As you may know I despise the phrase "friends with benefits" almost as much as I do the term "fuck buddy", considering it, amongst other things a pretty superficial way of engaging with people as well as a good way of having a dull sex life. Think of it this way - the more at arm's length you keep someone the less well you know them, can see into their heads so you touch their kinks only lightly, if at all. Play becomes transactional and loses a lot of its edge. Quality suffers from lack of intimacy. Also, I don't want my partners to be "friends who I have sex with". I have friends, they are not for having sex with. They are my friends. I have partners to do that, people who have a place in that private part of my life. That private part of me. Perhaps I'm a terrible romantic but I've always liked the term "lover". Not because I think you need to have a love affair or even to be in love, but you do have to love what you are doing with them and also because it has a slightly old fashioned filthy ring to it.
So, nomenclature and my personal preferences aside, the other terrible thing about fuck buddy-ism is the way it tends to assume that this way of having sex is a masculine approach. Take this article for instance. There are many points in this article at which a sensible person might raise a few questions, certainly eyebrows. That there doesn't seem to be much "friendship" going on in this proposed plan, and that anyone who honestly thinks that women use pregnancy to trap a man needs to give the 19th Century their values back. My major sticking point with it is that it seems rather unlikely to generate decent sex: no staying the night, no talking about anything "real", no bites or marks and no acting "indecent". Which to me speaks of rather a wham-bam approach lacking in anything of interest. How people manage to generate an orgasm on such cold, dull ground is beyond me. Frankly a nice glass of wine and masturbation seems like a much better option.
The writer, perhaps awash with his own testosterone manhood keeps on hammering home how this is "rough game" in which men (who want commitment free sex) can control women (who want sex free commitment) into having this sort of sexual "relationship". He is also, rather sadly, allegedly a wise sage well versed in helping men meet women. I'm rather torn between who I feel most sorry for, the men who read his ghastly advice or the poor women they then approach.
This binary is one of the oldest and most annoying of all the gender stereotypes about sex. It closes down all sorts of free expression and exploration of how we fuck and how we feel about it, rendering women into sexless, desireless baby-craving nesting lunatics and men into penis-driven emotionally stunted misogynists. A battle of the sexes writ small, in which each side is using the mating game as a tool to get what they want. Reams of nonsense have been spilled on how to "win" this war, going back many, many years, but this rather neatly encapsulates them. All the tropes are there - laid out in ghastly glory.
The question is, what to do? The article made me alternately cry and laugh. Crying because perhaps these are genuinely reflective of prevalent attitudes. I've heard them before and they make me sad that we could still think these things, not of ourselves as individuals, because surely there are people who might only want a quick uninteresting fuck on a Friday night and never be seen again, but because we think that only men want this and that all men want this. That we can assume these things of 50% of the population and that we bring up our sons and daughters in an environment in which these ideas form the basis of many social interactions, which perpetuates the myth, making it real. Girls are better with feelings. Boys are only after one thing. Having a husband and family is the most important thing a woman can have. Men should behave badly.
Laughing because I know that many people will find those notions as outdated and silly as I do, because the more that we expose and laugh at this sort of behaviour the quicker it will become embarrassed and hide under rocks. And also because at the very least, given the hideousness of the "advice" given and the emphasis on contraception - it's unlikely that they will have any sons or daughters to infect with this terrible nonsense.
5 weeks ago