|Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake in a Friends with Benefits scene. This is around the time Justin's character comes up with the idea. Image via 2.bp.blogspot.com|
2011 romcom Friends with Benefits was recently in theaters and the “genius” idea” isn’t going anywhere. Hell, it is the 21st century, girls are getting more cynical and less romantic (or at least pretending to). Mila Kunis’ character Jamie in the movie says that she misses sex, but I’m pretty sure she missed (just like most women would) the making out/foreplay bits as well.
And even though it would be very easy to pick up a stranger from a bar, we hardly risk it. Never mind the possibility of him/her being a serial killer. Never mind the awkwardness of not knowing whether they don’t have STDs, or they will be health-conscious enough to take all the precautions. Never mind that you barely established a connection with this person....Wait...I just used too many never minds in a row. Obviously, I do mind.
Yes, I love flirting with the handsome stranger. It is even better if he is from another country (Call it the Before Sunrise fantasy, if you like). But while I don’t mind making out with strangers, going the whole way is a whole different issue. It is far too personal. And call me crazy, but I’d love to be with someone who wouldn’t make me feel awkward the next morning. Someone who would pay attention to how things were going before, during and after...
So where is that person? Jamie (again, back to the movie) attempts a relationship with a guy who’s not her best friend (the best friend is a newly acquainted but greatly liked Dylan), but he totally turns out to be a jerk .
So of course in theory, what can be better to get intimate with a friend who you are having a lot of fun with? Who cares about you? Who you find attractive? It wouldn’t hurt. Or would it....?
Now, I don’t really believe in dating friends. I haven’t been sold on the story of realizing that person is the one after 6 years of being next to each other. I’m told it happens, but until I see it, it doesn’t seem likely to me. So I wouldn’t really want a romantic comedy on two friends who have been best friends for ages suddenly going the Friends with Benefits route.
Movie writers must know this, because the two FWB stories they threw our way this year (the other one being No Strings Attached with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman) were about friends who just met but really loved hanging out together (FWB) or they knew each other from college, but nothing really ever happened due to circumstances. They were never buddies. They were two people attracted to each other, but went the FWB route due to previous relationship failures.
But of course, knowing Hollywood, you know that this arrangement will turn out to be utter crap. One or both sides will want more at some point. The side who doesn’t want it will only turn out to be not facing his/her own feelings. They will in fact end up happily in love, and the sex will be great because during their FWB stage, they already gave each other all the necessary tips...And for those asking why there never make a movie about what happens after that happily ever kiss, Justin Timberlake’s Dylan answers “They do. It’s called porn”.
OK. Seriously, they do make movies about what happens afterwards. It is just not that romantic. You might want to check out The Break-Up or The Story of Us for that.
Friends with Benefits in Real Life
Do people try this? Yeah. Would complications arise? Definitely. Would it be followed by happy after? I don’t think so. Having a booty call you can trust is all very good, but what about the awkwardness you are risking? The fun and the friendship?
That being said, I’d be lying to say I never thought about it. I did. I just never brought the idea to the guy because I thought the disadvantages would far outweigh the benefits. And the fun would decrease. And honestly, I’d rather just meet somebody new and give dating a shot. As Mila Kunis says
“No strings sex is great in theory but falls short in execution. You can't sustain a friends with benefits relationship for a long time. It's inevitable it will either go one way or the other. I have plenty of males who are my friends... Without the benefits. If you're friends with someone, let's just leave it at that. There needs to be nothing more.” quote via imdb.com
So what do you think about the whole FWB idea? A genius idea that came from people who wanted the best of both worlds- people who could be emotionally detached enough to screw the risks? Or should people, regardless of their romantic views, give it a shot if the opportunity arises? And one more question: If you are thinking about sleeping with your friend, were you really friends in the first place?