She Said/He Said – Friends with Benefits

This column first appeared in The Times on Monday 6th February.



SHE SAID – by Paige Nick

I think ‘friends with benefits’ is a misleading term. To me a real friend with benefits is a mate who doesn’t like bacon. So whenever you go out you get to have theirs and yours.

In the old days it was a guy thing. What guy wouldn’t want a friend with benefits? All those shags without paying girlfriend tax (ie: soulful walks on the beach and a dozen oysters at eighty five bucks a pop). But women soon caught up, and now we also want commitment-free orgasms.

I like to think I’m modern. Although you shouldn’t expect me to still be awake at three am on a weekend, but that doesn’t mean I’m not hip and stuff. I even have a topknot sometimes, or is that only cool on guys? Still, at least I’m trying. So I can get down with shagging as and when you need it. So few marriages last these days, its no wonder we don’t put a lot of faith in monogamy; we Tinder with one hand, while shaking hands on a date with the other one.

So I only have one issue with friends with benefits. Isn’t it just a bit of an insult?

This hand-picked friend who is good enough to hang with, share experiences, time, energy, secrets and movie choices with. And then you crossed a line and now after a couple or ten drinks, or when The Need kicks in, they’re good enough to share bodily fluids with too. They’ll do until someone better comes along, or until you sober up. But they’re not good enough to be with officially. Really? I’m a little offended on your behalf. I’m not suggesting you even want something long term with your buddy, but isn’t it a bit rude that they don’t? What’s so bad about you?

HE SAID – by Jason Mykl Snyman 

(Jason Mykl Snyman is a develishly good looking, vagabond writer, you can find more of his thoughts and scars here:

To be clear – the rules of ‘Friends With Benefits’ and ‘Fight Club’ are exactly the same.

When I was in my early twenties I used to have a lot of friends with benefits – they just weren’t aware of it until I suddenly stopped replying to their MXit messages. Many years later, I still wish I had a friend with benefits, but now that friend would be a pharmacist and the benefits would be free valium.

Things have gone belly-up since my own days of lecherous, amoral cavorting. It used to be that you had to work for it. The divorce rate is through the roof and it doesn’t take much effort to get yourself entangled in a no-strings-attached relationship with some damaged goods. These days though, it’s the women who do the initiating. The toughest choice they have to live with is whether to get a friend with benefits or a friend with batteries – and I’ve seen the 240v Shagmaster Pro 5000’s jackhammer action – and let me tell you, fella’s, the competition is stiff.

Hehe – stiff…

Anyway. I know, it all sounds pretty good, right? You think you can’t possibly ruin friendship with sex. That would be like ruining ice-cream with chocolate sauce. What’s wrong with two friends who occasionally high-five with their genitals? The problem is this; sooner or later you’re going to ruin your casual sex with conversations and feelings. First, your benefits plan stops covering all the butt stuff, and then the cuddles begin, and then the sleepovers. Before you know it you’re having brunch with her family and headed toward a meltdown, and because you’re so emotionally handicapped it’s only a matter of time before she gets a real boyfriend and the benefits go out the window – along with the friendship.

If you’d kept your pants on you’d still have a friend – albeit a friend with sexual tension – and you’d have somebody to talk to about Desperate Housewives, which you secretly love but can’t admit it to your bros.

But, I’ve already said too much. Rule number one; you do not talk about friends with benefits.

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