Thursday, May 9, 2013

Power fucking

No, sadly, the title is not in reference to Power Thirst.

The title is more in reference to what I felt like doing upon finally getting home today. First, I stopped at Curves to workout and just happened to be leaving at the same time a prospective member was coming in. The coach "on duty" that night was busy with a current member so I took the prospective member, sales pitched, and signed her up. Then on the way home I stopped at the pharmacy to refill my prescription, and found an Iron Man/Captain America bouncy ball that had been abandoned under the waiting area seats. So that awesome free bouncy ball came home with me! So I was feeling pretty potent and awesome when I finally got home, and power fucking was in order.

Anyway! The main purpose of this entry was to tell you all about this "Can You be Friends With Benefits?" flowchart I found in this month's issue of Glamour. I wanted to talk about it because it was one of those things that caught my eye as I was flipping through the magazine, and I immediately braced myself to hate intensely. However, it actually turned out to be not so bad in its approach to the whole thing, so I wanted to give kudos where kudos is due.

Good things about it:

1. The first question it asks is, "Are you secretly in love with him?" I thought  this was pretty observant, and it was nice that the very first thing they make readers do is take account of their own feelings. One thing that's going to fuck up (no pun intended) the "casual sex" thing pretty quickly is the introduction of lovey-dovey feelings. Not to say that it's possible to have completely emotionless sex. But if you're harboring some sort of relationship or love expectations but aren't expressing those to the person you're having sex with, that's unfair.

2. It stresses communication and self-awareness through the rest of the chart. Two other notable examples of questions in the chart: "If he got a girlfriend next month, would you be jealous?" The possible answers all reference the emotions of the person filling out the chart, which is good. "Yes, I'd be jealous because he got a girlfriend" or "No, I wouldn't feel jealous if he got a girlfriend." It's a very subtle difference, but putting the emotion first puts more ownership of that emotion on the person feeling it. Things are going to happen around you, and the only thing you can control is how you react to those things. Saying, "You got a girlfriend, and that makes me jealous" puts the emphasis on what somebody else has done, and sort of blames them for making you feel a certain way about it. There's a fair amount of stress in the flowchart on the person being aware of their own feelings, and there's also a bit of reference to talking with the other person involved to make sure feelings are on the same page. Communication is good, ya'll.

3. The point near the end where they bring the love thing back into it. So, you get fairly deep into the flowchart. It looks like you and your friends with benefits are good to go. Then the chart asks, "...the sex is good, and you enjoy spending time in each other's company. Why, exactly, aren't you in love?" Initially, this makes me almost rage face. Like....for fuck's sake can't two people just enjoy each other's company and have awesome sex together? But then that's exactly what one of the answer options says. One way the answer goes, "Crap, I am [in love with him]!" The other way it says, "What are you, my mother?" which is sort of sassy and totally awesome because, yes, seriously.

The not-so-good things about it:

1. Ratio of possible outcomes. There are 3 possible outcomes of the flowchart. "Eh, probably not worth it," "No! Of course you can't be FWB" and "Go forth and enjoy!" Of 13 possible arrows flowing to those outcomes, only 2 wind up at "Go forth and enjoy!" Six, or almost half of them, wind up on "No!" I was also slightly disappointed that it was just a straight, "No!" and there's really not any alternatives listed. Although it's implied that the alternatives to FWB involve either dating the guy monogamously or staying friends and breaking off your sexual ideas in reference to said friendship. Almost worse, though, is that five of the arrows wind up at the completely ambiguous "Eh." Very direct things like being extremely jealous or being secretly in love with him wind up in the "No!" Totally vague things like being annoyed when he doesn't answer your texts, if your mutual friends would make fun of you for hooking up, or if the sex is just "fine" as opposed to "amazing" mean the answer is "Eh." All in all, you have about 84% of the arrows that tell you not to do FWB. I count "Eh" as "No," because I feel for all intents and purposes it's the same answer.

2. The totally random things that count as "being in love."  Does he invite you to his work parties "sometimes?" Oh shit, he's secretly in love with you.

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