Many years ago, a bloke told me he’d scored a “friend with benefits”. I laughed and warned him it would all end in tears. I was convinced the girl was just telling him she didn’t want anything more … but secretly desired his heart as well as what was in his pants.
I can’t quite remember how the arrangement ended. I think with me smugly saying “I told you so.”
On the other hand, I’ve always disputed the men and women can’t be friends without sex getting in the way premise … you know, the whole When Harry Met Sally scenario. I have loads of male friends who will always be just that. Full stop. End of story.
The Attraction Doctor reckons I’m dreaming: “Can men and women be just friends? In many cases, the answer is no. Sometimes that is good thing, when both people see friendship as a step to mutually-satisfying love, sex, and/or commitment. At other times, men and women cannot be “just” friends because only one friend desires something more. Those mismatched desires between men and women lead to unequal friend zone situations, where one person’s needs are completely satisfied at the other’s expense.”
Meanwhile, GQ reports:
According to a 2003 study by Heidi Reeder, a communications professor at Boise State, there are four different types of attractions that can arise between friends:
1. Nearly everyone in the study reported feeling “friendship attraction,” pretty much the same thing guy friends would feel towards each other.
2. 14 percent reported “current romantic attraction,” which is defined as the desire to become a couple.
3. One third felt “subjective physical/sexual attraction,” which means they want to get bizzay without actually looking to partner up.
4. More than 50 percent said they felt “objective physical/sexual attraction,” which basically means that they’re not into their friend but they can totally see why others would be.
The implication is that the odds are at least one, if not both, of the friends feel some sort of romantic and/or physical attraction to the other. Which is the part that Hollywood has been milking as some big crisis for decades.
And being single again after 23 years does get you thinking …
So I rented out Friends With Benefits last night for a little light entertainment and insight (with a dash of titillation) on the subject.
My first word on the movie: Justin Timberlake sooooo doesn’t do it for me. I don’t care how good his abs are. I’d way rather shag Mila Kunis. (If I had to choose.) That girl is HOT.
The film itself was pretty much your regular cliche – with a surprising amount of horizontal action – but it was fun. Rotten Tomatoes gives it 70%, which ain’t bad. It was sexy and funny and made me cry at one point, which is enough to keep me happy right now.
What’s your view on friends with benefits? How about being friends with the opposite sex? Do you think it’s possible?
Song of the day (from the Friends With Benefits soundtrack, such a cute track): Foster The People “Pumped Up Kicks”