Control Tower

Why Movies About NSA Sex Are Bunk


"But if you regularly and repeatedly have sex with someone you like, you'll become emotionally involved with him or her."

Thank you for this -- I thought there was something wrong with me after my last supposedly-NSA relationship plummeted into heartbreak (for me, I think he and his girlfriend are still happy as clams).
Live and learn!
Lovely! Thanks, Matisse!
I have wondered why the word "lovers" goes so unused. Two people who have a physical relationship of passion and sex, without commitments like sharing the rent and supporting each other emotionally, are lovers. It's not about building a life together, it's just physical, and if that's what they both want it's OK. I suggest to young adults that they consider the benefits of having lovers before trying to commit themselves to the more serious boyfriend/girlfriend kind of relationship.
I think that "Same Time Next Year" was about the best NSA movie out there - and wouldn't mind seeing a remake. It's about two people who are married - but not to each other - who meet once a year to have sex. It shows that they become good friends who care about each other, but don't try to break upeach others marriages.

I can't remember the end though - so maybe I'm wrong.
@4- One of them dies, as I recall. Ditto a remake- was a great movie in the 80's.
But recall- they most definitely had feelings for each other.
As a mother, I'm eternally grateful for your column. Not only does it help me navigate the often complicated world of interpersonal relationships but it gives me a really good reference for guiding my daughter through her teen years. Thanks!!!
Emotions are such messy, volatile, and uncontrollable things. If you are involved with someone your emotions will come into unless you are a completely narcissistic jerk.
I like your writing, but why are some things always bolded? It's kind of annoying and distracting. Anyway, good critique of the difference between the real world and Hollywood's version of it.

@3: Maybe because "lovers" sounds too 1960's? I would like to see that term resurrected too. It describes a kind of relationship that happens all the time but that there's no specific word for in common usage. FWB doesn't always apply, and "bf"/"gf" has come to imply commitment, as you point out. Saying "the person I'm dating" is awkward and sounds like you're just using "dating" as a euphemism for "fucking."
I had the perfect FWB situation with a friend of mine some years ago. I had just gotten out of an ugly relationship, and he'd been interested in me for a long time. We flirted, we talked, and he brought up "The Contract".

The Contract is for fun, sexual encounters without moving past the point of being friends who fuck.

The thing of beauty was that we both decided we were done with The Contract at exactly the same time.

We're still friends, and we have both moved on to other relationships and contracts.

He gets extra respect from me because when he wants a contract, he's very picky about who he chooses, and works very hard to make sure that he's not hooking up with someone who wants the Contract to evolve into a more permanent relationship. He's also completely ethical about anyone else he might have a contract with at the time.
It bothers me when people get involved in a NSA or FWB situation secretly hoping that it will turn romantic. It's dishonest and only going to end in tears.
I agree. Friends with Benefits are, at the end of the day, still friends. I've been much happier since realizing that the happiness of my friends is more important than the benefits.

That being said, the only time I'm comfortable not having *any* feelings is my relationship with my TSA agent.
Minor point, but the thesis "Never watch a movie on a subject about which you are knowledgeable and passionate; it'll just frustrate you" is, in my experience, right on. Frustrating!
Wow @4, I was gonna write exactly what you wrote! I can't remember the ending either but I liked the respectful, affectionate non-guilty vibe between the two of them.
About the only thing that's actually really good about the Friends with Benefits flick is that the main sex scene feels natural because it has all the awkwardness of not knowing what the other likes, not knowing what to do to get them off, trying to figure this whole thing out stuff that happens with real sex in the real world and which always gets glossed over in movies.
It might actually end up being beneficial by lowering people's expectations for the first time with someone to a less anxiety inducing level.
Agreed, Hollywood always gets this wrong. We all recognize that there is some tension in a 3-way relationship that needs to be resolved, brought to a stable equilibrium. Any resolution that favors a particular pairing leaves one person out in the cold. The happiest way to resolve this situation is through kink. If any party has a cuckold fantasy, that person slowly becomes the cuckold and forfeits his equal share of love for a lesser share in exchange for fulfilling his cuckold fantasies. These situations always turn out happiest when the original husband/boyfriend ends up in a chastity device and the wife ends up in the arms of the new guy.