Women are traditionally seen as the gatekeepers of sex. They are the ones expected the keep men at bay. In support of that, many of my male friends have agreed with the notion that, they would probably sleep with most of their female friends, given the chance. We live in an era when having sex with another person is considered much more casual than earlier generations, but how do the dynamics of a friendship change once you have gone down the road that leads directly to the bedroom?
Whether or not you believe that men and women can just be friends, half of the fun of having a friends of the opposite sex is that little bit of sexual tension that always exists between two people who are drawn to each other. When you need a little innocent flirtation you give yourself a boost, a female friend can do that for you. But when the flirtation leads to the sack, it is what happens after the bedroom that will determine whether or not you get to keep the friendship, and even whether or not you get to go another round in there.
Every woman, and her views about sex, is different. Do not assume, however, that just because she can blow off casual sex in general that you are going to get off that easily. When you sleep with a friend, there are other factors to consider. It is different from stranger one-night stands because there are already feelings of fondness and respect between you, meaning that you have a little more of a responsibility to take care of each other’s feelings. Also, you have to consider the possibility that she is sleeping with you because she has feelings for you that are stronger than just friendship, and sleeping together is her little way of opening that possibility up between you.
Once you have slept with a friend, chances are very high that it will change things between you, even if only slightly. Your behaviour directly after the sexcapade is going to determine whether or not you are not going to end up on the “Jerks I have slept with” list or stay in the good books (and hopefully in the good bed). Do not treat this like any other one-night stand where you can have one foot out the door before the sweat has even dried on your back.
My first recommendation is, unless she requests otherwise, stay the night. When you sleep with a stranger (and this goes for women too), sometimes it is nice if they leave before it gets awkward in the morning. This urge may be even stronger when you sleep with a friend, since there is a high potential of some morning-after awkwardness. Resist this urge. While sex doesn’t have to mean any more than sex, if you want to cause minimal damage to the friendship, treat her with respect. So if there is potential that leaving right after the sex is over is going to make her feel a little used and whorish, don’t do it. If you can’t stay the night, for whatever reason, you should call her the next day, just to make sure that everything is cool between you.
If you do not treat your friend with respect, several things are going to happen. First, the friendship will be damaged and you probably will not get it back. Second, the potential of your friendship turning into one of those delicious friendships with booty call perks is going to be out the window. And third, women talk. If you get weird and blow her off, you will not be alienating only her, but most of your mutual female friends as well.
The other thing that often separates men from women is that women think about things incessantly and like to read into pretty much everything. Because of this fun little quirk, there is a very good chance that sometime in the future, you are going to have to have “a talk” about what happened. This could be as simple as a drunken, “whoa, what was that?” or as elaborate as having to tell her that you’re sorry that you don’t return her romantic feelings and apologize for misleading her.
This is why it is good to have the morning-after conversation. In this conversation, you can lay your cards out on the table so that your intentions, and therefore subsequent behaviour, is not misconstrued by your friend, causing hurt feelings and an end to your friendship down the road.
The worst thing you can do to lose your friend is get all weirded out and awkward and avoid her rather than have a conversation about what happened between you. You may have this urge for many reasons: you are afraid that the girl likes you as more than friends, and rather than just face the conversation, you bail on the whole friendship; you have strong feelings for the girl that they are not returned; or maybe you just don’t want to be annoyed by examining and talking about their feelings.
Regardless of your reason for flight and avoidance, the message that you are sending to the girl is that her friendship isn’t even important enough for you to just suck it up for a few minutes of discomfort. More often than not, that is what destroys post-coital friendships.
If the issue at hand is that one of you has feelings exceeding friendship for the other, this is going to have to be handled carefully if you care about salvaging the friendship. If you do not return her romantic feelings, be honest with her, and be prepared for her to distance herself form you for a while.
Make sure that she knows that your friendship means a lot, but that you just aren’t interested in a committed relationship. Whatever you say, and however you say it, there will be awkwardness between you, but try your best to just carry on as normal and hopefully, the friendship will live on. If it is you who has unrequited feelings for her, have the conversation once and then drop it. You will not change her mind by badgering her.
Having sex with friends is somewhat of a dangerous proposition, which is part of the fun. Adding a little dirty into a friendship can make for some very fun times as long as you remember to always treat her first as a friend.