Friday, October 21, 2011

FB v FWB

FB = Fuck Buddy
FWB = Friends with Benefits

They seem to be basically the same thing, right? Someone with whom you have fun sexy times, but without the strings of a relationship/commitment. I think they're different.

"Buddy" is like a level of friendship. One can be a buddy but not a friend; however, one cannot be a friend without also being a buddy. If you're bored and want to go see a movie, you call up a buddy OR a friend. If you're going through a rough breakup and you just want to pour your heart out and cry, you call up a friend.

I feel I've had both in the past. The Fuck Buddy is one I simply cannot stand anymore. I've had this, and it worked on a weird level. We only saw each other every few months or so at the bar; sometimes we'd go home together, sometimes we wouldn't... it was what it was. We're still buddies and always have a smile and a hug (sometimes a bit of smoochin) when we run into each other, but there's not any plans made or communication otherwise - we aren't even Facebook Friends.

I want someone I can hang out and talk to before/after. Someone I can have an actual conversation with, and on topics covering much more than just favorite positions. Someone I can hang out with sometimes and not have sex, and that's okay. That's the Friend with Benefits: sometimes you have sex, sometimes you don't, but always, you're friends.

It's a fine line, and a frustrating one. I recently came to a Friends with Benes agreement with someone, but I feel like the more we F, the less we're F.

Why do I think I want these kinds of situations? Is it because I've given up on finding love? Or is it because sometimes I just want some good ol' bonkin', and I like not having to answer to anyone?

Over the years, I've heard several times about a chemical that is released in women during sex that is the same chemical released during childbirth that causes the bonding between mother and baby. I have long since figured that was the reason women typically aren't as good at one night stands as guys tend to be - we can't help it! Our chemicals make us feel connected to you once we've humped you!

Thinking about this recently in relation to my own situation, I decided to ... what's the word? That thing we used to do in school when we had to write a paper? Oh yeah: RESEARCH. Although I didn't do it in the old-school way; nope, I ended up on wikipedia. What? It's totally legit! Right? RIGHT?

What I learned from this possibly factual resource is

  1. The chemical is called oxytocin
  2. It is released in both men and women
  3. It's released "in large amounts" during childbirth and also when the nipples are stimulated (breast feeding!)
  4. It's mostly known for being in women because quite frankly, the male orgasm is not a mystery so nobody studies it, really. Most of the studies (totally scientific, I'm sure) have been done on women because we are TOTALLY MYSTERIOUS. Woooo! Also apparently women release a lot more of it.
  5. It might only happen at orgasm, which means if your partner doesn't bring you to that point, there isn't a significant release, soooo it shouldn't matter.

I should probably have prefaced all that knowledge I just smacked down with the fact that I only skimmed the article. It was too scientific to hold my interest, plus I'm just an impatient reader that way. I'm sure I gleaned the important bits, and I'm sure I got them totally right, so in the future you could definitely use this very blog entry as a reference in a paper about oxycontin. Oxyclorox. Oxyfree. Hm. The love chemical. Yup.

So why is it that most women associate more emotional connections with sex than most men do? I'm not saying sex is just emotion-free for all men, nor am I saying it's all about looooove for all women. I have met women (and am one) who can have decent sex without emotions involved, and I have also met men who claim they don't enjoy casual sex. I also know that, for myself and most others I've talked to, sex can be had without feelings, but is so much better once there's an emotional closeness between the two (or more) parties involved.

My general pattern is this: I think I'm okay with the FWB sitch, and after a couple times I realize the sex is just sort of hollow. It might rock my socks off physically, but then there's this pathetic kind of emptiness haunting the whole experience. As a result, I end up really sad that this is what I've come to: I have given up on finding love. I refuse to settle for a mediocre relationship just to be In A Relationship, so why is it I'm willing to settle for emotionless sex with someone I don't want to date?  Is this really who I've become, or has my stoic fa├žade taken over so much that I don't even know anymore?

PS - I'm totally aware I used the word "totally" way too many times in this post. In my head, it's totally 80's day. Fer sure!

3 comments:

  1. Having never been either a FB or FWB I have little to no insite on the situation.

    It always seems like a FWB situation doesn't have longevity to it. Someone ends up getting attached and gets their feelings hurt.

    Having a FB sounds like a nice arrangement. You come over, take care of business, then leave in the morning. Not being facebook friends in that situation sounds like the right idea. Even in this situation one person might end up in a relationship so that doesn't work either.

    I've only seen these things play out and never taken part in them. Probably easier that way, but definitely not as fun.

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  2. I'm not sure I entirely buy the argument that men are biologically impaired from feeling attached after sex. We all release oxytocin, there's _some_ kind of response.

    I feel like men are socially encouraged to not get close, but rather, much like how action heroes don't look at explosions, turn the other way and go slug down a handle of Jim Beam.

    They certainly get the adoration of their peers for doing so - and become the butt end of jokes if they do the opposite and actually get attached to their sex partner - so it's a self-perpetuating thing.

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  3. metric152: in a true FB situation, there is no leaving "in the morning" - you generally leave right away, or as soon as you're sober enough. :) But you're absolutely right that often in a FWB arrangement, one person ends up more attached than the other and gets hurt.

    Charles: I think you've definitely hit the nail on the head that society is more to blame for the aloofness of men than chemicals. My own personal experience as a rather stoic/aloof person supports this theory: it's how I was raised, not how my chemicals/feelings necessarily want me to be. Thank you for bringing up that point!

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