Types of friends with benefits (complete guide)

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By: Naveen B

It’s tricky to come to a particular conclusion about the types of friends with benefits

In a research, the most common combinations were opposite-s#x and same-s#x FWBRs (about 48 percent of respondents reported each type), followed by opposite-s#x FWBRs (43 percent) and same-s#x FWBRs (36 percent).

Respondents who only experienced female FWBRs reported significantly more positive outcomes than those who had only male FWBRs or both male and female. 

However, those participants who had male-only or both genders reported worse outcomes in several aspects such as they felt that they wanted s#x more than their partners did.

In this guide let’s discuss different types of friends with benefits in detail.

Related: Stages of friends with benefits

Types of friends with benefits

friends with benefits types Types of friends with benefits (complete guide)

There are two kinds – casual and committed. A casual FWB is someone you only want to have s#x with while a committed FWB is someone you’d want more out of than just s#x.

Most people will tell you that committed FWB’s are better, but sometimes having no expectations or commitments at all can work out great too.

Casual FwB’s tend to not last very long because people like being able to experiment without any responsibility involved also because it can be awkward trying to figure out how much time should be spent together and what roles each person plays in each other’s lives.

On top of that, there may be drama if one party has higher expectations than what is expected from both parties.

How do you determine if a casual or committed FWB would be more appropriate?

Think about how often you’d like to see them and whether they’re willing to meet up as frequently as needed. Not everyone likes spending every weekend at their partner’s house so they’ll need space every now and then.

Commitment level also depends on whether or not your partner understands why friends with benefits relationships aren’t meant for serious commitment.

Some might take advantage of your situation if they think it means that you’re available for a relationship eventually.

If you need time apart then communicate with each other about when s#x will happen so there won’t be any misunderstandings down the road.

It can be hard keeping track of when things changed between you and your friend with benefits, especially if you start developing feelings for them which could complicate things.

This doesn’t mean that developing feelings is a bad thing.

However, it’s always important to make sure your needs will still be met even though things may have changed between you two.

Things change fast in FWB situations so always pay attention and make sure everything is still okay before you start feeling too attached.

Discuss boundaries ahead of time. Be honest about where things stand right away so there are no surprises further along down the line.

Many couples get into trouble because they either didn’t discuss their boundaries ahead of time or they assumed certain rules were understood without ever talking about it.

Also read: 75 Questions for friends with benefits

Boundaries vary depending on whom you’re dating, so don’t assume anything until you’ve discussed it yourself.

Common examples of boundaries include: I’d rather keep our relationship private, Let’s not go out with other people, I’m fine sharing my body but I don’t want to share my heart, etc. it varies from couple to couple so don’t assume anything.

After all, what you consider an open relationship isn’t necessarily an open relationship for another couple and vice versa.

Set schedules ahead of time and stick to them as best you can. Decide who’s allowed to initiate contact. The person initiating contact usually controls most of a relationship unless you set ground rules otherwise.

So decide if you want to initiate contact, who else is allowed to initiate contact and how quickly you expect to hear back once initial contact has been made.

What happens after the deed happens? What happens after s#x occurs will depend on whether or not you’re in a committed FWB type of situation, so it’s best to plan accordingly.

Make sure whoever initiates the deed feels good about doing so by respecting whatever limitations might exist afterward. Always respect personal privacy.

Regardless of who initiated it both partners have rights regarding personal privacy including access to partners’ phones/computers/facebook profiles/etc..everyone deserves privacy after all.

Also read: 100+ Questions to ask your friends with benefits

Here are a few types of friends with benefits.

1. Short-term:

With a short-term FWB, you and your friend are both interested in having s#x but not in entering into a committed romantic relationship.

The FWB arrangement is often an extension of an existing relationship (such as a friendship or co-worker situation) where one or both people are no longer interested in pursuing s#xual activities with their significant other.

2. Long-term:

In contrast, long-term FWB relationships can last for years.

A long-term arrangement may be made out of convenience if you don’t want to commit to one person exclusively, but can’t bear being without any kind of partner either

They also allow you to focus on work or personal pursuits while maintaining some degree of intimacy.

3. Physical only:

Physical FWBs are s#xually involved individuals who do not have strong feelings for each other outside of s#x acts.

They’re typically noncommittal and casual but may sometimes hook up just because they enjoy each others’ company and like spending time together outside of bed.

4. Emotional connection:

Sometimes, physical and emotional connections between two friends with benefits go hand in hand. For instance, two people might engage in a purely physical fling, but develop feelings for each other along the way.

That’s why it’s important to clarify which type of FWB partnership you’d prefer before getting down and dirty.

5. Transactional:

Some would consider them one step above prostitution – friends who are paid to take care of my s#xual needs – transactional FWBs trade companionship and commitment for money or material goods. 

However, unlike prostitution, these arrangements aren’t based on s#x alone; companionship plays an equally important role so that these relationships last beyond just a single encounter.

6. Live-in lovers:

While dating multiple people is a natural part of single life, forming intimate friendships with more than one person can be troublesome since there could be expectations regarding exclusivity and monogamy within that friendship. 

However, there exists another alternative – living under one roof along with an unrelated roommate/roommates means you’re bound to see your lover multiple times every day, making it easy to fall back into sync when life gets hectic.

There is no competition or jealousy because sharing isn’t frowned upon – it’s considered smart and responsible behavior. 

Also read: What does FWB mean? (Complete guide)

7. Serial FWBs:

Serial FWB partners exist across all races, genders and walks of life but are usually women ages 20-45 yrs old seeking young men around ages 18-27 yrs old.

Both sides know going in what to expect and understand a variety of emotions may emerge over time but agree to live with those consequences. 

Although couples in a serially FWB relationship are typically committed to being honest and forthright with each other, they still tend to keep mum about these relationships from friends and family.

8. FWB widow:

Ever feel as though you’ve fallen off your friend’s radar? When an FWB relationship has run its course, one or both parties may let a relationship slip into limbo. 

Usually, at this point, other friends and family members pick up some of the slack of filling in gaps left by a boyfriend or girlfriend.

Unfortunately, after months of neglect, it becomes painfully obvious your previously active social circle is keeping you in a closet.

9. FWB divorce:

An especially gut-wrenching scenario is ending a FW relationship with someone you genuinely love but are unable to be with due to already being married or committed to someone else.

It’s a painful truth, but one you are forced to accept. 

The two people may decide to stay friends in order to maintain each other’s support, or may drift apart altogether.

It can be difficult for everyone involved, but it is possible to move on with a clear conscience and better understanding of yourself as a person.

10. FWB Marriage:

Yes, people get married and stay married to friends with benefits.

The big difference is that both spouses are well aware of each other’s s#xual history including past FW relationships and they make their own rules that set their boundaries on an open relationship that works for both of them.

11. One-night FWB:

On a drunken night out, you may cross paths with someone whose looks send an adrenaline rush through your body. If you both share a mutual attraction and are in need of no-strings-attached s#x, a one-night stand may be your saving grace.

It is common for one night to turn into multiple nights or for friends with benefits to become friends who then reconnect without having s#x for a long period of time. In many cases, however, it’s best to heed caution and walk away from that one-night stand.

12. FWB Triangle:

In an FWB triangle you are involved in a committed relationship (marriage or not) with someone but also experience s#xual attraction to an additional person who you pursue as an FWB outside of your relationship. 

It is a tempting situation that requires a certain level of maturity and honesty from both partners to properly navigate, but it is definitely one that can work for some people.

Also read: What are friends with benefits?

13. Friends with benefits for life:

FWB4L relationships are rare but very real – most people believe these relationships last no longer than six months or a year, but there are in fact pairs who have successfully remained friends with benefits throughout their lives.

In some cases, FWB4Ls may not even be s#xual at all – instead of exchanging s#x for companionship and friendship.

14. FWB Ex:

FWB Exs can come in two flavors: a) people you were friends with benefits with who break up with you and leave your life forever) someone who you don’t want to be friends with anymore because they are no longer important people in your life.

In both cases, it’s important to remember that getting FWBX’d doesn’t mean they will never speak to you again – even if it seems that way at first.

With time, almost anyone is capable of seeing eye-to-eye with someone who used to be their ex friend.

15. FWB Virg#n:

For most s#xually experienced adults, FWBs are not a foreign concept. The same cannot always be said for virg#ns! Many virg#ns are hesitant to engage in FWBs because they haven’t yet found that special someone.

For some virg#ns, it can be important to have a relationship with one person where they can start their s#xual life, while others may choose not to wait and want FWBs right away.

16. FWB F#ck-buddy:

These days, f#ck-buddies seem to be all the rage and for good reason! A f#ck-buddy is essentially an FWB who you only exchange s#x for – no kissing or cuddling involved at all.

While f#cking your way down Sunset Boulevard may sound hot (and it totally is), if you choose not to include any other elements of intimacy in your FWB relationships you are missing out on a lot of benefits.

That being said, not all FWBs have to include intimacy – it all depends on your needs. 

17. Make-out FWB:

This type of friend with benefits relationship can be described as an all-over-body FWB. Making out doesn’t necessarily lead to intercourse and is often combined with other types of FWBs such as s#x friends or f#ck buddies.

Think of it as a middle ground between s#x friends and total lack of romance – a delicious combo that creates a strong bond between two people who care deeply for each other but who aren’t looking for anything serious.

18. Post-breakup FWB:

A post-breakup FWB is someone who you pursued and started a relationship with but ultimately broke up with in favor of your current partner.

Even if it’s been months or years since your breakup, you can still use your FWB as an outlet for s#xual desire, provided that they have no interest in continuing a relationship! Just because it didn’t work out once doesn’t mean it can’t work out now that both of you are single.

19. Long-distance FWB:

In some cases, long-distance relationships can’t be helped and there isn’t any way around it.

For those that must separate from their partners, a LDR FWBs can be a viable option to satisfy your s#xual needs while still being intimate with someone close to you.

The key is to find someone who not only lives nearby but with whom you also have an existing friendship.

20. Pre-engagement FWB:

Are you in a committed relationship with your partner but are convinced they aren’t the one?

While most of us would advise putting all of our energy into working things out before moving on, sometimes it’s just not possible or advisable to remain stuck in one place for too long.

When you’re stuck in a long-term relationship with someone who is just not right for you, it’s easy to feel like you’re settling.

Rather than continue to be unhappy and wasting time on someone who isn’t a great fit, breaking up and hooking up with your FWB can provide some immediate relief! 

Also read: Your complete guide to friends with benefits relationship

21. Rebound FWB:

You can bet that if one of your friends gets dumped or breaks up with their partner, they’ll be showing up at your place as soon as possible.

Not so for rebound FWBs – many people report feeling no desire to have a s#xual fling with their friend following a breakup because there is too much baggage associated with them,

Only engage in a s#xual relationship with your FWB if you’re 100% comfortable doing so and have no doubts that you can have fun without feeling guilty.

22. S#x-only FWB.

A s#x-only FWB is just what it sounds like – someone with whom you enjoy casual s#x, nothing more and nothing less. They are often an older partner or someone who doesn’t live nearby so sleeping together isn’t as easy to arrange as it is for other FWBs.

The benefit of having a s#x-only relationship is that there are fewer strings attached and therefore no expectations on either side.

You can simply enjoy each other’s company when you see each other and go about your lives at all other times.

23. Someone with whom you have a crush on: 

If you aren’t currently in a relationship, developing feelings for your FWB is bound to happen sooner or later.

There’s nothing wrong with having a crush on someone and if you’re sure they feel similarly towards you, by all means, pursue it! In most cases, however, crushes are harmless and easy to handle as long as you keep them platonic.

24. Your Best friends with benefits:

The benefits of having an FWB who is also your BFF can include not only s#xual satisfaction but emotional fulfillment as well.

Having someone to confide in and be close to without having any expectations of commitment or intimacy makes it easier for both of you to enjoy each other’s company without being romantic about it.

If you’re worried about taking advantage of your friendship, ask yourselves whether you’d want to be friends with each other if s#x wasn’t a part of it. If so, there’s nothing to worry about! You may even notice that your friendship has improved as a result.

25. A younger lover as FWB: 

It’s no secret that there are those in long-term relationships who have affairs with people closer to their age or below.

While some would argue that these relationships are unethical and immoral, others insist that it can be an excellent way for someone from an older generation (i.e., 40+) to rejuvenate their s#x life without hurting their partner or jeopardizing their relationship.

If you’re considering a FWB who is significantly younger than you, check out our section on intergenerational FWBs for more information.

26. A friend with benefits relationship:

If all of your s#xual needs are being met by friends with benefits relationships, why look elsewhere?

There’s no shame in enjoying casual s#x from time to time and if you’re lucky enough to have multiple friends with benefits relationships, even better.

If at any point one of your FWBs stops feeling as casual or you’d like to explore something more in-depth, it can be reassuring knowing that you’ve got multiple other options waiting in the wings.

27. Fluid-bonded:

A friend with benefits relationship in which both partners have agreed to practice safe s#x but are also willing to be fluid-bonded is a good way for two people who don’t want to make monogamy commitments.

But still want some reassurance that they aren’t risking transmitting STIs or unwanted pregnancies.

To do so, all you need is an agreement (or understanding) between you and your partner – plus cond#ms, of course.

28. The opposite gender FWB:

There’s nothing strange about having an FWB who happens to be of a different gender than you! In fact, many FWBs maintain their relationships for years with no intention of ever becoming s#xual at all.

29. The same gender FWB: 

There are no rules regarding who you can and can’t have a FWBs with – if you’re attracted to someone, why not pursue it?

The chances are that if you’re able to develop a friendship with someone of your same gender, there’s an added layer of understanding and trust between you. If s#x happens or doesn’t happen, it’s entirely up to both of you.

30. A mutual friend:

Like having an FWB who is also your BFF, being friends with benefits with a mutual friend has multiple benefits – not only do you get s#xual satisfaction but emotional fulfillment as well.

Final thoughts:

In conclusion, there can be different types of friends with benefits relationships that are hard to choose from. You need first to decide what you want from such relationships before committing yourself to it.

If you’re young, it might do well for you if it is casual s#x only, but if you’re older and have ever felt deeply then you may get attached to that person and such relationships aren’t meant for those who are looking for commitment but these relationships might turn serious.

So make sure your decision counts.

I hope my tips helped a little in taking an informed decision and getting the right kind of friend with benefits relationship because getting involved in the wrong type can lead to unexpected results.

Also read: 150+ Friends with benefits questions

50+ questions to ask your potential FWB

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Experienced Psychology and philosophy Writer, self-help and relationship Coach and thought influencer. He has 7 years of experience in Personal development industry. His expertise as a self-help and relationship Coach has been highlighted through his articles in medium and substack to name a few. To be updated with his latest work, connect with him by following his social media accounts.

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