how to navigate friend sex.

01 22 19 — Relationships

In theory, a friends-with-benefits situation might sound super appealing—regular sex without the emotional drama or the commitment of a relationship. In reality, though, things can be more complicated.

So is it worth risking a friendship for the sake of getting laid? Maybe—after all, research shows that friendships can blossom into the healthiest long-term relationships. But then again, sometimes sex with friends can end up just being plain awkward.

If you’re considering redefining the friend zone to include some added benefits, here are some pointers.

Com-mu-ni-cate.

We get it: we probably sound like we’re on loop. But there’s no denying that communication is the secret to great sex in so many ways. So it’s not surprising that the most important aspect of successful friend sex is to talk about it first, so that everyone involved has the same expectations. And make sure you’re being honest with your friend and yourself—are you really OK with it being strictly platonic or are you secretly hoping that it might turn into something more down the road?

Set some guidelines.

No need to draw up an official contract—unless you want to, of course—but at least discuss what exactly being friends with benefits entails. Are late-night booty calls OK? How about sleepovers? Will you also be sexually active with other people? What happens if one of you starts dating someone else? You could even try setting a trial period to begin with to see how things go.

Use protection.

What’s an unwanted pregnancy between friends? Well, actually, it’s a lot. So even if you’re only having sex with each other, make sure you agree to use a least one form of contraception if pregnancy is a possibility. And even if it isn't a possibility, be sure to use protection if you have multiple partners.

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