Is it a bad idea to be 'friends with benefits?'

What to do if a good friend is hinting at being more—or if you're thinking of bridging that gap.

Is it a bad idea to be 'friends with benefits?'

Moushumi Ghose, pyschotherapist and sex therapist: I’m a fan of friends with benefits as long as both want the same thing. If not, friendships can be lost.

Plus, if she’s suggesting FWB, she’s already attracted to you, right? If it’s mutual, it could be hot, sexy fun; if not, it could lead to trouble.

Having sex and “seeing if something develops” aren’t the same, so be sure to talk openly about both of your intentions.

Tammy Nelson, Ph.D., psychotherapist and sex therapist: It depends. Many people go into “friends with benefits” thinking they can handle it, but once they’re involved, it gets complicated.

Any time you alter a relationship’s structure, there’s risk. Will you be able to keep the friendship intact if things don’t work out?

Michael Aaron, Ph.D., psychotherapist and sex counselor: If you two have sex more than a few times, the release of natural hormones will cause a deeper bond to develop—you’ll no longer be just friends.

And don’t assume it’s her who will want more commitment. Will you really be able to watch her date other guys when you’re sleeping together?

For now, snuggle, watch TV, have beers together—let her fill all the other needs a girlfriend fills, without ruining a good thing.

Jena Friedman, writer and stand-up comic: It’s such a travesty that health care is tied to employment—wait, what? A friend wants to fuck with no strings attached? Go for it! What could go wrong?

Worst case: You write a book about the platonic sexfest. It’s made into a film with Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, whose onscreen heat rocks his marriage to Demi, so they split.

A few years later, Ashton and Mila Kunis are married with kids, Demi’s out of rehab with a renewed sense of self, and you two are still cool with all the hot sex you’re having because she was serious about staying pals, and you’re not a character in a movie.