Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 38, Issue 1, pp 66–73 | Cite as

Negotiating a Friends with Benefits Relationship

  • Melissa A. Bisson
  • Timothy R. LevineEmail author
Original Paper


Friends with benefits (FWB) refers to “friends” who have sex. Study 1 (N = 125) investigated the prevalence of these relationships and why individuals engaged in this relationship. Results indicated that 60% of the individuals surveyed have had this type of relationship, that a common concern was that sex might complicate friendships by bringing forth unreciprocated desires for romantic commitment, and ironically that these relationships were desirable because they incorporated trust and comfort while avoiding romantic commitment. Study 2 (N = 90) assessed the relational negotiation strategies used by participants in these relationships. The results indicated that people in FWB relationships most often avoided explicit relational negotiation. Thus, although common, FWB relationships are often problematic for the same reasons that they are attractive.


Friends with benefits Friendship Romantic relationships 



This article is based, in part, on a portion of the first author’s M.A. thesis, completed under the direction of the second author. The authors appreciate the assistance of the Editor.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of CommunicationWayne State UniversityDetroitUSA
  2. 2.Department of CommunicationMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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