‘Friends with benefits’ (FWB) is gaining more attention recently as a swinging relationship style but has been around for some time. It’s an arrangement between friendly swingers who enjoy sex with each other and develop an understanding for regular repeating playdates. It is very similar to polyamory but without the romantic feelings that are present in polyamory. Mixing swinging with FWB can be really rewarding, as being with the same sexual partners regularly can lead to a deeper understanding and knowledge of one another compared to one night flings with other couples you have never met before.
How to Develop FWB
First things first – you need to meet people. Whether you are meeting other swingers at swinger clubs or privately arranged house parties, or if you’ve turned to internet swinger dating, be upfront about your wishes right from the start. There’s no point springing this on people later down the line, so just be honest. This will save you time by being upfront about your ultimate goal and other swingers will appreciate your honesty.
Consider how compatible you are as individuals, and as a couple, with the other couple or single person. Are they experienced? Do you trust them to be able to regulate their emotions and not become too attached or demanding of your time? The most compatible couples will be those that are stable and communicate with each other. You don’t want a FWB relationship with a couple going through a rough patch or using swinging as a way to try to fix a broken relationship.
Also, consider if these people are the type of people you want to spend time building a friendship. Are they interested in the same things? Do they share your love of music or your passion for sports? This type of compatibility is vital in providing a strong foundation for the new FWB relationship. We all love sex but we eventually you will want to do something else with your FWB couple so make sure you have shared hobbies & complimentary personalities.
There are many swingers looking for FWB and will match your own interests, so look for these people rather than try to force situations that aren’t good for anyone.
Discuss Swinger Style and Boundaries
What is it you would like from this type of swinger relationship? Does your wife want to regularly pair off with a woman from another couple? Do you both want to meet up with the same couple? Do you want to regularly husband swap with a friend? Whatever you are looking for the different combinations of relationships within swinging and FWB are basically limitless.
Discuss these desires with everyone involved, and see if it is something they might be interested in too. Don’t assume they will want the same things in the bedroom as you. Be upfront and honest to make sure this is a sustainable match.
Talk with your partner and the other swinging couple (or single) about everything. From how you’re feeling about the relationship to any issues in your personal like that might be affecting things with them. FWB swinging relationships are great, but they do involve that extra bit of communication to make sure everyone is on the same page.
An offhand remark can always be accidentally misinterpreted. If you don’t communicate well with your FWB couple these little offensives could grow into a big issue that eventually splits you all apart. So make sure you communicate early & often to help defuse these little bumps before they turn into bad situations.
Brace for Change
Sometimes, like all relationships and friendships, a FWB situation changes. Perhaps one couple becomes closer, or your unicorn doesn’t want to be involved anymore. When this happens, you all need to consider the new shift in boundaries. This might mean accepting that one person no longer wants to be involved with you sexually, but wants to remain your friend. Other times, it might mean the other swinging couple want to go back to being just friends again.
This is normal. Accept it as part of the process, and sometimes, part of the fun. When your friendship has been based on intimacy, desire, and communication, though it can be awkward at first, you tend to have formed a much closer bond than with other friendships. Instead of feeling sad about what you have lost in these scenarios, focus on what you have gained instead – a friend who knows you on this deeper level.
Keep Things Casual
Remember, a FWB relationship is much more laid back and non-committal compared to dating. Make sure you and your partner keep spending time on your own hobbies and interests, as an individual and as an established couple. It’s also important to try and not place heavy demands on the other couple – treat them as friends, not partners who can take the burden of a lot of emotional dress.
Discussing Labels and Commitments
This one is important – how much time are you, as a couple, willing to devote to other people? For some couples this is just an evening a fortnight, for others, it’s a couple of nights a week. Chat about how much time you would like to spend with other people to make sure everyone is on the same page and nobody feels uncomfortable with either too much time spent swinging with each other or not enough time.
Usually, it is best to start with infrequent meets and build up to something more regular.
When Things Don’t Go To Plan
“The best-laid schemes of mice and men go oft awry.” Although we can talk and prepare and set our boundaries and find the right people, sometimes things don’t go as planned. Sometimes, this is because romantic feelings have started to develop (either between both couples, or two people from different couples). When this happens, there two things to keep in mind. Communicate everything, and try to go with the flow. Don’t panic and automatically resist change, but instead consider what solutions there might be for everyone and let the relationship naturally develop if everyone is comfortable. Polyamory (having multiple romantic relationships, rather than just sexual relationships) can be a natural progression from a swinging FWB relationship.