Friends With Benefits….While Married?

On the heels of the discussion about what to do when libidos are out of sync, I’d like to propose an alternative suggestion that’s outside the norm.

What happens when you’re married to someone and you’re best friends, you’re great partners in life, you may even be great partners in parenthood, but your libidos are just completely out of sync. You’ve read my article and many others like it talking about things you can do to help match up your sexual wants/needs with that of your partner’s, and yet there’s still such a gap. Maybe this is the only bone of contention in your otherwise idyllic relationship. Should you really consider divorce solely on the basis of sexual incompatibility?

What would happen if the partner with the greater sex drive were to seek out a friend to satisfy only sexual needs with. A friend with benefits. Can this type of arrangement only work when you are single? Can we not employ the same theory to married individuals?

I know, you’re really thinking Naive Nancy went off the deep end this time. I’m going to ask that you suspend your preconceived notions for the duration of this discussion. Attempt to think outside the societal norms for a second.

According to this article, infidelity accounted for 55% of divorce. I’m going to take issue with the entire concept of claiming infidelity. That is such an all-encompassing statement. Infidelity can indicate a number of things: A marriage with physical incompatibility issues, a partner who has a frame of reference which includes more permissive sexual values, a partner who just has a history of being less than honest (about anything, not just sex), or a partner with an interest in engaging in risky behaviors. But somewhere in that statistic lies what we’re looking for. The amount of marriages dissolved over physical incompatibility.

According to this article, physical incompatiblity is one of the most common but least talked about reasons for divorce. So let’s think about this for a minute. If everything else about your relationship works. If when you entered the union your libidos were in sync and through the myriad of twists and turns life throws at us, one of your libido’s suffered for it, is that really a reason for divorce?

I know what you’re going to say, try counseling, there’s always an underlying issue. What if all potential underlying issues have been addressed. The measurement of libido is such a fickle science. It’s comprised of both physical and mental pieces. To say that you can control all of them is just ludicrous. So instead of falling into the trap of infidelity, if you knew that your libidos were so out of sync and something needed to be done, could you not discuss the “friends with benefits” as a potential solution.

The idea of infidelity is that it is a dishonesty, distrust. Having your sexual needs met by someone outside the relationship does not have to encompass the negative connotation that surrounds infidelity. It could be a discussed and negotiated option amongst two grown adults that love each other and realize that they can’t fulfill all of their needs for each other. This is not a unilateral decision made by the desire of one individual to fulfill their sexual fantasies. I’m also not proposing a blanket permission of permissive behavior.

In order for this to be even remotely successful, both partners would have to be able to remove themselves emotionally from the act of sex. If either the “straying” partner or the partner with low libido allowing the “straying” were to put emotional values onto the sexual act, it would imply that more than FWB (friends with benefts) exists. In fact even the word friend implies that there is more of a relationship there than should exist if this were just a filling of sexual needs devoid of emotion. So let’s just refer to them as a fuck buddy.

I suppose that is the ultimate question. Can sex without emotions really exist? I had someone once suggest to me that sex without emotions only exists when sex is traded like a commodity for monetary value. You can’t seriously think prostitutes and sexual surrogates are the only people who can extract themselves from the emotional side of sex.

It is a notoriously male trait to be able to separate sex from emotions, but does that mean that males are the only gender to be able to do that? And if males can do that, it already suggests that it can be done without trading it like a commodity.

So therein lies the key. If you and your partner, who suffer in this sexual purgatory together, want to find an alternative outlet to your misery other than divorce, can you both put aside your emotions where sex is concerned? Can you agree to an alternative arrangement in which one partner seeks sexual fulfillment outside the relationship? If so, a fuck buddy arrangement may be for you.

 

*If you or someone you know is currently engaged in this type of arrangement I’d love to hear from you.*