Friends with benefits relationships can be positive for students

Opinions Columnist | Mass Communication Senior

Having a friend with benefits is a positive experience for college students—the relationship provides support, stability and sexual gratification without requiring too much commitment.

According to a 2009 article titled “Negotiating a Friends with Benefits Relationship,” approximately 60 percent of young men and women represented had experienced such a relationship. This same study states that friends with benefits have just as many problems to navigate as a formal relationship. I disagree.

Having a casual sex partner you actually like is fantastic, especially when no romantic expectations or pressures are involved. A FWB relationship can be incredibly rewarding if both parties are aware of the exact nature of the relationship and communication is used effectively. Good communication is key, of course, as it is in every single sustained interaction with another human—be they mom or boyfriend.

FWB relationships transcend the one-night stand where intimacy is involved. It is a friendship, after all, which is hopefully based on some sort of mutual enjoyment of one another. Additionally, it is understood and guaranteed that the sex will be satisfying, a fact that is uncertain when taking a new person home. The friendship aspect can make the sex more fulfilling since it is with a person who is cared about.

While sex with an emotional connection is nice, most participants in the aforementioned study entered this type of relationship because they did not want too much commitment. College life fills up a schedule fast, and students should make sure they have fun and relaxation time planned if they do not want to go insane from overwhelming stress. Friends with benefits provide the fun without all that time-eating commitment so few students actually have time for.

A FWB relationship opens up opportunities to experiment and decide what kind of behaviors one will or will not tolerate in the context of a sexual or intimate relationship. Since FWB relationships are free from the heavy expectations of monogamy, those who partake in them can dabble around and see for themselves what sexual and relationship styles suit their preferences. It is easier to cut out the sexual aspect of the friendship than it would be to end a formal relationship, so moving on is less painful and takes less time.

Relationships are inevitable and an important process of growing into a mature young adult. However, completely cutting sex and intimacy out of the equation is unrealistic for some people who need these experiences in order to feel fulfilled. Casual sex is the perfect learning opportunity and, in some instances, can even serve to bring friends closer together.

Have sex with more of your friends, Bobcats. They are probably down. And when it is time to get dressed and go study, these friends might even have more than one special benefit.