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Friends with Benefits?

I’m sure most of you have come across the phrase “friends with benefits” before, and if you haven’t, let me explain. Today’s generation is big on “friends with benefits.” Teens are doing it, adults are doing it, and wait for it…they are even making movies about it! But what does “friends with benefits” mean? “Friends with benefits” is the idea that you can have sex with someone just for the pleasure and yearning of having sex with no strings attached. There are no emotions, no feelings, and no physical attachment involved.

The idea of “friends with benefits” is slowly erasing big parts of relationships today, such as friendship, dating, getting to know one another, and discovering connections. There is so much focus on the “hook-ups” and feeding sexual desires, the thought of coming into a relationship with someone is not even on the mind. Many people go into the “friends with benefits” thinking that it won’t cause the same complications as a relationship. Matt Fuller, who is a guest author of the blog Give Me Closure, states:

Two neurochemicals released during sex, dopamine and oxytocin, are responsible for the sense of pleasure and peace that are associated with intercourse. Unfortunately, these two happen to be “craving chemicals” which can’t make the distinction whether you’re having sex with someone you are planning to marry, or with someone who means nothing more than just a friend to you. That means, whether the participants in a sexual act want it or not, a bond is created during the intercourse.

Even though many say that there’s no emotional attachment with “friends with benefits,” the reality of it is that there is. Whether they admit it or not, many people end up feeling used, embarrassed, disappointed, and sad…especially when their one night stand fails to remember their name the next day. Sex plays a huge role on our heart, in our mind, and on our body, so people should be aware that emotions are going to become a factor. If you take a closer look at a “friends with benefits” relationship, you will notice patterns. First one person develops feelings, then there is conflict over where the relationship is going, and finally one friend feels betrayed when the other starts “hooking up” with someone else. These are just a few examples showing ways in which emotions are so heavily involved.

When you look at the phrase “friends with benefits,” really focus on that last word…benefits. Besides the “sexual desire” it may fill, are there really any benefits that come along with it? It may fill a temporary sexual desire, but long term, it may do more harm than good. It can cause a lack of self worth, depression, and an uncomfortable conversation for future relationships. Always remember, your heart is sacred, and it’s delicate. Your emotions and your body should be handled with care, not only by your own self, but by the others that are involved in your life.

Guest blog by Nikki B.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.