I think as equality amongst the sexes increases both socially and financially, the nature of the male-female relationship dynamic has mutated. It’s more than feasible for males and females to be just friends but friendship is evolving to where the parameters of what defines friendship has eroded. It’s more than just either platonic or romantic. I’ve realised that I haven’t had a standard and conventional friendship with a male since my Jamally when I was 18
Emotional Fluffer (def): a friend used for the emotional benefits of a relationship, while the physical benefits is taken care of by another individual with whom no emotional connection exists.
The nature of my personality means I have a compulsion to nurture and look after people. People who know me on a non superficial level know it genuinely makes me feel better when I’m there for people I care about. My affection sometimes presents itself as maternal and to female friends as just as intense friendship but occasionally it has been translated into a weird friends with emotional benefits situationship aka an emotional fluffer. Me as a person just want to know how your day is going, inquire about your overall wellbeing and mental state and check that you’ve eaten and that work was okay. I don’t mind this particular position because it’s not an instance of unrequited love. It’s more I’m just your friend and I’m willing to be there in whatever capacity you need me. I’m an emotional fluffer for my friend who’s last ex girlfriend was a bitch who treated him badly and didn’t care about his feelings. I harboured no sense of attraction towards him. I just wanted to be there for him as he rebounded and clocked up numbers to his body count simply because he needed someone to be there for him. There are some people who I don’t mind exerting emotional labour or energy for; he means a lot to me so for me it was literally just whatever you need. I didn’t mind because I didn’t want him to rush into a relationship with someone just because he was missing certain emotional benefits. Our friendship only functions on the mutual sexual repulsion and our non tactile friendship.
“Let me help you take off your shoes, untie your shoestrings, take off your cufflinks. What you want to eat boo… let me feed you. Let me run your bath water; whatever your desire, I’ll supply ya”
Friends Who Fuck
Friends who fuck aka friends with benefits is a familiar phenomenon. The concept of fuck buddies is as embedded in popular culture as the term ‘MILF’. Friends with benefits is self explanatory – you’re friends with sexual benefits i.e. you’re friends who have the delight and advantage of fucking casually. Sometimes it’s a series of dick appointment to tide you over when you’re sick of the burdens of relationship or too busy for their bullshit/ relationship logistics. Sometimes it’s an informal agreement to have sex in between relationships and dry spells – orgasms keep you regular and sane As someone experiencing the driest of droughts and the resultant irritation of sexual frustration – I get the appeal of fuck buddies. Rationally the concept of friends with benefits make sense – I have an itch and I need someone on occasion to scratch it. But I know what I’m like, I know I’d want the itch scratched consistently and I’d want the scratcher to only be scratching me. I have a great level of self-awareness and I know I’d miss the scratcher when he wasn’t around and eventually want a relationship. I really wish I could have a friends with benefit because lowkey my hand is cramping and carpal tunnel is incredibly real but I know myself. I’m resigned to a life dependent on Ann Summers until I’m no longer unattached.
“I’m not trying to pressure you, just can’t stop thinkin’ about you. You ain’t really gotta be my girlfriend. I just want to know your name.. then maybe we can sometime we can hook up and just chill”
Romantic Friendship (def): a very close but typically non-sexual relationship between friends, often involving a degree of physical closeness beyond that which is common in Western societies
This is a weird amalgamation of the 2 previous relationships and for all intense purposes my ideal situation. Wikipedia describes it as a relationship characterised by innocent hand holding, cuddling, massage and sharing bed/ co-sleeping without sexual intercourse or physical sexual expression. I’m an incredibly tactile person who craves affection and a chill, informal vibe – I literally wasted a year of my life trying to find a companion to engage in “match of the day and chill” with. I’m just a person who likes physical companionship and affection – that’s not synonymous with romance. I literally just want someone to kick it with while watching TV, drinking wine and eating cheesecake, while embraced in a spoon. I’m aware that what I just described sounds likes a relationship but this type of relationship doesn’t actually include sexual activities; I just want to cuddle as friend and playfight as homies. In the past I’ve had mild experiences of this type of friendship and recently tried to enter a similar situation. My most recent attempt failed to materialise/last because our relationship transitioned through too many different stages – from potentially romantic to platonic. We tried to create a platonic”ish” situation that failed which downgraded to romantic friendship. He struggled with the nature of friendship because at one point an erotic/romantic situation was on the cards. Also although my romantic feelings for him had dissipated, my carnal urges (when inebriated) were reluctant to remain dormant and he was the definition of complicated/ an irritating and confusing shit.
“It’s never safe for us not even in the evening ’cause I’ve been drinking, Not in the morning when your shit works. It’s always dangerous when everybody’s sleeping and I’ve been thinking… Can we be alone”
Friends Who Flirts
This right here is basically my new soft spot in terms of friendships with males. It’s essentially a platonic friendships with bouts of innocent flanter (flirty banter) – this is different to phone sex friends – which I wasn’t aware of but during my research, discovered its apparently a “thing”. The friendship in itself is pretty trivial with nothing deep or substantial discussed and are subsequently my favourite distraction. Flirty friendships just work for me because I’m a tomboy and dirty jokes are what I’m accustomed to. The lack of substance and lighthearted content is freeing because I don’t always want to have intellectual conversations or talk about my feelings – I do that enough. This is part of the reason why my “platonicish” relationship failed because my mind is a dirty and filthy place with humour vehemently situated in the off-colour/ blue side of life. My naturally dirty mind is translated into venacular plagued by double entendres, graphic imagery as well as lewd and explicit language. Deep conversation and flanter is hard for some to process but I’m particularly reckless with my mouth. Akim and others refers to my out of pocket language as wayward and it grosses him out because we’re so strictly platonic. Sometimes I’m flirting just to flirt but sometimes I’m flirting to test the waters, see if you’re on my wavelength and suitable for something more. Consequently within my “friends who flirt” catergory, is a friends “with potential” subsection. Our friendship is flirty and potentially it could develop into something more but neither one of us have taken it further than innocent friendships.
I like male friends and companionship because that’s what I’m used to but the way friendship has evolved has blurred the lines. Certain friendships need to be stripped down and simplified into “just friends” and nothing more. I need to remember to set boundaries within friendships and not compromise my objective, self respect or needs. Like if I’m only comfortable with one type of friendship or not in the mood for progression then the friendship can be terminated.