Can You Really Go Back To Being Friends After Sex?

One of the greatest adult fairytales out there is the story of a successful romantic relationship that starts as friends, which turns into friends with benefits, which turns into love. Hell, there’s even a movie titled “Friends with Benefits,” in which Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis start as friends and decide to add sex to their friendship. After some minor speed bumps, the movie culminates with him declaring his love for her via flash mob. This isn’t the only movie that tells us that this is possible–there was that one with Ashton Kutcher and Natalie Portman that came out at the same time as “Friends with Benefits” (apparently Hollywood wasn’t feeling particularly creative that year) and of course, the holy grail of friends who fall in love in movies, “When Harry Met Sally.” But 98 percent of the time, it doesn’t work out like a movie ending. What usually happens is far more disappointing, so let’s script how this usually works in real life:

Our heroine met our hero at a conference more than a year before their first kiss. After their first meeting, where they bonded over the lack of open bars, they settled into a comfortable friendship. They texted often and made plans to hang out whenever they were in the same place at the same time. The more time passed, the more they enjoyed each other’s company. Their friendship grew deeper, and they discussed their hopes and fears and insecurities with each other. When he was drunk, he would often tell anyone who would listen how much he adored her and that she was his best friend in the world; she felt the same way. They were legitimately friends.

Then, about a year in, what seems inevitable in these situations happened. At the end of a regular night of hanging out, he looked deeply into her eyes and kissed her. Whether it was because he had finally grown the balls to do it, he was drunk, or he simply was horny and she was his last option at 2 a.m., we’ll never know. After a few moments of intense making out (side note for the guys: we seriously enjoy intensely making out–you should really do more of this) they parted ways with a promise to talk tomorrow and finish what they started another time. The next day, all returned to normal.

Fast-forward a few weeks. Our hero and heroine find themselves hanging out, yet again. But of course, now it feels different, because there is this unfinished business. Instead of saying goodnight at the end of the evening, she invites him in. They kiss, they round the bases, they lie there cuddling and talking, they sleep. They wake up and do it all over again. One of them makes a joke about how this had better not affect their friendship. They say goodbye at the door in the morning with a deep, hands-in-the-hair kiss and a promise to do it all over again that night.

Now, if this was a movie, it would be the beginning of a love story (and he would be Justin Timberlake). There would be some fight or obstacle to overcome, but our hero and heroine would find their way back to each other and fall in love and live happily ever after. But this is reality. So instead, he canceled that night with a lame text about not feeling well. She, against the advice of her friends and her own better instincts, tried to continue to carry on their friendship, texting and chatting the way she did before in an effort to keep everything “normal.” However, his answers, once frequent and thoughtful, became sporadic and inconsequential. He stopped being the first one to text, and she eventually decided that she didn’t want to be the one making all the effort. What had once been a great friendship died a slow, painful death, without them ever having talked about what happened. Their friendship had ended because they could no longer do the thing they had always been able to do before they slept together: talk openly and honestly with each other. It would seem their friendship had been traded in for a few orgasms. As we’re sure you’ve figured out, the heroine in our story is one of us, and she still misses her friendship with that guy every day.

Now, we know this isn’t always the case. There are certainly girls who are able to hook up with their guy friends and maintain that friendship relationship. But it’s rare, and it’s because there are feelings involved. When we hook up with the random dude from the bar, this isn’t someone we know, respect, or care about (no matter how hot he is). But when we have sex with one of our guy friends, it’s different, because even if you don’t have romantic feelings for this person, you do have some kind of feelings for him, or else you wouldn’t have been friends with him to begin with. And for reasons we can’t explain, those feelings tend of get all kinds of messed up the second we see each other naked.

The moral of our story is simple. When it comes to sex with a friend, you may need to make the decision to keep your clothes on in order to keep the friendship intact, particularly if you value the friendship more than the sex. Any time we cross that line with one of our guy friends, we take a gamble, with the odds being in favor of miscommunication, hurt feelings, and the ending of a friendship. Now, that’s not to say that the gamble doesn’t pay off occasionally; someone is that 1 percent who finds a relationship, and someone else is that 1percent who can go back to being friends. But like we said, 98 percent of the time, it doesn’t work out with a movie ending. You need to ask yourself if you’re willing to take the risk, because, as our mamas taught us a long time ago, you should never gamble anything you are truly afraid to lose.

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Jenna Crowley

Jenna used to be known as 2NOTBrokeGirls, but then one of the girls actually went broke, so she's struck out on her own. Jenna spends her free time saving the world, one sorority girl at a time (usually while wearing yoga pants), questioning why she decided to get a doctorate, and documenting her love of all things cheese related. You can ask her anything you want about football, using your boobs to get what you want, and pizza at @JennaLCrowley on Twitter or via email at

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