Health & Lifestyle / August 17, 2011
By Connor Doyle
No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits are two movies that have been released within months of each other, star respectively, the two female leads of Black Swan, and promote essentially the exact same credo: Let’s have all the meaningless, commitment-free, hedonistic-palooza sex we want a- Oh no! Now we’re in love…
The whole concept of, let’s call it what we really want to call it –– fuck buddies –– invites a myriad of emotions and opinions. It can be categorized as whatever one wants it to be, from a refreshing alternative to boyfriend/girlfriend relationships to complete victimization of at least one of the parties involved. Ultimately, its intended to be a way of retaining the sexual benefits of having a significant other without any of the other expectations or attachments found in a serious relationship.
It’s like having a bag of trail mix but ignoring all the fruits, grains and nuts because all you really want are the M&Ms.
It’s saying: “I want IN you… but I’m not into you.”
Immediately the answer that comes to mind when someone asks “is it ok to be fuck buddies?” is “depends on what’s right for you.” But having said that there are some things to consider objectively about this subject. Does every sexual encounter need to take place in a safe and loving relationship? Fuck no. Is it a good idea to have continuously emotionless sex? Not if you actually enjoy sex that much.
The fact is that sex need never be limited to a single ideal: to restrict it to either end of the spectrum is to ignore at least half its awesome power. There are possibilities where having/being a fuck buddy is not only awesome, it’s goddamned commendable. Consider the following example of such a relationship from Erica Jong’s 1973 novel Fear of Flying, here deemed the Zipless Fuck:
“The zipless fuck is absolutely pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no power game. The man is not ‘taking’ and the woman is not ‘giving.’ No one is attempting to cuckold a husband or humiliate a wife. No one is trying to prove anything or get anything out of anyone. The zipless fuck is the purest thing there is. And it is rarer than the unicorn.”
That sounds like a work of beauty, a marvel of achievement in the world of human sexuality. But is that sex’s highest calling? Of course not. There is a measure to which sex can reach that is beyond slamming the ugliest parts of our bodies together until we get off. It is achieved by having sex with someone that you truly consider to be the most desirable person in the universe, someone you love and admire and respect and want, nay, need to express your love for physically.
Tom Robbins, another prominent writer from the 70’s takes a different approach to considering the art of sex in his provocatively named novel Still Life with Woodpecker:
“There is lovemaking that is bad for a person, just as there is eating that is bad.
Every nutritious sexual recipe calls for at least a pinch of love, and the fucks that rate four-star rankings from both gourmets and health-food nuts use cupfuls.”
He goes on to argue that, while some “explosions of passion between strangers make more erotic sense than many lengthy marriages”, such relationships are like fast food; they can be finger-licking good, but depend too much on them and you’ll end up feeling bloated and worthless.
The trick is to search internally before searching externally; find out what you’re looking for before having either incarnation of sex. Sex is, at its best, number one on the list of “reasons we continue to exist,” and that’s not entirely for practical purposes; sex is one of the most awesome powers on earth. You can fuck the person you love and you an make love to your fuck buddy, all of it only further explores the infinite possibilities of getting it on.
Sex is eclectic, don’t limit yourself to any one iteration of it. Fuck, bone, screw, nail; lust, like and love. Anything less than all of the above is to miss the point entirely.