Going back to being friends after dating
However they end, it seems that once the erotic aspect has been exhausted, many don’t find it particularly hard to return to being just friends.
The shared history, the emotional intimacy, the mutual liking are all still there.
So if you currently have a friend (or two) with benefits, or consider turning a friend (or two) into friends with benefits, don’t worry too much about the friendship: If your non-sexual relationship is strong to begin with, adding a sexual component to the mix is unlikely to change that. You seem to have a poor understanding of sex, STDs, and a normal sex life.
And if your friendship cannot survive some physical intimacy that ends eventually, chances are, it wasn't a friendship worth keeping anyway. doi:10.1007/s10508-013-0189-7 Owen, J., Fincham, F. When I was in college and having a few sexual partners a year, everyone was getting tested regularly during their physicals and using condoms, the risk of STD transmission was very minor.
In that sense, this analysis is presented in a selfish or morally-relativistic/solipsistic frame that focuses the issue entirely on the desires of the FWBs and ignores the larger social context.
Now, a recent study published in the November 2013 issue of the Archives of Sexual Behavior should put some of these fears to rest. Jesse Owen of the University of Louisville in Kentucky, surveyed almost 1000 college students about their FWB experiences.
As such, FWBs alleviate many of the risks inherent in more casual hookups, such as ending up with a bad/inattentive/inadequate lover, a crazy person, or slutty reputation.
But FWBs are not quite romantic either—they lack the explicit commitment to being a couple and building a future together, and also the expectation of sexual monogamy inherent in most serious relationships.
For example, the presence of 'former' casual sex partners (who can never really be considered 'former,' as the casual nature of the interaction implies that it could recur at any time, given changed circumstances or contexts of convenience) can have a chilling effect on the attitudes and behavior of new, more 'serious' romantic interests, or create unrealistic expectations for behavior in future partners, preventing the FWBs from making necessary progress in their own emotional and romantic maturity and lowering their chances of future success.
Likewise, the social identity of FWBs among their mutual friends (who are likely to become mutual friends of future romantic partners) is of course altered in ways that will affect new relationships going forward, both in terms of those friends' perceptions and the shared perceptions those friends transmit to new entrants into the social group.