As a happily single 20 something with a high sex drive but no committed ‘Facebook official’ penis (attached to a boyfriend, not myself), I’ve often touted the presence of a fuck buddy as the solution. Not only a solution to a dry spell, but also for when you’re craving male attention, feeling ugly, or bored or lonely. Friends sometimes say to me that wanting regular sex with the same man means I want a boyfriend, but it’s really not that simple. I REALLY don’t want a boyfriend. I want some very specific qualities of a boyfriend. Essentially, I want good sex, and I don’t want to sleep with a different man every time (really it takes a few go’s to get to know each other and let go, therefore it’s much more efficient to sleep with the same guy each time – guaranteed satisfaction). But I don’t want any of the commitment, sacrifice or agg that a relationship brings.

Theoretically, a fuck buddy could offer exactly this. But I’ve had 3 casual relationships in my life, and they’ve all been very different apart from one common factor, they all have a short sell-by.

The one who fell for me

I was nineteen, Gustav was twenty-nine, he should have known better. I’d just broken up with the boy who i’d been with for 3 years and was supposed to marry. Gustav knew that I didn’t want a relationship, but it didn’t stop us seeing each other most days, talking trips to Ikea together or going on a romantic weekend to a luxury b&b, in which we were walked in on: having sex on an armchair with me in a French maids outfit, by an American woman, who did her best impression of Friends’ Janice: “Oh. My. God!”.

I’m fairly certain all the guests and staff thought I was an escort by their disapproving looks at breakfast the next morning. Anyway, humiliating anecdotes aside, me, a naive 19 year old, and him, a hopeless romantic, was a match made in Cupid’s version of heartbreak hell. Neither of us held back any of our emotions, as I’ve now learnt to do, as a seasoned singleton. That lustful insane connection that you don’t share with everyone you date, was a warning sign: get in or get out. I should have got out, as I knew we had no future together with the age difference, but I didn’t. I suppose that I lead him on, but innocently. Of course, it came to a messy end. But I can relax in the knowledge (thanks to my Facebook-investigative skills) that four years on, he is now happily married.

The one who just wanted sex

This one was exactly what a fuck-buddy is meant to be. Mark and I were both recently single and had engaged in “innocent” flirting for years, he was my back burner relationship. The first few months were easy, emotionally we were still too involved with our exes to care much about each other, and enjoying the freedom of being single too much to want anything more with each other. It was just sex. But as the months went on I began to crave affection from him, I suppose it started to feel unnatural to have shared so much intimacy but know that it was all superficial. I’ll admit it, I fell for him. I eventually realised he didn’t care about me at all, and fortunately this coincided with him moving away from my city. You may remember Mark from the “coke in the park” date suggestion, of “Why do we love the bad boys?”.

The perfect medium

Determined to have something more than a purely sexual connection with my next not-boyfriend, when I met Travis, I enforced a four-date-sex-wait, and it worked. Ok so I fancied Travis A LOT, but fortunately, being Canadian and a keen traveller, he was in town for less than a year, meaning there was always an end in sight. So despite countless lovely dates, we both kept an emotional distance from each other. It was the perfect scenario, the benefits of a relationship without the agg.

In conclusion, friends-with-benefits relationships are hard to get right, and if you get them right, it needs to be short-term, before the balance switches to love. But if you do get it right, it really is, a perfect solution. My only advice is, if you’re going to do the casual thing, and you want a connection and mutual-respect with your partner, choose someone who’s leaving the country shortly, like Travis. Taking the choices out of your hands. Extreme, but not at all messy.