Thursday, February 2, 2012

A List of Rules for an FWB relationship, revised

About two months ago I came up with some 'rules' for my relationship with 3, my FWB. We've since modified the rules somewhat and I feel the differences are worthy of discussion, particularly what lead us to decide to make these modifications.

I've decided not to publish the entire rule sheet in full in this document; instead, just the ones that have changed from the previous post have been published.

These rules are as of early Feburary 2011.

1. There will be no dates.
1a. A single FWB may ask an FWB to be a date to an event, work function, etc for the social purposes of looking good in front of others.
1b. An FWB who is in a relationship may ask an FWB to be a date if they had planned to attend something with their partner, but the partner cancelled at the last minute and attempts have been made to find a replacement that did not pan out. This rule only applies if the person doing the asking has already committed to attending the event (e.g. they bought tickets)
1c. A FWB who has agreed to go on a date in one of the above circumstances may cancel without notice.
1d. (tentative definition of “date”) Any meal where FWBs eat food alone prior to sexual activity counts as a date. Food courts are OK. Takeaway is OK. Home cooked meals are OK.

Comment: We have been very cautious about accidentally going on dates; we realised that the rule did not actually elaborate on what "counted" as a date, particularly because we would often eat together and hang out as friends prior to intimacy. We don't see any reason why this is a problem. This rule has been useful.

2. PDAs are bad.
2a. In all contexts
2b. Except if like we are at gunpoint and the gunman says “kiss or I will shoot you”, and even then don’t go overboard.

Comment: Ahaha! this rule has changed. The old rule said that there may be appropriate contexts for PDAs (Public Displays of Affections) between FWBs. This was my fault and my addition; I somehow thought that I might want to greet XY with kisses. I think the reason I had the attitude before was because it turns out 3 is a really great kisser and I wanted to potentially maximise my opportunities to experience this.

5.  Both parties should be as selfish as possible in the “friendship”.
5a. You cannot rely on them to come and pick you up when you have a flat tyre unless you have no other options or will have sex with them afterwards. This is to prevent the FWB being the first (or third) person you call when you are in a fix, which is dangerously close to relationship territory.
5b. However, we are still friends, so we can still be there for each other, discuss problems, etc.

Comment: You'd be surprised at how often this came up. Admittedly, it kind of sucks not to be able to do favours for one another at the drop of a hat; but the benefit of this rule is that it allows favours to be performed in exchange for sex, if both parties are willing. Which can be a win-win situation at times.

15. The FWB must always be informed of their FWB’s new sex partner after they’ve had sexual contact. This informing must be  done before the FWBs engage in sexual activity.
15a. Upon receipt of this information, the FWB may require different levels of protection during sexual activity.
15a. Permission, approval or prior notice isn’t needed for the FWB to take on another lover.
15b. Except if it’s like the FWB’s sister or something.
 Comment: This rule has changed. In an attempt to distance the FWB arrangement from my polyamorous arrangements with my boyfriends, I initially added a rule that FWBs need not be informed of new sex partners. This was stupid; sex is always risky thanks to pregnancy and STIs, and if 3 hooked up with a crack whore I would want to know about it. The friendship I have with 3 is very much centered on discussing our sex lives in great detail, though, so I never thought this would be an issue. However, it's a bad precedent to set, so the rule was changed to explicitly require knowledge of outside sex partners.

18. FWBs don’t buy gifts for FWBs, whether big (e.g. birthday/xmas) or small (e.g. one of those chocolate bars you like).
18a. Xmas/birthday/labor day sex is allowed, however.
18b. Gifts directly related to sex (dildos, whips, etc) are allowed.
Comment: This is a brand new rule! Fancy that. I added it because one of the ways I show my friends how I care about them is through buying gifts. I was noticing I was seeing things in the shops and thinking to myself "I should buy that for 3" the same way I do with my platonic friends and, of course, my boyfriends. I decided that in line with rule 0 (the friendship is inhibited by these rules) I would institute a blanket "no gifts" rule. This rule was more recently amended to allow sexual gifts to be bought for one another.

19. The FWB arrangement will be kept a secret, on a “needs to know” basis.
19a. Needs to know is for close friends, people we discuss sex with, etc. Definitely not for aquaintances.
19b. XX is bad at keeping secrets that involve her getting laid.
19c. Many people have been told that the FWB arrangement has been called off due to lack of interest.

Comment:  For 3's privacy and I guess my own, we're keeping things under wraps. 3's identity is known only to very few people, and still fewer know that we are actually still intent on continuing this whole sexing one another up thing. I guess this blog post kind of puts a wrench in that. If somehow the entire world was informed of 3's identity, it wouldn't exactly ruin our lives.

{rule 20 is stupid/silly/private and omitted}

21. FWBs are not allowed to sleep in the same bed two nights in a row.
21a. Sex two nights in a row is okay, but need to move to seperate beds afterwards.
21b. This rule is disregarded if sharing a bed two nights in a row is unavoidable (e.g. full house).
Comment:  Sharing a bed with somebody is an intimate activity - which is why there's a rule against sharing beds unless sex occurs. However, since I now live in a new town 2 hours south of where 3 lives, there will probably come a time where 3 stays over for a weekend for sex amongst other things. In order to allow lots of sex to occur but the bed-sharing intimacy to remain in check, this rule has been implemented.

I, of course, don't believe that these rules will magically stop me and 3 from falling in love and running away to Fiji together to set up a hot dog stand. However, it seems to be working so far and I very much like that my brain is used to seeing 3 in a unique way.

After all, our emotions and feelings for others are just the result of our brains doing their thing with various hormones being secreted having various effects. The more we try to spur our brains off of things that might lead to romantic feelings (which, when you get down to it, are just oxytocin or whatever the love hormone du jour is), the less chance this whole sex thing will have of going off the rails. I hope :)

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