Having a friend with benefits could be an ‘easy fix’

Sara Williams

Friends usually offer their love and support. Some may also offer sex.

No-strings-attached-sex with a friend is the idea behind the term “friends with benefits.”

Painful breakups in the past and lack of time or interest in someone could make this type of relationship appealing, experts say.

Laurie Wagner, part-time instructor of a human sexuality class, said the biggest draw to this type of relationship is it lacks the negative characteristics and drama associated with a committed relationship.

Wagner said, for the majority, the purpose of sex is physical pleasure and an emotional connection. Men and women differ in this area, she said, because men are more likely to separate sex from love.

Wagner said friends-with-benefits relationships could allow some women to be sexual without feeling immoral and picking up a one-night stand. Turning to a friend or someone they already know may seem more appealing.

A friends-with-benefits relationship could seem like an easy fix, but it risks the loss of a friend, said Michael Moore, assistant director of the Psychological Clinic.

“Body and mind separate does not hold up,” Moore said.

Moore said it’s possible for this type of relationship to work, but it probably isn’t going to last.

“If you can function without living a rich, emotional life, it’s not a problem,” Moore said.

After working as a couples’ counselor, Moore said he doesn’t see a friends-with-benefits relationship as a problem if both people want it and it’s healthy for them to stay together.

The effect this relationship has on men and women may be different, but both will probably mature and look for something more sustaining, he said.

Kristy Schupbach, a sophomore nursing major at Kent Tuscarawas, said this type of relationship worked for her when she was in high school.

“My philosophy is that it’s all good as long as neither of you are married,” Schupbach said. “If you’re both single it can be a lot of fun.”

She is married now and remembers her friends-with-benefits relationship fondly.

Yana Radchenko, senior international relations major, said she considers herself a religious person and would never consider it.

“I’m totally against it,” Radchenko said. “When you’re not even dating, it’s even more destructive.”

Wagner said she can see the chance of this type of relationship becoming more popular because the behavior of some single women is starting to resemble male behavior, though she doesn’t see how feelings can stay out of the relationship.

She says if feelings aren’t involved “it’s like masturbating with another person.”

“Ideally, we are all looking for someone to build our life with,” Wagner said.

Contact student life reporter Sara Williams at [email protected].