me to finally realize what I was doing to myself.
When did the separation of love and sex become normal and everyday? We hear songs on the radio, and see T.V. programs that glorify random hook-ups and advertise the normalcy of sex with out attachment. As if everyone is capable and should be having it. But unfortunately, life is not a movie. If it was, Heath Ledger would have never died and instead he would pick me up, spin me around and we would run off into the sunset together. Yes, this is actually I fantasy of mine, judge me. Movies may depict real life, but real life barely ever depicts the movies. You cannot pretend that you are a certain way, just because you feel like you have to be.
I though that as a feminist I could be sexually liberated and sleep with whomever I wanted to just like a man. I was wrong, neither being sexually liberated nor being a feminist encourages you to become deaf to what your heart is telling you. I learned a lot about myself through my experience. He taught me a lot about intimacy and I wouldn’t change any of it, but I wouldn’t relive it either. Learn from listening to yourself and not from listening to the media. They’re just there to blow smoke up your ass. So who benefits from friend’s with benefits? The one who doesn’t get attached could perhaps. However my advice to someone who doesn’t want a relationship but still wants to have sex, learn to masturbate because it’s a lot less complicated.