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Ice Queen

Real friends with benefits are a rarity

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I have no idea who coined the notion, whoever it was, they were totally clueless regarding of the meaning of the words they used. There's no need for me to explain what the word "friend" means, so I'm going to get straight to the point. 

 

95% of the duos that call themselves "friends with benefits" are, in reality, nothing but people who have intercourse now and then without talking and hanging out at all and, obviously, without keeping in touch after sex between the parties becomes impossible for various reasons. Well, where is the friendship in all that? Why on earth would you use a notion which is so linguistically inaccurate? 

 

To me, this notion means one thing: whatever happens, we stay friends. Sex does not influence  our friendship negatively. Friends first, sex partners second. Period. 

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Hehe, I just this minute wrote this in another thread:

Quote

I also don't like that when most people think of "sexual friendship" they would generally see the friendship aspect as coming a distant second to the sex (not to mention the two being in a state of constant conflict/tension). Why? :/

The aro hive mind must be at work! :aropride:

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1 hour ago, Ice Queen said:

To me, this notion means one thing: whatever happens, we stay friends. Sex does not influence  our friendship negatively. Friends first, sex partners second. Period. 

 

Yes, 100% agree with this. I was also saying in that other thread that I think you perhaps need some sort of "emotional contract" setting out at the start of a sexual friendship / friends with benefits relationship and part of that "contract" should be to establish that if the sex does start to have a negative impact on the friendship then you can return to friends who don't have sex / friends without (sexual) benefits.

 

There's also the possibility that the sex would have a positive influence on the friendship. Mutually reinforce it, affirm it, be a nice thing that the friends do for each other, a kind of shared gift that they can both give and receive at the same time. At least that's what I'd hope for out of a "friends with benefits" relationship :)  

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4 hours ago, Ice Queen said:

nothing but people who have intercourse now and then without talking and hanging out

A more accurate term would be 'booty call acquaintances' 

I think when the term 'friends with benefits' was first coined by that stranger in the past, or the 95% using it that way now, was to use the word 'friends' as a way to mask the truth that there is no relationship as 'almost strangers who have sex' leaves it open for all different sorts of shaming. Or it might just be the non-aro misrepresentation of the word 'friend' popping up again, like them calling someone they have talked to twice in a month a friend. 

 

I know there is 2 movies out there that came out around the same time, I don't really remember them, but wasn't one of the movies meant to be decent and it was an actual friendship with sex? 

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12 hours ago, Ice Queen said:

I have no idea who coined the notion, whoever it was, they were totally clueless regarding of the meaning of the words they used. There's no need for me to explain what the word "friend" means, so I'm going to get straight to the point. 

 

95% of the duos that call themselves "friends with benefits" are, in reality, nothing but people who have intercourse now and then without talking and hanging out at all and, obviously, without keeping in touch after sex between the parties becomes impossible for various reasons. Well, where is the friendship in all that? Why on earth would you use a notion which is so linguistically inaccurate?

My thinking is that aros and allos tend to understand the term differently.
For aros it's likely to mean something along the lines of queer platonic, sexual, affectionate, sensual, etc. friendship. With at least some interest in this having emotional depth and the possibility to last.
For allos it's likely to mean something primarily about sex, short term, even specifically trying to avoid any kind of relationship
 

 

8 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

A more accurate term would be 'booty call acquaintances' 

I think when the term 'friends with benefits' was first coined by that stranger in the past, or the 95% using it that way now, was to use the word 'friends' as a way to mask the truth that there is no relationship as 'almost strangers who have sex' leaves it open for all different sorts of shaming. Or it might just be the non-aro misrepresentation of the word 'friend' popping up again, like them calling someone they have talked to twice in a month a friend.

Also the way allos like to see friendship as a lessor kind of relationship e.g. the term "just friends". (With the irony of using the terms "boyfriend" and "girlfriend" to refer to romantic partners. Even where no actual friendship is present.)
 

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The arrangement described in the Sartre novel “Nausea” …

 

I live alone, entirely alone. I never speak to anyone, never; I receive nothing, I give nothing. The Self–Taught–Man doesn't count. There is Francoise, the woman who runs the "Railwaymen's Rendezvous." But do I speak to her? Sometimes after dinner, when she brings my beer, I ask her: "Have you time this evening?"
She never says no and I follow her into one of the big rooms on the second floor she rents by the hour or by the day. […] But we hardly speak. What good is it? Every man for himself: besides, as far as she's concerned, I am preeminently a customer in her café. Taking off her dress, she tells me:

"Say, have you ever heard of that aperitif, Bricot? Because there are two customers who asked for some this week. The girl didn't know and she came to ask me. They were commercial travellers, they must have drunk that in Paris. But I don't like to buy without knowing. I'll keep my stockings on if you don't mind."

 

… would be called “friends with benefits”! :evilgrin:

 

In reality it's rather like @Apathetic Echidna called it: ‘booty call acquaintances’!!

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17 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

I think when the term 'friends with benefits' was first coined by that stranger in the past, or the 95% using it that way now, was to use the word 'friends' as a way to mask the truth that there is no relationship as 'almost strangers who have sex' leaves it open for all different sorts of shaming

 

Probably also worth pointing out that, for heterosexual FWBs, there is likely a massive gender imbalance in terms of how this "shaming" gets applied. A guy might more likely get high-fives and congratulations from his guy friends for managing to pull off this singular feat (eww). A girl might more likely get concerns expressed to her face and 'slut-shamed' behind her back from her girl friends for choosing to enter into this sort of relationship (yeah, I'm using the term 'friends' loosely in the latter case). Which might make her very reluctant to enter into this sort of relationship in the first place. Even if she'd like to and would actually rather enjoy it >:( It might also make her more likely to be treated as a 'second class citizen' within the relationship itself (if the guy has bought into some of the same gendered crap). I think I recall @LunarSeas remarking that it was rare to encounter a guy who could genuinely pull off a sexual friendship and actually treat his "casual" (as he might see it) sex partner with decency and respect? I wonder if the above are some of the reasons why?

 

Basically, (hetero)normative gender roles suck (and the people who insist on acting as 'enforcers' for them suck even more; why can't they just leave people be?)  

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5 hours ago, NullVector said:

Probably also worth pointing out that, for heterosexual FWBs, there is likely a massive gender imbalance in terms of how this "shaming" gets applied. A guy might more likely get high-fives and congratulations from his guy friends for managing to pull off this singular feat (eww). A girl might more likely get concerns expressed to her face and 'slut-shamed' behind her back

(All following italic comment quotes are as close to what I remember them being when they were said in public)

 

It has been almost the complete opposite of this in my experience. Maybe it is different in single gender friend groups, but co-ed (:P) groups seem to shame the guys much more. A girl easily avoids shaming if she admits she has feelings, or the sex is great, or she is confused,  then there are choruses of  'Don't let him treat you like that, you deserve more', 'You go girl!' , 'enjoy some fun but don't settle on him if he can't commit'  with no or only fleeting comments behind her back. (The real ones that get slut shamed are the girls who date speed-dating style with sex, they change partners about as fast as a date in speed dating and no one ever knows/remembers the current partner's name). 

 

However, guys in heterosexual FWBs get quite a bit of social hate. Generally the assumption is made that the guy has no feelings while the girl participating in the sexual relationship has feeling but is hiding them so you get comments like 'scratching your itch is playing with her emotions' , 'She is probably secretly in love with you, you should stop' , 'she will be so hurt when you stop'. Then there are the cases when new budding romantic relationships get torpedoed when a recent past FWBs is discovered, and when that happens there always seems to be accusations of being unfeeling or using people (referring to the previous female partner). I only know of FWBs history being a negative factor for guys in new relationships. 

 

There is probably a multitude of reasons for the comments I have heard, but guys get it worse in my experience. 

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6 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

There is probably a multitude of reasons for the comments I have heard, but guys get it worse in my experience. 

That's really interesting. I'll admit that my observations earlier were made from a fairly indirect place (not from overhearing friends talking about this or observing their relationship dynamics, for example) So, not sure how much value they have vs. your direct observations.

 

But comments like:

6 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

 'Don't let him treat you like that, you deserve more', 'You go girl!' , 'enjoy some fun but don't settle on him if he can't commit'

for the girl and 

6 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

'scratching your itch is playing with her emotions' , 'She is probably secretly in love with you, you should stop' , 'she will be so hurt when you stop'.

for the guy do seem to me to rest on certain assumptions that were maybe underlying both our posts? 

 

The assumptions being that obviously a man would enjoy this type of relationship and obviously no self-respecting woman would get all her needs met through it and therefore go into it with fully open eyes. So she must be getting "tricked" on some level by the guy (and therefore shame on him!). Either that or she's "tricking" herself or not being honest with herself about how she feels. None of which is really treating women like grown-up humans who can make their own choices based on their own preferences (which might, shockingly, quite genuinely run to preferring FWBs to a romantic relationship). It's actually pretty patronising, I think. And weird to me that she would feel socially pressured to hide genuine preferences behind talk of being "confused".

 

6 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Generally the assumption is made that the guy has no feelings while the girl participating in the sexual relationship has feeling but is hiding them

Then there is this other assumption that no romantic feelings = no feelings. This one might be even worse :/

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@NullVector yea, it is all fairly terrible. 

My observations are from various friend groups but there were certainly more guys participating in FWBs so maybe I saw their criticism more because it was easier to see in quantity. There were a few bad FWBs 'break-ups' where the girl had been hiding her feelings and got pissed when he would move on to a girlfriend, so those events could definitely have tainted the perceptions. 

Basically everything in those comments is working on assumptions. Assumptions of his feelings, her feelings, how they should be, how they should not be, on what friends think and how to protect yourself from that. 

37 minutes ago, NullVector said:

assumption that no romantic feelings = no feelings. This one might be even worse :/

well it isn't a complete lack of feelings but certainly an assumption of less feelings than between friends as well as no romantic feelings. Maybe the assumption is that it is only sexual attraction with very little personal connection and colleague type emotional depth to the shared feelings? This last bit probably makes no sense, sorry, I don't even really get it. 

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11 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

It has been almost the complete opposite of this in my experience.

I'm kind of reminded of the issue of "are men or women more romantic".
Where the reality appears rather at odds with the popular perception.

 

11 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Maybe it is different in single gender friend groups, but co-ed (:P) groups seem to shame the guys much more. A girl easily avoids shaming if she admits she has feelings, or the sex is great, or she is confused,  then there are choruses of  'Don't let him treat you like that, you deserve more', 'You go girl!' , 'enjoy some fun but don't settle on him if he can't commit'  with no or only fleeting comments behind her back.

In two of these cases she could be seen as a "victim". Which is likely to result in people, especially men. coming to her defence.

 

11 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

(The real ones that get slut shamed are the girls who date speed-dating style with sex, they change partners about as fast as a date in speed dating and no one ever knows/remembers the current partner's name).

Be interesting to know if it's more likely to be men or women who slut shame. Possibly also significent that there have been campaigns against it.

 

11 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

However, guys in heterosexual FWBs get quite a bit of social hate. Generally the assumption is made that the guy has no feelings while the girl participating in the sexual relationship has feeling but is hiding them so you get comments like 'scratching your itch is playing with her emotions' , 'She is probably secretly in love with you, you should stop' , 'she will be so hurt when you stop'. Then there are the cases when new budding romantic relationships get torpedoed when a recent past FWBs is discovered, and when that happens there always seems to be accusations of being unfeeling or using people (referring to the previous female partner). I only know of FWBs history being a negative factor for guys in new relationships.

Do these negative reactions tend to be more from men or women?
I can also see this sort of thing making it even harder for hetero aro guys.

 

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okay, now to see if I can catch and answer all your questions :coffee:

 

15 hours ago, Mark said:

In two of these cases she could be seen as a "victim"

She might have expected a negative reaction, but placing yourself as a victim removes fault, just like embarrassment and shame are protective feelings. Showing shame or embarrassment to a group shows you know you are out of the socially expected norm and might not want to be, which reduces hostile reactions to a certain extent. There was some study on this, but they were using nudity as an example to explain the social importance of these emotions. 

 

15 hours ago, Mark said:

if it's more likely to be men or women who slut shame.

From what I know, it is definitely men. They tend to be the loudest or most obvious about it, they sort of normalise it or add confidence to their closer friends of whatever gender who then join in, either confrontationally or behind backs. The worst sort of shaming is the 'free sex' assuming hostile come-ons with slut shaming comments thrown in, I have only ever seen men do this.

 

Being a girl I don't know what guys do say or do when they are alone with the bros but when women are alone if we dislike someone we are going to be snarky about them anyway. The comments are generally very specific to the person we dislike rather than blanket comments on behaviour because usually one or more of the friends are doing similar behaviours. Though the specific slurs may not be about what she is doing but rather who she is doing, then some serious shaming disapproval starts though this is not usually tied to promiscuity. 

 

15 hours ago, Mark said:

Do these negative reactions tend to be more from men or women?

So, the comments are about an even split between women and monogamous-in-a-relationship men. 

 

The instant break-up when a FWBs is revealed has always been women. I never got to know them so I don't really know what their issues were in regards to their new boyfriend having recently had a FWBs relationship, but the issues were strong enough to break-up and cut contact.

Maybe they saw it as a red flag of a cheating partner just because he was having sex with someone when they met and don't make the distinction that he stopped before going on the first date? Maybe being open about having a regular booty call buddy is seen as too much of a threat to a romantic relationship where there is going to be a getting to know period before sex enters the relationship? I don't know.

I do know some of my male friends are getting jaded at the narrow mindedness of the females in our age group, so they are 'expanding their horizons'.

 

Also worth noting is none of my male friends are openly aro*, or even show obvious signs of being aro (so no romance repulsion that I have seen), some of them even refer to themselves as 'hopeless romantics' ~ but as I commented in one of the Valentines topics there is a sense of competitiveness and romantic gestures as being commodities to gain favour in relationships.

 

*I am not friends with some of these people any more, if they had been openly aro I would have found out about myself faster!

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7 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

Also worth noting is none of my male friends are openly aro*, or even show obvious signs of being aro (so no romance repulsion that I have seen), some of them even refer to themselves as 'hopeless romantics' ~ but as I commented in one of the Valentines topics there is a sense of competitiveness and romantic gestures as being commodities to gain favour in relationships.

 

*I am not friends with some of these people any more, if they had been openly aro I would have found out about myself faster!

Sounds like it would be hard for anyone to be openly aro in a group like that.

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2 hours ago, Mark said:

Sounds like it would be hard for anyone to be openly aro in a group like that.

well, all my comments are an amalgam of experience in 6 different friend groups during high school and university. The hostile come-ons reduced after high school (maybe because I got away from those people, but they are still out there doing it? I hope they aren't though) but most of the other things are the same. Really you are only hearing about the worst things distilled....as for being openly aro, well wish me luck! :aropride:

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On 9/29/2017 at 3:42 AM, Apathetic Echidna said:

 

On 9/28/2017 at 12:45 PM, Mark said:

if it's more likely to be men or women who slut shame.

From what I know, it is definitely men. They tend to be the loudest or most obvious about it, they sort of normalise it or add confidence to their closer friends of whatever gender who then join in, either confrontationally or behind backs. The worst sort of shaming is the 'free sex' assuming hostile come-ons with slut shaming comments thrown in, I have only ever seen men do this.

 

This kind of stuff I find especially terrible :( I had something like this in mind earlier, when I said "It might also make her more likely to be treated as a 'second class citizen' within the [FWB] relationship itself". That is, if the guy feels entitled ('free sex' assuming') and has to some extent mentally categorized the girl as 'slut' as opposed to 'person' (perhaps with encouragement from his guy friends) then she might get treated poorly by him.

 

21 hours ago, Apathetic Echidna said:

...as for being openly aro, well wish me luck! :aropride:

Good luck! :):aropride:

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On September 26, 2017 at 3:07 PM, Ice Queen said:

I have no idea who coined the notion, whoever it was, they were totally clueless regarding of the meaning of the words they used. There's no need for me to explain what the word "friend" means, so I'm going to get straight to the point. 

 

95% of the duos that call themselves "friends with benefits" are, in reality, nothing but people who have intercourse now and then without talking and hanging out at all and, obviously, without keeping in touch after sex between the parties becomes impossible for various reasons. Well, where is the friendship in all that? Why on earth would you use a notion which is so linguistically inaccurate? 

 

To me, this notion means one thing: whatever happens, we stay friends. Sex does not influence  our friendship negatively. Friends first, sex partners second. Period. 

 

Friends with benefits was coined by an alloromantic allosexual person and applied in a liberal sense but yes, you're absolutely correct. Ice.  

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the one thing I got to say about friends with benefits is that sexual humans tend to develop romantic feelings for the people they have sex with, especially if they keep doing it, and especially if such a person is a friend. Sex also can and often does build other emotional connections or attraction too. 

 

can't speak to how this plays out for an aro. I'm pretty sure emotional ties would be influneced, even if only the strength of the sexual attraction. but what that exactly means for an aro I can't really say. I'm too... grey/quoi/demi, generally, in my orientation. and aros aren;t common enough for me to build an (hopefully) accurate model of their average/common range of experience. 

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2 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

can't speak to how this plays out for an aro

Bear in mind this is all hypothetical for me, but...

 

I'd imagine that for an aro in a FWB with an allo it might very well play out like your first paragraph. At that point, the aro probably needs to say "look, I enjoy having sex with you, but I don't feel able to reciprocate these romantic feelings you're developing, so perhaps it's better if we go back to 'friends without benefits'? I don't want to mess up our friendship, it's important to me". That's the "contract" I was talking about in an earlier post.

 

I guess two (or more?) aros in a FWBs relationsip wouldn't have the above 'problem'. But what are the odds of that ever happening, right? :rofl:

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13 hours ago, cute kitty Meow! Mewo! said:

the one thing I got to say about friends with benefits is that sexual humans tend to develop romantic feelings for the people they have sex with, especially if they keep doing it, and especially if such a person is a friend. Sex also can and often does build other emotional connections or attraction too.

This sounds like secondary romantic attraction. Which certainly wouldn't happen with anyone who was aromantic. Nor is romantic attraction certain for an alloromantic or demiromantic.

Non romantic emotional connections could be tricky especially for alloromantics.
Possibly why allos go to such lengths to avoid actual friendship here.
 

 

11 hours ago, NullVector said:

I guess two (or more?) aros in a FWBs relationsip wouldn't have the above 'problem'. But what are the odds of that ever happening, right? :rofl:

Unlikely at present. Given how difficult it is for aros to meet in the physical world...

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1 hour ago, Mark said:

Given how difficult it is for aros to meet in the physical world

Hah, sorry, that just makes me think of The Matrix. Guess we're just waiting for an aro Morpheus figure to 'red pill' and unite a bunch of us "in the physical world" :D

 

Hey, I'd watch that movie. I can just imagine the trailer now: *cliche-portentous movie trailer voice* "In a world held captive by illusion, a few brave but scattered souls have broken free. Join them as they battle to survive this hostile reign of totalitarian romance" #NoRomo2017 

 

But yeah, in all seriousness, I kinda wish it was easier to meet IRL aros. It'd be interesting if nothing else.

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I totally agree, I'd love a real FWB relationship. Two of my favourite things in one person, friend and sex :arolove: Why are people so weird about that?

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On 10/8/2017 at 10:37 PM, NullVector said:

Hah, sorry, that just makes me think of The Matrix. Guess we're just waiting for an aro Morpheus figure to 'red pill' and unite a bunch of us "in the physical world" :D

How could you be so careless, to just blurt it out like this? :gasp: Agent Valentine, Agent Romeo and Agent Rose have been dispatched… they're already rushing through the slightly red-tinted world of the Romo-Matrix to catch you.

 

Just look, you can see it in the code:

 

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}   i       ❤   W   ♥ 4 ♡       P   ^ J   v   J   _ r &         - G % g :           Q + / i Z     z m
X   I       g   @   ^ ; ♡       _   ] X   :   _   % c ;   ♥     + 4 W A J   !       #   f 4 r     ! >
2   R       ♡   p   h : j       b     |   &   .   q 6 6   P     w v j ♡ `   Y       r   ) (       S _

 

PS: It's the GREEN pill, of course!

 

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@DeltaV I don’t even see the hearts. All I see is blonde, brunette, red-head :aropride: 

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@DeltaV Did you actually encode a message? Because I don't want to waste hours of my life trying to decode it and find there was no message.

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@James there is no message encoded there; but there's a message hidden in it – nothing very interesting, just two words. Tip: columns, not rows.

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