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Platonic Sex: What Is It? Is It Even Possible? Sex Without Attraction?

It seems like the idea of friends with benefits is taking off, but is it a good idea? Can you have platonic sex with a friend?

platonic sex

A platonic relationship is basically a friendship between two people. This could be your best friend, a coworker, or anything else. Sure, they could hypothetically be attracted to one another. But, can platonic sex live within the platonic relationship?

There may be moments in the friendship where one or both people feel occasional sexual tension or ask themselves, “maybe we should try dating?”

This relationship could really go either way. Sometimes friendships work well when grown into something more, or times, not so much. What makes a relationship platonic is that both people are not acting on any occasional feelings of sexual tension. [Read: Important rules to remember in a friends with benefits relationship]

What is platonic sex?

What even is platonic sex? The definition of platonic from Merriam-Webster is relating to or being a relationship marked by the absence of romance or sex. So how can platonic sex even exist? It is quite an oxymoron, isn’t it?

Platonic sex is somehow sex without romance or feelings. Some might even consider it sex without attraction. But, how? How can you have and enjoy sex without any attraction? Do you keep your eyes shut and imagine it is someone else?

Not quite. In most circumstances, platonic sex would be a friends with benefits type of situation. It would be a platonic relationship with sex thrown into the mix. It sounds simple enough. You may not want a romantic relationship with all the ups and downs, so you have a mutual decision to enjoy sex without all the messy emotions. But is it really as simple as it sounds? [Read: How to have sex with a friend and not make it weird]

Is it possible to have platonic sex?

Now, I know what you’re thinking. This never works. You’ve seen it in movies and on TV. There are always feelings coming in one way or another. Of course, there are platonic relationships, but once sex is added into the mix, how on earth will that work?

Well, there really is no such thing as platonic sex. The minute you have sex, it’s no longer platonic. Being platonic means a lack of sex. Sure, you can have sex with a friend without romantic feelings, but the sex itself takes away the platonic aspect away. [Read: Platonic friendship rules to keep the drama down]

How to have platonic sex

Even though the term platonic sex may not be completely accurate, you can still have sex with a friend. But, if you plan on it, you should follow some general guidelines to make sure everything runs smoothly… Or at least as smoothly as it can.

1. Do you have feelings for your friend?

Before anything, you should figure out where you stand with your feelings. Do you secretly have hidden feelings *or not so hidden feelings* for your friend? If so, bringing sex into the relationship will not do you any good emotionally. That is unless your friend also has feelings for you. But then you may want to look into a relationship, not just sex.

2. What does your friend feel for you?

This is a question you don’t really know the answer to until they confirm it. Don’t just assume they really like you or not; you need to get confirmation from them on how they feel.

Together, you can then decide if bringing sex into the relationship would be a good idea or not. If you are attracted to each other but aren’t interested in dating each other, then platonic sex may work well. [Read: How to have a casual relationship with someone without getting hurt]

3. Be honest with each other

This isn’t the time to hide how you really feel and vice versa. Your life isn’t a Hollywood romantic comedy, so it’s best to be upfront and honest with your friend. They may not feel the same as you or want the same things, and that’s okay. At least you were honest about what you’re looking for. This prevents you from wasting each other’s time.

4. Remember who this person is

Sure, it’s just casual sex, but this isn’t going to happen with someone you met on Tinder. The person you want casual sex with is an actual friend of yours. If things don’t feel right or you want to end it, you cannot treat it like you’re on Tinder and swipe left. If you’re a genuine friend, you need to be respectful and considerate of their feelings. [Read: The pros and cons of turning a friendship into sex buddies]

5. Don’t skimp on communication

Casual relationships that go sour all have one thing in common: they lack communication. You can’t read your friend’s mind, and they can’t read yours. This is why you need to always make sure your line of communication is strong and open. Yes, talking about this can feel awkward and uncomfortable, but you may lose your friend if you don’t communicate in a platonic sex situation.

6. Don’t forget about your friendship

When sex gets into the picture, it’s easy to drop everything else and focus solely on sex. But remember that you were friends first. It’s natural to feel that you need to downplay your friendship now that there’s sex involved, but that can actually backfire. Instead, work hard to keep your friendship at the forefront of your relationship. [Read: Rules to follow to keep a casual relationship casual]

7. Set boundaries

No one thinks about making rules because let’s be honest, who wants to make rules around their sex life? It feels a little dull, right? But those rules have the power of saving your friendship. Set firm rules on the relationship. Will there be sleepovers? Will your friends know? And will you be open about if you’re seeing other people?

Platonic sex isn’t as simple as it sounds. If you want things to go smoothly, you need to agree on these things.

8. Always check in with your friend

You may not have had feelings for each other now, but remember, feelings can always change. Adding sex to a friendship can instigate feelings even without that intent.

If you have been casually having sex for a couple of weeks, it’s important to check in with each other and see how you’re both feeling. Are there feelings developing? Do you want to continue having sex, take a break, or start dating? [Read: Sleeping with a friend – A no-regrets guide to doing it right]

9. When things get emotional…

The minute someone starts to have feelings, the relationship is no longer casual, and now, you must figure out what’s going to happen. Yes, you both like platonic sex, but it can get messy fast when emotions get involved. The moment you or your partner wants more, the sex either needs to end, or you need to talk about becoming more than friends. [Read: The signs you’re more than friends with benefits and you’re getting attached]

10. Maintain the balance

You didn’t start as sexual partners. You were friends and then one day decided to bring sex into the relationship. So, no matter what, maintain a healthy balance of sex and friendship. Hang out with your friends, go see a movie together, do things that you did before having sex. [Read: The complete guide to staying friends after having sex with each other]

11. This won’t last long

Eventually, you will need to decide where you want this to go. Do you two want to start seeing each other? Or cut out the sex and just remain friends? Eventually, most people want a lasting relationship rather than one in constant limbo. So, remember that this arrangement will probably not be a long-term one.

[Read: How does being best friends with benefits really work out?]

You now know what you need to do if you want platonic sex with your friend to go well. But remember, the minute you bring sex into the friendship, everything changes for better or for worse.

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