Sun, Oct 25, 2009
The Daily Chilli
Friends, lovers or fuddies?

There are regular marriages, live-in arrangements and what the French call ménage à trois - a liaison among three people (may not be all of the same sex) in a sexual relationship.

But another kind of arrangement which people don't talk about openly has emerged in Malaysia.

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Friends with benefits (FWB) may not have quite yet become a norm for Malaysians but it seems to be gaining acceptance.

An online dictionary defines FWB as having friends with whom one has sexual relations, without commitment or dating arrangement.

There could be many reasons why FWB, also known as fuddies (f***buddies) has become a facet of modern life, including heavy workload and not having enough patience to work on relationships.

But perhaps, the biggest attraction of FWB is the 'no strings attached' condition.

Several Malaysians who weigh in on FWB lifestyle spoke to The Daily Chilli on condition of anonymity.

Leia, (not her real name) has never had what society deems to be a 'relationship'. Instead, for the past eight years, the 20-something year old has had 'friends with benefits' (FWB).

'I don't know how to maintain a relationship. All I want is to have the physical part of it,' she says.

Leia adds that the key point in having fuddies is that both parties are comfortable with each other.

She also prefers to keep things very much on the surface.

'I don't want to get too close to the person. But it is usually the case of the other party wants to tell me things,' she adds.

'No, they are not one-night stands. yes, there are times when I do not meet them for one or two years but we can always pick up from where we left off and start over. It's not awkward.'

She says it is important to get the 'terms and conditions' straight from start and adds that she makes it a point to stress that she 'is unable to give more'.

While she does not reveal the number of FWB that she has or has had, Leia says most times, she calls up one after getting lonely following a night out with her girlfriends.

'You know those times when you have to have it? I send out a 'memo' and see who bites.'

She also prefers older men as they are more mature. She also insists that her partners use condoms.

As for the downside to FWB, she says sometimes both parties can forget what the other person likes or doesn't like.

'But the sex is good because the focus is always on that. You aslo get to 'taste' different people.'

The frequency, she adds has lessened recently because of her increasing workload.

'Nowadays. if I want a session, I go and get one. And head home or stay the night after it. Instead of wasting time on dinner or a movie. It's just bang, bang, bang and go home,'

Although Leia was quite open in revealing her inner thoughts during the interview, it is not something that she goes around telling on a regular basis.

'People will look at you funny if you told them. Besides, I think society especially the older generation will never accept this.'

Leon, 31, (not his real name) decided to have a fuddy after deciding that regular relationships were too emotionally draining and painful.

'Yet, I'm not the kind that has one-night stands. I mean, you don't know where they've been or what they're carrying.

'So, I thought that a fuddy relationship would be the best middle ground of satisfying my physical craving and not tax me emotionally,' he says.

Having had 'normal relationships' before, Leon said the emotional investment one put into it also becomes a huge burden when the relationship starts to fall apart.

He says while there is no way to 'identify' a fuddy, there are people who can be attracted to each other and can be connected to sexually but not enough to fall in love with.

Loen who has been having had a fuddy for about a year, says that the advantage is that it is less taxing and stressful.

'Often, you end up having more fun and are more relaxed because you don't have the level of expectation which comes with a regular relationship,'

He agrees that emotions do inevitably come into play because one cannot have a sexual relationship for an extended period of time without getting 'emotionally tied up'.

'In the end, you might end up in that very 'regular' relationship you tried to avoid,'

But the sex, he says is better than a 'one night stand' although not as good as when it's with somebody you love,' he adds.

He does not have a rule to how long he has to know a woman before proceeding to being an FWB, saying as it depends on the dynamics of each relationship.

Camelia, 28 (not her real name) ended up dating her FWB for a few years.

'But we broke up last year and I went back to having fuddies again,' she says.

Although she does have one night stands, Camelia prefers having fuddies.

'It is easier to choose a friend over a stranger. And you can continue having a fuddy as long as you don't get bored with them or they don't get bored with you.'

Camelia, 28, who works in the banking sector, adds that the fuddies that she has often reveal more than the other way around.

'I just listen. Sometimes, they get so needy and this turns me off,' she says adding that she usually meet her FWB through mutual friends.

Camelia has also had ex-colleagues whom she catches up with online and who are also her FWB.

She hints are dropped to see if either are interested and after further probing, things can proceed with the ground rule to keep things casual.

The men, she says, also have to be intellectually stimulating, adding that she can't stand those with no brains and those who are himbos.

She too agrees that the sex is better when one is in love.

'It is different when feelings are involved. You can say 'I love you' when you are having sex.' she adds.

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