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Sometimes it feels like we are more honest with our friends with benefits than we are with our partners.
This paradox always makes me think of that episode when Betty seduced Don at their kid’s summer camp, well after they had both remarried.
Like, who do you want to bring to the sex party—your boyfriend or your fuck buddy? I’ve done so many things with fuck buddies that I never would have tried with partners, because I was too much of a jealous monster.
(Like once I let Malcolm tie me to a dresser while I watched him have sex with my best friend.
It’s like my morals were thrown out the window, and I felt this gross egotistical sense that I should come first, because I’ve been around longer, like, ‘Girlfriends come and go, but I’m .’” Sometimes it’s hard to accept that these dynamics usually have an expiration date, which tends to be when one person gets into a committed relationship.
And, unfortunately, not only do you lose the benefits, but you sometimes lose the friend, too.
When I met him, he was 45 and charmingly grumpy, and he would always tell me: “Sex is so perfect. ” I’d go over to his apartment for a couple hours in the afternoons, we’d have sex (soberly, which meant I could actually cum), and then afterward we’d drink tea and complain about stuff. There were times when we saw each other frequently, and other times when things dropped off for a while, usually because one of us had a partner. It felt like we had entered this secretive bubble of transparency—we were emotionally intimate, yet free of the burden of jealousy and ownership.
And while I can’t imagine being with my Cuba date “for real”—I mean, he’s a low-key homeless anarchist who once took me on date to his Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous meeting; there are red flags—I still value our relationship immensely.Others dismiss fuck-buddy dynamics as just being compulsive sex that’s devoid of emotion. Surely it’s possible to find a middle ground between eternal love and zombie-fucking a stranger: a place where you can care about someone, have good sex, and yet not want to literally implode at the thought of them sleeping with someone else. Case in point: The most significant romantic friendship of my life was with an ex-editor of mine, whom I’ll call Malcolm.We started “a thing” five years ago and have yet to end it.This arrangement would generally be called a friend with benefits, or a fuck buddy, or a romantic friendship, or perhaps even a relationship—with “no strings attached.” But let’s be real: There are always strings, aren’t there?It was while planning this vacation that it hit me: The two longest relationships of my life have both been with men who I was never officially dating.