Do 'friends with benefits' have safer sex?
Sex buddies may be casual, but they're also careful.
Friends with benefits relationships are known to be ripe with unpleasant possibilities, but a new study has found a silver lining to the casual sex conundrum.
According to a recent poll, friends who engage in no-strings-attached sexual relationships are more likely to use condoms than couples in traditional relationships.
More on MSN Living: 10 foolproof ways to get in the mood
The poll, which was published in the Nov. 26 issue of the Journal of Sex Research, surveyed 376 people. Most were college-age—in their mid-20s. About half of those polled were in a friends-with-benefits relationship; the other half said they were in a traditional romantic relationship. Subjects in both groups said they'd known their partner for about four years.
Overall, researchers found that friends-with-benefits couples were less sexually satisfied, less likely to communicate about sex and more likely to have multiple sex partners.
More on MSN Living: The real reasons men shut down
It's not news that this type of relationship comes with its share of risks, but it may be somewhat surprising that casual-sex couples are proactive about managing these risks. They may not be committed, but they're cautious.
Justin Lehmiller, a social psychologist at Harvard University, explains that traditional couples are probably less likely to use condoms because they're more committed to their partner. Traditional couples trust that the relationship is monogamous; thus, they aren't as concerned about the health risks.
Researchers also found that friends-with-benefits relationships are fairly common. They point out that half of college-age students have at least some experience in this arena. Because of this, researchers argue that sex education "should consider explicitly addressing the unique health implications of involvement in these relationships."
Photo: Karen Moskowitz/Getty Images
Bing: Celebrity best friends
More Sex & Love on MSN Living:
How to pick a wedding band that works with your engagement ring
Wedding welcome basket shopping list
7 stories of lost wedding rings with happy endings
Most common holiday arguments—and how to avoid them
fashion: trends & must-haves for your wardrobe
Let's say sampling beauty products isn't your full-time job—should you be denied eye-cream kismet or love at first spray just because you can't track every niche brand or really kinda hate asking for freebies at the cosmetics counter? Online subscription clubs that regularly send targeted samples to your home may be your new best friend—provided you know what all those boxes of goodies will actually cost and which sites suit your specific needs. InStyle editors signed up for a whole lotta packages to help you find out.
Browse the season’s hottest trends to find your perfect pair from InStyle’s Ultimate Shoe Guide.
It's surprisingly easy to master the look. Just follow this insider advice from InStyle Beauty Director Amy Synnott-D'Annibale.
Slip into a soft, feminine dress with these no-sweat, all-in-one approaches to looking pulled together.
Step away from the muu-muu. Whether your trouble spot is your stomach, hips, waist, or thighs, we've got you covered with the 10 best suits (out of 270 try-ons!) tested and photographed in our GHRI labs.
Everyone wants lush, shampoo-commercial-worthy locks — and according to Goody, 40 percent of women are lucky enough to have supersized tresses. But all that extra hair means you have to make cut and care choices carefully. These celebrities show off your best options.
Unless you’re one of those people who doesn’t like your feet, you like sandals. (And if not, I’d like to know know why, because sandals are easy, comfy and ideal for showing off cool nail polish colors. I love them.) They’re great for every occasion—work, weekend, beach, parties—with only one catch: it’s hard to find a single pair that’s right for all of them.
The sunshiney season brings with it weird rashes, bumps, and bites-and a lot fewer clothes to cover them up. Wishing you had a dermatologist on call? Luckily, we have a phone full of top docs, so we got their clever remedies and tips for all your summer skin care woes (and saved you the copay).
Brave women of all body types did a mass try-on (we brought in over 1,000 swimsuits!) to find these flattering, flaw-erasing winners. Seriously—they're better than Photoshop. Browse, buy, and feel beautiful.
White jeans are crisp, flattering, and summer's best unsung staple. And oh, would you look at that — we've found the perfect pair for your body. Here's how to wear them.
Khloé Kardashian knows how to dress her curves. Here are her no-fail style tips for every body type.
Trends come and go, but these new must-haves will last a lifetime. Style expert and author of The Wow Factor: Insider Style Secrets for Every Body and Budget Jacqui Stafford's picks are here not just to stay, but also to flatter.