Can Sex Ruin a Friendship?

0 Posted by - October 16, 2008 - Relationships, Love & Marriage

Let’s face it; sex has a funny way of changing things. Two people that once were able to joke about anything and talk openly about everything under the sun can suddenly find themselves unable to regain that happy medium once they’ve shared themselves physically. I’m not saying that this happens every single time friends decide to bump uglies, but I have seen it happen a good majority of the time.

It’s like that one magical night(s) just erased the chemistry that previously existed between y’all. For instance, I’ve known females that suddenly got super sensitive regarding any joke I’ve made about them or how I play around with them following a sexual encounter. I’m not talking about anything mean or hurtful, just regular ol’ shits and giggles between friends. It’s like before we did the nasty she’d acknowledge the fact that I was only joking when I called her “big head” and would just laugh it off, but once the relationship turned physical everything changed. Instead of the usual boy-you-crazy look, I’d get hit with the how-could-you-be-so-mean ice grill. Somehow fornicating fucked up the friendly energy. How ironic.

On the flipside, there have been females that I was intimate with and our friendship remained unphased. Sex was just something that happened (whether or not it was a mistake is another story) and we were able to put the episode behind us. In some cases, these individuals managed to become some of my dearest and closest female friends, mainly because our sexual history never became an issue and our pre-sex vibe remained the same. Sadly, these instances are few and far between.

Maybe it’s just human nature to be territorial, but sex tends to breed jealousy. Even if a relationship is not what either party wants, there’s a special bond that forms when two people are intimate and sometimes it’s hard to see another person express interest in someone you’ve been physical with. Before all the bumpin’ and grindin’, you could give two shits about Johnny down the block pressin’ up on your homegirl Tanya. But let you and Tanya get your freak on, and ol’ John-John’s close proximity to your friend with benefits at the club suddenly makes you pissed. You said you didn’t want a relationship so it shouldn’t bother you, right? Wrong. Sex changes things and that’s why you feel a way about it now.

Now I’ll admit that I’ve had a fair share of situations where a female friend and I became intimate (I’ve been single for a good eight years; what do you expect, people?). Some never went further than that one time, while others may have become extended affairs. Either way, the vibe was never the same again. Although some did manage to return to normal, there are always those that were forever ruined by the act and caused me to lose someone that was once very close to me.

More than anything, sex just makes things awkward. Can everybody else tell what we did last night? How should we act when we’re around other people? What if s/he wants to do it again? How can I look him/her in the eye after they’ve seen me in all my glory? Why do I suddenly get angry when s/he flirts with someone else? See, it’s not the sex that makes things awkward (hopefully), it’s all the things that you never thought about before that really cause the problem.

Prior to having the sex, y’all hung out with no regard for how people perceived your interaction or being sensitive to jokes between friends, but now your brains are on overdrive and nothing else can get through but the fact that y’all have had S-E-X and neither of you know what to do about it. If this awkwardness continues, it can spell doom for your once plutonic relationship. Because if you don’t deal with the elephant in the room, it may eventually back that ass up and take a dump all over the both of you.

Okay, I feel like I may have rambled all over the place with this one, but I hope y’all got what I was trying to say: Do you think that sex can ruin a friendship? If so, what can you do to rectify it? Do you think that once two friends have had sex it’s pretty much a wrap for the friendship? Lastly, if a simple thing like sex can tear two people apart, were they ever really friends to begin with?

Speak your piece…

  • JessyRod

    getting physical with any friend can have only 2 outcomes (in my humble experience): a-make your friendship stronger or b-completely ruin it.

    like you said, the physical bond that is formed between two people regardless of their emotions or lack thereof between them, is a strong one. depending on each person’s EQ (that would be emotional maturity) they can either figure out how to incorporate their encounter in to their friendship meaning it was a moment it passed, but now i know something about you that i didn’t before or decide to continue the affair. but if one person is mature about it and the other is not or worse neither is mature, you’ve just effectively killed what may have once been a great relationship.

  • DJ Daddy Mack

    Yes it does. :-( I lost a couple.

  • The Cocoa Luv Chronicles

    Yes. That just goes back to the argument of men and women being friends. I don’t think so because the elephant in the room is SEX. It’s messed up but it the way it is.

    That is all.

  • Anonymous

    Yes it does. Don’t do it!! Big mistake and you end up losing a good friend. Trust me.

  • Anonymous

    i think what happens sometimes is someone might be feeling the other and is afraid to say it, because they didn’t realize during plutonacy that their friend was someone they would like, like that. so, now they gotta play it off and hope the feeling fades or remains manageable.

  • Good Life

    Sex can be a difficult situation, especially between two friends. The thing is the two parties have to know what they’re getting their selves into. If all cards are placed on the table before hand, that leaves lil room for complications. Now keep in mind I said “lil room” for complications. There is no clear way of predicting the outcome of a situation like that. I say live life and deal with what happens later, if you really want to. Real friends are real friends no matter what the exchanges are.

  • fayemi

    Yep, I agree with Jessy. There can only be one of two outcomes. So how do you overcome the awkwardness? You gotta be grown about it all, communicate and try to find some laughter in the situation. If you can’t keep it light, go with the flow and be easy, you probably should find someone else to get your freak on with.

  • Mike D

    Knock the boots if you got the chance! If the friendship fails, maybe something else was going on between y’all that only became evident once all the barriers were removed (except that Jimmy hat!).

    I think if it is truly purely physical you’ll be fine but it seems like 95% of the time, one party catches feelings. It’s the nature of the beast, biology vs. human culture.

  • virgoVida

    friends can only be strictly platonic with each other, when there is no attraction between the two. if and when there is an attraction, that’s when the sh*t hits the fan. some people really don’t want to be just friends in the first place, but they wait in the cut until an opportunity presents itself. that person was probably plotting on you the whole time.
    and nothing ever goes back to being the same, because you open up and become vulnerable with that person. you let them in a little bit. they’re not just anybody, this is someone that you know and are familiar with. trust is usually there in some way.
    i don’t want you to treat me the same as before: do you remember what we did to each other last night??? that changes the game completely.

  • Deka

    yeah man, I don’t mess around. gets to complicated

  • LyRik

    Wow! Very interesting topic. I was one of those people that use to think that sex couldn’t ruin friendships, but from recent personal experience I now know that it has the potential.

    On the one hand I have this friend (male) that’s been my friend for like 10yrs, and several years ago we had sex a couple of times, but we are still friends. Nothing has really changed, we still flirt the same way we did before the sex. I still trust him, more than I trust a lot of people, and we still talk about what we do with other people to each other. I mean clearly I can only speak from my point of view but I don’t think he has any feelings for me, and I know I don’t have any serious ones for him. I mean I love him, but it’s not on the I want to be with him tip. Hell I’ve introduced him to some of my other friends, whom I know he’s had sex with, but it doesn’t bother me. For us this was something that just happened, nothing planned. So honestly I guess it depends on the maturity level of the friendship.

    Then I have a friend (not really my friend now) whom I’ve been friends with for over 12yrs, we had sex a couple of times, and now he doesn’t think he can be my friend. I mean this is a dude that I use to tell everything to (Most of my close friends are males) Years and years of things. I came back to my hometown to visit this past summer, after a couple of years of losing contact, we got back in touch. One night my girl and I went to see him, since we hadn’t seen him in years, one of the best nights I had all summer. Anyways we were talking a lot after that. Bottomline is one thing lead to another and we had sex. After that I told him, I don’t want to commit to anyone and that I just wanted a platonic friendship. Boy… that didn’t fly well. After we had sex the first time, A little possession, started coming out. His moods just switched, but then I realized it went from Him talking to me as a friend, to him talking to me as a life long mate. I tried to dead that situation, in every way possible, sometimes I felt like I was speaking in different languages to get him to understand. Lol, I remember one day we were talking and he said “we had sex, it’s too late to go back.” The funny thing is, I specifically talked about all of this stuff with him before I had sex with him, and totally said that I didn’t want to ruin a friendship, he was all, I can handle it…So not true. Everytime, me and my girl talk about it she’s like “I told you not to have sex with him, he was going to get hooked” So now I am out of a friend…

    Do I think that sex can ruin a friendship? I think that it has the potential to. I think both parties have to be mature mentally, and not lie about their intentions, in order for sex amongst friends to really not ruin a friendship. I honestly believe that the only way a friendship can be rectified, is if the ailing party comes around, because truthfully the ball is in their court, only they know what they can and can’t handle. You just asked the same question, with different words. Lol, anyways…

    Personally I believe that sex can tear two people apart, because often times people aren’t honest with themselves, before they get into it, and because a lot of people hold emotional attachment to sex, and they don’t know how to separate the two. I mean really what is sex without emotion???? If you are single and you’re sexing then emotional attachment should not be a part of the game. If you want the emotions then you should be in a relationship. A lot of guys say that women get attached after sex, but through personal experience, men tend to get more attached.
    Like for an example, when I broke it off with my ex of several years, we were still having sex, but I knew that I didn’t want to commit anymore. So when we had sex I took it for what it was,’sex’ I am pleasing you so you can get off, and so I can get off; nothing more, nothing less. He had a hard time equating it to just that. Whenever we had sex his emotions were all in it, and at some point someone would end up getting hurt. What I’m trying to say is, if you’re going to be single, be single and leave your ‘feelings and emotions’ for commitment; not saying things don’t happen, but be aware and honest don’t live in denial.
    If I decide to have sex with someone, it’s for 2 reasons. To show off, and be pleased (this is me as a single female speaking).

    Friendships, like relationships can be complicated, but with a true friendship, it has to be “ride or die” No matter what happens, you never turn your back. For some people it’s hard, and their friendship in conditional, but true friendship requires the ‘unconditional’


  • Taneda Holloway

    Forget sex ruining a friendship, what about sex ruining a relationship. You know he was all attentive and concerned about you, cared about your feeling and was dying to “bump uglies” but was real respectful about it. But once sex is introduced, he is calling less and you gotta dam near beg for sex sometimes. Whats up with that?? I mean granted i checked myself and im still the same…..

  • K

    It def changes the dynamic of the relationship! I suppose it depends on the parties involved. But, it always ends up with one person feeling more for the other. Can I figure out that hurdle? I mean, come on…sex is physically the closest you can be to someone at any given time.

  • anonymous

    It doesn’t ruin things as much as it just makes things really, REALLY weird. You just have to be mature enough to get past it, or own up to your real feelings. Communication is key, even if it’s awkward. Especially if it’s awkward, actually. You can tell I’ve been there, right?

  • jackpot aka H.D. aka Desckabaisses

    I feel what Mike D is saying. But it’s rarely just a physical thing. Often times, one wants more, but settles for sex because they’re just that into the person. I’ve never went there with real friends, so I don’t know about losing anybody.

  • guttaMAN

    Regardless of feelings, in the end you have to be honest, you have to be an adult and you have to communicate. Sex btwn friends can be a good thing, in all my years I’ve yet lose a friend to sex, maybe to their boyfriend saying they can’t have male friends but never because we interlocked our sexual parts.
    As long as both parties agree on what the situation is then you will be good. You have to be honest with me and yourself if you can handle our relationship with or without sex. There’s no guarantees on what it will be good or bad you gotta be willing to ride it out, so to speak, til the end.
    My main rule of thought: fuck your friends better than anyone else because there’s a good chance you’ll be seeing them for the rest of your life. Having a night off in the bed is an easy joke to have pop up at the wrong time.

  • Otislinkman

    Sex can ruin a friendship, but like the question asked were the two friends in the first place? I recently lost a female friend after all the fucking we were doing. First it was just us doing the do, then when she went off to another guy to be her man, all hades broke lose. The whole jealousy issue reared it’s ugly head and to this day now we don’t even speak to each other. Yeah I can say ‘Yeah I fucked her’ but on some real shit, after sex her and I don’t have anything. It is sad to see how we went from being good with one another to not even speaking. My question is “After sex what do you have with the person?”

  • CeeRee

    Wow! Sex is always a game changer, you have to know that from the beginning. You have to ask yourself how much you value the current status of the friendship before risking it on sex. Men can catch feelings and flip out just as quick as women after the act. If casual sex is what you’re after then there’s no need to develop a friendship first but if you got a good thing going, think twice and act once.

  • anonymous

    Yes it can ruin a good friendship! My friend and I have been sleeping together for a year and a half after we lived together for three months. After we had sex the first time it was as if nothing happened. I guess that was because we really didn’t expect it to happen and we were around each other 24/7. Shortly after that we continued to be intimate but after the fact he wants to lay in bed and cuddle with each other. If he would’ve kept it as we would do it him leave nothing would’ve ever changed. Now there are feelings involved and we don’t know what to make of it. We’ve talked about being a couple but he always brings god into the conversation. We are both saved christians but is it really a god thing that’s holding us up. He says that he has to follow gods word but still chooses to do his own thing. I honestly believe that if we would’ve never had sex we would still be the best of friends. Its like we don’t even know each other now and he throws other girls in my face to make me mad. He even goes as far as to get ready for dates at my house. He says he only does to see how I would react, but he knows that it pisses me off. After all of this we’re still friends but I don’t know how long I can put up with it before I give up.

  • sexxii_mamii

    yea i kno from experience it does but the thing is when friends have sex thats not what always causes the feelings to jus show up (in most cases) they were their before but because you were intimate it forces you to feel wat was always there because ya’ll took it to another level n if you think about it, all the times someone came up to you askin about your friend you might have felt a lil jealous but you always jus push it aside because you knew that you were jus friend. they were probably feelin the same to! (now that might not be you) i mean i managed to keep some firends i have had sex with by jus talkin about it n when your around each u shouldn’t let it get to you so much. Believe me talkin about whats really on your mind instead of hiding it really helps. Talk about where you guys stand after that n if its more that you both want then go from there, if you both decide to jus stay friends then try not to let that get in the way jus remember you both decided on it n don’t say thats what you want jus because they said it, thats when problems start to happen. N If somethin that you both wanted to do, ruins your whole friendship then you might want to look back at how good of friends u were to begin with!

  • Rad

    On the ‘flipside’ what happens when two people have sex, first and become friends after. In this day and age, as validated by several ‘reputable’ news reports; sex has lost a lot of its impact. For some, its just a thing-to-do; no ‘big’ deal, etc…. In my limited experience(and second, third, ‘fourth’ ‘hand’ by friends and relatives) the ‘door’ is ‘always’ or ‘oft-ways’ ‘open’ for repeat occurences and the friendships are strengthened. This may be for a few who are focused on career, school, etc.. and don’t make or honestly have the time to invest in a relationship.

  • plhicks14

    I agree and disagree. I have been on both ends of the spectrum as a female who slept with a friend. I had a childhood buddy that I slept with and it really ruined our friendship, but when I moved and made another male friend…we contemplated about losing our friendship over a night of lust. It ended up happening and we are still friends..nothing more.

  • Machinko

    wow… i feel like an alien on this post.

    I am passionately in defense of MATURE friends having sex. I know from experience. The problem with most relationships (romantic or platonic) is that people are not honest WITH THEMSELVES, much less with the other person involved.

    Presumably, in the proposed situation, men may desire a friend- only sexual relationship that doesn’t lead anywhere, but not take responsibility for FULLY communicating this desire to women, for fear that they may be rebuffed, and therefore miss out on some pussy they wanted (probably for a long time).
    Similarly, presumably, women may not take responsibility in FULLY communicating that they are not prepared to handle such a relationship, because they want to appear tougher.. or cooler.. or more relaxed/ less uptight.. or something like that. Or maybe they always had the attraction and simply denied it, as well.

    If you can take an honest look at a situation, and gauge whether or not, with this particular person, you can engage in that sort of relationship (because it certainly differs with every person) then it can absolutely happen, with marvelous results.

    Personally, I find that between relationships, it always pays to have what i like to call a ‘Cleanup Man’.. because I don’t like strangers and am not prone to casual sex (in fact, Im quite picky) but would like my mind and feelings to be open to receive a new, true ROMANTIC love affair (something I could not do if I was caught up with complicated feelings for some undefined relationship), a real friend is the best solution.

  • older&wiser

    After being good friends with a guy I knew for over four years, we discussed what could happen if we ever took it to the next level of becoming sexually involved. After much reflection we went for it and the sex deepened our relationship and we both realized that we were compatible on every level after that and he asked me to marry him! I accepted and we got married three weeks after we started having sex together and were happily married for twelve years until his untimely death. We both weren’t in to casual sex and the emotional connection that came with the sex cemented our feeligs for one another and the marital commitment was an easy leap for both of us. I miss him and how easy it was to be with each other b/c of the foundation of friendship we already had. I think friendship should be the first step before sex and I am looking for tha same chemistry in my next marriage!

  • D

    I’ve done the FWB thing once and we’re still very good friends. Just thought I’d add a quick comment.

  • Neska

    yes it can and make things rather awkward, FYI all, leave coworkers alone!

  • JuJu

    well i think it can work (being friends after sex) but it will take some work…

    i have this one guy a friend since high school

    so one day i went over to his place and the we just so happened to have sex

    after dat he did come on strong dat he wanted to be wit me this that and the other

    i guess i have a powerful va ja ja (lol) but after a while of talking we came to the conclusion dat its best to remain friends

    and til this day we are close if not closer so it took some work and time but we worked iit out …and i honestly believe this helped our relationship as friends

  • KittyBoo

    I’ve had sex with one of my best friends from middle school. (I’m 20 now), and I dont recall anything becoming weird between us. Or anything changing about the relationship. At least on my end. I knew far ahead of time that he wasnt anyone I wanted to be with. so sex was just sex. Wasn’t just a one time thing, either. Was inbetween relationships when we both needed some and that was it.

  • Lobell_7

    I completely agree…Sex which i believe is designed to bring two people, who are in a loving and commited relationship closer, can also cause a rift or a wedge in between a friendship. Issues like you have said before rise because of the vaulnerable state getting intimiate requires. I believe sex is something that has been so casualized that people forget the affects that take place… its never a “No strings attached” because you give a bit of yourself to another person and you can never get it back… Now at the risk of sounding preachy… I would go as far to say it much better in the bounds of marriage where trust and safety are established… (these two factors are also a choice) Because its natural to feel especially threatened  or angry by someone hitting on a previous lover. and you would be rightfuly so when its your spouse…Sex complicate things…It makes it increasingy dfficult to let go of that person even if you know with logic that you were never the right fit in terms of a healthy and enjoyable relationship.. I regret some of the things i have done.. and it doesn’t seem to really hit until he is away… the worries creep in… where as before it was never an issue.. I have always been good friends with guys, and i have never felt threatened when a special lady came their way because i never slept or fooled around with them. but now being in a relationship where i have exposed myself, i feel especially vulnerable, and sometimes i’m not sure how to behave or open up on an emotional level.. It’s caused trust issues on both our parts…I do not claim to have everything togeather by any means…My experience has just reinforced me to believe that sex is better designed for after marriage with all of its complicated elements.. (and thats not religion speaking) You just gain a real foundation of friendshiip when you put the physical aspects after… that way you discover who the person is and than decide weather you are in love or lust with them. Sex is good, its just not a porno! 

  • vinnikeezreznor

    SEX with friends…….. NO!!!!

    Done it with my best friend that i relied on so much…..

    It got sour, i called it off because i was getting depressed and anxious, did not want a relationship and also a friendship is now forever ruined……. And as well my life and social group.

    Don;t want to ruin your life? Don;t have sex with a friend or best friend…….

    If you have, you just have to live and deal with it like me everyday. Jealousy, Envy, Resentment, regret and depression………

    Once the lines crossed. That how you will always see your friend. So you can ether do it until someone gets hurt, attracted, bonded. Ether way the only way to save heartache or upset is to cut all ties.

    In the end of the day, they ail fall for someone else or you will. But it becomes a behaviour and habit. Then you have to choose between new love or habit and loss of friendship? What will you pick? ;/