Episode 75: Making Friends With Benefits Work

February 25, 2022 by Justin Lehmiller

Sex and Psychology Podcast

Episode 75: Making Friends With Benefits Work


More than 60% of American adults say they’ve had sex with a friend in the past year, a number that has increased considerably over the last two decades. Despite the fact that sex between friends is so common, it’s not something people often discuss. Can you go back to being just friends afterwards? And how do you approach sex with a friend without anyone getting hurt?

Today’s show is all about making “friends with benefits” work. My guest is Dr. Jesse Owen, a Professor in the Counseling Psychology Department at the University of Denver. He is a licensed psychologist with clinical specializations in couple and family therapy and multicultural therapy. Some of the topics we explore in this episode include:

  • What does it mean to be “friends with benefits” and what do these relationships tend to look like?
  • Do people of different genders and sexual orientations approach friends with benefits in different ways?
  • What are the main reasons people start having sex with their friends?
  • How long do friends with benefits usually last, and what happens when these relationships end?
  • Can friends with benefits go back to being just friends? Can they also turn into healthy romantic relationships?
  • What questions should you ask yourself before jumping into a friends with benefits arrangement?
  • What kinds of rules or boundaries should you consider if you have a friend with benefits in order to stay safe and prevent things from getting complicated?

Learn more about Dr. Owen here.

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Written by

Dr. Justin Lehmiller

Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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