In short, friends with benefits means someone who is not your significant other whom you get the benefits of an exclusive relationship with. To some this means something more than it does to others. In many cases it means a person to make out with when you want some, to others it may mean sex. In any case, it is a relationship with the physical gratifications (to whatever level you are comfortable with), without any commitment other than friendship, and often even lacks that.
So, is friends with benefits a good idea? Never!
This is why: Nine times out of ten, one of the two people involved has real feelings for the other person, and it is not just about sating physical urges to them. They may agree to friends with benefits because they do not think they will ever be able to get more from the relationship with the other person, or their feelings may not develop until after they are already into the friends with benefits relationship. So, because one person almost always wants more, it almost inevitably ends with someone getting hurt, and a “friendship” getting ruined.
It is pretty fair to say that the person who gets hurt is usually the girl. She decides after a while of being friends with benefits that she wants more. If she is going to be “benefiting” the other person, she wants some of the commitment that you get in a real relationship. Often in a friends with benefits situation, the people only communicate when they want to hook up, and have little relationship outside of that. For many guys, this is fine, but for many girls, it leaves them feeling like there is a void, or something lacking. They want conversation, someone to rely on, call, hang out with. However, if a girl is willing to be “friends with benefits” what incentive is there for a guy to commit to more?
The only way a friends with benefits situation is not going to end badly is if neither person likes the other person, which sort of defeats the purpose as it is, as sating physical urges is not nearly enjoyable if you do not like the person, or at the very least are not attracted to the person. The intimacies of physical contact should be reserved for relationships, as they are meant to help those grow, and to provide a bond or connection that will help your relationship improve. When you try to stay only friends, but have that too, you go against the laws of nature in a way. So, friends with benefits doesn’t really work. Eventually one person, or maybe both, will want to be not just friends, but boyfriend-girlfriend.
So, what should you do? Date, kiss, hold hands, and enjoy each other, but when or if it becomes evident that a relationship won’t work, move on. Do not try to institute an only physical relationship.