Saturday, July 16, 2011

The 'Friends With Benefits' Phenomena

The new movie Friends With Benefits, starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, has got me thinking about the whole idea surrounding it. Can people truly be just friends with sexual benefits? Or does one person always end up becoming attached?

This is not a cut-and-dry thing. A study by the National Center of Health Statistics (a branch of the CDC) published a report about their sexual findings in 2007. One problem with self-reported surveys is lying. A person might hype up their own sex life in a survey, or down play it. Regardless of these problems, the survey found that 29% of men have had 15 or more sexual partners, and that the average man sleeps with 7 women in his lifetime. So what does this mean?

A person is most likely not going to have a deep, meaningful, lasting relationship with 15, or even just seven, others. This means that some of the sexual encounters were just plain hook-ups. So we know that two people can have sex once and leave it at that (Ignoring scientific data, I have known people throughout my high school/college years that I can say proved this to be true). But why, if the sex continues over a period of time, does it likely end up becoming emotional?

An article in MSNBC from 2009 titled, 'Can Women have sex like men?' (Kerner, Ph.D.) explains why this might happen. Most adults are familiar with what happens after sex. Women want to 'cuddle,' men want to sleep. This is because of the chemicals that are released during sex and/or during orgasm. Endorphins, chemicals that make us feel good, are released in both genders during sex. But some differences in chemicals and the amounts released are the difference between the reactions post-coitus. Men release Prolactin, which is a hormone that makes you tired. Studies show that for whatever reason, four times the amount of Prolactin is released during actual intercourse than masturbation, which is why men can wear out their hands all day but fall asleep on you at night. And women release lots of oxytocin during an orgasm, which is responsible for us feeling all lovey-dovey and wanting to be touchy-feely and snuggly.


Don't let this happen to you!!!
Here's what this means to me. Friends with benefits is a definite possibility, but communication is key. It should be purely about sex, and nothing more. If your FWB is tired after sex, let him fall asleep, and leave. That way there is no time for cuddling and talking. And since women tend to gain emotional attachment with every orgasm, the lack of one could possibly keep loving feelings at bay. But what's the fun in that?


Kerner, Ph.D., Ian . "Can you (and should you) have sex like a man?." MSNBC (2009): n. pag. Web. 16 Jul 2011. .

Wenner, Melinda. "Why do guys get sleepy after sex?." Science Line (2006): n. pag. Web. 16 Jul 2011. .

Associated Press, . "New Survey Tells How Much Sex We're Having." MSNBC (2007): n. pag. Web. 16 Jul 2011.

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