Friends with benefits

There’s a new movie that looks at the age-old rom-com question: Can friends have sex without it getting complicated?

In “No Strings Attached,” Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman play longtime friends who become FWBs — friends with benefits — because they don’t think they can handle (or want) the demands of a committed relationship. (Read the review in the Christian Science Monitor here.)

The concept has sparked — or, should I say, re-sparked — conversations about “friends with benefits” and whether they actually work.

From reading blogs posts and comments to listening to my friends talk about it, it seems the concept is great — as a concept. FWBs don’t last, and often times exactly what the couple had hope to avoid — feelings getting in the way — is exactly what happens.

Like’s Tracy Clark-Flory posed, “Given the high stakes, why do we do it?”

Her former “friend fling” shared his take: “Because the idea of sex without consequences is the most awesome thing on the planet … It’s that delicious, delicious mixture of freedom and dependability. You have somebody you can rely on, you have a safety net, you have somebody you can call when you’re lonely — but you have none of the consequences. You get to not commit but still kinda be committed.”

But what’s a relationship without consequences? No, I’m serious. What’s anything in this life without strings attached? Don’t we want strings? They connect us to people, to experiences, they give value and meaning to our lives.

Call me old-fashioned, but I just don’t think these empty relationships are worth the time, effort and potentially damaging outcomes. Sure, it sounds easy and fun and great — but do they really work? Really?


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