College.

A place where innocent intimacy takes place. From Sanborn to West, all the way up to Depot. Sex, emotions, feelings, and friendship all blossom here at NEC like Japanese Cherry Blossoms in springtime.

What a time to be alive.

SZA’s “The Weekend” is playing in a girl’s dorm room while she rants on Snapchat to her friends about a boy who lives down the hall from her because she thinks he’s talking to a girl in her Bridges class.

I think we’ve all been there once or twice.

Now that I am a senior, I wonder if hurt feelings could’ve been avoided for all girls on campus if we didn’t try to seek a relationship and tried something a little less exclusive.

Friends with benefits…maybe?

I began to think, could all the mixed signals be avoided if friends with benefits were the route that everyone took while in college?

Although, according to a recent Facebook study, about 28% of married graduates found their spouse while in college, could we put long-term goals on a pause until we’re mature enough to commit?

Being friends while having sex can be the most stress-free efficient way to get what we need. You maintain a great friendship while pleasuring one another and there is no room for emotions to emerge when the rules are set from the beginning. You have more time to focus on school, sports, and any other extracurricular activities while still getting that needed intimate time. Isn’t that the perfect college lifestyle?

I can see where complications can emerge from the big risk of a friends with benefits arrangement. However, casual safe sex instead of getting your feelings hurt can be seen as a win from any angle.

Although I am no expert on sex, what I do have under my belt is being a female college student with 4 years worth of experience. So ladies, let us do exactly what the guys have been doing. Men in this society have always been given a green light to enjoy sex while not catching feelings. As for us ladies, we can do the same…even better in my opinion.

Being an advocate for happy consensual safe sex, I read an article by Natasha Burton, titled “How to Pull Off Friends With Benefits the RIGHT Way. It might be trickier than you think.”

After reading her tips, I pulled a few that I felt would apply to us NEC ladies.

  1. Pick the right friend.

Think carefully about how your relationship with a potential FWB might evolve if you added sex to it and how you’d deal if for some reason you two became less close. You don’t want to end up losing a close confidante if your FWB adventure goes awry. Your best friend since childhood who’s also your emergency contact? Probably not the best candidate. Your cute coworker three desks down? Also not optimal. That friend of your cousin’s who’s hot but whom you just don’t see yourself having a full-blown relationship with? Now that’s more like it.

  1.  Understand that feelings might develop.

It’s important to consider if your approach to relationships will allow you to become sexually involved and stay friends, Meyers says, “You may enter the situation going, ‘I don’t want commitment, this is so much easier,’ but the minute you start kissing, the oxytocin stars flowing and your emotions get in the way.” On the flip side, he could be the one who starts wanting more, which could get awkward if you don’t feel the same.

  1. Prep yourselves for safe sex.

You are by definition not obligated to be monogamous with an FWB, so it’s super important that your protection game is on point. In other words, condoms are a must, and if you’re in the habit of spontaneous meet-ups, it’s smart for both of you to carry them. This is also no time for anyone to be shy about wanting or needing to use lube. You’re here for a good time, so equip yourself with what you need to have one safely and comfortably.

  1. Keep communicating.

The only way this FWB relationship will work is if the two of you are totally honest about how you feel from the get-go and continue to talk it out when needed, Meyers said. Not only is it important to speak up about changing needs and desires (like, if one of you meets someone), but you should also talk about what you like and don’t in bed — that’s what this is all about, right? Set boundaries.“Find out exactly what you’re really saying yes to,” says Meyers. The more specific you are about setting guidelines — How often are you going to see each other? Will you stay over at each other’s places? — the better the arrangement will work.

  1. Don’t treat them like a stand-in partner.

Yes, you two are friends, meaning — presumably — that you get along and have a good time together. And that’s great! But think twice before making your FWB your date to your college BFF’s wedding or inviting them to dinner with your parents. Casual hangouts are one thing, but including them in significant or intimate moments in your life as if they were your partner can blur the lines that you worked so hard to draw.

  1. Don’t make it all about the sex.

If this is truly a FWB and not “no strings attached,” you are welcome and encouraged to sustain the “friends” part of that by continuing to do whatever activity or hobby brought you together as friends in the first place. If/when the sex stops, ideally you’ll come out the other side still being friends.

  1. Speak up if you want more.

While you should never enter an FWB arrangement with someone you actually want to date — Don’t sell yourself short! — some FWBs do become partners. That can only happen if someone speaks up, though, so if you want a greater commitment from you FWB, say so. If you two are on the same page, awesome. If not, then you have the knowledge you need to move on to look for a connection that truly makes you happy.

I believe that we are mature enough and deserve to be in control of our sex life. We are adults and should not let society create strict rules that must be followed. So ladies, next time you’re in Gilly with your friend that you think is cute, let him know! Take charge!

 

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