NSFW Sunday Wants Lesbian Friends With Benefits

[featured image via maurizio di iorio]

Apparently it’s just “not that simple” for men and women to be “friends with benefits” or to have “no strings attached.” This concept is a hot topic right now, due to the nation’s excitement regarding “No Strings With Benefits,” the remake of the Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher original from earlier this year, this time starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake.

But what about lesbians?

via fuckyeahlesbians.tumblr.com

Once upon a time I had a habit of getting into these situations with “straight girls” — the absence of strings was implicit in the relationship because obviously a straight girl wasn’t looking for a relationship with a girl. Especially if she already had a boyfriend. All the drama, all of the sex, and none of the commitment! It’s magical/excruciating.

via fuckyeahblackbutchgirls.tumblr.com

Although I caution against pursuing or falling in love with or confessing your love for a straight girl and have never done so myself, straight girls are great fun as friends-with-benefits as long as you can keep your feelings contained in a safe little box. “In your box office,” so to speak.

via switchteams.tumblr.com

But friends with benefits between two real-live lesbian ladies or you know, bisexual or otherwise interested-in-ladies ladies? Many claim that it’s too difficult because ladies have a lot of feelings, but it’s been known to happen. It’s possible. Sometimes two girls just wanna have fun! (Just like Whitney Mixter)

via cuepoc.tumblr.com

But, in an article which asks the question “why is there no female version of grindr?”, WildCherry argues: “Generally gay men take to casual sex like a duck to water. Straights hold their own in the casual sex stakes but behind the scenes it’s very often men driving these encounters. When it’s left up to 2 women, things become far less feverish.”

At Examiner.com, The Lesbian Relationship Writer has some advice for seeking friends with benefits, such as “when you are over her demand for you to be faithful or call her regularly, just saying “I told you I didn’t want anything serious,” does not get you off the hook.”

via xdyke.tumblr.com

Ashley at Diffuse5.com also has some tips from a lesbian perspective but more importantly, Dara Nai at AfterEllen finds a way to talk about sex on AfterEllen with her review of Friends With Benefits entitled We All Need Friends With Benefits:

Friends with Benefits goes When Harry Met Sally one better. Instead of asking whether men and women can be just friends, it assumes they can these days. The question in 2011 is: Can friends have sex and not fall in love, or worse, screw up the friendship? Well, sh-t howdy, lesbians have been asking ourselves that for decades.”

via queerbrownxx.tumblr.com

In September 2009, The New York Times published an article called “What Do Women Want” about what turns women on, focusing initially on a study of female desire conducted by highly regarded scientist Meredith Chivers. She did experiments which involved watching different types of porn, and found that although men responded genitally in “category specific” ways (straight men like straight porn, etc) that:

“No matter what their self-proclaimed sexual orientation, [women] showed, on the whole, strong and swift genital arousal when the screen offered men with men, women with women and women with men.”

Furthermore, when it came to discrepencies between the subject’s reported arousal (which they wrote about) and their actual arousal (which was measured by fancy scientific materials attached to various key body parts):

“…with the women, especially the straight women, mind and genitals seemed scarcely to belong to the same person. The readings from the plethysmograph and the keypad weren’t in much accord. During shots of lesbian coupling, heterosexual women reported less excitement than their vaginas indicated; watching gay men, they reported a great deal less; and viewing heterosexual intercourse, they reported much more. Among the lesbian volunteers, the two readings converged when women appeared on the screen. But when the films featured only men, the lesbians reported less engagement than the plethysmograph recorded.”

via gnomospazeamor.tumblr.com

The whole article is fascianting, in fact, but the most important part is that this research could “shift the way women perceive their capacity to get turned on.” Or maybe not:

“…sometimes Chivers talked as if the actual forest wasn’t visible at all, as if its complexities were an indication less of inherent intricacy than of societal efforts to regulate female eros, of cultural constraints that have left women’s lust dampened, distorted, inaccessible to understanding. “So many cultures have quite strict codes governing female sexuality,” she said. “If that sexuality is relatively passive, then why so many rules to control it? Why is it so frightening?” There was the implication, in her words, that she might never illuminate her subject because she could not even see it, that the data she and her colleagues collect might be deceptive, might represent only the creations of culture, and that her interpretations might be leading away from underlying truth. There was the intimation that, at its core, women’s sexuality might not be passive at all. There was the chance that the long history of fear might have buried the nature of women’s lust too deeply to unearth, to view.”

Some time while searching for links on this topic I ended up at this syllabus for a class called College Sex & Philosophy: Friends with Benefits and somehow from there ended up on this index of Go Ask Alice advice questions about LGBTQ issues and I think you’d like that too. It’s like we’re taking a journey on the internet together.

In conclusion, someone else thinks friends with benefits is scientifically impossible, however from what I read of it, I think this someone is very incorrect.

CUTE TUMBLR ALERT:

via freckled.tumblr.com

Freckled: Devoted to your love of freckled women.

 

CUTE PHOTOGRAPHY ALERT FROM CHD-WCK.COM:

by CHD-WCK

CHD-WK!: In Her Own Skin


 

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29 Comments

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    I think it’s not so much of a biological thing as a social construct. Women aren’t expected to have casual sex, they’re expect to hold couples/families together and be grounded and everything. I’m also positive that young boys don’t get told that ‘sex should only happen with someone you love’ quite as much as women are.

    I’m very much in favor of friends with benefits, I actually was that with a male friend for a while and it worked out fine, we’re still very close. But I could never bring myself to using apps that resemble ‘grindr’… I don’t want to have sex like I’m shopping for food.

    I’m not saying I need to have feelings for the person, romantic or otherwise, but I at least need to view them as human beings, not just a warm body, which is the mindset grindr seems based on.

    Also I have a hard time believing someone who repeatedly wants to have sex with women and likes it can be straight but whatever, you do you.

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    In my personal experience, this is really difficult to make work, no matter your gender. Men are conditioned by society to believe they are apt to enjoy emotionless sex, but not all men feel that way. Women are given a lot of license to have feelings, and even when we don’t want to or mean to, we can often attach to someone.

    That isn’t to say it’s impossible. I had a very reciprocal, beneficial, platonic benefits relationship with a girl I liked very much. We never went beyond that relationship and ended up becoming really good friends instead. Now we’re both getting married to our partners of four years, and will be present at each other’s weddings. But man, I watched and participated in plenty benefits relationships that DID NOT go well. AT ALL.

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    I know that personally, I can’t do FWB. I think in most situations, for a couple of any orientation, it is bound to get messy. But who I am to tell people what they can and can’t do? (Punny!) It does work out every so often.

    The last quote from Chivers study is amazing and perfect and I want to quote it all over the place.

    I am following that tumblr right now! Freckles are my weakness.

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    I think people expect there to be some kind of universal rule about FWB, either it works or it doesn’t. But I think it depends on whether it works for the individuals involved (i.e. Am I the kind of person who can have “sex without (romantic) feelings”? Is she the kind of person who can have sex without feelings?) and also for their relationship (ie. is our particular type of friendship one that will survive sex?)

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      Agreed. And you know, I witnessed what started as a pretty solid FWB situation turn sour when one girl started to fall in love with the other. She didn’t want to or intend to, and the other girl did not feel the same way. It was messy and ugly. Girl A had been in plenty of FWB situations and hadn’t had a problem falling in love before…it just happened. I think it’s a tricky sitch no matter who you are or what you think you’re capable of.

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        are you like observing me from a bubble??? am i in a fish tank, because this is the exact same thing that happened to me. except by some sort of je ne sais pa i managed to sort of salvage the friendship. now we’re at that awkward avoidance stage because seeing her seeing me with anyone feels like betrayal and obviously she would be super pissed *sigh* when will it end

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        True, you can never really predict for sure. But the longer you’ve known someone, the better you’ll be at knowing whether there’s any risk of falling in love with them. At a certain point it kind of becomes “well, if I haven’t fallen in love yet in our x years of friendship, I’m not going to.”

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    i think it begins with adam and eve. the fall of man. we are a “weakness”. you dont try to understand a weakness you control it. besides its too much work understanding women’s “fickle minds” so why bother?

    this ignorance then leads to fear how many times have you heard the saying “Once women know how to do things for themselves then where will we(men) be?”

    Wonderful stuff autostraddle!

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    my last one didn’t work out because she totally let her box office loose. we’re still friends, but have recently kind of decided to avoid each other for a bit (just to lets things fade a little)

    fwb works if you detach feelings, but come on that’s really hard for a lot of people, especially if you’ve been crushing on your friend for a while. don’t fwb with a crush EVER!!!! you’re better off being upfront and trying to pursue an actual relationship at that point.

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    I think that the deciding factor in whether your FWB-ship will work is how much time y’all spend together outside of the benefits. FOR EXAMPLE, I have a FWB situation happening, but ever since we met, we’ve hung out like we’re dating. Makes things complicated.

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    I’m glad someone pointed out the thing about the friends with benefits/no strings attached thing. I never watch tv or go to the movies any more and I had no idea what the fuck was going on. I saw ads for it and was like “didn’t they just make that movie?” i thought i was going crazy…

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    I am a rare person. I was born in a male body but I am a lesbian. I never had the inclination or the money to change my gender and I grew up with a father that hated the concept of same-sex love.

    I chose to hide my true self behind obesity. The obesity almost took my life. I woke up from a coma in 2001. I was out from behind my weight and married.

    I loved Shirley, too much to talk about the, “new,” me. Shirley passed away in 2005. I live in a nursing home and I turn 59 on July 31. I am a very affectionate person and I’d rather have a lesbian friend with benefits than a relationship

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