Love, Beastly is the advice blog from Alexander Cheves, an author, sex educator, and companion in NYC. Cheves — nicknamed “Beastly” for reasons unknown — answers questions about sex, love, and everything else. No question is off-limits. Got a question? Email ASKBEASTLY@GMAIL.COM or use the Ask Beastly tab. Please know: WordPress has banned the monetization of blogs with “mature content,” meaning this site is unable to host ads or generate revenue. This site is 100% supported by fans on Patreon — please see the donation page for more info. If you like anything you read, please share it!
I wanted to ask a question about hooking up with guys and or becoming friends: what do you recommend for a 27 year old guy like me that is looking to make friends and then see where it goes from there
is there any advice tips or suggestions? if so thank you so much, I enjoy reading your website
my pronouns are he/him/his
You’re looking for advice on how to keep things casual and play without labels. That’s not easy.
If you’ve read my work, you know I’m very fluid with friendships and sex — I keep things casual and avoid labels whenever possible. I like occupying that place between “friend,” “lover,” and “boyfriend.” But — I don’t know how else to say this — I’m a pro. Don’t do this if you’re new to sex and dating.
If you’re new, use labels — “friend,” “boyfriend,” “fuck buddy,” and so on. These words exist for a reason. Most people have limited stores of time, energy, and money to spend on others, so labels help us organize people into categories. When we’re new to sex and relationships, labels give us a script — a set of expectations and behaviors we generally associate with casual sex, being a friend, being a boyfriend, and so on. Beginners tend to struggle the most with casual sex because they often catch feelings and want it to become something more.
To be fluid like me, you have to compartmentalize your feelings easily. I fuck people without liking them and love people without ever wanting to fuck them. I often fuck my friends. I rarely let my emotions muddle my sex life — my sexual self feels very detached from the business of interpersonal relationships.
I was not like this when I was new. Nobody is. I learned these skills over years of practice.
It’s worth saying that my fluidity is not always a good thing and should not be taken as the “ideal” way to go! I struggle with keeping regular sex partners, even with people I really like and connect with. My sex is still intimate, but it’s NSA intimacy, momentary intimacy. I can turn it on and off. This has made some people feel like our sex was inauthentic — some have even felt lied to. Some have accused me of acting, leading them on.
I enjoy intimate sex, but my sex still feels separate and distinct from the feelings I associate with friendship and romance, and this can be hard when I actually want a relationship that includes both. It falls on me to be direct and communicate, particularly when people misread my intentions. I’ve awkwardly told friends that I only want to fuck them, nothing more. Even more awkwardly, I’ve had to tell certain friends that I don’t want to fuck them anymore. I’ve even had to (kindly) tell fuck buddies that I have no interest in being friends with them.
Even with the awkwardness, honesty is always the best course. Be direct about what you want and people will appreciate it and respect you for it.
You’re 27, so I assume you have some experience with sex, friendship, and dating. You’re asking how to transition between these things with the same people — how to keep it casual and allow friendships to evolve into sex, or even something more. The only way to do this is with honesty. Tell your friends you’re interested in dating them — the worst thing they can tell you is “no.” Or tell your friends you’re interested in fucking them — again, the worst thing they can say is “no.” In both cases, your honesty or their rejection can end the friendship, but that’s okay, because at that point you’re no longer seeking friendship with them.
Let’s pretend that you don’t get a “no” and you end up having sex or starting a relationship (or both) with one (or more) of your friends. If the sex sucks or the relationship isn’t working, guess what? You still have to be honest. It’s not always possible to evolve back into friendship after a failed relationship, and it’s not always easy to tell friends you no longer want to fuck them, but you still have to tell them the truth. Be clear with your intentions. If you don’t know what you want, tell them, “I don’t know what I want” instead of blithely nodding your head and going along with whatever they say/do. This is called “leading people on,” and it’s the surest way to hurt someone.
You might find yourself in friendships that get ruined by adding sex to the mix, and that’s the risk you always take when you fuck friends. You might get drunk and go to bed together, and the next morning he thinks it’s the start of something — a fuck buddy thing or romantic relationship — and for you it’s a one-time thing, never to be repeated. Be honest! You might hurt his feelings, but it’s better to tell him the truth. Your friendship has a greater chance of surviving this hiccup when you tell the truth.
When you call someone “friend,” most people assume you’re interested in a platonic friendship, but this changes as you grow into gay culture — gay men call everyone from their ex-husbands to random guys they fucked an hour ago “friends” (I’m assuming you’re a man who fucks men, though I admit that I could be wrong about that).
Even if you resist labels, you must acknowledge that most people use them. I hate labels — I’ve dated someone for three years and still struggle with the word “boyfriend” — but people like me can’t live outside societal norms (though we can certainly cultivate sexual circles with people who feel the same way we do). If you don’t like the label you’re given, it’s your responsibility to say something. If you adamantly refuse a label when someone else insists on giving you one, your best course is to bring that connection to a close and move on.
All this will get easier — I promise. As you grow in queer culture, you’ll find more people — particularly queer men — who are comfortable with casual sexual relationships and friendships that occasionally include sex. But if you’re new, use the labels. They’ll make things easier, at least in the beginning. When you repeatedly feel frustrated and caged by them, you’re ready to level up.