Sex & Love

The Pleasure Principle: Freudian Sex Advice with Bambi: Friends without Benefits

Because sometimes you really do just want to be friends without benefits… Read More

By / May 20, 2011
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Q: Dear Bambi,

Why do some men become assholes to me when I won’t sleep with them? Can’t we be friends?

Joanna, Brooklyn

A: This is not uncommon in your hood–NYC is all about getting vicious and getting yourself ahead, and that translates to the mating game too. Fucking over those who won’t fuck you is a famous phenomenon that the tribe is familiar with. In Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Freud deconstructs that tendency to save one’s own ass as such:

But it is all the more necessary for us to lay stress upon the libidinal character of the self-preservative instincts now that we are venturing upon the further step of recognizing the sexual instinct as Eros, the preserver of all things, and of deriving the narcissistic libido of the ego…But we now find ourselves suddenly faced by another question. If the self-preservative instincts too are of a libidinal nature, are there perhaps no other instincts whatever but the libidinal ones? At all events there are none other visible. But in that case we shall after all be driven to agree with the critics who suspected from the first that psycho-analysis explains everything by sexuality, or with innovators like Jung who, making a hasty judgement, have used the word ‘libido’ to mean instinctual force in general. Must not this be so?

Once horndog let Peter the Great get behind the wheel, it’s going to take some convincing to get him to switch drivers. Like Freud said, the mysterious instincts of the libido tend to serve the self-preservation of the individual foremost. When naked you was an option, you were an entity of him and his pleasure. Now that you’ve ripped yourself out of that orbit, unless you’ve got a personality to fall back on, you’re in a position where there are fewer incentives to warm up to you. But I’m assuming that you’re a cultured girl, seeing your preference of media outlets, so the key to harmonious relations with friends without benefits is in appealing as an interesting person from whom he still has much to gain at that pivotal moment when he learns that you will not give a dog a bone.

These mutual incentives should be ones that would make Trump wet. Whether you’re flaunting your creative energy, chill factor, sincerity, sense of humor, or joie de vivre, making lovable you accessible to more than one person will even benefit you by giving you more outlets to explore your id’s fancies. If your new comrade is smart, he’ll realize that warming up to you also opens him up to a whole new pool of ladies that he may click with better. What else are friends for if not exposing us to the good life?