Introducing the F***Nemesis

The new rage in dating, for those who have been out of the loop, is something called the "Friends with Benefits" -- see the Urban Dictionary page -- in summary, two people who are friends decide to start having sex, and just remain as friends. It's a much more casual relationship: in the same way that if you tell your friends you don't feel like going to a movie tonight because you're just not in the mood, nobody freaks out. Likewise, if you tell your friend with benefits that you don't feel like getting naked and doing it in the shower, nobody freaks out.

This relationship is also known colloquially as the f***buddy. Personally, looking at my female friends, I don't get the appeal. I mean, if Jennifer Aniston was my Friend with benefits (ha ha) we might have something here.

The big problem, and I have seen/heard of this happening far too regularly, is that the "Friend with Benefits" model simply doesn't work. It always turns out that one (or less frequently, both) partners feels more emotional attachment than the maximum allowable under the friends with benefits system. This means that if one friend decides she wants a second friend with benefits, there will be a violently jealous reaction from the first friend, even if jealousy doesn't come into play. Likewise, if one friend meets a pretty girl at Dantes and they start dating, the friend with benefits -- who at least in theory loses the benefits -- is guaranteed to be jealous, and probably also wondering on some level why this other girl was "better" than her. All in all, its a messy system.

Now I've been of late analyzing these relationships for those around me, and while I don't have all the kinks out of the system yet [first commenter to make a lame pun about wanting 'kinks' in a sex system wins a punch in the nose -- ed] I think its time to debut something which will hopefully replace the ineffective friends with benefits system:

Enemies with Benefits

Think about it: with Enemies with Benefits, most of the Friends with Benefits problems melt away. If one partner meets a nice boy and starts dating him, the Enemy with Benefits won't get bitter and jealous: he's already bitter and hateful towards the person. No change! And if two people who hate each other start doing the horizontal shuffle in their off hours, the risk of emotional bonding is very small. And remember, just because you hate somebody doesn't mean you don't want to have sex with them.

Now its not yet a perfect system, much in the same way that the electric car wasn't a perfect system: the distribution infrastructure simply isn't yet in place, and its a serious societal capital expenditure to establish it. Don't understand what I mean? I'll explain. Do you have a lot of enemies? Do you want to have sex with any of them? Do you think that despite their hatred of you they probably are physically attracted to you as well? Okay, sounds good...er, you do have their phone number, right? Even if so, will they agree to meet you for coffee to discuss the proposition?

Another small flaw is the expanded rolodex problem (though these days expanded cell phone contacts problem is perhaps the better term): with friends with benefits you already have your existing circle of friends, and simply treat one of them differently. An enemy with benefits is another person to have to communicate with, albeit for one specific purpose. One of the oft-hyped (but never realized) advantages of friends with benefits is that this person can go skiing with you this weekend, not see you the next, have sex with you on thursday, and maybe the weekend after go to see a hockey game or something. You can do friend things or sex things with the same person, and on occasion combine them. Enemies with benefits wouldn't work...after the sex, if you ask them out skiing next week, they'll likely say "no, I hate you" and leave. [As alluded to though, this isn't too much of a problem inasmuch that friends with benefits in reality quickly degrades to either friends or benefits, and never both -- or else the friends and benefits continue together until it ends up being dating anyways, somebody mentions the "d-word", and the system collapses. FACLC's Enemies with Benefits has this weakness that might later turn out to be a strength. -ed]

So tell your friends! Tell your family! Tell your enemies (if they'll pick up the phone)! If word gets around, you might find yourself getting a phone call from that girl at HMV you had the yelling match with, where both of you physically threatened the other, until you got kicked out of the store telling her that next time she sees you she goes 6 feet under. And she'll say "you're still an ass, I still want you dead, but any objections to me stopping by your place around 8:30 tomorrow to ride you like a bucking bronco?"

And somewhere in Alberta, I will smile.