Whether you call them “friends with benefits,” “special friends,” or the always classy “fuck buddies,” it all pretty much amounts to the same thing: someone that can be called upon to satisfy sexual needs, but who doesn’t accept the title or responsibilities of a true romantic partner. They are good for taking care of, physiologically speaking, one of the most basic of needs (psychologist Abraham Maslow’s famous “Hierarchy of Needs” has sex on the bottom tier, next to breathing, food and water). The downside is that these arrangements rarely end happily.
Personally, I thought I had beat the system on this matter. My “friend” is someone that I’m attracted to physically, and that’s about it. Everything else about him sets my teeth on edge. He’s arrogant, manipulative, condescending, and just plain rude. That’s good, I thought. I’ll never, ever fall for him. We have chemistry, but perhaps only because the awkwardness that comes from us trying to hold a conversation might be misclassified as sexual tension. So, I guess we’re talking materials chemistry, not biochem.
A year and a half later, I still have no feelings for him, and he none for me. That should be a success, right? I don’t know. It seems hollow now. How can I know someone that intimately for that long and care so little about who he is and how he’s feeling? It’s such a shallow relationship. I’m always very aware that there is no care behind his caress, no respect to his touch. I find myself fantasizing during sex that maybe, deep down, I might like him. But, no. We only use one another. The arrangement should make everything a little easier. Instead it’s started to feel degrading. We both deserve more than this, I think. Does he ever think this? Has he ever even had more? I know I have. And I’m no longer okay with settling for less than that.