When a dickmatized or pussy-enchanted friend is stressing over a Tinder match-turned-bang-buddy and asking me to do shit like CSI their damn texts (“What do you think they MEANT by that?” “Okay, she waited two days to respond, that means I should wait two days, too, right?” “He said, ‘maybe next week,’ and now it is next week”), I have a neat little trick.
I’m usually met with a blank face when I ask that.
He left you on read after canceling plans, hit you up a week later and got pissed when you didn’t respond in five minutes? Would you accept that from a friend? She didn’t care that you felt uncomfortable in bed? Would you accept that from a friend? They made a weird comment about your body? Would you accept that from a friend?
Why is it when it’s a fuck buddy, the sex doesn’t have to be as good, the bar for communication is lower, and they don’t even have to treat people the way we expect to be treated by a friend? All of a sudden, shit like not caring if you got off, only reaching out when it’s convenient for them, and giving cable guy-style arrival estimates (“We’ll hang out sometime between 3am on June 1st and 2pm September 15th”) is supposed to be acceptable. Our fuck buddies are allowed to completely disregard the “buddy” element of our relationship with them. The bar is that low.
Why is it when it’s a fuck buddy, the sex doesn’t have to be as good, and the bar for communication is lower?
But I do want to recognize boundaries are incredibly important. After all, the designation between fuck buddy and serious partner is real and valid and important to respect. You can’t demand everything. In casual relationships, my partners do not have the right to make what I call “girlfriend-level” requests and I, in turn, cannot expect boyfriend-level behavior (which, for me, includes monogamy). I’m not going to ask a casual partner to meet my family or pick up my dry cleaning or take care of me when I’m sick. My casuals know this. They don’t have access to me the way a serious partner would. But if someone is sleeping with me, they have every right to expect the same amount of compassion, tactful, honest communication, and investment in their sexual pleasure every time we share a bed together that I would show to a boyfriend.
And in return? I don’t feel guilty for expecting a timely, direct answer (outside of work hours and within reasonable timeframes, of course; it’s important to respect the fact that people have jobs and lives). I also don’t feel guilty for expecting my casual partner’s interest and personal investment in helping me achieve orgasm. I feel no shame in not tolerating gaslighting, jealousy, or being disrespectful of my time just because we don’t have a label.
I can’t tell you how many people I’ve snapped out of a trance with the question “Would you accept that type of treatment from a friend?”
Hell, people freak out when the Postmates $5-off coupon doesn’t hit their inbox the moment they get off the phone with customer service after recounting the tale of how their Jamba Juice was delivered warm, but we don’t feel entitled to speak up to the person whose tongue was in our asshole three nights a week for the last two months? Story doesn’t quite add up. Come on now.
If you’re in a casual relationship, please don’t feel like you have less of a right to demand basic courtesy and respect because there isn’t a ring on your finger. And just like with a serious partner, if someone treats you in a way you do not accept, you tell them, and they make no effort to change their behavior, you have every right to break up with them. You’re not petty for ending things with a non-serious partner.
Everyone deserves to have standards for the people they sleep with.