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So You Slept With Your Friend…. Now What?

What happens when sexual tension suddenly appears within a friendship? What do you do when you find yourselves tearing each other’s clothes off? How do you quiet your mind when you’re overcome with thoughts about if/how the friendship will change? While sex can be messy, could this be worse? Sex with friends—is it actually possible or just a recipe for disaster?

I would describe my current friend group as approximately 80% male, 20% female. Seeing as I grew up with multiple brothers and few sisters, I’ve always gotten along much better with guys—this has continued to remain true in my university life as well. Having such an uneven gender ratio of friends, in addition to the effects of hormones and puberty, has led me to the sex-with-friends scenario on multiple occasions.

Unlike other forms of sexual relationships, calling things off can be much more difficult when your relationship with your friend may be on the line. If your friendship means anything to you, you likely don’t want to lose that person indefinitely. Additionally, if your friend group is close, the chances of seeing them again are high. This could make an accidental hookup with your friend a complete nightmare—especially if one person wants to continue the sexual relations while the other does not.

However, sex with friends can also be really enjoyable. I constantly preach that sex should be fun, consensual, and painless, and having sex with someone you already trust and like spending time with usually allows for that. Being able to laugh and feel comfortable during sex is so important, which means that having a close connection with your partner can improve your sex in almost any relationship.

However, it is typically not the sex people fear, but rather what happens after. Hormones are a strong thing and when sexual tension suddenly arises, you don’t typically think about the consequences of your actions until after the fact.  From my own experiences, I have compiled a list of some potential scenarios that I have previously encountered, and some tips as to how to handle each one.

1. Regrets

You may find that you both regret the situation and don’t plan on doing it again. My best advice for this is to communicate how you feel with one another. Do not assume they know what you’re thinking or stop talking to them entirely. The truth is, it’s just sex and if your friendship is strong then chances are you’ll be able to laugh about it together later on.

2. Confusion

If you find yourself caught between wanting to have sex with someone but not wanting to ruin your friendship, remind yourself that you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice one for the other. For me, my successful friendship hookups were based on mutual agreements. It typically began with setting up ground rules to ensure no one ever felt pressured to continue having sex and that we would remain friends after our sexual relations had ended. Making a distinction such as this is important as it can minimize any fear you may have of losing the friendship.

3. Emotions

This one is by far the trickiest to handle. When you suddenly find your friendship becoming less platonic and start seeing your friend differently, your first thought may be to jump ship. However, since the key to any relationship is friendship, with an already developed connection, dating someone who was previously just a friend can actually be beneficial. My tip for this scenario is to remember that you’ll never truly know what will happen unless you try it. Making assumptions or shooting the idea down entirely may end up negatively affecting your friendship anyways as you’ll have to constantly conceal your feelings.

4. Unrequited Feelings

In addition to the varying scenarios that may occur, it’s also possible that each person may feel differently after having sex with one another. Having sex with a friend and waking up regretful while they wake up hoping for the relationship to change or vice versa can be disastrous to friendships. If this happens, be willing to speak openly about how and why you feel the way you do, remind yourselves that you were friends prior to having sex, and remember that sometimes you may need to end the friendship in order to move on.

In the last few years, I’ve both made and lost meaningful friendships with friends I’ve slept with, and as a result, I have seen both positive and negative outcomes doing so. For example, while I have known friend “A” for most of my life and we still laugh about the sole time we attempted intimacy, friend “B” and I had to call off our very close friendship after our exclusive friend sex ended abruptly. Despite being more cautious about having sex with those closest to me in fear of losing someone else, I have recently found myself once again acting on my sexual urges with a new friend. While for some, sex with friends may sound absurd or undoable, it has always been more convenient for me as I am around my male friends often and am typically too busy with school and work to actively maintain other relationships.

So, you had sex with your friend? Don’t worry, it’s happened to most of us. What happens next, however, is up to you. Is sex with friends possible? Absolutely. Can it be a complete disaster? 100%. While every friendship may be affected entirely differently when sex is introduced, regardless of how you handle it, just remember that you don’t have to feel guilty for your feelings or actions and that you shouldn’t let fear stop you from pursuing your desires.

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Full-time student, part-time librarian, all-time procrastinator. Lover of all animals, drinker of many cups of hot chocolate, and auntie to two super sweet little boys. Angel mom, domestic violence advocate and junior communications executive.
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