When two people become "friends with benefits"—that is, people who say they are just friends but are also engaging in sexual activities—there can often be more negative consequences than benefits, Dr. Robin says.
More often than not, Dr. Robin says one friend in the relationship is a "pursuer," or someone who is afraid of distance, while the other is a "distancer," or someone who is afraid of intimacy. When these two opposite personalities engage in sex, problems are bound to arise. "That makes for such a dance of struggle and such a dance of pain," Dr. Robin says.
Dr. Robin says the underlying issue is that there's much more to sexuality than physical pleasure and gratification. Friends with benefits learn firsthand that sex is rarely simple, uncomplicated and void of emotions. "It's a human issue that we're all looking for something more," she says.