Meet KB (not his real name). He's a 35-year-old chef, funny, smart and an amazing kisser, not to mention loves Star Wars as much as I do. We went out and had an incredible first date. He was interested, I was interested, so we were going to keep dating.
However, before our second date, a girl came back into his life and he realized he had to get over his emotional issues with her, so he couldn't continue down this road with me. I had my own problems dealing with a male friend of mine that I developed feelings for after my divorce who I was no longer speaking to, so perhaps it was best that we stopped dating. We decided to be friends.
Emotional issues can't stop sexual chemistry though, and there were no doubts that we had it. One night, we discussed the issue and agreed to be friends with benefits. I had done it before I was married, so I knew how it worked. We set up limits and determined how this new stage of our friendship would be. And the result has been emotionally and sexually satisfying for both of us.
Although I have dated and would love a relationship eventually, the lack of pressure for a commitment with KB makes things easy. I talk to him like I would to any of my friends. We hang out normally. We cuddle. Sexually, we push each other's boundaries, not to mention buttons. Yet I am not dealing with the messiness that would come in a relationship, and I can keep dating. It's a win on all sides.
This makes friends with benefits an ideal solution for any divorcee who wants to get it on without dealing with the drama of a relationship. Since divorce is difficult and about moving forward, a partner to transition with sexually can make things easier. Doing it with a friend makes it more comfortable.
That being said, there are certain things that should be in place before you begin a friends-with-benefits relationship:
COMMUNICATION: KB and I are able to talk to one another on multiple levels -- sexually and not. I'm not afraid to say what's on my mind because he isn't going to judge me. That openness translates very well to the bedroom. We are able to tell each other what we like and don't like, and can experiment. We listen to one another -- an important part of communication. We address issues as they come up. Communication is the first step to any good relationship -- be it a friendship, or not.
TRUST: After a casual sex phase the first few months after my divorce, we became each other's sole sexual partners, which makes things safer. In addition to the STD factor, it's safe because we trust each other and are honest with each other. If I want to see someone, I'll tell him. If he wants to see someone, he'll tell me. I know him well enough to know that he would not do certain things without my permission. He extends me the same courtesy. It makes things easier.
RESPECT: If anything he did or is doing makes me uncomfortable, I tell KB, and he never does it again. If there's something that was bothering him about me, he comes and tells me. That mutual respect for one another's space makes things run smoother. It's one of the differences between the standard booty call and the actual friend with benefits. Plus, when you respect your partner, it just makes for better sex. Period.
AFFECTION: I'm not talking about the romantic kind. KB is not just a glorified sex toy; he is a dear friend and someone I care about. When I need him, he's always been there to listen. If he's dealing with something difficult or needs female insight, I'm a text away. He bails me out of crappy parties and makes me laugh when I'm sad. Note that this is not a random booty call with benefits. It's about being friends first.
I should warn you, there are certain things you need to make certain of before you can be friends with benefits. This arrangement works only as long as you can separate love and sex from each other and find a partner who can do the same; emotions -- other than the affection of friendship -- can make this arrangement potentially hazardous.
Of course, there's always the risk of developing feelings for one another down the road. You'll have to determine if you can take that chance. Sometimes friends with benefits can lead to true love. Other times, it might blow up in your face and end the friendship. You must really know each other and keep yourself in check, not to mention check in frequently with the other person.
If you follow the rules above and take into consideration the warnings and risks, friends with benefits can be liberating for divorcees. It certainly has been for me, and is like training wheels for a potential relationship after a messy divorce. I find there's nothing like living in the present, enjoying yourself with someone you trust and coming away from it sexually satisfied and wiser.
Sometimes, all you need is a KB.