FWB, F**buddy, Casual Sex – It All Means The Same Thing

Name: Starshine
Age: 30
State: NYC
Question: I was just reading the “Connection Without Commitment” article posted on your blog and was thinking about a new category that could be added into dating websites to help clarify men and women’s intentions on these sites. How about just adding a “friends with benefits” category under the “looking for” question? That category would indicate that a person was looking for a “connection without commitment”, but more than “casual sex”, and then men and women wouldn’t have to explain their ambivalence any longer! Perfecto!

Most dating sites DO have a category for this sort of thing. It’s called “short term dating.” It’s code for “dating and having sex but without exclusivity or obligation.”

Casual sex. Friends With Benefits. F**k Buddies. These are terms that I believe were created by women. These three terms are interchangeable in my mind. There is no differentiation amongst them. They all mean the same thing.

I will have sex with you but not date you. Dress it up however you like. It all comes down to that.

You can call eat “eating ice cream.” It still has the exact same definition. To men, it’s all sex without commitment.Men don’t need to distinguish between sex with a friend versus sex with a stranger. Women do. Here again is another example of how we need to clarify and identify our relationships. The need to know what, exactly, a dynamic is or isn’t is inherently female. It’s our way of maintaining control. The issue of emotional and physical safety is used as the reasoning, but that has little to do with it. This is all about a woman’s paralyzing fear of being used.

There is no difference in my mind between a f**k buddy and a friend with benefits. That’s our way of justifying our decision to have sex with someone we know would never date us.

What does “friends with benefits” even mean? The saying implies that we have a friendship with someone, but that the only benefit is the sex. Some friendship. Most of the time, these people are not your friends. Sometimes they are. But often times they are people who would never pick up the phone to see how you are, nor would they come to your aide should you need it. Just because they ask about your day before they have sex with you doesn’t make them your friend. If they do show genuine interest in your life outside of the times that you’re beneath them naked, then you’re dating. Unfortunately, you’re dating someone who isn’t emotionally functional enough to admit that to themselves.

F**k buddy is another bogus term women use to describe a guy that they sleep with who shows no signs of care or interest in them. We use this term so that we can feel empowered.  It implies that we are capable of having sex without getting attached and devoid of emotion and don’t care whether or not the person we’re sleeping with gives a flying fart about us.  We are being used and we know it. We’re simply trying to flip the script and make it out like we’re the ones kicking them out of bed, when really they’re already dressed by the time we come down from our orgasm. We conjure up these beliefs in our head so we have something to talk about. Seriously. It’s all about creating drama and phony intimacy and feeling a fake sense of empowerment. It’s an illusion. All of it.

Yes, sometimes we are using these men right back, you’ll say. I know. But how often is that really the case? And why would we want to use somebody? And why would you want to have sex with someone that you knew didn’t care for or probably even like you?

Why are we so proud of our supposed ability to “use” a man? I’ll tell you why. Because we like to believe we are somehow punishing them. Let me enlighten you about something.  They don’t care why you’re having sex with them or what your agenda is. They will let you believe whatever you want, as long as it gets them laid and there is very little hassle involved.  That’s the difference. That’s where we are fooling ourselves.

Most men don’t consciously set out to “use” women. Some do. But most men don’t have sex with a woman with the intention of never seeing her again. The decision to do that comes AFTER the sex has occurred. Before that point there are too many unknown variables like whether or not she’s good in bed, does she get clingy or attach expectations, etc. If it’s good and she doesn’t freak out, they’ll come back for more.

Even if these sites did have a category that was more specific, few men would actually use it. They know it will impede their ability to meet women. That doesn’t mean they’re being dishonest. They’re just not willing to be totally honest. (Frankly, nobody should be that honest in their dating profile.) They are playing their odds, saying what needs to be said and doing what needs to be done.

Repeat after me: I t all means nothing until it means everything. That should be your mantra.

Approach every interaction knowing this and you won’t need a silly label.

 

 

 

 

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24 Responses to “FWB, F**buddy, Casual Sex – It All Means The Same Thing”

  1. MrWombat Says:

    What does “date” mean, in this context? I’m not american, so I’m missing out on some of the nuances. Are you saying “FWB means sex without taking you to a movie first”? Or is there more to it?

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  2. DrivingMeNutes Says:

    I agree with a lot of Moxie’s comments, including that there s no real difference between the various terms. But, I disagree with the definition – these are all casual RELATIONSHIPS, not “sex with no dating.” Sex with no dating would be something less than a FWB, etc. – that would be more of a casual encounter, or prostitution situation – something less than respectful actually..

    Personally, for me, sex with no dating wouldn’t be much fun. I don’t use these terms. All these women who may fit into these categories are simply my friends. Period. I occasionally may have sex with them, or hook-up or whatever, but that doesn’t primarily define the relationship for me. The terms of the friendship is generally undefined, sometimes even unspoken. Would I take their call if they were sick or needed help with something? Of course. Do I have dinner and drinks with them, or go to the movies? Yes. Do I occasioanlly travel with them? Yes. The only thing I don’t do, really, is commit to something serious or exclusive. We’re friends. This is not high school.

    As for announcing what you’re looking for in your profile, I’ve met most of these women online. Would I ever have met them if I announced at the outset that I was looking for a FWB? I doubt it. Nor would I approach a woman online who said she was only looking for sex. It’s not deceptive. I’m looking to date- not “just sex.” Casual relationships, by definition, don’t have a definition.

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    • Howard Says:

      I don’t come to this blog as much as before, as I am so ecstatically occupied and involved with someone special. The issues at hand have not changed much. Women are attracted to who they are attracted, and refuse to apologize for that, irregardless of the outcomes, even though these outcomes often lead to significant pain.

      Let me give people on this board some million dollar advice that I gave to my girlfriend’s best friend after a long evening of us listening to her bemoan the world. Two questions you must always ask yourself.
      .
      “Has he been emotionally vulnerable with you?
      “Has he shown genuine concern for the things happening in your life?”

      And I am not talking about bedazalling bullshit that strokes your ego or burnishes his value. And it’s a lot more than professing love or even sharing a secret. And if a guy is not emotionally vulnerable with you and showing real concern for the things happening in your life, you’re nothing but a piece of ass to him.

      As the night wore on my girlfriend’s best friend seemed intent on insisting that I was captivated by my girlfriend because of her being a strong woman. We hastily had to correct her and inform her that it was more a question of us both opening up and being emotionally vulnerable rather than any of us being strong.

      The difficult paradox is that to get this from another person, we have to to give it to them. This is where everything goes haywire. Given the current state of affairs, it might make sense for women to get some sense of a man going in that direction before she invests herself into these unrequited situations. And when a man expresses such vulnerability or genuine concern, be mature enough to not let that kill your attraction to him.

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  3. Cheerios Says:

    I agree that “short-term” equals FWB, NSA, or any other type of “dating” that isn’t serious and/or long-term. I’ve also noticed, in my experience, that a majority of men I see online (don’t know about women because not looking at their profiles) only seem to want “short term” relationships. This is just my personal experience though. As a single woman in NY hoping to find a connection with someone online that MIGHT possibly lead to something more serious, I find online dating extremely frustrating. Just because a woman states she ideally wants something “long term” doesn’t mean she’ll jump at the first guy who’s in agreement, it has to be the RIGHT guy, and you’ve got to give the connection time to grow before getting into something serious. At least that’s how I view my goal. From reading Moxie’s blog it seems like a lot of men feel the same way, but are hesitant to put “long term” in their profile because they think it will be interpreted as them wanting to jump into a relationship immediately with the first person they go on a date with who shares the same goal. Then there are also obviously men and women that clearly ONLY want short-term dating too. I’m talking more about that grey area that some men seem to fall into, and how to determine whether they are indeed really open to a relationship down the line or not. I wouldn’t want to waste my time with someone who honestly had no desire to pursue something long term even if the connection was there and was fantastic.

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    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      From reading Moxie’s blog it seems like a lot of men feel the same way, but are hesitant to put “long term” in their profile because they think it will be interpreted as them wanting to jump into a relationship immediately with the first person they go on a date with who shares the same goal.

      That’s female logic. Men aren’t thinking that far ahead when they select their preferred relationship category. If they’re open to a long term relationship, they select that option. If they aren’t, they don’t. Women like to assume that the guy was intentionally being deceptive because that’s easier than accepting that the guy is open to a long term relationship. Just not with them.

      The real problem is that women take “long term relationship” to mean “long term committed relationship that could lead to something permanent.” To guys like DMN, who I think is an accurate representation of the typical guy most women go for, they’re open to seeing someone consistently for a long period of time. They just aren’t going to make a promise they can’t keep. Not any time soon, anyway. Women need to understand that men are taking longer to commit, especially when it comes to getting married. There are so many options out there now that they don’t have to make any snap decisions. Between the growing number of women who don’t want to get married to the ones with a more casual attitude towards sex, guys are really reaping the benefits.

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      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        “Men aren’t thinking that far ahead when they select their preferred relationship category. If they’re open to a long term relationship, they select that option.”

        Beg to differ again. I’m not a fan of “men are simple creatures” as explanation for behavior. I don’t think men are strategically impaired. To the contrary, I think men ARE thinking many steps ahead when they select “long term relationship.” They’re thinking that “willingness to commit” its as necessary a part of a man’s portfolio of assets as wealth, good job, height and handsome face. Even more importantly, its the easiest thing to fake. I doubt women are skipping over otherwise saleable profiles on the grounds that a guy seeks something “long term.”. More likely, its the narrative portion, ie if a guy goes on and on and appears too available, that he would turn women off. My guess is that even women who don’t really want a long-term relationship want a guy who is open to one. Why? Because they want to date a socially appropriate person.

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      • Crotch Rocket Says:

        Men aren’t thinking that far ahead when they select their preferred relationship category. If they’re open to a long term relationship, they select that option. If they aren’t, they don’t.
        I beg to differ as well. A guy would have to be truly clueless to not know that his odds of getting laid are significantly worse if he checks the STR box. We assume that all women want an LTR, so that’s what we’ll tell them we want too. Nearly all women who claim otherwise are lying to us and/or to themselves and don’t merit consideration.

        Women like to assume that the guy was intentionally being deceptive because that’s easier than accepting that the guy is open to a long term relationship. Just not with them.
        In all fairness, to a woman who gets pumped and dumped, there is little practical difference between a man who doesn’t want a LTR and a man who doesn’t want a LTR with her. However, until she can see the difference, there will be no progress.

        guys are really reaping the benefits.
        Women would be too, if they could get past the outdated social programming from their childhood. (Note this doesn’t appear to be a big problem for Gen Y, who grew up in the post-feminist era. It’s mostly a problem for Gen X.)

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        • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

          A guy would have to be truly clueless to not know that his odds of getting laid are significantly worse if he checks the STR box.

          I suggest you take a tour of a few dozen male profiles on OKCupid. Many if not most of the men select short term dating as well as long term dating.

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          • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

            They’re thinking that “willingness to commit” its as necessary a part of a man’s portfolio of assets as wealth, good job, height and handsome face. Even more importantly, its the easiest thing to fake.

            Good point, and one I didn’t consider. I assumed men just clicked boxes without giving it much thought,. I also assumed most men would be open to a short or long term relationship.

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          • Crotch Rocket Says:

            take a tour of a few dozen male profiles on OKCupid.
            I think that’s partly OKCupid and partly there being a distressing number of idiots in the world.

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    • Badger Says:

      “a majority of men I see online (don’t know about women because not looking at their profiles) only seem to want “short term” relationships”

      What men want and what they put in their profiles are two different things. We’ve found from experience that putting out “commitment” vibes to women (online or in person) tends to scare women off. (I have several theories on this – one is that women have a fantasy about “winning” the man’s “commitment,” another is that they are so stuck in the cultural script of “commitment-phobic” men that when they meet a man who overtly markets himself for an LTR it’s weird and confusing to them.)

      We guys tend to assume that most women want something long-term, if the relationship works out that way. That’s basically where guys are too…lots of us are down for a more casual thing as a general rule (if she’s attractive, available and pleasant enough to be around), and down to LTR if the girl is right and the groundwork is really there. But we’ve learned not to say that upfront, lest she put us in the “needy clingy creepy” box.

      It has been illustrative for me to see how backing down on my LTR orientation, specifically putting out short-term non-commitment vibes, has radically improved my dating life over the years – more women are attracted to me, and as a result I have many more options to choose from for the LTR I seek. Women say they want commitment, but that comes with a huge caveat, they want it after they’ve enjoyed the short-term value of the relationship. That a man wants to commit is almost never a marketable point, at least not to women under 30.

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      • DrivingMeNutes Says:

        Similar to my criticism of “men are simple” explanations, I think the premise that women are especially complicated also misses the mark.

        I don’t think women especially need or like a challenge. Women, like men, are subject to laws of nature, one of which is the law of supply and demand. A man who projects “options” simply has more value than a man who projects only limited options, neediness or desperation. Commitment is the scarce commodity for women. Ideally, a woman wants a man who has unlimited options but who commits readily to her, with as little effort on her part as possible.

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  4. Horace Says:

    I call bullshit. If to you friend-with-benefits = fuckbuddy, and if to you friend-with-benefits implies that the ONLY benefit is sex, then it’s not your sexual choices I’d question, but what you’re defining as a “friend.”

    I have a few really good friends whom I love, and from time to time when one of them and I both find ourselves single and the conditions are right, we hook up.

    No one is being used, because we both understand the terms. We’re grown ups about it.

    Or maybe we ARE using each other, and we both understand the terms, and we’re grown ups about it. You could argue that it’s all “using someone,” whether it’s for orgasms, or love, or intimacy, or company, or whatever. What matters is one’s intentions and expectations and honesty. “Using” doesn’t necessarily mean “taking advantage of.” We know we both need something, and we know we’re both giving each other something.

    My point is that I have friends-with-benefits. I even have a couple of fuckbuddies (bootycalls, if you will). Maybe we’re all using each other, and maybe we’re not. Regardless, no one is being taken advantage of or taken for granted. I’m not saying this is typical. But I don’t agree that FWB = fuckbuddy = someone’s using you (read: taking advantage of you). And what classifies casual sex as “casual” is debatable as well.

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      >No one is being used, because we both understand the terms. We’re grown ups about it.<

      I agree, that kind of thing can work out very well. I recently left a comment saying "I'm OK with casual as long as it has X, Y and Z conditions." (X, Y and Z being roughly "someone I feel comfortable with and can communicate with, we're on the same page, we agree to the terms, the situation is fun and mutually beneficial"). Moxie's response was "if you need X, Y, and Z, then you're not OK with casual." I said "OK, then so be it. I'm OK with FWB status, then." So clearly she does see a difference between casual and FWB. Surely we can all agree there's a difference between someone you have a comfortable, ongoing relationship with and someone you drunkenly picked up at a bar one night.

      Anyway, yeah, I agree. You're only really being "used" if the terms aren't spelled out and mutually agreed to, if empty promises are thrown around and one party is being led to believe the situation is/will lead to more than it is.

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      • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

        What you’re defining is a casual relationship. The need to label everything with FWB or Fuckbuddy is what is being discussed. People have to label their relationships so that they, or whomever they are sleeping, know the deal and because they want to deny the fact that they are having some form of a relationship with that person.

        Casual sex is literally picking someone up or meeting them online, meeting up and having sex. There is no relationship involved.

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        • fuzzilla Says:

          Agreed. I think the title of this post (FWB, F**buddy, Casual Sex – It All Means The Same Thing) is what people are debating and are sort of confused by. So…the title refers to people’s misperceptions of the labels and not your personal opinion? The point is calling bullshit on people who label drunken one night stands as fuckbuddies to make them sound more important or meaningful than they are?

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        • fuzzilla Says:

          Your comment seems to contradict what you said in the entry:

          >Casual sex. Friends With Benefits. F**k Buddies. These are terms that I believe were created by women. These three terms are interchangeable in my mind. There is no differentiation amongst them. They all mean the same thing.<

          Not trying to pick a fight, I don't really care, but this is why I was (and apparently others are) a little confused.

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          • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

            I don’t really care,

            Yes, we can see how little you care by reading the four comments you wrote in this thread. I’m sure it has nothing to do with you wanting to clarify to everybody that your FWB situation is different.

            Now this makes perfect sense. (My FWB does pass this litmus test, for the record).

            And there it is.

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            • fuzzilla Says:

              I meant *I don’t care* about making you wrong. I really, honestly didn’t know WTF you were talking about. You say casual sex = FWB = fuckbuddy, it’s all the same to you. Then you say, no, casual sex and casual relationships are two different things. Well, to me (and apparently many others) FWB and fuckbuddy situations ARE casual relationships. Therefore, casual sex DOES NOT = FWB = fuckbuddy. I respectfully disagreed with you. Period.

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              • dimplz Says:

                It’s not like what Moxie says is gospel. You happen to disagree with her, but I think the nuances of all these casual terms all result in the same thing – not looking for marriage or long-term commitment at the moment. May change, likely to never change from that status. Caveat emptor. YMMV, but doubtful, since you seem to be pretty preoccupied with these labels when they arise on this site.

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                • Selena Says:

                  Whatever label these ‘non-romantic’ liaisons are given by their participants, they usually prove to be short-lived. Short term dating, short term relationship suffices as an umbrella.

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  5. Crotch Rocket Says:

    How about just adding a “friends with benefits” category under the “looking for” question? That category would indicate that a person was looking for a “connection without commitment”, but more than “casual sex”,
    As Moxie says, that’s what the “short term dating” (or “short term relationship”, depending on the site) category is for. And, aside from sites like Adult Friend Finder, which explicitly (no pun intended) targets those looking for casual sex, nobody sane would ever use it.

    Casual sex. Friends With Benefits. F**k Buddies. … They all mean the same thing.
    No, they don’t. Friends with benefits requires that the people actually be friends, i.e. they would still hang out even if sex were not in the picture. Fuck buddies means sex is an essential (perhaps the only) part of why you see each other. Casual sex is not a relationship type at all; it is an action, like bowling. You may bowl with a random stranger you met at the alley (i.e. a one-night stand), with someone you only see for bowling (i.e. fuck buddy), or with one of your friends who also happens to enjoy bowling (i.e. friend with benefits). However, I will agree that many women misuse these terms, eg. claiming to be friends with benefits when they’re really just a fuck buddy. There is a simple litmus test, though: stop sleeping with that person and see if they stick around.

    Men don’t need to distinguish between sex with a friend versus sex with a stranger.
    I don’t know about other men, but I certainly make that distinction.

    That’s our way of justifying our decision to have sex with someone we know would never date us.
    What if the guy would be happy to date you but you are the one that doesn’t consider him relationship material, eg. because he’s the wrong religion or has kids or other baggage you can’t deal with?

    “friends with benefits” … implies that we have a friendship with someone, but that the only benefit is the sex.
    So do you consider your other friendships to have no benefit to you at all? I hope not. “Benefits” is a euphemism for sex; it doesn’t mean there are no other benefits. Every friendship has non-sexual benefits; otherwise, why would those people be friends?

    If they do show genuine interest in your life outside of the times that you’re beneath them naked, then you’re dating. Unfortunately, you’re dating someone who isn’t emotionally functional enough to admit that to themselves.
    Apparently I’m emotionally non-functional because I don’t think I’m “dating” all of the dozens of men and women that I hang out with on a regular basis, i.e. my friends. This seems to be a common problem, as none of my friends seem to think we’re dating either–nor do their girlfriends, wives, boyfriends, or husbands. Nor do any of the guys I hang out with think they’re gay just because they hang out with (sorry, “date”) other guys on occasion. Nor do any of the gals I hang out with think they’re bisexual or lesbian just because they hang out with (sorry, “date”) other gals on occasion.

    And why would we want to use somebody?
    We all use people. Constantly. That is the entire basis for socialization; if we didn’t, we’d just be random savages wandering alone in the jungle.

    And why would you want to have sex with someone that you knew didn’t care for or probably even like you?
    Because you like sex? That’s why I do it. Whether a woman cares for me, likes me or even knows my name is completely irrelevant to whether I want to have sex with her. I just like sex.

    But most men don’t have sex with a woman with the intention of never seeing her again. The decision to do that comes AFTER the sex has occurred.
    I disagree. They are mostly unrelated; while the sex (or, more commonly, how the woman reacts to having sex) can screw things up, in most cases the guy knows whether he is going to see you again before either of you gets naked. He probably knew within a few minutes of meeting you, before sex was even on the table. And, yeah, there are a lot of men who will sleep with a woman they never intend to see again. That more men don’t do so is because of their lack of opportunity or better options, not that we see anything wrong with it. We’re perfectly happy to go bowling with a woman we’ll never see again, too.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

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    • fuzzilla Says:

      >Casual sex is not a relationship type at all; it is an action, like bowling. You may bowl with a random stranger you met at the alley (i.e. a one-night stand), with someone you only see for bowling (i.e. fuck buddy), or with one of your friends who also happens to enjoy bowling (i.e. friend with benefits). However, I will agree that many women misuse these terms, eg. claiming to be friends with benefits when they’re really just a fuck buddy. There is a simple litmus test, though: stop sleeping with that person and see if they stick around.<

      Now this makes perfect sense. (My FWB does pass this litmus test, for the record).

      I guess some people would view the bowling analogy as "cheapening" sex, but I say it's just acknowledging a spectrum of the different ways sex can go down and doesn't negate that yes, sometimes, sex CAN be really loving and connecting and beautiful, sometimes you can look in someone's eyes and see your whole future laid out before you. However, I think if you insist on ONLY having sex under those circumstances, you'll be sexually starved and neurotic and place way too much importance on it (I know I was).

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    • Andthatswhyyouresingle Says:

      So do you consider your other friendships to have no benefit to you at all?

      That was the point being made. If sex is the only benefit, then it’s not a friendship.

      And, aside from sites like Adult Friend Finder, which explicitly (no pun intended) targets those looking for casual sex, nobody sane would ever use it.

      Not true. Like I said above, go to OKCupid and read the male profiles. Just because you don’t do it doesn’t mean others don’t.

      Because you like sex?

      Well, I like sex, and I do what I can to avoid having sex with men that I know don’t like me. Not sure how in need of sex you have to be to ignore that fact. Nor would I want to sleep with someone that I would have to kick out of my apartment right afterwards because I didn’t want to be around them. Call me crazy, but I do what I can to avoid awkward situations like that. If I have casual sex, it’s with people I can tolerate and with whom I can be honest about expectations and vice versa.

      And, yeah, there are a lot of men who will sleep with a woman they never intend to see again.

      Right. That’s why I said “some men do.” If the sex is good, they’ll be back. Might not be right away, but they’ll be back.

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