A recent Glamour Magazine article featured an expert Q&A section titled “All About You: Sex & Love”. In it, one reader asked, “Is it right to sleep with a guy who’s into me—but whom I’m not into?”
Amy Levine, a New York City-based sex coach responded, “Yes(ish)”. As she explained, “Women are certainly entitled to have sex for the sake of having sex, but you need to thoughtful. Just make it clear up front that you want to only be friends with benefits. [To do this], during a casual conversation, tell him you’re not looking for a relationship right now; you’re all about having a good time and living in the moment. He should pick up on the encoded ‘You’re not going to be my boyfriend, OK?’ To be sure he does, look him in the eye and say, ‘are you cool with that?’
Parents: are you cool with this approach?
Back in the day, when I was in junior high and high school, the concept of friends with benefits was often discussed and often attempted. In almost every case I can think of, the result was disastrous for one or both parties. Today, this concept of friends with benefits is even more prevalent, and from talking with the teens I work with, there is a lot of grey regarding what happens between friends today. Combine that with the probability that, if your daughter is a teenager, she is likely to pick up a magazine not too dissimilar to Glamour, with similar ‘expert’ opinions about sex, pornography, blow jobs and the like. If you aren’t engaging in regular conversations with your kids about sex, pornography, body image issues and relationship choices, it’s likely that they will be getting their main advice from articles like this one.
It’s up to us as parents to help our kids understand that having sex for the sake of having sex, as an unmarried person, is never the thoughtful choice. Choosing to be friends with benefits is often a selfish choice and one that can be potentially damaging to a friendship and destructive to their future relationship with their spouse. We have to help our kids understand that—contrary to this article’s title—sex and love were never meant to be “all about you”—instead, God created sex and love to be experiences within the safety and beauty of marriage. If you need help understanding how to start this conversation, we have a number of resources to help. Check out “The Talk” to help you get started today.