04 November, 2009

Friends With Benefits/Hooking Up Defined

If you are a parent leaving in this day and age with teenagers in the house or pre- teens, there are certain terms that you cannot avoid knowing the definitions, lest you are viewed redundant and your child ends up in a mess and yu are left wondering where were you?
Must know words for present day parents include:

Friends With Benefit(FWB):

1.The site Urban Dictionary has a variety of definitions as to the present use of the term friends with benefit, among them include:
  1. A relationship where a man and a woman enjoy having sex with one another, but do not see each other as potential relationship material. Friends with benefits usually never works successfully with ex-boyfriends/girlfriends or anyone else you might have feelings for. The benefits are not exclusive, buyer beware!(most voted upon use)
  2.  Friends with benefits can do things couples can do except without being labeled as a BOYFRIEND and a GIRLFRIEND, when you ask if they want to be friends with benefits with you, you both have to agree on what those BENEFITS are, and it doesn't have to contain sex. If you both agree on sex, then it's also considered as friends with benefits. 
Example:Guy: Want to be friends with benefits?Girl: Sure, but what are the benefits?Guy: Hugging, kissing, holding hands.Girl: No sex?Guy: NopeGirl: Okay sure then.

2. ABOUT.COM defines it this way:

An agreement between two people who are both friends and physically attracted to one another to have a sexual relationship. Neither party is considered committed to the other, and both can start dating someone else at any time with prior warning. A friends with benefits arrangement is not considered dating, a relationship or even casual dating by most people who use the term. 

How popular is this new phenomena: Psychology Today Blog discusses  a survey done by researchers at Wayne State University in Detroit and Michigan State in East Lansing.The report which involved interviewing 125 undergraduates (65 women, 60 men) found out that Sixty percent  of those interviewed i.e.40 men &35 women said they'd been involved in an FWB relationship, and about one-third were in one when surveyed.

Suffice to say with the digital divide having been narrowed by the internet and local Tv and Radio stations featuring talk on Friends With Benefits , i wouldn't be surprised if teenagers and young adults in local schools ,colleges and universities in Kenya engaging in the vice; In fact the trend has been described as "a cultural signature of today's college and post college experience"

However certain Dangers accompany the trend ,including:

1. Inherent danger of Sexually Transmitted Disesaes(STD)associated with casual sex ,Unwanted Pregnancies, Abortion...etc.
2.Fatal Attractions /Murder etc
3.Emotional Instability, Guilty Consciences
4.The Vice encourages ,dishonesty,selfishness and me first attitudes.

Without doubt the above list is not exhaustive the Physical, Psychological ,Spiritual and moral dangers associated with this practice far outweigh any temporary pleasures that such un inhibited sexual relationship may bring.It is therefore important that parents take the lead in safeguarding their youths from engaging in practices that will hinder the development of the youth into successful and respectable members of society.

(For more information see this NewYork Times Article:Friends With Benefits ,and Stress Too )


  1. hi shiko, nice to see you commenting here, has switching to wordpress helped your blog?

  2. I don't think that this phenomenon is limited to kids and young adults. In fact, I know many adults who engage in this practice but just don't label it such. I also agree with the second Urban Dictionary definition: being Friends with Benefits doesn't necessarily have to include sex and can stop at less extreme physical activities. ;-)

    Nairobian, out of interest, why do you term the practice of Friends with Benefits a "vice"? Not that I am advocating it, but does the label boyfriend or girlfriend truly change the substance of a relationship? The dangers that you list in this post seem to apply to to the serial "committed" (sexual) relationships that are so prevalent today.

    I would love to hear more of your opinion.

  3. Now, doesn't each friendship bring some kind of benefits? So the right term should maybe be 'friends with extra benefits'.

    Biche, you call sex an 'extreme physical activity'? I have not been looking at it that way. Just a personal opinion though.

  4. @Rafiki you are on point, @Biche ...wouldn't term the practice virtuous ,would i?

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