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Or at least, without getting super-jealous and –esque?
Once, he told me this long, complicated story about an affair he had with his cousin, adding, “That’s not something I tell most people.” Probably wise on his part, but I loved that story, as problematic as it may be, because I loved knowing something about him that no one else did.
When I met him, he was 45 and charmingly grumpy, and he would always tell me: “Sex is so perfect. ” I’d go over to his apartment for a couple hours in the afternoons, we’d have sex (soberly, which meant I could actually cum), and then afterward we’d drink tea and complain about stuff. There were times when we saw each other frequently, and other times when things dropped off for a while, usually because one of us had a partner. It felt like we had entered this secretive bubble of transparency—we were emotionally intimate, yet free of the burden of jealousy and ownership.
And sure, when he would get a girlfriend I would be a little bummed out—I’m (unfortunately) not a sociopath—but it didn’t cause me to spiral into an emotional cyclone the way I would have if I’d been cheated on by a boyfriend. We could spill our guts to each other because we didn’t have anything to lose.
And he actually knows me better than a lot of my partners ever did.
So what is it about the friends with benefits dynamic that is more sustainable, and often more transparent, than an actual relationship? They’re like: How can you have sex with the same person, again and again, without falling in love?This arrangement would generally be called a friend with benefits, or a fuck buddy, or a romantic friendship, or perhaps even a relationship—with “no strings attached.” But let’s be real: There are always strings, aren’t there?