A vicious cycle: Friends with benefits and booty calls

I’ve been told debate exists over whether or not a “booty call” and “friends with benefits” are the same thing.

They are not. I’m here to explain the distinct difference between the two, and to tell whether one or the other can continue forever and why.

A booty call is when you call someone strictly for “booty,” or sex. Your relationship with the person you called is based strictly and solely on hooking up. You typically don’t text each other during the day, there are no movies or dinner, certainly no gifts and absolutely no talking about feelings or other personal topics. You shouldn’t have feelings for someone you’re basically using for your own sexual benefit anyhow.

Friends with benefits are two people who hook up and are friends. Their relationship is based on sex and friendship. Their friendship is maintained by doing activities together. These activities must steer clear of anything reminiscent to a date; dinner and movies where only one person pays is an activity a romantically involved couple — not friends with benefits — partake in. The friendship can also be maintained by being there for each other by talking during the day and telling each other some, but not too much, personal information.

Neither a booty call nor friends with benefits can last forever. The main reason is jealousy. Booty call partners might not get jealous as easily since they’re essentially using each other for sex and nothing more. Also, either booty call partner might be involved with other such partners, so it’s easier for feelings to be more detached (it’s also easier to contract sexually transmitted diseases this way. I highly advise against booty calling).

Friends with benefits, on the other hand, might develop jealousy toward their partner or “friend” quicker since a degree of feelings is involved. Perhaps neither partner loves or even has the slightest romantic feelings toward the other yet, but even the smallest amount of these “friendship feelings” can stir up jealousy.

We are animalistic and competitive by nature. Our competitive drive causes us to generally dislike sharing ? especially sharing our partner’s feelings and bodies with others.

The second reason neither relationship will last forever is because of romantic feelings (not to be confused with the smaller degree of feelings involved with jealousy). Again, booty call partners are less likely to end their sexual relationship over this because their morals have probably fallen by the wayside, so they probably don’t have an emotional capacity to develop such feelings. This isn’t to say that they’re incapable of falling in love at first sight with the booty, literally or figuratively. Hey, when there’s a connection, there’s a connection.

Friends with benefits develop romantic feelings because their friendship blossoms into love, just like with many regular friendships that don’t involve sex. When you’re exchanging feelings with another person, you almost innately develop a sense of respect for them. Respect can grow into a small or large fascination toward this person. Add together respect, fascination, jealously and feelings, and you have a recipe for a romantic relationship. Sex is the cherry on top that solidifies the physical bond of that relationship, given you’ve also developed what’s needed for the emotional bond.

It’s a vicious cycle. A booty call can of course evolve into friends with benefits, and therefore can also become a romantic relationship. The cycle can be broken down in reverse, as ex-lovers can establish their once romantic relationship as booty call partners or friends with benefits. Their feelings can be rekindled through either of these sexual relationships and their romantic relationship could emerge once again. Needless to say: practice safe sex.

About Melissa Hoon

Melissa writes for the Orange County Register and is a graduate student at Cal State Fullerton with a degree in journalism and American studies. She reports on domestic and international humanitarian issues, focusing on sex trafficking, a form of modern-day slavery that forces individuals into sexual exploitation, many of whom are under age 18. Melissa’s work has taken her across the globe, including to Vietnam twice where she volunteered and worked as a foreign news correspondent, and to South Africa where she lived and volunteered at a home for abandoned, abused and neglected children, and reported on the poor aiding the poor in opposition to receiving government assistance. Melissa’s graduate work, equal to a thesis, focused on the Civil War, abolitionism and varying forms of slavery, primarily human trafficking with a concentration on rape and prostituted underage girls. Melissa has been credited as Editorial Assistant for the American Quarterly, the flagship journal for American studies, produced at University of Southern California, and has held several editor positions at the Daily Titan. She has been a guest speaker in university journalism classes and has volunteered teaching journalism skills at numerous high schools. Currently, Melissa is a staff writer for LA YOGA Magazine and proctors exams to students with disabilities at Chapman University.