Friends with benefits is a term used to describe the physical and emotional relationship between two unmarried people who engage in uncommitted sex acts. The intent is generally to relieve sexual frustrations through an alternative to masturbation, and is not intended as a romantic relationship. Both parties are free to date and engage in sex acts with other parties.
This sort of relationship is commonly portrayed as a relatively new phenomenon, but it is not clear as to whether this "newness" applies to the term "friends with benefits" and was actuallly predated by similar yet more secretive arrangements . These relationships are associated with younger people (early teenagers) and are also seen as a way to enjoy the benefits of sexual activities without the strings of a romantic relationship.
Many people are critical of the nature of these relationships, alleging that it is impossible to engage in sexual behaviours without any kind of emotions at all. However, the practitioners feel this is somewhat of a non-issue. It is seen from the viewpoint that the physical "relationship" is fine, thoug if something grows out of it, then so be it. As the friendship is already fucked (pun intended), it cannot get much worse. Therefore, enjoy. It has also been alleged that these sort of relationships are commonly male-dominated, with the female existing mostly as a sex-object.
According to many teens, these relationships have been going on for some time, and it is estimated that at least 32% of people over 13 have had such an expierence. True, they can be useful for lonely nights, but the social aspects are filled with negative connotations. In teen relationships, the primary activity is not sex, but rather oral gratification. According to most teens, this is because the risks of promiscuity are reduced when there is no penetration (i.e. pregnancy).