It had been almost a month since my last first date, and the memory of sex had become just that – a memory. With no prospects in sight, and my libido becoming increasingly impatient, I began to rack my brain and address book for someone to fill the void. To be clear, the void was not in my heart or my head, but further south of The Tropics.
One night I began joking with Jodi, my best friend, that I should put out an Ad in the “personal” section of Craigslist. Of course she thought this was hilarious, and grabbed a pen and paper and told me to start writing. This is what came of that:
Fuck Buddy Wanted: Cute single gal searching for equally attractive single male, late twenty’s to early thirty’s to engage in non-emotional sex. Light foreplay, occasional dinner and possible sleep overs, 3-4 times a month. Must be clean and well groomed. NO STRINGS ATTACHED.
“That’s not what it’s called!” she squawked, grabbing the paper away from me “you’re not looking for a fuck buddy. That Ad screams friends with benefits!”
“Benefits?” I asked, pretending I hadn’t heard the term before. “Does that mean he comes with a dental plan and 401K package?”
So, I’m sure he was shocked when I turned to him in the cab and blurted out my desire to take our friendship in a different direction.
I’d heard reference to the term “friend’s with benefits” from friends before, mostly from those who were hooking up with guys who didn’t want to commit. So, they’d convinced themselves their arrangement was a mutual agreement for sex without the commitment, but it never occurred to me that I was looking for a friend, let alone a friend with benefits.
“I really don’t see the difference,” I told her. “It’s sex without the strings, isn’t it?”
Jodi, never one to let anything go undefined, a quality I find completely endearing and yet annoying all at the same time, informed me that the two terms were worlds apart. As I came to find out, a Fuck Buddy, is comparable to a one night stand, on repeat. He’s someone to call at 2 AM when you suddenly realize you’re alone, and don’t want to be. He’s the drive-thru at Mickey D’s; Just around the corner, satisfying for the moment and although you know you shouldn’t, you’ll probably go back for more.
This concept made sense. Although I’d never had one before, hence my dilemma. I could completely wrap my mind around the idea of a Fuck Buddy. But the Friend with Benefits still seemed confusing. How could Jodi know for sure I wanted a Friend with Benefits, when I wasn’t even sure what one was.
“See, right here” she said, pointing to the paper I had scrawled my personal ad on. “You say you want dinner and the possibility of a sleep over. That’s friendship territory. You want someone who will be more than just a booty call, but less than a boyfriend, am I right?”
I hate it when she’s right, but she was. I guess I did want a Friend with Benefits after all. Now the only question was, where would I find one? If I had a good looking, nice, funny guy in my life, wouldn’t I already have tried to date him? Where would I draw the line between friend, friend with benefits and boyfriend. Or more importantly, if I did draw the line, would one or both of us want to blur the line later on?
Later that week, I found myself still preoccupied with the idea of finding a friend that would fill this role. After much careful analysis, I approached my friend Dave in the most mature fashion possible, drunk on our way downtown to a mutual friend’s party.
Dave was a relatively old friend of mine, and I’d always found him to be extremely attractive, but not someone I’d date. He fit all the criteria of a would-be mate, but he lacked that one crucial factor, the boyfriend gene. If he weren’t a friend of mine, I probably would have dated him years ago. He would have freaked out at the first sign of a commitment, bailed and we probably wouldn’t have stayed in touch beyond the occasional awkward run in at the bar.
Thankfully, I had been in a serious relationship when we met, and when that ended our paths never crossed, well not romantically at least. We were good enough friends to grab the occasional dinner and sometimes a Sunday movie if we were both bored, but never anything more. So, I’m sure he was shocked when I turned to him in the cab and blurted out my desire to take our friendship in a different direction.
He must have felt it too, because about an hour after getting there, I got a text saying “last chance to back out, I’m ready to take you home NOW”
At first he laughed, assuming it was the alcohol talking, but then as I began to argue my case, he started asking more questions and I began to realize this could actually become a reality. Dave: my friend with the benefits. It had a nice ring to it.
“So you just want to sleep with me?” he asked for the third time since I’d propositioned him with the idea. “Do you really think you could do that, and not get attached?” He knew I wasn’t the kind of girl to sleep around, and I’m sure he didn’t want me falling for him and ruining a perfectly good friendship.
“Yes, I am perfectly capable of having a physical relationship with you, and not getting hurt” I said. This seemed to quell his fears slightly; he began to relax again and we managed to iron out our version of ground rules just as we arrived downtown.
We agreed that our arrangement would be a secret, because if our friends got involved it would add pressure that neither of us wanted. Also, if the other was dating someone seriously, things would end, or be put on hold. We agreed to keep it casual and fun, but also to respect each other.
After we got to the party, we went our separate ways to mingle, but every so often I’d catch Dave looking at me. I must admit it was an aphrodisiac to be standing in a room full of people, and share this secret exchange with him. He must have felt it too, because about an hour after getting there, I got a text saying “last chance to back out, I’m ready to take you home NOW”
That was all I needed. I casually said my goodbyes and headed for the door. We met downstairs and headed back to my apartment. We were both a little tipsy which made for an interesting cab ride. Luckily, it was a short ride or else my first rendezvous with Dave would have been in the back of a dirty yellow cab with our creepy cabbie as an audience.
Back at the apartment we stumbled a bit, but after a few minutes of getting used to each other, it was incredible. The comfort that we felt as friends translated eloquently in bed. He knew my many horror stories of ex-partners and I knew his pet peeves and a few of his favorite turn-ons, which made for a near perfect first time.
The greatest thing about our arrangement was rolling over and going to sleep, without the awkward morning after talk. We both knew what this was, and we were both satisfied. The next morning we hung out a bit, grabbed a coffee and then I went off to do errands and he went back to his place.
Later that day I started thinking about the bridge that I had just crossed. Was this really something that could continue, without anyone’s feelings getting hurt? Had I gotten in over my head?
I called Jodi to see what she’d say about the predicament. Since she and Dave didn’t hang out with the same people, I figured sharing my dirty little secret with her wouldn’t count. She was excited to hear about the juicy details, and when I got to the end and asked, “did I make a huge mistake?” She laughed and said, “As long as you set boundaries, stick to them and constantly remind yourself that he is not someone you want to date, you’ll be fine”
“But how do I keep the boundaries?” I asked. She imparted on me her wisdom, that I now consider a rule to live by. “You can be friends, go to dinner, movies, whatever but no sex. On the nights you want to have sex, you have sex. Don’t mix the two and you’ll never confuse what it is you are to each other.”
I haven’t got all the kinks worked out, but for now I’m enjoying my new found friend with benefits. We’ll see how it goes.