Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The hell(ishness?) of FWB

(And no, don't mistake that for FWaBs, as clumsy an acronym as possible .... despite their occasional hellish qualities.)

In 3 years of hardcore dating, I've experienced every variety of romantic interest ... but none so prevalent as the man who thinks life would be dandy if I'd be his occasional sex buddy.  Some of these requests I've laughed off.  Some felt like cop-outs and pissed me off.  Some I thought worth trying out -- the guys, maybe, I thought would be worth keeping around for whatever reason -- and did.

And, here I sit 3 years later, without a date on the horizon or a Friend with Benefits in the stable.  I'm not considering this a tragedy. Just my version of proof that sex on its own merits truly doesn't have staying power (and I don't mean the Viagra-induced kind).  Despite all intentions to the contrary.

As if reading my mind, Salon.com's Tracy Clark-Flory parsed the topic on her blog yesterday:  "Does Friends with Benefits Work? -- As non-relationships get the Hollywood treatment, I'm not alone in thinking they suck in the real world."

You can read it for yourself, and some of what's said is slap-head obvious, but I'm thinking her most relevant conclusions could be:

1)  A person who says she doesn't want a commitment is lying either to the other person or herself.  She most likely agreed to FWB with subconscious hope that a commitment would develop. (Guilty as charged.)

2) Sex does change friendships. Sometimes it kiboshes them. (Guilty, again.)

3) All FWB scenarios start out sounding like total fun and nearly all end up with someone's heart breaking.  (Oy, yes.)

As Clark-Flory notes:
"Given the high stakes, why do we do it? As my former 'friend fling' said: 'Because the idea of sex without consequences is the most awesome thing on the planet.' He waxes poetic about the appeal: 'It's that delicious, delicious mixture of freedom and dependability. You have somebody you can rely on, you have a safety net, you have somebody you can call when you're lonely -- but you have none of the consequences. You get to not commit but still kinda be committed.' Non-committal commitment, if you will."
No consequences? 

Day 24 of 31: 2.25 miles
Day 25 of 31: 3.5 miles
January Total: 37.11


Anonymous said...

Obviously what you are doing isn't working. Maybe you should try a different approach. How about meeting somebody at church and doing things God's way.

Anonymous said...

Love what Anonymous said but maybe not just church, maybe networking events or non-profit fundraising events. Maybe get sex off the brain with batteries...before you meet the person...so that you are attracted on a philosophical/intellectual level as opposed to a sexual level.

Karin said...

@Anonymous #1.....if you've got time for a 2-week vacation and would love to hear me talk, I could tell you about all the guys I've met through church in the last 10 years. And how all of them are married to someone else now....

@Anonymous #2. Good plan. Although regarding the battery comment....I have no problem getting sex off my brain, but if you have figured out how to teach a guy this, I'm all ears.

Anonymous said...

If what you're doing, which appears to be making out a whole lot and having sex a whole lot early in the dating relationship, isn't working. Try something else.

Karin said...

@Anonymous #1. Hey, I'm totally with you. Please refer, however, to my comment to Anonymous #2. I'm happy to leave the physical aspect out of it for a reasonable period, but finding a guy who feels the same is an entirely different matter. If you know of one, send him this way.

AJ said...

I don't have your extensive experience, but I think if you want a serious relationship, preferably marriage, it's good to keep sex out of it until it's serious (in my dreadfully un-modern opinion, until the honeymoon - now maybe that has a causal relationship to the lack of experience, but I'm happy that way).
Maybe lots of men won't be game. But you only need one. And you won't waste your time on men who aren't seriously interested in you as a person. If he really likes you, he can be convinced to respect your principles (or if you're lucky, he might have similar principles). I can't say it was easy for either of us, but it was worth it in the end.
Guys like that aren't easy to find but I don't think they're outlandishly rare.
I think you should pray about it. Really. And think about what you really want. It sounds like you have a lot of fun, but you're lacking what would make you truly happy. So what would that really be?

Anonymous said...

...unless he's raping you...maybe wait till date 5 or 6 before you sleep with him. That's what my friends and I do. You'll find the quality goes way up when you wait too.

Anonymous said...

Pray? Really? Praying won't help her find a man. Socializing in person will but praying only works for things like snow days and the Red Sox winning. And...even then it only seems to be working 50% of the time.

Anonymous said...

@Karin. Anyone you know from North Dakota or Minnesota in the Boston area that may be a candidate?

Karin said...


No mocking of either prayer or rape on this here site. Thanks!