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F*ing Friends

A look at the pros and cons – and to whom the FuBu (err, fuck buddy) arrangement will or will not work.

J.J. Lambo met R.L. Lagdameo through Gay.com, which enabled them to “form what can be called a relationship that is mutually beneficial, but (has) no strings attached (to it),” he says. “After (first) meeting up for coffee, we (went over my place to) fuck. It’s been like that for some time now.”

What J.J. Lambo and R.L. Lagdameo are, are fuck buddies (FBs) – generally defined as people who meet only for recreational sex sans the mushy lovey-dovey affectations that usually come with the relationships formed by those looking for something more than, well, fuck. It’s a commitment-less sexual relationship, in not so many words – and it’s something that is actually gaining ground, from fictional Samantha Jones’ Sex and the City exploits to the likes of J.J. Lambo and R.L. Lagdameo, who, aside from having each other, actually also have FBs from other sources, including call centers close to where he lives for J.J. Lambo, and other online gay sites for R.L. Lagdameo.

BUDDY SYSTEM

Josey Vogels, writing in My Messy Bedroom for ffwdweekly.com, refers to the “system” as “being alone together.” “I thought (that’s) a nice way of putting it, because an FB is someone to be with when you’re both alone, someone you like having sex with even though you know it will never be a relationship. Or especially because it will never be a relationship,” he says, adding that “when you’re single, having a good FB can be a beautiful thing. You get regular sex, affection, and someone to hang with, all with no strings attached.”

In a world too obsessed with terminologies, FBs can actually be grouped into sub-groups. Or so says blogger Mr. Ethical Slut in Booty Call, Fuck Buddy, or Friend with Benefits? (datingthoughts.com).

“Since there are many more types of relationships than before, figuring out where one stands is more challenging. Recognizing the terms of a relationship can help keep expectations realistic, and in turn keeps you in control,” he says.

There’s the one night stand (ONS), usually confined within a 24-hour period. “As the name designates, this is a one-time thing. Common feelings associated with an ONS are ‘Wanting to get it out of my system,’ ‘I was so trashed,’ ‘Why not,’ ‘It was just on,’ and ‘Everything just fell into place,’” Mr. Ethical Slut says. “Having sex again after the 24-hour period would change the relationship into a different type.

Then there’s the booty call, a more regular sexual partner, but is still limited to just sex. With this, “you’re on the same sexual page. Time spent predominantly engaging in or preparing for sex. There is no dating or hanging out. Rarely do you see booty calls spending time in public together. After sex, spending the night is not obligatory and often discouraged. There is an understanding that each person is in the relationship for just sex. Booty calls are not interested in a romantic relationship with each other. Therefore, dating other people is acceptable and each other’s dating life is usually kept private. To keep the relationship on a sex-only level, getting to know one another on an emotional level is avoided,” Mr. Ethical Slut continues.

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And then there’s the FB, wherein the FBs actually cross paths outside the bedroom. “FBs are able to be with each other in public. They often bump into each other at the same parties, bars, and clubs. But FBs will seldom make plans with each other. (Sexual) meetings are usually more spur of the moment or if there is nothing better happening,” Mr. Ethical Slut says, adding that “FBs are social play friends (with the) relationship is built on fun, casualness, and sex.”

For Vogels, the good thing about FBs is “there is continuity – it’s a type of relationship. You become comfortable with each other, you get to know each other and you make each other feel good physically. It’s a sweet deal.”

Closely related to FBs are the friends with benefits – real friends who can talk about anything and everything, but neither have romantic interest with the other. “They are able to have sex with each other without it being awkward because they either have a good foundation for their relationship, and/or communicate really well with each other,” Mr. Ethical Slut says.

Beyond this, the relationship is already that of boyfriends – though Mr. Ethical Slut stresses that “by no means are these descriptions definitive.”

WHEN IT WORKS

The FB system works if what is wanted by both parties is “no-strings sex, without the need for the nerve-wracking chatting up that usually leads up to an ONs,” Vogels says. “If you want to get laid regularly, but don’t want to commit to a heavy relationship, then it has a certain appeal. It’s a very personal decision about whether or not it’s right for you.

It’s the arrangement that makes the system work – so much so that other arrangements have already surfaced, e.g. cuddle buddy (just for cuddling), and flirt buddy (just for flirting), all dependent on some kind of arrangement that the relationship is limited to just these.

It can be a real thrill to have a passionate fling with someone you wouldn’t normally hang out with in everyday life for long periods of time. Sometimes a couple have incredible sexual chemistry, but beyond that they have little in common. The added sense of ‘naughtiness’ allows some people to cut loose and play out their fantasies.”

According to J.J. Lambo, there need to be rules, so “you have to agree on terms, e.g. is it exclusive between you two, getting tested for non-protective sexual activities, inclusion of other sexual partners, condom use (with you or with another sexual partner), et cetera. You have to be clear about expectations in this kind of system, so there are no misunderstandings,” he says.

WHEN THE FB FUCKS UP

Having stated that, J.J. Lambo says that “it’s when expectations are not met that FBs fuck up.” Meaning, when “one wants more than the agreement,” then it’s “time to get out of the arrangement.” Examples of these include “falling in love with the other, or acting like you’re more than an FB, or wanting a more complex arrangement, et cetera.”

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It’s the arrangement that makes the system work – so much so that other arrangements have already surfaced, e.g. cuddle buddy (just for cuddling), and flirt buddy (just for flirting), all dependent on some kind of arrangement that the relationship is limited to just these.

Stresses Vogels: “Whether it’s a fuck buddy, a cuddle buddy or a flirt buddy, these arrangements are like a delicate ecosystem – start mucking with the arrangement and you’re usually asking for trouble.”

TEST DRIVE

Vogels believes that “it is often impossible to turn this situation into a regular relationship, if that’s what you eventually decide that you want, but it does work out sometimes. What usually happens, though, is that the intensity of the sex eventually burns itself out – and you both find that you’ve got nothing to talk about. But at least nobody will have a broken heart if you stick to the ground rules.”

Why bother? “Well, while it might be nice to wait patiently for the real thing, or to be attracted to one person for the rest of your life, it’s not usually that cut and dried. There’s a lot of stuff in between the full deal and being single. And sometimes you just need a little something to get you through the night,” Vogels says.

And J.J. Lambo and R.L. Lagdameo agree. “I need to get laid, you know. And since the right one for me isn’t here yet, why skimp on the sex?” Lambo says. “As long as you know what you’re getting yourself into, and can face whatever consequences come your way, FB will serve its purpose for you.”

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