Originally Posted by PolyinPractice
I usually interpret polyamory to mean romantic love. Friendship is a form of love, but then isn't everyone poly? Monogamous couples have friends, too.
Also, I'm not saying you have to change your opinion, but what IS the difference between casual sex and sex with a close friend? Can't you have a casual relationship with a friend involving sex?
Well, FWBs are not the same as the friendships monogamous people would consider "fine". And I don't think it's only about the sexual component. There is a form of intimacy which involves hugging, kissing, confiding into each other in more emotional ways... I think some people might already do that with their friends but a lot don't, sex or not.
As for the difference, to me, between casual sex and sex with a friend, it's pretty easy: to me casual sex is sex with no attachment. Friendship is an attachment. My friends will stay part of my life and there will be consequences, I can't just treat them like shit because we'll never see again, and vice-versa.
When I say I'm not into casual sex, really, what it means is that I require a large amount of trust to be willing to have a sexual relationship with someone. That trust is present with friends but not with strangers.
To me, a friend with benefits is not casual because you are committed to them, just in a different way. You might not be committed to be in a relationship forever, or to raise children together, or get married, but there is a certain commitment to being in each other lives forever, even if one moves away for work or whatever (and the other wouldn't follow, another difference between friends and romantic partners)
Even if you spend years without being in contact, when you're in contact again, be it face to face or through another medium (phone, internet, etc), it will be like you saw each other yesterday.
So I guess to me a friend with benefits is fairly similar to a romantic relationship, there is just less neediness and co-dependence involved, it's more independent. And while co-dependency is not the best idea ever, it does make sense in some relationships where you really need each other to keep moving forward, and one person just deciding "I'm going to [insert country or continent there] for a year! Alone." would be considering "abandoning the family" rather than being independent and following your path.