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Platonic Sex: Does Having Sex with a Friend Ruin the Friendship?

platonic sex

Many people think it’s possible to have sex with a friend without consequences, but is that true? Can you have platonic sex with your friend?

A platonic relationship is basically a friendship between two people that could hypothetically be attracted to one another. In general, we choose our friends because we do find them attractive *not necessarily in a sexual manner*. 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. What makes it platonic is that both people choose not to act on their occasional feelings of sexual tension.

[Read: Important rules to remember in a friends with benefits relationship]

Is it possible to have platonic sex?

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably like, “well, at some point, these two people are going to end up together or act on their feelings.” Maybe they will. Maybe they won’t. But the truth is it’s possible for two people to have a successful platonic relationship without ever making it sexual.

But there is no such thing as platonic sex. The minute you have sex, it’s no longer platonic. Can you have sex with your friend? Yes. But it’s not called platonic sex. Instead, it would be friends-with-benefits or casual sex. The minute sex comes into the picture; it changes everything.

[Read: Platonic friendship rules to keep the drama down]

How to have platonic sex with friends

You can still have sex with your friend, but there are some general guidelines you should follow to make sure everything runs smoothly. Do it smartly, so there aren’t any regrets.

#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.

#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 simply attracted to each other but aren’t interested in dating each other, then casual 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 from your partner 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.

#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 just 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 pass 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 if you don’t, you may lose your friend. [Read: Rules to follow to keep a casual relationship casual]

#6 Don’t forget 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. 

#7 Set rules. 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 relationship. 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? [Read: Sleeping with a friend – A no-regrets guide to doing it right]

#8 Always check in with your friend. You may not have had feelings for each other now, but remember, feelings can always change. 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?

#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 casual sex, but when emotions are involved, it can get messy fast. The moment you or your partner wants more, the sex needs to end. [Read: The signs you’re more than friends with benefits and you’re getting attached]

#10 Maintain the balance. You didn’t start off 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, you will 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, for better or for worse, everything changes.

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Natasha Ivanovic
Natasha Ivanovic is an intimacy, dating, and relationship writer best known for her writings on Kiiroo, LovePanky, Post Pravda, and more. She's the creator and ...
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