Intimacy and Sex: Context is Everything

An Excerpt from our upcoming e-book…..

Let’s start with a hypothetical question:

What’s it called when your boyfriend cuddles with you, holds your hand, kisses you tenderly, listens to you talk about your work, plays video games with your kid brother, compliments your dad’s cooking, talks politics with your mom and charms your friends with his humor?

Depending on the context this could just as easily be called love, as it could be called FOREPLAY. Which brings us back to the title of this chapter: Context is Everything

These behaviors within the context of a committed relationship are part of a bigger picture with deeper emotional connections built over time, through shared values, respect, trust and love. Physical intimacy is a guy’s way of connecting with someone he loves, but only within the context of a committed relationship.

These behaviors outside the parameters of a committed relationship are all about sex, and usually devolve into what we call “arrangements” rather than relationships. These arrangements have different names that you’re probably familiar with. FWB (Friends with Benefits), Booty Call, F-Buddies, Hook Ups.

For example: If you’re in a purely physical arrangement, proposed by your guy, let’s say a Friends with Benefits situation, and you’re wondering if he’s catching feelings for you because all of a sudden he’s cuddling with you, or going out with your friends, you need to revisit this statement. Context is Everything. If he wanted more than a purely physical relationship he would have proposed it from the get go. We know this can be very confusing and this is one of the most frequently asked questions on our site. “Will my Friends with Benefits “relationship” ever evolve into something more meaningful? To that we say, sure, it’s possible, but it rarely happens. Most of the time it ends up crashing and burning into a heap of confusion, anger and resentment.

Why does this happen? Can’t a man fall in love slowly over time? Yes, some men can, but for most, the answer is NO. Why? Because for the typical guy, assessment happens the moment he meets a woman. Right from the start he’s compartmentalizing her into one of five categories. Maybe this seems shallow and base, but primal instincts take over in the oh-so-important game of passing on the blood line.

Next: The Five Categories….

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18 Comments on Intimacy and Sex: Context is Everything

  1. Hey I’m back,

    So a guy friend of mine started to address me and tell me he loves me. But I would never give him a chance. He knows that I’m trying to sustain until marriage. But, he asked me to stay the night with him and informed him that I don’t think that a good ideal because I don’t want anything to happen. Long story short, I stayed the night and things started to happen, kissing touching and I ended with a hickey on my neck. I felt bad and I told him that. So a couple of days later I asked him to tell me how he really feels. He told me that he feels like he doesn’t want me to get attached to him. I thought he didn’t want to hurt me but he told me that he wasn’t ready for a relationship which I totally agree
    With but he’s sending me the wrong signs whenever you’re slapping my ass, kissing my lips and then trying to touch my private area. What’s up with my friend? I don’t want to lose him but I need to know what is up! By the way we’ve been friends since high school.

  2. @Lex…..Sounds like he’s just woken up and realized that you’re a beautiful young woman, not just his friend. But this is just his hormones talking. Otherwise he’d be treating you differently, wanting to take you out, buying you gifts, etc. His actions seem all about sex. What do you think?

  3. How do I ask my guy friend if we can have a fwb friendship? We get along well and had a one night stand. It was fun and I don’t see us falling for each other. We both have been burned by our long term relationships ending and confided in one another after we hooked up. I think the experience will help us both while having fun.

  4. @Tina…..Typically we don’t recommend FWB, just because they are ripe for confusion, and usually end up with someone getting hurt. (Most often the woman.) That said, it may just happen organically. If you already had a one-night stand, it’s more than likely it will happen again, or you could create the scenario for it to happen again. Hang at your place? Movie? etc. You get the idea. If/when it does, then maybe you bring up the topic then? What do you think? ps. We hope you’ll share our site with friends. You might want to read our e-report on Friends with Benefits before you decide.

  5. @All the Women out THere…….We’d love to hear your thoughts on The Perfect Guy? Leave a comment, a description or respond to someone else’s comment. Let’s have a conversation.

  6. I have this fwb situation. I have known him for like 12yrs (since junior high school) he was my first kiss and my second lover. The thing is that since jr high we have had this on and off type relationship. When we are on it’s great we talk all the time about personal stuff that we wouldn’t tell anyone else and the sex is great. Outside the bedroom he can never keep his hands off me. After sex he ALWAYS cuddles with me, and now that we are adults he ALWAYS spends the night. I have asked him if we could just have sex and then he can go home (since this is a fwb type thing) but he has said no he loves waking up next to me. This will become a regular thing and I get all in my feelings we tell each other we love each other and everything.But then out of nowhere he up and will disappear. He will make plans with me and not show up, won’t answer my calls or text and I won’t hear from him for days or weeks or months. Then he will call me out of the blue telling me he misses me and he loves me and wants to see me. And I curse him out. Because he lead me on acting like hes my man. Then the cycle repeats etc. Recently we got back in contact and I cursed him out as usual. I told him what I always do that if he comes back in my life I want consistency, I want him to return my calls and messages. If he can’t make it to see me call me and let me know. That was last year and this time he has! It’s been over a year now but there is no commitment. Im just confused by him. If he just wants sex why does he come over and just cuddle sometimes? Why tell me he loves me? Why make plans to move together? But wants to disappear when I ask about us being in a relationship or say hes not ready?? What does he want???? Im confused😳 He wants to spent the night and cuddle and talk and move in together but doesn’t make the move to acually BE together.

  7. @Lili…..He wants to be with you on his own terms. Which are quite in contrast with yours. What are his terms? Well, when he’s feeling horny, or lonely, or just wants a nice dose of Lili, he’s all nice and sweet and cuddly and romantic, and talks about the future and blah, blah. But when he gets his fill, or he feels you starting to have other expectations he disappears. He’s either a player, or a bit too immature for any sort of relationship. We don’t see this changing. Do you?

  8. I honestly don’t know. I told you that this time around he’s returning phone calls and calling me on his own. He wants to see me alot. He told my cousin that if he had a girlfriend it would be me. So she asked him what’s the hold up and he said he needs to grow up some more. That was a couple weeks ago. I love him but I have 2 kids now (not by him) and they nedd someone to look up to I can’t wait forever. I just want to know if I should wait or move on? I have put so much time energy and love into this over the years. I’m just wondering if he’s finally getting it together now or if I’m just further wasting my time

  9. @Lili……We understand. Seems to us that you’re not ready to move on. So why don’t you let this play out a little more and see what happens. What’s another few months, or even six months? If he does his disappearing act this time around then maybe you’ll have a clearer sense of what to do at that time. But we’d say, if you’re not sure, then stay the course. What do you think?

  10. Confused // May 9, 2017 at 1:43 pm //

    I have been in a FWB relationship with someone for about seven years now. When we met, we’d both come out of difficult relationships, and didn’t want anything serious. A couple of years ago, I realized that I started to develop deeper feelings for him, and I stepped back, knowing that he was not interested or ready for a committed relationship. We still saw each other, just not very often. Recently, we met for a date. While we were in bed, he looked me in the eyes and said, “I love you.” It caught me off guard, and I froze. And as if he thought I didn’t hear him the forst time, he said it again. Not anytime in the seven years of our arrangement has he ever given me any indication that he wanted anything more than our current arrangement. Ultimately, I did not know how to respond at the moment. It seemed very obvious that his demeanor changed when I did not reciprocate those words. I contemplated what had happened that day, and called him later to tell him that I did indeed hear him, and was not trying to blow him off. I asked him if he was wanting more out of our “relationship”, and he seemed to backpedal by saying that he just said that because he appreciated having me as a friend. Neither of us are young, and it’s not like he had to lie to get me into bed (FWB). Is this (tell someone they love them, … twice, while in bed) something guys typically do when they don’t mean it? Because, although I’m not sure that he would necessarily be the right guy for me, it still hurts when someone uses those words and then claims to not mean them (at least, not in that way).

  11. @Confused…..Sounds to us that his defenses have kicked in after you did not reciprocate with your own declaration of love. Meaning, if you had said something like, “I heard you, but didn’t know what to say because I’d been feeling strongly about you but didn’t want to say anything for fear of ruining a great friendship/arrangement. When you said those words, it just took me off guard. What do you think? Do you want to take this to another level?” Obviously, you could come up with something better than that but that’s the basic idea. We think his wall is now up and you have to figure out a way to help him take it down. (Yes, he needs help taking it down.) ps. Unless of course he was drinking or high or something like that.

  12. Confused // May 9, 2017 at 9:47 pm //

    Thanks for your quick response. I guess I should clarify some things. He had not been drinking, nor was he high. While our arrangement was open as FWBs, I’ve been seeing him exclusively for most of our arrangement (almost the entire seven years), but he has seen others, even as recently as the weekend before. What is confusing is why he would even say those words as they are obviously not words he throws about casually, but at the same time, I am not at all sure he actually meant them when he said them to me. When I called him later that evening, I did mention that I indeed heard him, but didn’t know how to respond as I had never received any indication from him that he wanted to take the relationship further (quite the contrary actually), and I did ask him if taking our relationship further was something he wanted. I guess I’m curious to know if a guy who doesn’t usually use those words suddenly says them after seven years, even without any indications that he means them, does he actually mean them?

  13. Confused // May 9, 2017 at 10:00 pm //

    I should also add that when I called him later, he’d indicated that he didn’t want to take the relationship further, and just meant that he liked spending time with me. Is this an indication that I’d really hurt him when I didn’t reciprocate his declaration? He indicated that he didn’t want to take the relationship further, should I let it be, or is that the wall he’s put up? Again, he’s never shown interest in a serious relationship. Truthfully, until he’d made his declaration, I was just waiting for the day when he’d tell me he’d met the girl he wanted to settle with, and our arrangement would just end.

  14. @Confused……We hear you on the alcohol and weed. But sometimes the euphoria of sex—the hormone shift leading up to it and during— can also lead a man to say things that aren’t completely accurate. It’s not that he felt he had to lure you into bed, it was likely more his body being super-charged. Is that what happened? Either way, you have two options at the moment. 1.Take him at his word, whether it’s a wall he’s putting up or not. Right now, he’s being very clear that he doesn’t want to take the relationship further. 2. Press him on it. Declare your love for him and see what happens. Either choice is a risk. If you choose option #2 you have to be ready to deal with the fallout if it doesn’t go well. If you go with option 1 you might be forever frustrated. What do you think? And you never said what YOU really want out of this? What is that? A relationship with him?

  15. I’m confused too. I’ve been spending time with a “friend”. We met 6 mths ago and began spending time together three months ago. He takes time off work to see me. It’s not always for sex. He kisses me hello and goodbye. We talk endlessly about our lives and our kids. We kiss and cuddle for as long as we can after sex .. half an hour up to 2 hours. Generally we see each other 4 or 5 times a week sometimes more. We text all during the day when we can. And text goodnight with xx every night. Recently I met his 2 children and he met my youngest. He came out of a nasty relationship about 9 mths ago. She was cheating on him and treating him very badly. So my question is ,, is there any hope for this becoming more than friends? He said he thought we were just friends enjoying each other’s company. I told him I am looking for a relationship. I have told him I love him. How can I know if this will ever be more or I am I just wasting my time. Should I give it more time?? We are both over 40 and single parents.

  16. @Bec…..How long was he with this other woman? Is she the mother of his children? How long has he been divorced? Was he pretty clear upfront as to what he was looking for? (Relationship wise)

  17. Littlelulu // June 13, 2018 at 10:13 pm //

    I have a fwb for a year. We got along fine, and date other people casually too. However, few months back, we went on a holiday together and had a great time. After the holiday, I fell something and decided to tell him. He agreed he felt the same but wants to remain casual since we’re going to be far from each other. He didnt want to call it off though. I agreed to just keep it purely sexual, enjoyed it while we can and date other people too.

    After that conversation, he started texting me everyday. Before he goes to sleep, he would call and asked about my day. He asked about past relationship/ childhood/ friends siblings, etc. For these past few weeks, he keeps on saying that he’s all about me (albeit in light way), does not only want my body, but also enjoyed spending time talking to me (in a serious manner).

    It’s very confusing, and what is he thinking? Should I just shrugged it off and see him as being a flirt/player?

  18. @Littlelulu…..What do you mean that you’re going to be far from each other? (Is this a long distance FWB?) How did the FWB start? ps. We address FWB in our new ebook, The Complete Guide to Understanding your Man. (On Amazon.) Click the banner/link on our site.

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