9 Things No One Tells You About Sleeping With A Friend (2023)

The thought of having sex with a friend can sometimes seem like a fantastic idea. You’ve known each other forever, you care about each other, you’re insanely comfortable in your own skin whenever you’re together, and maybe you’ve even been tossing the idea around in your head for awhile that sex would them would be great. It’s easy to assume that if your friendship is really that strong, then it can handle throwing some sex into it, because why not?

But the problem with sleeping with a friend is that, if you’re not careful, you can change your friendship in ways you can’t change back very easily. You go from just being friends, to having a drunken kiss, to having sex once and swearing it will never happen again... to way more than once. Then, before you know it, you’re falling down the dreaded rabbit hole of being friends with benefits. Unless your life is a Nora Ephron film called When Harry Met Sally, we all know how that situation tends to turn out. Research shows that few people end up with their friend with benefits, and a lot of people lose that friend all together.

As someone who has (mistakenly) slept with a friend or two in her life, there are certain things I wish I knew before I went for it. Here are some things no one tells you about sleeping with a friend, but oh, how I wish they would.

1. It May Not Feel As Natural As You Might Think

Because you may be making so many assumptions that your friendship can easily handle sex, you may also be assuming that sex with your friend is going to feel completely natural since you know each other so well. That’s not always the case. In fact, you may realize halfway through that it feels a lot weirder than you expected. It's not easy to transition from friends to lovers in a matter of minutes.

2. It Might Change The Dynamic Of Your Friendship

Why? Because, to get directly to the point, you go from never knowing what your friend looks or sounds like when they orgasm, to knowing all the intimate details of it. Suddenly, things you were technically not supposed to ever know is knowledge that you'll probably never be able to shake from your memory.

To quote my therapist after I slept with a friend of mine, “You’re not supposed to know your friend’s O face.” And that’s why she gets paid the big bucks.

3. Boundaries Can Become Blurred

So you’re friends, but you slept together once, twice, and I guess you’re also counting that third time, even though you stopped before things really got going. You think about texting them late at night to get some action after a few drinks, but they’re also the first person you want to call to bitch about someone you’re dating. Like, what are you two? Friends with benefits? Part-time lovers?

"Engaging in a ‘friends with benefits’ (FWB) relationship can be like walking with a blindfold on," Lori Bizzoco, relationship expert and founder of Cupid's Pulse, tells Bustle. "You never know the boundaries that are established in regards to what’s acceptable and what’s not. Having friends with benefits is bound to become problematic as a result of uncertainty!"

Even if you’re anti-labels, it can be stressful to figure out WTF is going on.

4. Jealousy Can Be Become A Factor

Fun fact about life: Sex can lead to unexpected feelings. Even if you’re happy that your friend (the one you're sleeping with or slept with) found someone awesome to date and you don't necessarily want to date them, it's still possible you'll feel a little jealous if they start seeing someone new.

"Having a FWB suggests that you two are not in an exclusive relationship," Bizzoco says. "If seeing your FWB talking to other people bothers you, it signifies that you’re not OK with the casual status of your relationship with them."

In other words, continuing to sleep together can only be detrimental to your head and heart.

5. It Can Possibly Open A Can Of Worms

Another issue that can arise that some people disregard is the fact that maybe you or your friend already have romantic feelings for each other, but just didn’t realize it.

"So many [people] end up in these situations because they are hoping that the [friend] will eventually become their [partner],"relationship therapist Aimee Hartstein tells Bustle. "In reality, that's not a great reason... more often than not it ends up being painful and upsetting. The only reason to have a no-strings attached sexual relationship is because you truly desire no-strings attached sex. Not because you are hoping it will evolve into something else."

If that’s the case, then whoa, Nelly, did you just unearth a whole boatload of drama.

6. Feelings Can Get Complicated

Even if you and your friend aren’t in love with each other, after all this sexing around, your feelings can start to be confusing. Like, should you feel more? Is it weird if you don’t feel more? Is that a desire for a pizza or a desire to see them stat? Not everyone is capable of having sex without feelings getting involved.

"Casual sex is a slippery little beast, isn’t it?" sex therapist Vanessa Marin previously wrote for Bustle. "Casual sex is sort of like that great idea you have for an art project — you can picture it perfectly in your head, but when you actually sit down to do it, it never looks exactly how you thought it would."

Casual sex with someone who's already a friend? It's not as easy as one might think to avoid feelings.

7. It Can Put A Strain On Your Friendship

Between feelings of jealousy, confusion over what your relationship is now that you're sleeping together, and all the boundaries that have been blurred by sex, it only makes sense that your friendship would suffer. Having such a "situation" — and it is a situation — can create the type of strain that makes you realize that maybe your friendship wasn’t strong enough to handle all this sex after all. Like, maybe, just maybe, it was a mistake.

8. You May End Up Missing Out On Other Opportunities

Even if you manage to avoid officially becoming friends with benefits, there’s a chance you’ll end up spending too much time analyzing what it all meant to have sex those few times. You can become so engrossed with that “issue,” that you may end up missing out on other people you could have actually dated and had romantic relationships with.

"Don’t persecute yourself over it responding to your desires for an emotional connection," Clarissa Silva, a behavioral scientist, relationship coach, and the creator of Your Happiness Hypothesis Method, tells Bustle. "All you did was cross a line both of you weren’t prepared for. However, remember that it can be complicated to revert back between both roles when thinking about the future and function of the relationship.”

9. It’s Not Always Easy To Go Back To Being Just Friends

The most painful part of all? As Silva mentions, it's the complexity of trying to revert back to being just friends. You can do your best to get back on track and let it all be water under the bridge, but there’s no guarantee that you won't see each other a little differently. Certain things in life are difficult to undo and sleeping with a friend just happens to be one of them.

While not everyone may agree that sleeping with a friend is absolutely, positively a bad idea, it is important to keep in mind what it means and how things can change. It's all about trying to figure out what's best for your friendship and how much it's worth to you.

This post was originally published on May 6, 2016. It was updated on August 21, 2019.

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Why you shouldn't sleep with your friend? ›

The most obvious of all: your friendship post sleeping together will not be the same. Even if either of you manage to not fall for the other or double think your feelings, you are now in the grey area of friends-with-benefits. Either way, chances are that one of you will end up hurt. ...and they might not reciprocate.

Can best friends get physical? ›

Yes, platonic friends – just friends with no romantic or sexual attraction – can experience physical intimacy like cuddling. You might also hug or hold hands. That's okay too, and there's nothing wrong with enjoying these things.

What happens when you sleep with your best friend? ›

Once you have slept with your best friend, there is no way back to normal friendship. You have crossed the line and are at the risk of ruining your friendly bond. The fact that you both have seen each other naked will always stay in the back of your mind. You might end up having a sex partner and lose a best friend.

What is intimacy with your best friend? ›

Intimacy between friends, a.k.a. platonic intimacy, is basically what it sounds like: the intimacy you'd have with a partner, but without the sex or romance. It's “a shared vulnerability, a shared feeling of safety,” Francsique says.

Is it OK to have a sleepover with your friend? ›

Sleepovers are essential to friendships, and it's always fun to spend the night with your close friends no matter how old you all are. Although it's called a sleepover, most of us don't actually end up doing much sleeping. After all, nothing's better than spending quality time with your friends.

How do you not make it awkward after sleeping with a friend? ›

Ask your friend to hang out to avoid awkwardness.

Don't try to make things too intense by having a long, deep conversation. Instead, check-in with your friend to make sure you're on the same page. Then, ask them if they want to hang out. Keep your tone light, and suggest a platonic activity.

What are the 4 types of intimacy? ›

To strengthen your relationships you may want to work on four types of intimacy: physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual closeness.
Not all relationships involve all types of intimacy, but these four are the most common to share:
  • physical.
  • emotional.
  • mental or intellectual.
  • spiritual.

Do best friends have intimacy? ›

People do have physical intimacy with friends, whether it's sexual or not, but they don't start to call the relationships romantic,” she says. Think about it: Most friends, at the very least, hug, and, depending on a person's culture or upbringing, kissing or holding hands with friends may be seen as "normal" as well.

How do you tell if a friend has feelings for you? ›

7 signs your friend is in love with you
  1. Their body language indicates that they want more. ...
  2. They seek you out in group situations. ...
  3. They take an interest in things you like. ...
  4. Your friend, and others, joke about you being a couple. ...
  5. They avoid talking about your romantic interests. ...
  6. They are always willing to lend you a hand.
Jul 20, 2018

What happens if best friends kiss? ›

As long as both parties agree and set parameters, experts say kissing and otherwise being physically intimate with friends is all right – and the decision remains up to the respective parties alone.

Is it okay to Fantasize about your best friend? ›

It is not unusual at all for people to have sexual fantasies about other people they know, consciously or unconsciously, so there is nothing that you should feel bad or guilty about. The fact that you are considering your friends' feelings and how best to treat them with respect shows that you care about them.

How do you tell if your friend wants to sleep with you? ›

  1. 9 Signs Your Male Friend Wants to Sleep With You. ...
  2. He Wants Time With You Alone. ...
  3. He Makes Jokes About You Guys Hooking Up. ...
  4. He Goes Out of His Way For You. ...
  5. He Thinks You Can Always Do Better. ...
  6. He Brags About His Sex Life. ...
  7. He Gets Drunk and Wants to Crash With You. ...
  8. He Loves to Stare at Your Goods.
Feb 4, 2020

Can friends have physical intimacy? ›

Physical intimacy is about touch and closeness between bodies. In a romantic relationship, it might include holding hands, cuddling, kissing, and sex. Your relationship doesn't have to be sexual or romantic to have physical intimacy. A warm, tight hug is an example of physical intimacy with a friend.

Can you platonically kiss your best friend? ›

"Platonic lip kissing is found in cultures around the world, between friends, family, and sometimes even strangers as a means of greeting," says Allison Moon, author of "Girl Sex 101."

What is a friendship called when there is affection but there is no intimacy? ›

A platonic relationship is one with no romantic or sexual features, but it means more than “just friends.” According to the ancient philosopher Plato, for whom the concept is named, this bond is a type of love experienced when we identify positive qualities we feel complete us, within another person.

What is the average age for sleepover? ›

Sleepovers are a big step for 7- to 9-year-olds, says Fran Walfish, Psy. D., author of The Self-Aware Parent. "If your child likes them, chances are she is growing more comfortable with separation from you," she notes. With these tips, you can increase the odds that she won't want to bail around bedtime.

What age is sleepover appropriate? ›

When it comes to sleepovers, there is no hard and fast rule on what age is right. Children as young as 5 may easily assimilate for an overnight with close family friends. Or children close to their teen years may call, tearfully, for a midnight pickup.

Is 13 too old for sleepovers? ›

There's no set age when it's okay for kids to begin having sleepovers, and children vary greatly in terms of when they (and their parents) feel ready.

What's the difference between hooking up and sleeping with someone? ›

Hooking up means kissing, making out and oral sex. Does not include having sex. Hooking up means anything BUT sex. Some people use to for just making out, but usually it's used for oral sex.

What to do after hooking up with a friend? ›

How to End a Hookup With a Friend—And Still Be Friends
  1. Let them know how much you value their friendship. ...
  2. Offer them space. ...
  3. Don't overthink things. ...
  4. Try really, really hard not to hook up with them again. ...
  5. Be honest about your feelings.
Apr 13, 2019

What happens during a one night stand? ›

A one night stand means sleeping, or having any other sexual encounter, with someone outside of the usual trappings of a relationship. It's one night sex, then bye-bye. Typically this is with a person you don't know very well or have only recently met, perhaps even earlier that day.

What are the 3 C's of intimacy? ›

A strong and healthy relationship is built on the three C's: Communication, Compromise and Commitment. Think about how to use communication to make your partner feel needed, desired and appreciated.

What is the highest form of intimacy? ›

The highest level of intimacy, requires the greatest amount of trust in our relationship. It is only when we feel truly safe with somebody, that we become willing to share the deepest core of who we are. It's up close and personal.

What is the biggest form of intimacy? ›


Emotional intimacy is one of the most important types to share with your partner. It means you're able to express your feelings and emotional needs in the relationship, which requires some vulnerability.

How often do best friends become lovers? ›

To be exact, the researchers estimated that 68 percent of romantic relationships start from friendship.

What is platonic touch? ›

Platonic Touch Therapy is a combination of giving and receiving touch, sharing, modeling concepts around boundaries and consent, and holding space using deep listening in a non-judgmental container.

What does an intimate friendship look like? ›

It may include, for example, holding hands, cuddling, hugging, kissing, giving massages, or sharing a bed, without sexual intercourse or other sexual expression.

How do you know if a friend is hiding her feelings? ›

Someone who does not show their emotions finds it hard to stay relaxed. If their gesture does not communicate open, relaxed, and calm around you, it is one of the signs someone is hiding their feelings for you. People with a relaxed body posture are often vulnerable and honest about their feelings.

Can other people see the chemistry between two people? ›

The chemistry between people can be seen in body language or subtle ways, such as eye contact, flirting, banter, constant focus, and losing track of time.

How do you know if your friend is hiding his feelings? ›

The Top 15 Signs Someone Is Hiding Their Feelings for You
  1. 1 They make a lot of eye contact with you.
  2. 2 They smile when you're around.
  3. 3 They get physically affectionate with you.
  4. 4 They get nervous around you.
  5. 5 They show off in front of you.
  6. 6 They give you special attention through sweet gestures.

What is a platonic kiss? ›

Platonic kissing is defined as a kiss between two people who are not in a romantic relationship and do not have romantic feelings toward one another. As “kissing the homies” is normalized more within younger generations, students shared their opinions about getting more intimate with their friends.

Can I ask my friend for a kiss? ›

Confidently tell her you'd like to kiss her.

"I'd love a kiss before I go." "Let's kiss." "Write her a note saying "kiss me?" or "I want to kiss you," if you think she'd like the cute, romantic gesture.

How do you know if your best friend wants to kiss you? ›

They Look at Your Lips

If someone gazes at your lips, it can be an unconscious sign that they're thinking about kissing you. You might also notice them lick their own lips, or casually touch them. All of those are hints that they might want to put those lips to good use.

What are the benefits of fantasizing? ›

Not only has daydreaming been shown to reduce stress and anxiety, but it also helps with problem-solving and enhances creativity. And when it comes to setting and achieving goals, taking the time to think for pleasure has also proven beneficial.

Is it weird to hook up with your best friend? ›

Friends hooking up happens and there's nothing wrong with it, but it's important to know that familiarity plus sex does not always equal love. A range of outcomes can occur, some more difficult than others. Ask yourself if you're really ready for them. And make sure to talk to your friend about it first.

How do I stop fantasizing someone? ›

The best way to do this is to take multiple deep breaths in and out while trying to clear your mind whenever you realize you're fantasizing about something. Alternatively, you could begin playing a certain kind of music, checking the news, or otherwise trying to distract yourself.

How do you know when a girl wants to get in your pants? ›

If she's sitting with her legs crossed and her top leg is slightly swinging, or if her foot is pointed toward him, she's attracted,” says Maresca-Kramer. If you notice this happening, return the gesture by mimicking her posture. Turning your hips towards her is a great signal that the feeling is mutual.

What does it mean when you fall asleep when you are with someone? ›

According to the article in Women's Health Magazine, touching someone releases dopamine and serotonin, and once serotonin is produced, it can be converted into melatonin by the body. Melatonin is a hormone that influences the sleep/wake cycle.

How do you tell if a female friend wants to sleep with you? ›

Apart from checking you out, another sign that she wants to sleep with you is giving you compliments on your body. She might ask you if you go to the gym, or say that she can already tell that you do. She might tease you by asking how much you can lift, and if you might be able to lift her as well.

Can two friends be intimate? ›

Intimacy is normal within relationships, even those between two friends. There are different types of relationships – with specific needs that each of them meets. You can have familial bonds, sexual bonds, or friendships. In each of these relationships, the kind and level of intimacy will look different.

What is emotional intimacy between friends? ›

So what is emotional intimacy? From Breaking the Male Code: Unlocking the Power of Friendship: Emotional intimacy is the experience of being deeply connected to another person who knows and understands your most important feelings and who shares his or her own with you.

Are female friendships more intimate? ›

While one is more casual (male friendships), the other is more intimate and personal (female friendships). Not surprisingly, female friendships tend to be more dependent on face-to-face contact, are more emotional, include the sharing of thoughts and feelings, and include more support.

What do kisses on the neck mean? ›

What is a Neck Kiss? The neck kiss is exactly what it sounds like — a kiss on the neck. It's considered a kiss of passion, and shows that you're really into the lucky person who receives it. Neck kisses are usually around the nape of the neck or right where the shoulders meet the neck.

What is pseudo intimacy? ›

"You act like you're getting to know the person through Facebook chatting, texting, talking on the phone, and getting a sense of who they are, all while simultaneously conjuring up this whole fantasy of what you want them to be. But your vision of what they are isn't even close to what the person actually is."

What is the word for friends but not lovers? ›

A platonic relationship is one in which two people share a close bond but do not have a sexual relationship. They may even feel love for each other, referred to as platonic love.

Is it healthy to sleep with another person? ›

While sharing a bed can be intimate and romantic, there are some major health benefits to sleeping together, too. Sleeping together can lower your blood pressure (because of oxytocin, which we'll talk about a little later). Sleeping together can reduce inflammation.

Is it better to sleep with someone or alone? ›

The researchers think that sleeping together enhances REM sleep, which then goes on to reduce emotional stress and improve our interactions. But a loud or restless partner can be a recipe for a bad night of sleep. And REM is just one part of getting a good night's sleep.

How do I stop sleeping with my friends? ›

  1. 15 Ways To Avoid Sleeping With Your Friends 'By Accident' ...
  2. Don't Talk Too Extensively About Your Sex Life. ...
  3. Don't Have “Platonic Sleepovers” ...
  4. Don't Be The Most Wasted Guest At His/Her Party. ...
  5. Avoid Excess Touching. ...
  6. Don't Use Silences As An Excuse To Stare Deeply Into Each Other's Eyes. ...
  7. Don't Share Clothing.
Jan 27, 2014

Why you shouldn't room with your best friend? ›

Con: You could miss out on making new friends

By choosing to room with your best friend, you may be preventing yourself from starting fresh and having new experiences with different people. It's good to be in touch with people you know, but be sure to remain open to others as well.

Does sleeping with someone create a connection? ›

Oxytocin is released into the body during intercourse, a hormone which is linked to "positive social functioning and is associated with bonding, trust, and loyalty." The intimacy of an experience is what really causes us to feel attached to someone.

Why is sleeping next to someone so intimate? ›

It's All about the “Cuddle Chemical.”

Levels of oxytocin rise when we make physical contact with another human being. So when you hop into bed and spoon with your honey or take it to the next level of intimacy, the chemical is released and you feel calm and protected.

Is it good to sleep without a Bra on? ›

By wearing a bra to bed, which is wrapped firmly around the ribcage, your ribs can't fully and freely expand. Sleeping in a bra can make your breathing more labored and shallow, lowering your usual intake of oxygen. On the other hand, sleeping without a bra better allows you to breathe (and rest) easy.

How long should you wait to sleep with someone? ›

Based on the findings of several studies, Coleman suggests that at least three months into a relationship — or when it's clear the honeymoon phase is over — is the best time to start having sex.

Why do adults sleep with each other? ›

The main reason two people sleep together is because humans are affectionate beings who crave intimacy and connectedness. For couples with kids, busy schedules or both, the bed can be the only place to have some alone time, bond and talk about each other's days.

Why should you wait to sleep with someone? ›

Anticipation can make the whole thing sweeter. Waiting for sex may be difficult at times, but building up the anticipation before going all the way with someone can make it even better. When you wait, you build up sexual tension and fantasies, which can make the whole thing way more fun, Whitney said.

How do I stop thinking about someone while I sleep? ›

8 Sleep Experts on What to Do When You Can't Turn Off Your Thoughts at Night
  1. Distract yourself with meaningless mental lists. ...
  2. Try to stay awake instead. ...
  3. Or just get out of bed. ...
  4. Write down whatever's freaking you out. ...
  5. Get back in bed and do some deep breathing. ...
  6. Try not to try so hard.
May 10, 2017

What does friends sleep over mean? ›

sleepover. noun. sleep·​over ˈslēp-ō-vər. : an overnight stay at another's home or an instance of having others stay at one's own home.

How do you get over someone sleeping with someone else? ›

  1. First, explain why you are concerned about him sleeping with someone before your were exclusive. If he cares about you, he will validate these emotions and let you express yourself.
  2. Second, ask him to define exclusivity. Make sure you are both on the same page now. ...
  3. Then, give your own definition of exclusivity.

What should a best friend not do? ›

9 Things a True Friend Would Never Do
  • Criticize you for being flawed. ...
  • Walk away when times get tough. ...
  • Discourage you. ...
  • Hold a grudge over your head. ...
  • Lie to you. ...
  • Pretend like they have all the answers. ...
  • Take from you without giving back. ...
  • Make you feel like you're burdening them.
Jul 21, 2013

What should a good friend not do? ›

20 Things True Friends Don't Do
  • of 20. Only Talk About Themselves. A strong friendship goes both ways. ...
  • of 20. Shut You Out. ...
  • of 20. Gossip About You. ...
  • of 20. Only Hang Out When It's Convenient. ...
  • of 20. Judge You. ...
  • of 20. Discourage You From Your Goals. ...
  • of 20. Sugarcoat the Truth. ...
  • of 20. Spill Your Secrets.
May 25, 2017

What should you not share with your friends? ›

10 Items That Really Shouldn't Be Shared
  • Toothbrush. It's something we rarely do, but every now and then a situation arises that calls for a shared toothbrush. ...
  • Hair Brushes and Combs. ...
  • Keyboards and Mice. ...
  • Phones. ...
  • Towels and Shower Accessories. ...
  • Earbuds. ...
  • Underwear and Bathing Suits. ...
  • Tweezers.
Nov 15, 2017


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