By Carly Basian and community editor Allyssia Alleyne
Friends with benefits. No strings attached. Fuck buddies. Whatever you call it, the idea of turning a friend into a lover is a tempting one. Though this kind of friendship seems simple to maintain—you have gratifying sex without the commitment of an exclusive, romantic relationship— it can be more complex than you think. Take this quick quiz to find out if you can take the heat. Give yourself one point for every a, two for every b, and zero for every c.
1. Which one word sums up your feelings towards rules and structure?
a) I love rules. They rule my life, if you will. I cannot stand when people break the rules.
b) I try my best to follow them, but I slip up from time to time.
c) The only rules I follow are in the Criminal Code.
Just like monogamy, a friendship with benefits has rules and boundaries. Do benefits include intercourse and oral, or just kissing and touching? Are you expecting a long-term fling or a one-night stand? Are your mutual friends allowed to know? Are you allowed to hold hands and cuddle after sex? You’ll also need to prepare yourself for the chance that the other person breaks the rules. Does this seem overwhelming? If so, you might wanna reconsider bringing sex into your relationships.
2. Is the friend you’re considering someone you couldn’t live without?
a) Yeah, she’s been my best friend since kindergarten.
b) We get on well, but I could carry on without them.
c) I have no friends.
When you start a sexual relationship with a friend, there’s a chance that, by the end of your fling, the friendship will be over. This could happen for a variety of reasons. Maybe, post-fling, it’s too awkward being around your FWB knowing that you’ve seen his junk or her tatas. Maybe the hormones released during orgasm—oxytocin to connect you to your partner, and dopamine to make you feel “in love”—make one person want more from the relationship. In any case, you should be able to accept life without them.
3. In a relationship, you’re the type to:
a) Send your beau dozens of messages throughout the day, asking urgent questions like, “What are you thinking about?”
b) Do most of the talking in person, and send a couple of important/suggestive texts when needed. Wink.
c) Remain completely silent, especially during intimacy.
It’s called “no strings attached” for a reason. This means that asking, Where are you? Who are you with? and Can I join? is out of the question. This crosses the threshold of a full-blown relationship (and an unhealthy one at that). With a FWB, you must remember that, outside of your day-to-day friendship, it’s just sex and nothing more.
4. Honesty is:
a) The only policy.
b) The best policy.
c) Wishful thinking.
Honesty is one of those few strings that shouldn’t be severed. If you start experiencing romantic feelings or have second thoughts, you should be able to share with the other person so that you can both reevaluate your situation. Who knows? Sharing your feelings could turn your arrangement into a monogamous relationship (or a hot open relationship).
5. If my partner wants to have safe sex, I:
a) Become suspicious. How are they reading my mind?
b) Do whatever I can to make that happen without sacrificing my own comfort.
c) Tell them to get out of the damn bed.
You want to give your sex buddy an orgasm, not herpes. Get tested and use a condom to keep disease and pregnancies out of your relationship unless you’re ready to deal with the consequences. Be considerate to each other’s needs and concerns and, as with all relationships, don’t bully each other into trying different things or having unprotected sex.
0-3 points: Get help.
3-6 points: With your needs and attitudes, you might better enjoy a more traditional monogamous relationship or singledom. Ain’t no shame in that!
6-10 points: Looks like you might be ready for a friend with benefits! Call up your cutest friend and see if he or she is down for some NSA nookie.