Hey! Let's hook up?
November 17, 2010 9:11 AM   Subscribe

I want to initiate a causal hook up with a newly single friend. How?

Some info;
I'm a male in my early 20s. My friend, we can call her Jill, is the same age. We are both students, neither of us is a virgin or totally inexperienced with dealing with the opposite sex.

Jill broke up with a fairly long term boyfriend about 3ish weeks ago. We are both friends, not exactly best friends of course but we are pretty close. Over the past 4 months we have frequently been spending time hanging out alone.

And here is the kicker, I DO NOT want to date this girl or enter into any sort of "boyfriend girlfriend" type of arrangement. What I do want to do is have some sort of casual hook up(s) with her. I don't really want to say friends with benefits(Gah, I hate that term) but that is pretty close to what I have in mind. As I said before, we are often alone together, often bored, and often horny. I couldn't see this going beyond making out and some groping/manual stimulation so it's not like we would be getting super intimate anyway. I'd even be cool with it being a one time experience, but how do we go from sitting there talking to making out?

Only problems are, (1) How do I initiate this? I have never been one to have any sort of random hook ups before so I really have no clue. (2) What if she says no? I wouldn't be offended if she rejects me, hell, I wouldn't be offended if she tells me I'm gross but I really would like to avoid harming our friendship AND the possibility of her telling all our mutual friends that I tried to put the moves on her(gossip does get around, unfortunately ).

I did read this question and it had some good insights but I feel like my situation is far different enough to ask my own question. Also, please don't suggest that I get her drunk, I don't operate like that.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (21 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Ask her what she feels in general about FWB.

Flirt, show some sort of physical interest without being blatant. Compliment her body.

Gauge her reaction.
posted by inturnaround at 9:15 AM on November 17, 2010

3 weeks ago and it was long term?

Stay far-far-away.

Well, not really. Continue to be friends. Be present. Things may happen.
posted by k8t at 9:16 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Honestly, I would tread lightly. The girl just got out of a long term relationship and she might not take well to male friends circling her like buzzards. I would second k8t's advice about continuing to be friends--if she's interested something will likely happen some drunken night.
posted by HeKilledKennedy at 9:19 AM on November 17, 2010 [5 favorites]

We are often alone together, often bored, and often horny.

Do you know that for sure, or are you just projecting your feelings? Don't turn things you feel into things she feels. Since this girl is your friend, I think you need to do a little more research- you need to get a feeling on whether she's open to this sort of thing. Given that she just broke up with somebody, she may or may not be, who knows. Maybe she's not interested in hooking up with someone who only wants to hook up and who hopes nobody ever finds out about it (fat chance of that one, by the way). Continue to hang out with her, make sure she's clear on your not wanting a romantic relationship with her, see what happens.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:23 AM on November 17, 2010

perfect situation for a rebound sex thing. hook it up.
posted by violetk at 9:24 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I wouldn't initiate this at all. If I were her, I'd see it as, "Yeah. Sorry about your breakup, but is it cool if I bone you now?" which is thoroughly insensitive and would definitely ruin our friendship. But you know her better than we do.

You say the two of you are often horny. If you mean you're often horny for each other, this should fall into place on its own. Just make sure she knows you're not looking for anything serious when things start rolling.

If that's not what you mean, then I don't know what you mean because, yes, women like sex. This does not mean women like sex at all times with all men. Give her space. This is not some random girl in a bar. This is someone you consider a friend who has just gotten out of a serious relationship.
posted by katillathehun at 9:24 AM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

Trying to fuck somebody just out of a long-term relationship is a bad idea, even if you're both cool with each other and with the idea of being friends with benefits/fuckbuddies. This is just not the right time for it. You're essentially catching her on the rebound: it's just too easy to exploit someone who is potentially (and probably) in an emotionally vulnerable -- if not outright needy -- state. And you're just as likely to get hurt as she is.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:27 AM on November 17, 2010

On re-read, I just noticed this line: I couldn't see this going beyond making out and some groping/manual stimulation so it's not like we would be getting super intimate anyway.

I see this going one of two ways: really pissing this girl off or really confusing her. Have you thought about why you want to do this with her specifically and right now? Because she's going to wonder what you take her for.
posted by katillathehun at 9:33 AM on November 17, 2010 [7 favorites]

Open communication is the only way. Yes, it sucks. Yes, it would be nice if she read your mind and everything magically worked out for the best. But that's not going to happen. You need to discuss this ahead of time, clearly.

I would broach the topic in a jokey, plausibly deniable way to start. Get some back-and-forth joking and then get a little more serious in tone. "Oh hey, we're both horny and alone, too bad we'd make a bad couple." I think that's the best way to approach these things and test the waters. If you get the sense that she's angry at you for being insensitive, is taking it too emotionally seriously, or just isn't into you that way, tone down the joking. If not, turn the dicussion to clear rules ahead of time.

Actually, I think this might have happened with Elaine and Jerry in a Seinfield episode if I recall. They talked about "theoretically" being FWB. Humor is your friend.
posted by Nixy at 9:59 AM on November 17, 2010

Don't be the rebound, dude. I've seen plenty of good friendships go bad because of that very thing.
posted by nathanfhtagn at 10:16 AM on November 17, 2010

There are no hard and fast rules about 'do or do not try to have casual sex with someone recently out of a relationship.' It's more dangerous, imo, to try and start dating someone recently out of a LTR, but you know - for myself and many people I know, a little casual sex after a break-up has been sorta really helpful. It's fun, it's distracting, it helps you feel that you're still attractive and still have a little 'game,' or whatever, helps you realize how many other people there are, other experiences you can have...it's really about the specific situation.

When you're alone, does she talk of nothing but her break-up? Does she still seem utterly ruined by it? If not and if she seems to be not-crazy-freaking-out, then I think you should go for it.

You could just ask her. It's forward, but if you're going to have a FWB situation that doesn't end in hurt and heartbreak, you kinda need to go the blunt route. You could introduce the idea maybe in a round about way, as was suggested above, asking her how she feels about LTRs or mentioning it in sort of a joking, charming way and gauge her reaction.

The biggest thing here is just don't confuse her: the trick to FWB is openness, honesty, communication and freedom (well, and fun times in the bedroom).
posted by Lutoslawski at 10:25 AM on November 17, 2010

It depends heavily on Jill and how she feels about both you and the breakup. Maybe she's attracted to you and wouldn't mind some casual hooking up to get her mind off the ex. (Maybe, just maybe, she was attracted to you all along and that contributed to the breakup.) Or maybe she views you as a completely platonic friend, and if you make a move you might come across as opportunistic or manipulative and it might completely ruin your friendship. There's no way for us to know.

I'd recommend being totally platonic and erring on the side of she's-not-interested unless she makes a very obvious move, like obvious on the level of her saying "[Anonymous], I want to make out with you."
posted by Metroid Baby at 10:28 AM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

One-off hookups have played a role in cementing a couple of my casual friendships into something closer but definitely non-romantic. Open communication is key.

Ask her clearly and politely. If you think she might tell everyone you know, that's excellent incentive to ask in a way that is respectful of your friendship and her recent breakup. It has to be clear to her that it's fine if she says no (don't ask when she's at your place with no easy way home, for example). Don't be pushy or whiny. Do not ask her again in a few months if she says no. Understand that she may avoid hanging out alone with you for a while.

Last time, I used the reasonable excuse that friend lived close enough to where we were drinking that if I stayed with him I could walk to get my car in the morning. We chatted on the way home, I met his roommate, we hung out a bit in the living room - this worked for me because I like the guy and wanted to get to know him better regardless of makeout potential. After roommate went to bed and it was time to make up the couch, I asked if it was okay if I stayed in his bed. Clarification that I didn't want to date him, or have this disrupt our friendship/social circle. Then, makeouts!
posted by momus_window at 11:34 AM on November 17, 2010

Everyone's different, and that's great. Approaches to casual hookups vary widely. For some people, it's easy to have purely recreational sex with no feelings. For others, being approached for casual sex feels like an insult. Let me give you some perspective on the latter, because this is the worst case scenario for which you should prepare yourself. I was in Jill's position a few years ago, and this is how the convo went down:

Platonic Guy Friend and I were hanging out at his house and we were up all night talking. We were confiding in each other about unrequited crushes both of us had on other people. Eventually the talk turned to (I mean, he steered it to) us hooking up. (We were older than you guys, by the way).

PGF: Have you ever considered just hooking up with a friend for no-strings sex?
Me: Well, I tried that in college, and it just made me realize I'm more of a relationship type.
PGF: If you and I hooked up, you wouldn't be disappointed.
Me: It sounds like you aren't interested in having an actual relationship with me, though.
PGF: I'm not. I don't think we're romantically compatible, but we might be physically compatible.
Me: I don't know...don't you think things might be weird afterwards?
PGF: They don't have to be.
Me: I just don't think I'd be comfortable with that.
PGF: Well, what if I were [name of male model we both know]. Would you be more comfortable with it then?
Me: No, I'm really just a relationship girl. Sex without emotional involvement isn't very satisfying to me.
PGF: [Sigh] OK.

So, after that convo, I was a mixture of mildly flattered (that he found me attractive) and mildly insulted (that he thought I was good enough to fuck but not good enough to love, and as I'm of a different generation than you, wondering if he thought I was "easy."). But, since I wasn't crushed out on him, I wasn't hurt by this. If I had been crushed out on him, I would have been hurt and it would have hurt our friendship. I'm still friends with the guy, and he's now married. Also, at the time he brought this up, I wasn't on the rebound. If I had been, I might have been more insulted than I was, like he was a "circling buzzard" as someone said upthread.

Do you think Jill could be rebound-crushing on you? If so, STEP AWAY.

If there's anyone else you want to hook up with besides her, who isn't a close friend and isn't rebounding, I advise you to focus on that person and just be a friend to Jill. I know that for me, post-breakup is an extremely vulnerable time. Jill's mileage may vary, but I'd advise waiting a while before testing the waters.
posted by xenophile at 11:37 AM on November 17, 2010 [5 favorites]

This is likely going to end in her developing feelings for you (which you say you don't want at all), or outright rejection. Either way, I would pose it to yourself like this, "Am I prepared to potentially end this friendship for some fleeting sex?" When I have answered yes to this in the past, it has never ended with friendship.
posted by Menthol at 11:43 AM on November 17, 2010

As someone who has navigated the friend to hook-up back to friend thing a few times (oh, college!), my biggest suggestion would be to let it happen organically (how do you even know if you're horny together? do you talk about it? if so, why aren't you hooking up already, for crying out loud!), and be very, very clear about the expectations. I'm not saying you have to have her sign a waiver or anything, but before things get too heavy I would definitely have a "Hey, you're a friend I think would be really fun to kiss but I'm not looking for a relationship" kind of talk.

Also, I would be clear why you want to hook up with but not date this friend in particular -- it's fine if it's just because she's super-cute but you don't see the compatibility there, but if it's specifically because she's in a vulnerable place (which, of course, she is), let this one go.

In any case, you know her better than we do, and you have a better idea of how she'll take the suggestion. I think if you truly are horny together, things will fall into place. If she is a good friend and you do this coming from a not-slimy, non-opportunistic, and honest place, this will (once you've stopped hooking up) be something you look fondly at and giggle about in the future.
posted by superlibby at 11:48 AM on November 17, 2010

Eh... has she expressed any desire to have a rebound fling/hookup? Because if not, yeah this reeks of drama and you really coming off as a letch.

You're friends. You making the moves on her is likely to be construed as you wanting a relationship, unless you make it abundantly clear before anything physical starts. Of course that conversation, even under the best of circumstances, would probably come off pretty skeezy.

Personally, I would be insulted if a close male friend propositioned me for sex, especially if they specifically said they had no interest in having a relationship with me. However, I know girls that would not be insulted by this and you would know better than I. If she's had a lot of casual sexual relationships and is the type of person to intentionally seek them out, then maybe, otherwise probably not.

The second thing is your timing could give the impression that you are trying to take advantage of her when she's emotionally vulnerable. This makes it that much more likely that she could take it in a negative way.

You ultimately know her best, I think it's a situation you sort of need to feel out with her, but my gut reaction is that unless she initiates, this is a bad idea.
posted by whoaali at 11:49 AM on November 17, 2010 [2 favorites]

I think freudian typo on the 'causal'. It's going to cause some issues however it pans out.
posted by bquarters at 1:29 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

You want her as a make-out buddy but you don't want to have sex ever? That part of it you would definitely have to explain to her, otherwise she'll probably be incredibly confused if you start fooling around and don't want to date but also don't want to do her.
posted by J. Wilson at 4:25 PM on November 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Whatever you do, don't phrase this to her as hooking up or friends with benefits - these terms pretty much imply a sexual relationship beyond what you've stated you want, it will only cause confusion down the line and increase the chances of this thing blowing up in your face if she agrees to one thing and it turns out to be a different thing.

As for whether to do it or not... well with my experience people who get out of long term relationships are looking more for sex and sexy fun than kissing-only times. Of course each person is different, maybe what you propose is right up her alley. But do phrase your request in a way that makes it clear you don't want penetrative sex so that she can make her decision with the same information you have.
posted by Meagan at 5:24 PM on November 17, 2010


All these long and drawn out answers? Jesus. Arrange a night to go out and make it so that she is either sleeping over at your house or that your house is on the way home. Invite her in for a drink and make a move. If you are that drunk, your body will probably just make you lean in and kiss her. Go slowly so as not to freak her out and proceed to round the bases. In the morning you should make some jokes and laugh it off, hell, take her to breakfast and just be blunt about it, "I wasn't expecting that, but I had fun last night!" See how she reacts and if it is at all positive, repeat.

Or, just make out with her in public. I can't say I'm a fan of this because I am very anti-PDA, but if you are in a crowded spot, you may just be able to kiss her.

I say this with way too much experience. I've hooked up with about 60-70% of all my female friends with no repercussions. They know I'm a fun guy and that in general it will just be a good time and nothing too serious... but I've been doing this for YEARS so it just comes naturally.

Long story short, if you think she may be down, she probably is (at least once). But if you aren't getting any vibes, I wouldn't push it.
posted by darkgroove at 6:54 PM on November 17, 2010

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