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My favorite, longest running, and likely my best, relationship to date is what many would call a situationship, but for me, it’s the classic “friend with benefits” (FWB) setup. Why do I love this kind of arrangement? It’s not as time-consuming as a relationship and is way more meaningful than a slew of one-night stands. I love my FWB, or as I like to call him, dependable d-ck. But, for the sake of this article, I will call him Adonis (his request, not mine).

Adonis and I didn’t start off as sex buddies. We met when I was a teenager and flirted for years—five to be exact—before we took things to the next level. He was truly just a friend. Like any friendship, we got on each other’s nerves, but something bigger was also brewing: an undeniable sexual energy between us. We could feel it in the pauses. You know, like the times you both laugh uncontrollably at the same thing or give each other the look and slight eye roll, and you know exactly what the other is thinking.

But there was a major issue, too. Neither one of us really wanted to be together. We lacked that intangible quality that lets you know you want to smell each others’ stank morning breath and order each others’ Ubers so you can link. So what do you do when you have a dope-ass friend you want to bang but not bae up? We decided to go the FWB route. I’ll be the first to admit that this situation works because Adonis handles his business in more ways that one. The more I talk about this—I’m open about my choices—the more I realize just how curious folks are about us, and my decision to keep this going. The truth is I’m not ready to call it a wrap. And here’s why.

We Had the Awkward “What Are We” Conversation

I’m a little Type A in all my relationships. I want to know the do’s and don’ts to reduce the chance of conflict and know what distinguishes a relationship. Having this conversation helps me (and us) set healthy boundaries, such as not using pet names like “baby” except when we’re in the moment or sexting.

He Welcomes Sexual Feedback

Non-committed sex isn’t a pass to be selfish in bed. We’re all about check-ins. My partner asks me what I enjoy about our sessions and what I would want him to do differently next time. He’s also open to trying new things like slapping me during sex (yes, I like that sh-t) and going to kinky, sex classes. I also ask him what he enjoys and what he wants me to work on sexually. We understand that pleasure isn’t a one-way street.

He Takes Me on Dates

I need more than sex to keep me interested in friendship—and I told him. We don’t go out on dates often (to me it’s more like hanging out, but he does usually pay). He doesn’t love this part of our arrangement, but he does it anyway because he knows it makes me feel special. We genuinely enjoy kicking it together and understands that not doing it puts an unnecessary kink in our vibe. #SorryNotSorry

He Gives Me Space When A New Guy is in the Picture

Each time there is the potential for either one of us to have a committed relationship with someone else, we hit the pause button on the sex front and focus on the friendship. We may call to see how things are going every few weeks, but we won’t see each other, sext or do any of those other passive-aggressive behaviors that can sabotage a budding romance. We are clear that our friendship, and happiness, is the most important thing.


Chelsea A. Hamlet is a freelancer for CASSIUS.