A decade ago, while happily married, I could not understand how people would get into these FTF (friends that f..) situations. At that time, it seemed to me that people were wasting their time and possibly closing off opportunities to actually find Mr. or Mrs. Right. But of course, that presumed that everyone was on a mission to meet his/her soul mate, and I obviously now realize that is not the case for many, who find the very idea of just one “soul mate” to be a ridiculous Hollywood concept– makes for great movies, but doesn’t accurately reflect real life.
With age, and experience, I have mellowed over the last 10 years. I now see that at different stages in life people need/want different things. Who are we to pass judgment on another person’s life choices? As long as they don’t cross any legal boundaries, I say live and let live. But if you are going establish a Friends with Benefits arrangement, you need to have an honest discussion with each other to make sure it is a mutually beneficial relationship– in other words, make sure you are on the same page before you embark on this venture.
Here are a few topics I think should be covered when creating an FTF arrangement:
1. Are you going to leave it open about posting things on FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc?
2. Are you okay with PDA (public displays of affection)?
3. Have you both been tested/treated for any STDs?
4. What kind of birth control are you going to use?
5. In case of any accidents, how do you feel about an abortion?
6. How many other partners, if any, are you going to have in the mix?
7. What things are off limits to you?
8. Are you okay with a last minute booty call text?
9. Do you require follow up the next day?
10. Do you expect to go out on dates, or just screw?
11. Do you expect to sleep over, or do you like sleeping in your own bed at night?
12. Are you going to leave stuff behind- toothbrush, change of clothes?
13. Do you have an expectation re the frequency of your encounters?
14. Why is it that you are both open to this arrangement?
These are all important questions to cover– and the last one to me is super important. Usually, someone is focused on other things or has been through a bad break up and isn’t ready to commit to anything other than an FTF situation. Just be cognizant of each other’s emotional state, and try to be sensitive to the fact that overtime this relationship will morph. It is quite possible that someone may develop greater feelings for the other and want more, or that the other person’s interest wanes overtime. It is normal to attach to someone that you are having an intimate relationship with, and if you don’t share those feelings, you need to be honest and nip that situation in the bud before it spirals out of control.
As long as you are not using or misleading anyone, I say you create whatever works for you in your own life. Just get the tough questions out there in the beginning so you are all on the same page, be safe, and have some fun!
By Regina A. DeMeo, Esq.