Friends with Benefits Equals Awkwardness
As the film "Friends with Benefits" demonstrates, a U.S. researcher says having a sexual relationship with no strings or expectations is complicated.
Rebecca Plante, an associate professor of sociology at Ithaca College in New York, conducted extensive research on issues surrounding intimacy, dating and "hooking up" among U.S. college-age individuals.
"My research shows that perhaps the most frequent consequence is awkwardness, accompanied by strained or ceased contact, and eventually either future hookups or the resumption of a non-sexual friendship," Plante says in a statement.
"Friends with benefits is a way to explore some sexuality within a friendship, an existing framework of some care and knowledge of one another."
Plante, the local coordinator for a multi-campus study that involved interviews with about 14,000 college students on sexuality issues.
Respondents said they were too busy for a real relationship, that relationships take too much work, that they aren't sure about the depth and extent of their feelings, or that they already have long-term relationships in another place, Plante, the author of "Sexualities in Context: A Social Perspective," says.
"Despite the assumption that the United States is a very sexually open culture, sexual intimacy is not well-discussed," Plante says.
"Multiple media depict sex, but that doesn't mean that individuals get any schooling in how to understand what they want sexually, romantically and intimately."