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Friends With Benefits: Does Casual Sex Really Work?

Rohan, 28, and Nisha, 31, had been friends since they both were in primary school. Having grown up in the same neighborhood, they knew each other well. So when Nisha had a bad break-up a year ago, Rohan was there for her.

Soon their friendship reached a physical level but they decided to keep it casual and become “friends with benefits” (FWB).

They decided their sex lives would have no strings attached and casual, and that they would date other people as well.

However, when Rohan started going out with another girl, Nisha felt jealous which brought up the age-old question – can being “friends with benefits” work? Can two people have sex without becoming romantically or emotionally involved?  Does having sex imply a level of romance?

Does it work?

Dr Vijaysarathi Ramanthan, a men’s health physician and medical sex therapist, says it ’s possible to separate physical intimacy from emotional attachment provided:

  • Both parties involved are mature enough to know what they’re involved in.
  • Both parties are able to fully execute their sexual rights in order to stay away from any form of sexual violence or coercion.
  • The risk of pregnancy and STDs is discussed and avoided.

Roshni, a 27-year-old journalist agrees with Ramanathan’s view. “Of course it works,” she said. She adds that while there’s the risk of bonk buddies turning into couples or getting emotionally attached, it’s a lot better than people ending up in horrible relationships that end in disaster.

But Manisha, 29, who’s been in a FWB relationship, feels that sleeping with a friend is a bad idea. “Inevitably someone ends up getting hurt, sex messes everything up. Maybe it works for guys who can be less detached, but girls tend to be more possessive.”

How is it different from being in a couple?

Nishant, 28, thinks it’s very easy to distinguish between an FWB and a girlfriend. “An FWB is your friend and will give you your space. She won’t act possessive and behave like a girlfriend and question when you do things like partying with your buddies. Whether they end up as couples or not completely depends on the people in question.”

Roshni points out that by its very nature, the two equations are different. ‘They are just friends cozying up and doing stuff traditional friends won’t.  So if either of them starts behaving like a boyfriend or girlfriend or they demand exclusivity, then they’re definitely a couple or want to become one”…

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