This is mostly pasted out of an email, but written in very general terms, so I don’t feel bad posting it here. I put a lot of thought into it this morning, but then I’d also had far too little sleep at the time… (And no more than now, for that matter.)
All of this is just semantics, but here’s how I look at defining friendship: I define my friends as people I don’t sleep with, and really have no desire to sleep with. People I am “just friends” with, but for whom I also happen to harbor secret (or not so secret) desires to sleep with are categorized (for me) quite differently from standard friends. I like to think of them as potential flings or potential relationships. People who I actually do stuff with have (obviously) graduated into the fling and/or relationship category already. (Not relationship as in the weighty years-long context, but just relationship in that any two people have a relationship together.) Emotions in flings and relationships can get really complicated really fast, and friends are (generally) not complicated relationships–that’s the main reason I don’t like using the word in that context.
I think it’s important to have been friends first (before sex) to really achieve a “friends with benefits” status, and that friendship has to be more powerful (stronger) than whatever sex may end up taking place. In other words, sex has to be fairly meaningless with friends, or they become more than friends, and things get complicated. I just think it’s a fairly rare relationship type, or anyway it is for me.
Another reason “friends with benefits” doesn’t work unless you’ve known each other for a long time is that you take away the benefits, and you’re in danger of losing the friendship. In a real friendship, that potential for loss wouldn’t be there.
Yes, this is all context-less drivel, but that’s all you’re getting for today. I decided last night I should be better about keeping a daily journal, so maybe you’ll get more questionable and/or ambiguous content tomorrow.