Sexual communication, satisfaction, and condom use behavior in friends with benefits and romantic partners

Justin J. Lehmiller, Laura E. VanderDrift, Janice R. Kelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although "friends with benefits" relationships (FWBRs) are common and have been the subject of significant media and research attention, relatively little is known about them, especially in terms of how they differ from other types of relationships. The present research sought to compare the sexual outcomes of FWBRs to those of traditional romantic relationships via an online survey. Results revealed that FWBR partners were less likely to be sexually exclusive, had a lower frequency of sexual interaction, were less sexually satisfied, and generally communicated less about sex than romantic partners did. However, compared to romantic partners, FWBR partners devoted relatively more of the time spent together to sexual activity, practiced safe sex more frequently, communicated more often about extradyadic sexual experiences, and reported a greater number of lifetime casual sex partners. These findings indicate that the sexual outcomes of FWBRs and romantic relationships are quite distinct and provide evidence of the potential public health implications associated with both casual and committed sexual relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)74-85
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Sex Research
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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