Friends with benefits, a.k.a “FWB,” is often the perfect balance between the No Strings Attached sex of a fling and the balanced intimacy of a friendship. The term is often misunderstood and frequently ambiguous. While it can be hard to find and maintain this balance, following these steps in how to find a friends with benefits and maintaining a set of ground rules can go a long way:
1. Know What You Want
When you’re wondering how to find a friend with benefits, you need to be sure that’s what you actually want.
The idea is often confused with, or used interchangeably with, No Strings Attached sex.
But that’s not the case, because you are pursuing a casual friendship with this person in addition to the sex.
How often are you going to hook up? Is there going to be a regular schedule like once a month or once a week? Or are you going to be “on call” for each other?
Either is fine, as long as you’re explicit about what you want and communicate those needs.
What do you want to do when you’re not having sex, and how often do you want to do it?
Are you going to do things together that you’re interested in, like sports or spending time outdoors, or will you just get coffee and chat for a while?
You should also think about why you want a FWB. Can you realistically find that? Will a FWB fill your needs? Is there a better option that lines up with your goals, desires, and needs?
Make sure what you want isn’t actually a partner you can cheat on.
2. Find A Friend With Benefits
In your search to find a friend with benefits quickly, discretely, and relatively cheap, Ashley Madison is the place to look.
Don’t look at your group of current friends, because it will mess up dynamics and potentially ruin a relationship that was based on something else.
Find a FWB that is developed entirely with that intention.
Ashley Madison (go directly to site here) is so great because there’s around 54 million people on the site looking for roughly the same thing.
It is discrete, safe, active, and fun to look because the men and women are so open to new experiences and relationships.
While many are looking for something short term or other types of relationships, millions of them will be open to a FWB.
Ashley Madison makes it really easy and fun to search for what you’re looking for.
With advanced search features that let you search by location, ethnicity, body type, and “relationship preference,” you’re guaranteed to find someone you’re attracted to.
When you find someone you’re interested in and have exchanged pictures, you can message them easily by purchasing credits.
Ashley Madison doesn’t have a “membership” fee that you have to pay for months you’re not using, instead you buy credits to message. 100 credits are only $49 and will get you connected and established with the FWB you want. Totally worth the price!
3. Set Ground Rules
Hopefully you took step 1 seriously, because now it’s time to communicate those expectations to the person you’ve picked out.
It’s likely you’ll have to compromise a bit to meet the other person’s expectations. Since this is a friendship and not just sex, you should compromise.
When you’re planning how to find a friend with benefits, it’s important that you are both on the same page here and going forward.
Communication is important in any relationship, but when you’re treading a thin line between two types of relationships, it’s even more so.
In addition to the frequency of sex and other meetings, you need to talk about what happens if one of you starts to develop feelings.
It’s likely to happen, so what will you do when it does? Will you break it off completely, take a break until the feelings die down, or some other unique solution?
Tell each other’s friends and family about the nature of your relationship? Hang out alone, or are group hangouts as friends OK?
How much of your lives are you actually sharing with each other, and which topics are off-limits?
Some of these may seem trivial, but they can have a significant impact on the success of staying FWB.
Make sure you each know the cards you’re holding and how you intend to play them.
Flirting plays an important role in your FWB relationship, just make sure it doesn’t go overboard and you start developing feelings.
If your encounters with this person were NSA sex then maybe you could get away with flirting, but it still serves an important function.
Most women need flirting and foreplay to really have good sex, and most men will perform more confidently (and vigorously) when the woman expresses interest through flirting.
Even if you have one-night stands, flirting makes the sex better.
For a FWB situation, flirting at the right times will also make the friendship better. Be careful to not flirt as much or in the same way as you would with a committed or long-term partner.
Give compliments, be gently physical before sex, and just let your FWB know how attractive you find them.
This isn’t just a fling, you’ll be seeing her again, so make her want more or she’ll want someone else.
5. Don’t Be Exclusive
Unless you’ve both explicitly agreed that your FWB relationship is exclusive, you should both be seeing other people.
If you’re not at least open to seeing other people, then you’re actually in a committed relationship with a partner. You risk developing more feelings for each other.
If you think about it, seeing other people should make both you and your friends relieved.
As a means of keeping each other accountable, you can even tell each other about the other people you’re seeing.
If one or both of you feel jealous during these conversations, it’s time to ask yourselves why.
You could find another friend with benefits if you find you really like this type of relationship, but too many can be hard to maintain emotionally and with respect to your schedule.
More likely you’d prefer to find a couple of one-night stands or No Strings Attached partners.
If you’re really looking for a special set up, you can find a committed partner that is either polyamorous or wants an open relationship.
You’ll get all the intimacy of a committed partnership while still maintaining what you have with your FWB.
6. Practice Safe Sex
This should go without saying, but you need to be practicing safe sex!
Even in a committed relationship, you should be practicing it. And since you should care about your friend, you want them to be in the best possible physical and mental health.
You’d want them to do the same for you.
You won’t be exclusive and the people you’re hooking up with could have long sexual histories.
You’re probably not looking to have a child right now, so the easiest form of “safe sex” is the woman taking the pill.
Ladies, if you’re not in a committed relationship and/or don’t want children, you should be on some form of birth control.
But there’s so much more that could go wrong…
Gentlemen, you need to take the responsibility for your health your partner’s health. This means always wearing a condom.
Find a brand you like and that doesn’t feel horrible and just get use to using it. If you’re going to be a real gentleman, you won’t expect the woman to have one for you. Carry them with you.
While babies can be blessing, it’s not always the case, and no one wants any of the dozen or so common STIs to ruin their sex life, the relationships, or even their lives.
WEAR A CONDOM every single time.
7. Constantly Check Your Emotions
When you’re planning how to find a friend with benefits, you need to be consistent about emotional feedback both with yourself and with your FWB.
If both of you aren’t mature enough to do this, you’ll either end up developing emotional attachment or you’ll fight to the point of breaking up.
Are either of you developing feelings for the other person? If you are, you need to talk about them rather than hiding them. They probably won’t go away on their own, and sometimes telling the other person can make you feel better.
Developing feelings doesn’t necessarily need to be the end of your relationship. It could even be the start of something even better.
If you don’t talk about it, they’ll just fester, you’ll be anxious all the time, and the relationship will just end anyway.
Expectations & Needs
Are your needs or expectations changing for the relationship? This can happen when you want to see each other a bit less, but want to maintain at least a little contact.
Maybe you change to No Strings Attached sex. You may also want to keep the FWB title, but hang out and do stuff more that you both enjoy.
This doesn’t mean you’ll be taking your relationship to the next level though, so don’t worry!
Maybe you’re growing less interested in each other. That’s OK!
You may find your interests diverging, your schedules filling up, or even getting attached and settling down with other people.
Maybe you want to stay friends or maybe you want to cut it off completely. You owe each other honesty when these things happen.
Career changes, illness, life-changing experiences — all of these can fundamentally change who you are or your ability to be in a relationship.
If it’s something minor, like a career change that means you’re going to move and just can’t be with the other person, it’ll probably be easier to talk about.
But maybe you developed an STI and your FWB isn’t comfortable having sex. Talking about these issues honors the relationship you’ve cultivated, even if it has to end.
8. Maintain Minor Intimacy
Because this is a friendship and not just sex, you need to find a good balance of intimacy — not too much but not too little.
Here are a few ways you can have the intimacy of friends and lovers, without cultivating the intimacy of partners:
Keep Up Communication
Talk to each other, even if your conversation isn’t going to lead to sex.
What should you talk about? Stay in touch about aspects of your life that are important like your job, your shared interests, or mutual friends.
To some extent you can even share about your family.
However, don’t share the most intimate things about you, like your deep, dark secrets or your biggest fears.
Those are often best left to committed partners. When you’re trying to decide if something is appropriate, ask yourself, would you talk to a friend about this over coffee?
Keep Affection At A Minimum
In general, hugging, kissing, and most handholding should only be part of foreplay, and should never be done in public.
When you’re in public, the friendship aspect of your relationship plays out. To blur that line is to cross over into partner territory…
In most ways, you’re trying to keep your sex life and your friendship separate. If you start mixing the two, especially in public, you’ll start developing feelings.
If other people start seeing you as a couple, you’re more likely to develop that as a reality inside your head.
Keep Doing Hobbies & Interests Together
One of the “safest” ways you can connect with each other is by hanging out and doing things together that you’re both interested in.
Skiing, playing sports, group activities are both intimacy building and limited to how many feelings you can develop.
If they’re physical activities, they may even ramp up the sexual tension. Let it simmer for a few days before you hook up and you’ll both experience fireworks!
9. Keep Significant Moments Separate
When you’re wondering how to find a friend with benefits, remember that your FWB is not a stand-in for your partner.
They shouldn’t be paraded in front of your family to get them off your back, and they’re not there so you can have someone to attend “couple events” with.
Needles to say, this will blur the line and you risk developing feelings for them.
Don’t take them to weddings, birthdays, funerals, and other meaningful events that you would typically share with a committed partner, or even a boyfriend or girlfriend.
You can talk about those things with them, but the moment they attend, especially when you have to introduce them to your family, you’re crossing over into long-term committed relationship territory. Remember the rules.