D/s burnout, Part II: What do we do about it?

a relationship based on dominance and submission can often lead to burnout…what are the symptoms and what do you do about it

sometimes doing the same thing can be tiring

What is burnout?  Regardless of your position in the lifestyle you can become burnt out.  Burnout is often also called Dom fatigue, or sub fatigue, and thought of as an extended drop.  Honestly though you can experience a form of this even without having a partner. It is simply the feeling that you’ve had too much of the lifestyle for a time and you cannot find the energy or zeal that you used to have regularly to continue.  And it’s not just a feeling of oh I’m tired after this scene, it’s a deeper more resounding, I want nothing to do with this in my life right now feeling. So for those who are really committed to the lifestyle or a particular relationship the feeling can be devastating.  I really always compare burnout in the lifestyle to that of the workplace, if you don’t take a vacation for a long time you can get burnt out and the same applies here.


Many longer term D/s couples (and short term couples, too) often suffer from what I call “BDSM burnout.” Why burnout happens is simple enough. Domming (and subbing) ain’t easy. It takes work, energy and time. Sometimes the BDSM relationship can start to become a chore rather than a joy. It can be the submissive who has “had it up to here” with pleasing her Dominant. It can be the Dominant who finds that the effort he/she must put into being the Master/Mistress outweighs the rewards. It can be a combination of the two.


It’s becoming clearer and clearer that most things BDSM related are taking a massive toll on my mental health, personal energy levels, and overall outlook on my kink future. Simply put, I’m burned out. I had to step back from offering kink-related coaching services, let go some of kink-based writing spots, and really take the time to honestly say, ‘You’re trying to do too much right now.


Slut, Ph.D.

Looking inwards, looking back: What people said they wished they’d done and known

When I asked people what they wished they had done and known in retrospect, their answers were heartbreaking (and again, painfully familiar). There were common themes of (1) Lacking self-knowledge–both not understanding what they needed to be fulfilled as doms and subs, and also not understanding when they were experiencing burnout (2) Failing to successfully communicate about problems in the relationship/dynamic (3) Believing “this” was the best they were going to get and later finding out they could, in fact, get much better (4) Admitting when things weren’t going well and seeking help from others in the community.

I am quoting these accounts at length because I think there is a lot of wisdom in each one, and all weave together some or all of the themes I’ve just highlighted:

From M (sub woman): I wish I…

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D/s burnout, postscript: An aside about gender

why do submissive guys bail on femdom relationships more often than women…some thoughts

real life femdom couple Archives | Femdom Training | Femdom Hypnosis

A submissive man lives for you, his opinion no longer counts, or at least counts significantly less. His deepest fantasies will be about being dominated by a woman. I can assure you the mental pleasure a submissive man receives is different from a man that isn’t submissive. To him, it is about cerebral gratification which leads to sexual arousal.


The most difficult part of any relationship is genuine intimacy. In vanilla relationships, the lack of real intimacy almost inevitably leads misery. In Domme/submale relationships the problem is orders of magnitude greater, because the objectification is a hugely effective way of avoiding true intimacy. It is all role-playing. Hopefully, it’s enjoyable to both parties, but it masks the self.


Slut, Ph.D.

You will note as you read the previous two posts that I have recorded people’s gender and d/s roles in their comments. That’s because years of sociological study of the scene have taught me that gender and BDSM roles overlap in some very complicated ways. As a mostly-dom woman who has mostly been in d/s relationships with people who were raised as men, I expected to see tales of d/s burnout coming disproportionately from cis men subs. I don’t have a large enough sample to back that up (and there are so few of them anyway that I would need a rather enormous sample to try to accumulate that). But the gendered dynamics of BDSM roles definitely seemed be working against cis men subs here in some pretty severe ways that would make them more likely to burn out.

(1) They’re working against their socially gendered roles in a serious…

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Safer Oral Sex for women

With the rapid spread of HPV and other STI’s through oral sex, there’s some protection available.

Underwear by Lorals has been cleared by the FDA.

look for “Lorals for Protection”. a 4-pack is about $25 sold on their website or at lingerie shops. Learn how to use a pair here.

The underwear can be used for oral and anal play as well as FF encounters:

The latex panties also work really well for couples who want to ease into exploring oral anal and anal fingering, because they cover the anus, thus eliminating any worry about issues relating to fecal matter…many two-vulva couples enjoy wearing them during scissoring.


check out these links:

Chippy Lipton reviews on the Hub: https://www.pornhub.com/view_video.php?viewkey=ph619918a5c2e57

A discussion in the NYT: https://tinyurl.com/ycztawn2

forbes: https://tinyurl.com/2p8pku68

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Some Days I See Monogamy Through Rose Colored Glasses

Monogamy reconsidered: The advantages of monogamy over polyamory. Is it true that once you’ve tried poly, you never go back to monogamy? Why do many poly return to monogamy?

My Journey to Now

Or is it simply the proverbial “the grass is always greener on the other side” syndrome?

Photo byGianCarlo GrecoonUnsplash

Now that I’ve been in the non monogamous world for a while, I am wondering if the difficult days, where I’m longing for the simplicity of monogamy, are tainted with inaccurate memories of thegood old days. This is something my boyfriends wife and I have discussed many times. We are both more naturally wired for monogamy, are living life as polyamorous, have reaped benefits from polyamory for sure, BUT, also enjoy the idea of a more simplistic and predictable life.

But then we wonder, are we just looking back at monogamy with rose coloured glasses?

For those of you who have been reading my stuff for a while, you may be aware I have a serious inner debate going on. My polyamorous journey has been fraught…

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How Do I Manage My Partner’s Jealousy?

Is Jealousy normal in a poly relationship…and how to deal with it

Poly With a Big Heart

If your partner struggles with jealousy, you’ve probably asked yourself: “How can I keep my partner from feeling this way?” or “How do I help my partner manage this?

It’s perfectly natural to want to save the day with solutions, particularly if you’re having an easier time of it than they are. It can feel like it’s your responsibility to address and manage someone’s negative experience even if you’re doing nothing wrong.Especially if you, (or they), see your actions as the root cause.

Jealousy is a natural emotion we all wrestle with in some way, to some degree, at some time. Trying to solve someone’s feelings isn’t possible; bending over backwards to prevent someone’s feelings isn’t sustainable. In fact, most efforts motivated by a desire to prevent feelings generally lead to larger issues like resentment and unreasonable precedents.

May I suggest this question instead: How…

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Was casual sex how it was historically? Is Polyamory or Relationship Anarchy a return to what humans did in the past? An interesting view of human sexual history.Are There Successful Mono/Poly Relationships? — Leanne Million B.F.A., B.Ed.

Yes. Mono/Poly or consensually non-monogamous relationships CAN work. However, many people don’t believe so. Even some polyamorous authors like Kathy Labriola, author of The Jealousy Workbook, don’t think they work. Kathy claims “mono/poly relationships are doomed” . Why do they think mono/poly relationships are “doomed”? Because there’s misalignment in needs and values. Monogamy SEEMS to […]

Are There Successful Mono/Poly Relationships? — Leanne Million B.F.A., B.Ed.
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Going Bi in Polyamory

bisexuality in a poly relationship for many is acceptable for women but not for men.

men often find attraction to other males in a polycule difficult to accept

A Poly relationship is an opportunity to explore bisexual romance.

There are many reasons why women are more likely to accept bisexual relationships with other women and men are not.

A poly couple may find a third member in the triad will improve overall attraction

Research finds more women in poly relationships are bisexual than men. Bisexuality among women is tolerated but shunned for men. “[poly communities] are mostly heterosexual men and bisexual women…Bisexual men’s comparatively lower status also mirrors both monogamous and swinging cultures in which women’s bisexuality is highly valued” (1)

Female Fluidity

Researchers believe that women’s sexuality is more fluid or flexible than men’s. And although they do not believe that women are inherently bisexual, they believe that women’s sexual attraction can shift more easily than men’s.

women may be attracted to other non-sexual personality attributes

Women tend to prefer “sexual fluidity” and will consider relationships with other women. In Why Women Leave Their Husbands for Other Women

women appear more willing than men to change their minds about what turns them on, throughout their lives. Men tend to choose a sexuality and stick with it, experts agree. Women are sexual wildcards

Fluidity was proposed by Lisa Diamond (2). She describes 4 types:

1. Situational fluidity 

2. Attraction vs behaviour

3. Temporal instability 

4. Responsiveness to less-preferred gender 

This type of fluidity relates to bisexuality:

This type of sexual fluidity is where someone has the option and capacity for sexual attraction to partners of different genders.

women who experienced more attraction to their less-preferred gender also showed more variability in their daily reports of sexual attraction to their less-preferred gender over time


Although the Diamond study was limited to women, many believe both men and women have some degree of sexual fluidity.

although many people with “fluid” sexualities shun the label of bisexual, bisexuals themselves have never once sought to distance themselves from descriptions of sexuality as fluid. To the contrary: Men and women who identify as bisexual often experience a primary attraction to one gender with rarer instances of attraction to the other, or experience their attractions as shifting over time rather than staying stable—which is to say, their sexuality is fluid.

women can be more comfortable with sexually fluid experiences than men

“Erotic potential, heightened among women, is … sexual fluidity. ..the concept of fluidity overlaps with…bisexuality (since fluidity…makes nonexclusive attractions possible), ..bisexuality can be conceived as a consistent pattern of erotic responses to both sexes…in clear-cut sexual attractions to men and women, possessing a potential for nonexclusive attractions.” (3)

Are women really interested in bisexual men?

Conventional wisdom (usually from popular surveys) claims that women prefer bi guys less than straight or gay men:

In a survey of over 1,000 women, conducted by Glamour in 2016, 63% of women said they wouldn’t date a man who’s had sex with another man. (This isn’t just men who identify as bi. This includes all men who’ve experimented with another man, even if it only happened once!) Still, 47% of women said they’ve been attracted to another woman, and 31% of women have had a sexual experience with another woman.


“I’m straight and wouldn’t date a bisexual man. I’m not ‘biphobic’ I just am not comfortable with it and that’s ok. I don’t speak against them or have anything against them. I just don’t want to be involved romantically.”


Some of the reasons women dislike bisexual men are because of the myths of the perceived bisexual lifestyle:

  • (Bisexuals have a) FEELING LIKE YOU DON’T BELONG

Women in Relationships With Bisexual MenWomen in Relationships With Bisexual Men
Bi Men by Women
Pallotta-Chiarolli, Maria, 1960-

Pallotta-Chiarolli said: “many women stated that their bisexual partners made better husbands, fathers, and lovers, but there were [also] some women who were experiencing incredible violence and issues of misogyny…There were men who would abuse, threaten, and act violently towards their female partners, usually when they weren’t out, and usually when the men themselves experienced incredible stigmatization, marginalization, and discrimination for their bisexuality. So these men would displace that onto their partners and children ”

It is also possible that male bisexuals are not really interested in women. In Study: Bisexual Men Not Aroused by Both Sexes, Reiger & Bailey (5) observed from a small genital-erection study: “In men, there is no good evidence that something like a true bisexual attraction is out there…”The majority of bisexual men got aroused to men and only to men,…All those who didn’t look like gay men looked like heterosexual men: They got aroused to women. This study fits the picture that … men are very target specific. They have an object of their sexual desire and go for that. … The pattern is that they have this object specificity — it does not change.” .

However Sexologist Paula Rodriguez Rust (6) says a person’s sexual orientation is not determined merely by genital arousal: “The problem with the (Reiger) article is that the findings have been misinterpreted…If you look at the study data, they actually do not show an absence of bisexual sexual response in men. A number of study subjects clearly did respond to both males and females. The study’s conclusion — that it remains to be demonstrated that men have a bisexual response — is curious, because it is not supported by the findings.”

male bisexuality

Bisexuality in men is often determined by the relationship between masculinity, internalized homophobia, non-attachment, psychological distress and body image concerns (4)

Historically, research defined male bisexuality as “a style of interpreting or reporting sexual arousal.

Male bisexuality appears primarily to represent a style of interpreting or reporting sexual arousal rather than a distinct pattern of genital sexual arousal.

males can often be attracted to the masculine features of other men without a sexual component

“Highly robust results showed that bisexual-identified men’s genital and subjective arousal patterns were more bisexual than were those who identified as exclusively heterosexual or homosexual. These findings support the view that male sexual orientation contains a range, from heterosexuality, to bisexuality, to homosexuality,”

There is a strong biphobia toward male bisexuals:

Biphobia exists. It must be fought like any type of ostracism
based on sexual orientation. Understanding its roots may also bring to
light further information on “closeted” bisexuals, on the difficulties some
bisexuals have in accepting themselves, and/or on the reactions of gay
men and lesbians to “closeted” bisexuals. One must also take note of the
complaints regarding relationships that are showered on bisexual men,
even these are sometimes voiced in an inappropriate way.


negative attitudes about bisexuals, men in particular, were more prevalent than negative attitudes about lesbians or gay men


“Bisexuality is either the bridge to coming out as gay, or we’re greedy and can’t make up our minds. Bisexual women are not really into women, we just hook up in bars to impress men. Bisexual men are really just gay and haven’t come to realize it…” — Jenny Eastwood

This harmful cultural definition [of bisexuality] not only eroded the identities of thousands of young gay men who were terrified to come out, but also the identities of young bisexual people. When a boy, who everyone suspected to be gay, came out as bisexual, it was a widely accepted fact that they were indeed gay, but just didn’t want to admit it. And so the sexual orientation of bisexuality was diluted, invalidated, denied legitimacy Similarly, young bisexual women were constantly labelled as “attention seekers”, if they kissed another girl at a party they were immediately deemed more promiscuous and it was usually interpreted as sexual “entertainment” for straight men and boys.

bisexual activity in public places is often subdued

It doesn’t help when bisexual men are often rejected by both straight and gay communities. Straights think bisexual men are “gay” and gay men think they eventually will become gay. Both straights and gays think bisexuals will never settle for monogamy.

 I’ve been asked to stop kissing my girlfriend in gay bars on several occasions. From the outside my girlfriend and I kissing is seen as ‘straight’ therefore we are seen as invading gay people’s safe space


Bisexuality in general is stigmatized

Bisexuality in general is often stigmatized by both queer and straight people. One of the misconceptions about bisexuals is that we are incapable of monogamy. This is not true. As polyamory and other forms of open relationships become more normalized, those of all orientations are giving it a shot. However, since we’re already known for being sluts (and sometimes we indeed relish this reputation) if you’re both bi and poly, some guilt can accompany, as you fear you’re confirming people’s misguided perceptions.


Many feel left out of the “LGBTQ+” culture despite the “B” signifying them. Bi guys often feel stigmatized by the LGBT crowd. In Bisexual and Polyamorous: How My Pendulum Swings

Bisexual men are often challenged to choose between gay or straight sexuality

“Why can’t bisexuals choose a side? You’re so greedy!” 
“If you’re polyamorous, does that mean you sleep with everybody?” 

The flak I’ve received for being bisexual doubles when people discover I’m involved with more than one person. And when I say I go to swinger parties, hands clutch pearls, eyes pop out of sockets, and there’s this overwhelming concern about the state of my health. It’s assumed that I have legions of lovers, but the reality couldn’t be more different. If there’s no intellectual and emotional connection, sex won’t be enough to sustain me. My two principal partners, who I love and trust with all my heart, understand this all too well. The lines of communication are always open, and if the sex were to end for whatever reason, friendship would be the default.

Most men think of a poly triad as FMF but few consider a MFM arrangement.

There are many bisexual guys who live as “quiet”, i.e. they don’t come out to anyone except other bisexuals. They can find partners more readily on dating apps where they can include bisexual tags in their profile. Unlike some gay male subcultures, there are no uniform markers for identifying bisexual men in public. Although bisexual men may find potential partners on dating apps, they might not find social acceptance within some cultures. Large urban US cities have neighborhoods whose residents who are accepting of open bisexual activities such as hand-holding, kissing, etc.

There are some bi guys who think their sexuality is NOT their identity. They prefer to be known by their education, religion, wealth or other social status markers.

There are other bi guys who are “just into” the sex or anatomical features of other guys, and are ill at ease with romantic interactions. For more comments see: Does anyone else feel like an LGBTQ+ outsider?

Bisexuality and Polyamory.

A common myth is that all bisexuals are polyamorous. Bi.org readers were surveyed and commented on their experience.

Rust writes:

“The findings that bisexuals are less likely than lesbians, gay men and heterosexuals to value monogamy in a relationship dovetail neatly with the fact that bisexuals are less likely to be involved in monogamous relationships than monosexuals are. In other words, bisexuals’ lower rates of monogamy are not due to inability to commit or to practice fidelity, as is stereotypically assumed, but to positive choices in favor of other types of romantic and sexual relationships that might, in fact, be more effective and stable ways of fulfilling sexual and emotional needs for some people”

(6) pp. 428

In Bisexual Polyamorous Clients in Therapy , Stephanie Sullivan writes:

The “Will & Grace” adventures popularized the tension between gay & straight people with only a hint of polyamory.

bisexual people prefer polyamorous or open relationships in greater frequency than people of other sexual orientations…Polyamory offers an exceptional way to provide a buffer against bi erasure or invisibility and challenges the risk of falling into heteronormativity

When bisexual individuals can express their identity more fully and be visibly bisexual, especially in the context of a polyamorous relationship, they also tend to have more: 

  • Freedom to have partner choices of all genders, 
  • Freedom to speak openly about the full range of their attractions and fantasies,
  • Opportunities for group sex, and 
  • Sexual and romantic enjoyment of different genders. 

Gay Polyamory and Bi-sexuality. Dr. Sheff has found few gay male poly families.

Bisexuality and Kink.

The BDSM culture is believed to have some tolerance of bisexuality. Most BDSM events that allow open expression of sexual activities are straight or gay. The gay male leather culture is an example of the latter.

For some bisexuals, Bisexuality has been relegated as a type of kink, especially with older generations. For more discussion, see: Is a kinky, polyamorous, bisexual guy really that unique?

  1. I’m a bisexual guy. There’s a whole lot of break down built into that sentence but there’s the short. The long: I’m a pansexual, gender nonconforming, cis-male passing, person.
  2. I’m polyamorous. I’ve been in a ltr for about 5 years now with a beatiful woman, whom is also poly.
  3. I’m kinky. I like it all… whips, chains, and fur suits.

My boyfriend is bisexual and very kinky, we’re also from the South. He’s not into anything extravagant like fursuits, but he enjoys extreme pain. I’m also a little bit butch, so we do look like a very mismatched couple in public without our girlfriend. He’s a very well-dressed, mildly effeminate sort of guy….


Bisexual, poly, kinky guys are pretty common in poly/kink circles.

Some guys will only practice bisexual relationships in “safe spaces”.

Many guys feel heterosexual activity is the only sexual activity permitted by society. The exceptions are when they are alone with only other men for extended periods (such as military missions), or they are “forced” to perform bisexual acts by a dominant.

some men will perform bisexual activity if forced in a ‘safe space’

In “He gets Bi with a Little Help from My Friends” Ms. Gray suggests making a space for bisexual activities:

Bisexual fantasies are just that, fantasies involving a woman and a man. They’re not gay or straight fantasies where everyone involved is of the one sex. These fantasies are incredibly common, as is male bisexuality or sexual fluidity. We just don’t make the space for it.


Male Generational Differences. Recent online surveys (cite needed) suggest that between 14-20% younger (Milennial, Gen z. ) males identify as bisexual compared to less than 4% of “baby-boomers”. Results from popular surveys may also reflect the reluctance of older males to publicly identify as bi, but younger males who are acquainted with the LGBT culture may feel more comfortable with a bisexual identity.

Bisexuality and Polyamory. While it may seem that non-monogamous polyamorous people may accept bisexual relations, the majority of polycule members are either heterosexual or (in a smaller amount) gay (1). Polyamory encourages open relationships and fluid sexuality but people are bound by tradition.

Although less likely to participate in polyamorous relationships, bisexuals might enjoy greater acceptance and stability in these arrangements.



(1) Elisabeth Sheff(2015) The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple-Partner Relationships and
Families. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014

(2) Diamond, L. M., Alley, J., Dickenson, J., & Blair, K. L. (2020). Who counts as sexually fluid? Comparing four different types of sexual fluidity in women. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 49(7), 2389-2403.

(3) Diamond, L. M., (2008) Sexual Fluidity. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press (134)

(4) @JustinMKimber has proposed a research study for folks who identify as #bimen. See

Breanne Fahs(2009)Compulsory Bisexuality?: The Challenges of Modern Sexual Fluidity,Journal of Bisexuality,9:3-4,431-449,DOI: 10.1080/15299710903316661

Michael W. Ross, Kristian Daneback & Sven-Axel Månsson(2012)Fluid Versus Fixed: A New Perspective on Bisexuality as a Fluid Sexual Orientation Beyond Gender,Journal of Bisexuality,12:4,449-460,DOI: 10.1080/15299716.2012.702609

Eliason MJ. The prevalence and nature of biphobia in heterosexual undergraduate students. Arch Sex Behav. 1997 Jun;26(3):317-26. doi: 10.1023/a:1024527032040. PMID: 9146816.

Rieger G, Chivers ML, Bailey JM. Sexual arousal patterns of bisexual men. Psychol Sci. 2005 Aug;16(8):579-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2005.01578.x. PMID: 16102058.


Jeremy Jabbour (July 20, 2020) Robust evidence for bisexual orientation among men

Daniel Welzer-Lang (2008) Speaking Out Loud About Bisexuality:
Biphobia in the Gay and Lesbian Community, Journal of Bisexuality, 8:1-2, 81-95, DOI:

Rieger, G. Psychological Science, 2005; vol 16: pp 579-584. Chivers, M.L. Psychological Science, 2004, vol 15: pp 736-744. Gerulf Rieger, doctoral candidate, Northwestern University, Chicago. Geri Weitzman, PhD, private practice psychologist, San Francisco. Sheeri Kritzer, board member, Bisexual Resource Center. Paula Rodriguez Rust, PhD, sexologist; editor, Bisexuality in the United States: A Social Science Reader.

6. Bisexuality in the United States

a Social Science Reader

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Going Solo when your partner isn’t on board with it – an example

When you break up from a poly relationship, you may continue to date (the sex is great).

Poly allows you to date other people

As time goes on you consider restarting that great relationship you had and you say (in the heat of passion): “why can’t you [change something] for me?” As an example, consider this: “why can’t you go mono for me?”. And then she’ll say: “why can’t you go poly for me?”

Once many get a taste of poly, there’s no going back to mono. Yes, mono’s great with the right one, but think of all the hot dates you’ll miss.

If you have different relationship goals with your partner there will be that awkward moment when you don’t say more because you’ll ruin a great date.

For a journal of a Solo’s experience with her mono partner, check this link: https://tinyurl.com/2p8ukrth

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Joke’s on Me

What do you do when you’re hot for a guy but you’re poly and he’s not into it

The Scuttle Slut

Y’all. The Joker. I was like, meh, it could be fun, whatevs. I did not expect what happened to happen.

So, I went to the brewery where we planned to meet, and I got a text saying he was at the bar near the door. I walk in and go to the bar and ask, “Are you [name]?” because he didn’t quite look like his picture (beard was much shorter). He looked around, seemingly confused, and mumbled, “Uhhh, yeah?” And, of course, I panicked but said, “Umm… I’m [name]? Uh, we’re supposed to meet?” He sits there with a bewildered look on his face for a few seconds until I start really freaking out and then cracks a smile and says, “Yeah, I know, I just wanted to make it more awkward.” I laughed, we got some beers, and hung out and talked for a while.

At one point, I…

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Is Solo Polyamory just a variation of Friends with Benefits?


It is easy to confuse Friends with Benefits with Solo Polyamory. After all, either relationship looks the same especially with the absence of commitment.

Some start as friends…and eventually discover polyamory. A solo poly may want to keep the friendship but have a deeper attachment.

Many people start out with Friends (FWB) and occasionally enter into a Solo with another person. Sometimes people break off a poly relationship and continue into a FWB.

So, what are the differences?

“unlike many kink relationships, most friend-with-benefits relationships are explicitly sexual and explicitly nonpartnered” – Laura Boyle

“Friends with benefits is a sexual relationship without the assumptions that generally go along with romantic or partnered relationships — it’s a friendship or more casual connection that has a sexual component,” – Carol Queen, Ph.D.

The most familiar FWB situation that many know about is the “Friends” sitcom. The story is about 3 would-be heterosexual couples who live in adjacent apartments. They frequently meet in the apartment where the women live and at a coffee house (“Central Perk”). The plots are generally about who is sleeping with who and the scandal it creates.

Friends was cited in a 2008 study published in the American Journal of Pediatrics for “glamorizing sex while hardly mentioning its downsides, such as pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.” But, how much sex have the “friends” actually had?

After thoroughly researching all 236 episodes the answer is 85 sexual partners. Between the six characters of Friends — Ross, Rachel, Joey, Chandler, Monica and Phoebe — have had sex with 85 different people (some of them were the same making the “friends” even closer by making them “wiener cousins,”)


FWB’s often arise when people live together (such as college roommates) and have sexual trysts with each other. The couples who pair frequently sometimes get married. Most of the time the members of a FWB go their separate ways.

OhMori · describes 2 group characteristics of FWB’s:

descriptive FWBs (these people like hanging out and fucking each other when it’s convenient), and prescriptive FWBs:

Group 1 (descriptive ) says, wanna hang out and (activity we both like)? Sometimes activity-ing is followed by fucking, sometimes not, either way it’s a good time. Their profile is on OKC and it probably says friends and short term relationships. Or maybe they are an actual friend, or maybe you met them at a meetup or the dog park or a concert or something. Group 2 (prescriptive) says, hi stranger, wanna fuck? Ever done (sexual fantasy)? Look, here’s a picture of my weiner! They’re everywhere. Their profiles everywhere are such that you know very little about their nonsexual life. They probably exist at your office or among some social group you’re in, but you know those are That Guy, they need strangers.


An anon poster described the difference

FWB means just that. You’re friends who sometimes have sex. It’s not romantic, it’s not going to proceed up any sort of “relationship escalator”. You may be fond of them, or even love them, but it’s not fundamentally a romantic relationship. Polyamory is generally about dating and trying to find ongoing romantic relationships with people. The escalator may look different than in a mono situation due to the fact that you are in relationships with more than one person, but they’re explicitly romantic.


Many will say that FWB’s lack any emotional or romantic connection that poly ones do. But some FWB’s are just for emotional support.

Solo polyamory has emotional and romantic connections but does not push the relationship escalator.

In “Smart Love”

The biggest danger in a friend with benefits arrangement is that it is often not inherently stable as a relationship structure. It is entirely possible for one person to become more attached to the other than was intended. Sometimes, this is not a problem. If two single people are friends with benefits, and it blossoms into a relationship, there is nothing wrong with that, unless, of course, they were friends with benefits because they knew that they were romantically incompatible.

Often, someone in a relationship will have a friend with benefits. This might occur because the person is quite emotionally satisfied in the main relationship but finds sexual satisfaction with the other person. This is a fine and often very stable situation if both people have other relationships.

If one person is in a relationship, and the other is not, there is a potential for instability. For some people, it is a fantastic situation. For example, imagine someone coming out of a bad relationship who certainly does not want to get into another but desires physical contact. This would not necessarily be a long term relationship, but it could be quite satisfying for all parties.

On the other hand, a single person might get into this kind of arrangement with a person in a relationship, believing that they can handle it, then find their emotions running away with them, causing some discord.

FWB’s may have many relationships without any interest in polyamory. A Solo poly may respect polyamory ethics and requirements but still prefer a singular position.

When a poly relationship breaks up, members may consider a solo poly existence to other poly positions if only to take time to evaluate future arrangements and avoid a rebound relationship . In a rebound situation, a person may avoid commitment altogether as they search for the “perfect” one(s). A solo poly can make romantic and emotional commitments but still retain his singular status.

While building a traditional polyamory relationship, you may consider maintaining solo poly’s to sustain friendships when your poly family isn’t available.

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