Booty Call, Fuck Buddy, or Friend with Benefits?

Recently, I heard “If I’m Not Your Lover” by Al B. Sure!. Listening to it now, the lyrics resonate more then back when I first heard it in the late 80s:

If I’m not your lover
If I’m not your friend
Tell me, baby
Just tell me what I am

The song reflects the role confusion of what many dating singles go through. Since there are many more types of relationships than before, figuring out where one stands is more challenging. Recognizing the terms of a relationship can help keep expectations realistic and in turn keeps you in control. Below are my definitions of some relationship patterns. By no means are these descriptions definitive.

One-Night Stand

Calling Pattern:
Calls and texts are confined to a 24-hour time limit. After sex, cell phone connectivity seems to peter out.

Social Behavior:
Situational factors such as weddings, recent breakups, traveling, and out of town visitors have a profound influence on initiating a one-night stand. The relationship is brief and intense. Attention is focus on the moment.

Sentiment:
As the name designates this is a one-time thing. Therefore, having sex again after the 24-hour period would change the relationship into a different type. Common feelings associated with a one-night stand are “Wanting to get it out of my system”, “I was so trashed”, “Why not”, “It was just on”, and “Everything just fell into place”.

Booty Call

Calling Pattern:
Text messaging is the preferred mode of communication because of its conciseness. Calls or texts are often initiated around a bar’s last call. Chitchatting is avoided and instead there is a quick exchange of necessary details like:
- Can you meet up later?
- When?
- Whose place?

Social Behavior:
Time spent predominantly engaging in or preparing for sex. There is no dating or hanging out. Rarely do you see booty calls spending time in public together. After sex, spending the night is not obligatory and often discouraged.

Sentiment:
You’re on the same sexual page. There is an understanding that each person is in the relationship for just sex. Booty calls are not interested in a romantic relationship with each other. Therefore, dating other people is acceptable and each other’s dating life is usually kept private. To keep the relationship on a sex-only level, getting to know one another on an emotional level is avoided. Depending on the terms of the relationship, if one partner has sex with someone else, then terms of the relationship may need to be renegotiated.

Fuck Buddy

Calling Pattern:
Calls or texts are initiated to see what is happening that night or around town. Calls are usually focused around the social scene and whether paths will cross during the night.

Social Behavior:
Fuck buddies are able to be with each other in public. They often bump into each other at the same parties, bars, and clubs. Fuck buddies will seldom make plans with each other. Meetings are usually more spur of the moment or if there is nothing better happening. Fuck buddies can meet at the venue where the other fuck buddy is at and then go home with each other, whereas, booty calls will usually just meet where they will have sex.

Sentiment:
Fuck buddies are social play friends. The relationship is built on fun, casualness, and sex. They may be actively dating other people and are not interested in dating the other fuck buddy. Fuck buddies will usually only hang out if sex will ensue afterwards. Depending on the relationship, sex could be exclusively with each other or open to other people. This type of relationship ends if one of the members starts to seriously romantically date another person. However, if that partner returns to single status, the fuck buddy relationship can be reestablished.

Friend with Benefits

Calling Pattern:
Will call to just talk or make plans to hang out.

Social Behavior:
For the most part, these two people are friends. The big difference between their other friendships is sex. Friends with benefits have the ability to go out on date-like activities, which is useful for formal parties and weddings. However, real dates are not initiated because there is no romantic interest between the partners. The intention of hanging out is because they enjoy similar activities and each other’s company. Sex is an optional part of the relationship. If one partner has sex outside of the relationship, it does not end their friendship. Instead, the sex element is taken out of the relationship and they continue to be friends. Sex can also come back into the friendship when both parties are ready for it.

Sentiment:
This relationship is primarily about friendship. Friends with benefits care about the other; however, they are not interested in romantically dating each other. They are able to have sex with each other without it being awkward because they either have a good foundation for their relationship and/or communicate really well with each other. Since friendship is more valued than sex, sex is often sacrificed for the sake of the friendship. Friends with benefits are also able to talk about each other’s dating lives.

Girlfriend/Boyfriend

Calling Pattern:
Calls and texts include all of the above calling patterns. In this relationship type, calling frequency also facilitates maintenance of the relationship. Content of conversations spans a much larger topic area.

Social Behavior:
Both parties are comfortable openly expressing their affection towards one another. Each person publicly acknowledges this type of relationship to others. Dating and sex are mutually exclusive.

Sentiment:
There is a high level of exclusivity that does not exist in the other relationships. Both people agreement that they are a “couple”. There is a mutual understanding that this title involves social prioritizing and commitment. The couple will agree with the unique rules that determine their relationship.

Conclusion

These are only a few basic relationship types. Many of these types have different names associated with them. However, the name or the description is not of highest priority. The important point of defining your role in a relationship is to be able to get your needs and wants met. By communicating with your partner, one is able to better function within the relationship. Games, manipulation, unrealistic expectations, and jealousy can be somewhat avoided if each person is clear with what they’re looking for. Then more energy can be spent in getting the most out of the relationship.


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Comments

[...] me?  PrettyPilotGuy was supposed to initiate me into phase 3 of my microwave timeline — Friends with Benefits.  Instead of my jet setter playboy buddy, I’m now stuck with another BIG BROTHER who just [...]

Wow, that cleared up a lot of confusion for me. Fabulous post!

[...] You should.  It’s rather telling of what you’re looking for in your future fuck buddy, FWB or (gasp!) soulmate.  At least it will delineate the more shallow and superficial side of what [...]

Please – was this written by some 60 yo wistfully thinking back to the ‘good ol’ college days’ ?
FWB aren’t sexually exclusive, and sometimes boyfriend/girlfriend relationships aren’t either.
@@
Welcome to the new millennium.

I think he left room for defining the relationship as agreed on for boyfriend/girlfriends, meaning room for phsically open relationships if that’s what they want.

FWBs ending when one has sex with another seemed weird to me also. I think FWBs have to negotiate if they are going to be sexually exclusive until they meet someone romantic or they could be sneaking around anyways since it’s not the same commitment level as boyfriend/girlfriend, maybe?

Interesting take on these sexually related terms, however, I wonder what exactly is the epistemology of these terms? Are they derivatives of one another, regional phrases? Are these ideas racially or culturally connected? The evolution of sexual jargon is particularly interesting in how it is utilized to purport certain denotative and associative meanings that serve a certain group of people. What is your take?

@Lana & @Kit: Since most of these are pop culture terms, their origins and meanings can be different. The main point of this post was not to have the definitive definition of these terms. Instead, it was what I wrote in the summary, “However, the name or the description is not of highest priority. The important point of defining your role in a relationship is to be able to get your needs and wants met.” Therefore, the word or title used is secondary to how each person in the relationship defines it. Yes, I agree words can be utilized for different reasons and purposes. Therefore, it is important to be clear the the meaning, intention, and association each partner draws from the word/title to have a mutually agreeable relationship.

im in a fwb last year and it hurts me the most when my partner and i ended up with just frens..i developd such emotional feeling for him now i feel down and really jealous.

I think this defines the single game very well.. I was even able to go down a few of the checklists to find common areas in multiple categories. Now, what I think ppl could use the checklists for are to see if the relationship is progressing or declining in the type they desire. Very Iinsightful!

I really liked reading your post. The definitions are clear in the terms of the different relationships.

Currently, I am in an odd situation. I met a guy 4 months ago and since then we have seen eachother once-twice a week. We go out to dinner, spend time with eachother’s friends, go to bars, and take part in what are date like activities (in my opinion). We text every day without fail and we also have sex when we see eachother. In public, we act like a couple; i.e. holding hands, kissing, and generally holding or touching one another in some way (which is initiated by him morese than I). However, it was established early on that he wasn’t looking for a long term or long distance relationship.

So why act like we’re in a relationship when it’s clearly not an option? I’m honestly so confused by the situation and I find myself falling for him, which is clearly going to mess things up if we continue in this weird situation. I have romantic feelings towards him and he has mentioned that he likes me and is into me, so what’s the deal?

What would we even be defined as, in your opinion?

Ok. So what do i call my friends?? This guy who still married… but separated.. still sees his wife for ocassional sex… not looking for sentimental relstionship… but fun focused on sex… with my gf who is also married.. still i the relation. But looking for fun and sex..(obviously affair) but what are they???? Lovers??? Friends???

Doesnot work out because the woman becomes emotionally involved,while the man can just see it as casual sex ,as and when he wants it.
The womam becomes jealous and insecure,the man just moves on to the next one,the woman ending up hurt.

I found this article interesting as I am trying to work out what label to put on my situation. I have been friends with a guy for nearly 2 years, about 3 months ago we started going to dinner and movies once a week, then he brought up about having sex, he said he wasn’t looking for a relationship and that we should just take things as they go. We both agreed that if it went somewhere that was ok, if it didn’t that was ok too. We see each other at least once a week of not more, but sleeping over isn’t always just about sex. We have a lot in common and enjoy each othes company. Last week there was a situation where he asked a girl out to lunch while he was with me. I found this a little bit tacky and we discussed what our relationship really was, he said that he hoped I wasn’t falling for him as he couldn’t handle that and that if I was asking him if what we had would become a relationship, he would have to say no it wouldn’t. I tried to explain to him that I do have some feeling for him otherwise I wouldn’t be having sex with him, as I don’t have sex with just anyone. He then said he thought it was ok to have sex with other people. When I told him that I would never do that, as I was from the old school and would not have sex with another guy until I ended it with the guy I was presently sexually involved with. He then said we had a monogamous situtation (he doesn’t like the word relationship, or the word date for that matter) My interpretation of monogamous is one sexual partner at a time. I am beginning to think that this guy doesn’t really know what he wants and is unsure of his own “feelings” and was maybe getting a bit too close for comfort and has decided to back things off a bit. there is an age difference of 10 years with us, me being the older, but that has never bothered either of us, until he bought it up the other day. If anyone has any advice of any take on this situation I would really welcome it…thanks for reading

Wow, everything mentioned except “marriage”. Why? fear of divorce or responsibility? Such fearful people I desist so much. When you’d stay fearful and scared of each other, how’d you form any sort of “relationship” at all? Such a scared person does not even qualify for a booty call. huh!

So, FWB is really dating someone you’re willing to drop if you get a better deal in the romantic relationship part, but who is not so awful that you could leave them entirely out in the cold?

That’s pretty shitty. “Sure, I’ll bed you now, and try to make it nice for you, but I’d leave you if something better came up.”

How is this even friendship?

“FWB aren’t sexually exclusive, and sometimes boyfriend/girlfriend relationships aren’t either.
@@
Welcome to the new millennium.”

I hope you’re getting an STI test with each new partner and holding off with your FWB or romantic partner until the results are in (or is a week too much for the “millennium”?) because condoms are rather ineffective for herpes and genital warts. Nasty.

No problem with casual sex if you want it or need it but blegh, there are reasons for keeping track of partners.

@Adeline Rae: Sorry for such a late reply. Not sure if you’re even still in the same relationship. Your situation does sound tricky since he’s physically showing you signs of a boyfriend but he’s not verbally saying it. The labels don’t really matter. It really is up to you whether this type of relationship is acceptable. If you’re okay with the physicality without the definition, cool. If you’re not, I would bring it up and state what your wishes are. A relationship is between two people. So either you communicate and get clarity or you may compromise yourself.

@Nena: Good question. Hey, here’s your chance to create a new dating definition! Yeah, there’s all kinds of hybrid relationship types. If all parties are aware and accepting then it is ethical in my book. Others may look at it as immoral but with the important part is the agreement with the participating parties.

@zoe jenks: Yes, that does happen. And I know of women who do the same.

@injen: It sounds as though you are pretty clear with what you want out of your relationship with him. He also sounds clear, too, but just doesn’t want to put a label on it. That’s fine if he doesn’t like using the words: “relationship” or “date”. You both may even have different definitions for the same words. Therefore, it is better to be clear on what the rules are. For example: can you date other people, can you have sex with other people, is it okay to talk about other interests to each other, etc. He may not like this conversation because it is clearly defining both your roles since it sounds like he wants to be more ambiguous. So it is up to you how much guessing and how much clarity you’re willing to live with. Good luck!

@Amir: I’m curious where you interpreted the article as “fear”. In the conclusion, I state, “These are only a few basic relationship types.” Of course marriage is a relationship. Yes, I could put my own definition of marriage on this post but that’s insignificant since the whole institution of marriage is currently being debated in the highest courts. Also, you mentioned, “fear of divorce or responsibility” that’s an interesting point. There are some people who are actually fearful of getting divorced. They would much rather be in an abusive relationship than get divorced. As far as responsibility, I believe it is about being responsible for what you want, putting it out there, and hopefully attracting someone who wants the same. All of these relationships have a certain level of commitment. And just because someone is married does not mean they are “committed”. There’s a lot of different research that shows about 50-60% of couples cheat at least once during their marriages (includes both genders).

@lili: The primary difference with a FWB is that it is first and foremost based on a friendship. There’s no romantic feelings or enough passion to take the FWB into GF/BF status. Not many friends are capable of being very honest and open to be able to sustain both a sexual and platonic relationship. I would really suggest for people who want to try this to see if they are willing to potential lose a friendship if it gets awkward. And yes, I totally agree that we should all be practicing safe sex.

This a long story so im gonna cut a few corners..Basically i started chatting to this bloke while i was with my husband,we struck up a frienship he helped me throught alot with my marriage breakdown.After me and hubby broke up we started seeing one another with sex!.I didnt want at the time a relationship (because of what i went throught with my hubs)altho he made comments towards me that he wanted that at the time!.After a while of seeing him i started to have feelings towards him and told him!.The reaction i got wasnt good.He backed off and didnt speak to me for a few days.We ended up talking to each other again and was back to sleeping with each other.I ended up sleeping with someone else and said he was jealous and didnt want me to tell him if i was gonna do again.After a few weeks the roles reversed he made it clear that he had slept with someone,basiaclly hes refering to me now as a fuck buddy! what it means he allowed to go with other women but the fuck buddy means a person doest not have to commit! but a friends with benefits.

Emotions, emotions, emotions..those funny little things that have a way of popping up out of nowhere and ´getting in the way´ of a good ole fuck… Maybe agreeing to only doing it say 3 times is a good idea to avoid that ´problem´..that way if one person gets attached, it will be easier for them to handle the breakup than if they had been together for months..

How I managed to go from someone he claimed to be into to what this page defines as a booty call is beyond me *Sigh*

three + years, never really discussed a relationship. He’s twelve years younger than me so I never pressed the issue. When it became clear that I was just a fuck buddy, and I was finally honest with myself that I was in love with him, I decided to walk away. Block his number, block him on facebook. It is hard, so very hard and I miss him so much, but it’s for the best, right? Right? fuck

My situation is basically f’ed up. Here we go. I’ve been in a relationship for 15 years (not married). The sex is becoming non-existence and far and few between. We use to have great sex. Now I’m lucking if I get it. During the years I’ve been with other men who were usually old boyfriends or someone I knew. There was always an understanding. Now I’m having a long distant relationship with someone I’ve known for 30 years. We became reconnect and started talking by phone. We live in different states but he lives in my hometown. I’ve made it back home a couple of times and because of our long conversations I’ve told him about my current relationship. As the conversations progressed I knew something was going to happen when I came in town. The sex we had happened to be the most loving, tender and sweetest I ever had. It wasn’t earth shattering but it was exactly what I needed. I missed that love and tenderness. He is very aware of my situation back home. I’m not going to leave my current man just because we don’t have sex. We have everything thing else in our relationship except for sex. He’s a good person and it would crush him if I left him.

My dilemma, the guy in my hometown has adorable me for decades but we were never single at the same time. He’s now single and wants to find someone. Would like it to be me but I’ve told him not to put his life on hold. Don’t wait for me to figure out what I’m doing. We’ve only got together twice but it was memorable. Now, he got himself a fuck buddy. He didn’t tell me for awhile and it hurt. I actually got pretty upset because I thought we had something “different”. We’ve had extensive talks about our relationship. Basically, we are friends first then lovers. We both want to always remain friends no matter what happens. This is the fine line that most people blow up over. I’m not saying we won’t be one of them but I hope not. I told him I didn’t want to get played and he needed to tell me if he was going to sleep with someone else. I know, how can I be making those kind of demands on someone. He understood and he tells me when he does have sex with his fuck buddy. Our phone talk was so intense he kept her at bay for three weeks. I actually felt bad believe it or not. I’d much rather see him with someone special than a fb. Silly yes. I don’t tell him it bothers me because it’s not my place. So, here I am with a friend with benefits thousands of miles away and I wish I could have him more.

@CB… You are a much stronger person than me. Yes, it hurts but in the long run you probably did good. Jury’s still out on me.

yes but when you set rules and you fall inlove in your own trap ,then what you let him know and everything chaces,than what all he want now is to movies and dinner no touching no sex,and yes it hurts,these are his rules now ,help please what should i do

help

I started talking to this boy in my neighbor town for about six months ago. For about a month ago we started texting every day, and things were great. We both expressed that we were not interested in having a relationship and found out that we could become fuck buddies. We was very good friends, used to joke and flirt. So one day, when I managed to get my parents out of the house, he came over and we had sex for the first time. Since we was such good friends and had met several times before it happened it was a really funny and awkward experience. We also had sex some days later at a public restroom.

The next day we were supposed to go to the same party together but I had the feeling that he didn’t want me there because of our situation. So I decided not to go. I later got to hear that he had hooked up with someone else and I was relieved when I found out that I wasn’t jealous.

But things changed, and it wasn’t that easy to talk to him anymore. I found out what I really needed was not just sex with him, but also his friendship. Now I feel that he don’t want to talk to me anymore, just have sex. He got what he wanted and doesn’t need to talk to me like he did before. I really need his friendship and our easy communication, because we’ve talked for almost everyday for the last six months and I was hoping not sex would change it. It have only just passed six days since we first did it but I already feel that we got a whole different relationship.

I just hope not sex destroyed our friendship as it was.

Have fun and go out

I found my FWB online. It’s not easy but it’s possible
Izyc
FWB

[...] I was curious about whether my version of booty calls was correct and so I looked into some forums about what other people considered them. I found that a LOT of people considered it an act to fall under the category of Friends with Benefits. Alrighty. But that isn’t the definition of a booty call. It seemed more like an environment in which you would find booty calls. And then I found this blog post that explained it all: http://www.datingthoughts.com/2008/07/02/booty-call-fuck-buddy-or-friend-with-benefits/ [...]

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