Everyone knows that a gay lifestyle comes with a unique set of challenges, not the least of which is the challenge of maintaining a distinction between “just friends” and lovers/sex-partners.
For straight people, you have your guys and your girls and each has a tendency to develop friendships with their own sex. This helps take some of the confusion out of relationships with people because the guys know they have sex with girls, and they are just friends with the guys. Being gay, however, doesn’t provide us with the same clarity because we still tend to be friends with members of the same sex, who is also who we engage in sex with. This means that, technically speaking, any one of your friends could be a potential sex partner… and that might have disaster written all over it.
As a personal choice and general rule, I choose to keep my friends and my sex-life separate. If I become friends with someone, that’s what we are: friends. We likely aren’t going to have sex (of any sort), we’re probably not going to get naked together and it’s generally safe to assume that we’ll never even make out. Of course, I have friends who I’ve had sex with, but that’s usually because the relationship happened in reverse (i.e., we dated and when it didn’t work out romantically, we eventually became friends). By and large though, the two groups are generally separate.
This then brings up the whole “friends with benefits” concept. To me, “friends with benefits” aren’t really “friends”- at least not in the strictest sense. When you get together with someone who falls into this category, it’s usually just to have sex (i.e., f*** buddies). In my opinion, “friends with benefits” are more along the lines of people you’ve hooked up with and get along with, but don’t really “hang out” with.
There are so many more facets to this issue than just the friends OR sex partners issue, such as moving from dating or a relationship to just friends, or vice versa, or, is it okay to have sex with your friend’s ex? What if you’re already friends with them? The list of possible scenarios could go on and on…
The homorazzi cast has had somewhat recent experience with some of these issues: Two of our friends (who we all thought were just friends as well) have been in a relationship for some time now after going home from the bar together on numerous occasions and hooking up. These occasions eventually lead to the development of feelings for each other and voila! This is obviously a case where something beneficial came out of the “having sex with friends” scenario.
More recently, two of our other friends unexpectedly had sex together as well. As an added twist, one of the friends involved is the ex-boyfriend of another of our good friends. Most of us were surprised at the occurrence given the friendship already between the two, and the fact that the one is ex-boyfriends with one of our other good friends. Nothing “bad” came of this situation, but it was something that got me to thinking about the “it’s just sex” concept.
The “it’s just sex” concept is pretty common among all of us homos. I mean, all of us have gone to the bar, seen some hot guy, and gone home to do the wild monkey dance with him- even though you just met. Applying the “it’s just sex” concept to a friendship, however, can be somewhat more difficult. With it, you run the risk that one of the friends is better at “it’s just sex” than the other- thereby creating drama because your “friend” is now in love with you and you don’t reciprocate. This also may not happen until one of the two friends decides to become romantically involved with someone else and the “friend” becomes jealous.
Having sex with your friends could also potentially affect your future relationships as well because the guy you start dating could have some weirdness with hanging out with “friends” who are also “sex partners”. The interesting part with this one, however, is that it seems that weirdness only comes in with instances where it went from friends to sex partners, as opposed to those who hook up and then consequently end up being friends. I think it has to do with the fact that starting as “friends” is, in a way, defining the relationship. Traditionally speaking, sex is outside the definition of that relationship so it can create suspicion for someone when two people change that relationship to include sex- even if it’s “meaningless”.
It’s a potentially messy issue and one that everyone has to figure out individually; where are your boundaries; what’s okay in your friendships; when is sex okay and when is it not?
You all know my personal choice now, but I know that many gay guys have a different opinion on the matter. As you can see, even among just my extended group of friends, many of them have had sex with each other. Some have become friends because they hooked up, some have gotten into relationships with each other because they started having sex as friends, and others have sex with each other just because it’s what they want to do. Clearly there is no set rule on this and each person has to decide for themselves.