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No Sex: We are friends

By | January 16th 2010

By Soni Kanake

Google defines a platonic relationship as a non-sexual affectionate relationship. A simple example of Platonic relationships is a deep, non-sexual friendship, not subject to gender pairings and including close relatives.

Most of us have enjoyed a platonic relationship at one point or the other in our lives.

It could have been that innocent relationship between a male doctor and his female patient, your salsa teacher and you or just work colleagues of the opposite sex.


The upside of platonic relationships is that one gets to enjoy all the benefits of being close to someone of the opposite sex but from a safe distance.

As long as these relationships are kept non-intimate, they can be edifying.

The only concern is that we tend to unconsciously like those we spend a lot of time with.

Depending on the season you are going through in your life and how vulnerable you are, it could just be a matter of time before you wake up in the wrong bed and with your platonic pal.

Of course that’s the perfect recipe for disaster and that relationship will never be the same again.

Who are we kidding? We all know that once you’ve crossed that line, trying to keep the relationship civil becomes a struggle.

In most instances untimely sex usually leaves the woman filled with self-loathe (especially after the brother decides to walk away without a second glance) and it’s worse when it’s with your platonic pal.

They are commonly referred to as friends with benefits’, but for how long can these relationships be sustained?

Before you decide or even think of hitting the sack, consider the possible repercussions.

Grab a highlighter and let’s get down to the real issues:

Sex is Complex

"Sex is not just a new chapter in a relationship; it’s a whole new book!" You must have heard that from your mother, pastor, or Dr Phil — so consider yourself warned.

The line between love and hate is usually blurred and after ill-timed sex we usually go through a wide variance of emotions ranging from hate to a sense of betrayal, to confusion. Since the sex was not within the safe confines of an established romantic relationship, it is not fulfilling and, at worst, can be very frustrating.

You are at a loss of what to do when you meet next; do you apologise, withdraw or fight fire with fire, as in get on with round two?

Lose a friend

In most instances, one or both friends begin to avoid either party like the plague. Inevitably, one party is bound to develop a dislike for the other party.

Easy come; easy go, they say. At best, one of you will withdraw. That mysterious aura you saw around each other may disappear, especially if the sex was less that satisfactory.

Suddenly there is nothing more exciting to talk about.

Calls go unanswered. The privilege of calling each other at any time is viewed with suspicion, what with your friend thinking that it could be a booty call.

The woman often misconstrues every call and text to mean that the man wants only sex, and begins to wonder where they lost the friendship. Fact is that the relationship has graduated to another level that most probably none of you was ready for. There is a lot of mistrust and eventually both parties naturally drift apart.

Pregnancy risk

In most instances the first time sex happens between platonic pals chances are high that protection will not be used.

It’s usually triggered by overwhelming emotions on one of those days; days when one of you is offering a shoulder to lean or when your guard is low, as on a wild outing away from town or in a club.

Due to the nature of the relationship, the two tend to trust each other and throw caution to the wind.

Apart from the risk of unwanted pregnancy, there is also the looming danger of STIs.

The dangers of STIs and especially HIV and Aids cannot be overemphasised.

In case of a pregnancy depending on the support offered (or lack of it) the woman either keeps the baby or gets rid of it.

Either way, the woman goes through untold agony, bitterness and unnecessary drama.

The green-eyed monster

How about not being able to enjoy another relationship around your platonic pal since they are usually consumed with jealousy?

It only gets worse if you were a good sport and the man cannot bear ‘sharing’ you with another man.

Every time you meet a potential mate, your platonic friend will always be in your face.

He becomes territorial and does not want you to move on. The reverse also applies; the woman also throws tantrums every time the guy attempts to get into another relationship.

You are both caught in a time warp; none wants the other to move on yet you can’t have each other.

You feel strongly protective, and yet you have no right to tie the other person down, as there is no relationship yet.

This can leave you helpless or make you do uncalled for things in the heat of passion.

You do not want to stalk, sulk, insult or blow up at your friend.


In some instances after our reasoning has been compromised we tend to think that since it cannot get worse (the worst has happened, right?) we might as well just continue.

There is a tendency of having sex over and over again with constant regret.

In the initial stages the sex could be non-stop but once on the parties wakes up from their stupor, they might opt to walk leaving behind a broken heart.

Lost opportunities

Relationships that take time to develop usually last longer because the two give time for adjustment to each other and there are little unrealistic expectations.

Also, when you quickly open up to someone, you may feel vulnerable and recoil just a fast.

Sleeping with a platonic friend could make you lose an opportunity to naturally make him into your man.

It means that you have skipped security checks along the way and gone right to the final one. If you just give it time, who knows? It might develop into a beautiful nurturing relationship.

Once you are done sleepwalking through the daze of a crush you have on your friend, you will realise that you have more to lose than gain after you go the whole nine-yard with your platonic pal.

The question that begs is whether all this unnecessary drama and possible trauma is worth it at the end of the day.

It is advisable to keep your hands to yourself when with your platonic pal.

Otherwise, make your bed and lie on it.

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