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Friday
Mar022012

Are You a Booty Call or a Friend with Benefits?

Spring break season is upon us, and as I discussed in a previous post, one thing that people associate with spring break is casual sex (what happens on spring break stays on spring break!).1 According to a recent study, however, casual sex relationships may not be so casual after all. In fact, these days casual sexual relationships are no longer solely defined as a one time sexual encounter; instead, casual sexual experiences can range from a one-time “hook-up” to an ongoing sexual relationship with a friend.2

In a recent study, focus groups of young people were asked to identify different ‘types’ of casual sex relationships. The four most common types included:

1) One Night Stand - a one-time sexual encounter with a stranger or an acquaintance

2) Booty Call - a meeting with someone you know for the express purpose of having impromptu sex.

3) Fuck Buddy (FB) - Yes, this was the term used in the research paper to describe a regular sexual relationship with someone who becomes a friend.

4) Friend With Benefits (FWB) - the addition of sex to an existing friendship without a romantic commitment.2

With the exception of a one-night stand, each of these types of casual sex relationships are ongoing relationships that, much like committed relationships, require negotiation and effort to maintain. Whereas a booty call relationship involves primarily sexual contact, both FB and FWB relationships involve both sexual and social contact where partners spend time together doing other activities (often including adding each other on Facebook) in addition to having a sexual relationship.

The key difference between FWB and FB relationships is that in a FWB relationship the friendship is of primary importance and often existed before the sexual relationship began. Even the terminology “friends with benefits” implies that the friendship is put first. In a FB relationship, the friendship is often a result of the sexual relationship. Although both FWB and FB relationships involve some personal disclosure, the FWB relationship is the most likely to include a discussion of the relationship. This might mean a discussion about the boundaries of the relationship (who do we tell about this?) or about the level of exclusivity, such as disclosing other sex partners.

If a casual sex encounter is part of your spring break vacation, you can use the flow chart below to help determine the type of casual sex relationship and the expectations for maintaining this relationship. Visit sex researcher Jocelyn Wentland’s website (www.sexresearchandthecity.com) for more information about this research and a copy of the paper.

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1Maticka-Tyndale, E., Herold, E. S, Mewhinney, D. (1998). Casual sex on Spring Break: Intentions and behaviors of Canadian students. The Journal of Sex Research, 35, 254-264

2Wentland, J. J., & Reissing, E. (2011). Taking casual sex not too casually: Exploring definitions of casual sex relationships. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 20, 75-91.

Dr. Amy Muise - Sex Musings | Science of Relationships articles | Website/CV
Dr. Muise’s research focuses on sexuality, including the role of sexual motives in maintaining sexual desire in long-term relationships, and sexual well-being. She also studies the relational effects of new media, such as how technology influences dating scripts and the experience of jealousy. Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

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