Thursday, June 15, 2006

What's the difference between a boyfriend and a fuckbuddy

A few guys have commented to me that perhaps I should call boyfriend number 2 and boyfriend number 3 fuckbuddies rather than boyfriends. For example, a few weeks ago saddle-up made a clever comment about bf versus fb, and in an e-mail last month a reader said

I guess the only thing I don't "agree" about is your terminology... boyf2 and boyf3... surely they are f%*k buddies or at the most lovers?

I really don’t like the fb term though. To me it strongly relates to the casual attitude that many gays guys have, guys who can't commit themselves, or can't admit that they might actually love someone rather than just like them.

As I said in a comment to one of my postings recently, I'm in favour of polyamory. And a recent conversation with a potential boyfriend number 4 helped me clarify my thoughts on how I define bf versus fb. I reckon that a guy is a fb if
  • You meet him for sex on a regular basis.
However if you also
  • Enjoy his company, and do other things together apart from just having sex; and
  • Provide each other with friendship and emotional support; and
  • Would miss him, perhaps enormously, if he decided not to see you any more; and
  • If you lost a bf, perhaps through some terrible accident, then one would naturally want to spend more time with this guy,
then in my book that justifies using calling the guy a bf rather than a fb. If there’s no emotional attachment, I would certainly accept that fb is the correct terminology. Of course, it may well be that I see boyfriend number 2 and boyfriend number 3 as bfs, but perhaps they only see me as fb.

So to me anyway, boyfriend number 2 is definitely a boyfriend! Although I haven't been able to see him since last July, we enjoyed a wonderful holiday together last year, and have certainly provided each other with emotional support over the last year in various situations. We chat to each other on MSN Messenger regularly, e-mail each other regularly, and sometimes speak to each other on the phone too. And I'd certainly miss him a lot if I lost contact with him.

And boyfriend number 3 is definitely a boyfriend too! Apart from the regular hook-ups for various gay activities, we also sometimes meet each other socially for drinks in the evening. And I'd certainly miss him too if I couldn't see him any more.

Am I the only guy who thinks like this?


Anonymous said...

I don't like the term fb either, it's too much in your face! Not sure if bf is correct either, sounds like they are friends you also have sex with. Are you in love with them or do you love them? It's a tough one.

Oh, to answer your question ... I am not planning on telling PMR about my blog. It's a personal space and I sometimes use it as a means of self-therapy or a place to vent my frustration. Of course, if things get really close then I may have to ask you for tips on keeping it a secret ;-) GB

Anonymous said...

Hi! Longtime reader, first-time poster.

I don't think you're the only one who feels that way, actually the distinctions you've highlighted sound about right, going by what male friends straight and gay have said to me in the past.

It chimes with how some gay men and women I know, myself included, see guys now - we can pick and choose who we commit to now and can freely admit to being afraid to do so. FBs are useful - you can walk away without getting hurt.

It seems in my experience, a fb is someone you're just seeing for fun, nothing more. You don't date, there's no real connection, you wouldn't call them if you had a problem, unless that problem was wanting to get laid ;-)

A bf is when you see each other regularly and are building up a definite deeper bond, and might even call it a relationship if you're daring.

GB said...

What's the difference between loving someone and being in love with them GB(D)? Also what do you think the difference is between a boyfriend, and a friend you have sex with? I think China Blue might have got the distinction right with her concept of developing a deeper bond, which is what I guess I'm doing every time I chat to boyfriend number 2 or visit boyfriend number 3.

GB x

Anonymous said...

mmmm.. u know, in ure case, i spose u cud call them boyfrnds, cuz u get emotionally attached to them... but then, i spose most ppl wud call dem fuck buddies. in ure case, ure WANTING to get emotionally attached, whereas most others - me included - would try to keep a fling a fling - not meet them too often if i knew i was getting into the guy too deep. to each his own, i spose.

Anonymous said...

Fuck buddy has never been part of my vocabulary, probably because I've never viewed anyone as one. There are people I regularly have sex with who aren't really boyfriends in my eyes but the reason why I have regular sex with them is a combination of factors.

Sexual chemistry and drive are obviously there but so is the enjoyment of the person's company. I can't see myself making a habit of fucking someone regularly but not liking them as a person.

However, my liaison with a football hooligan was quite a lot like a fuck buddy relationship.

Anonymous said...

Boys and girls.. it was my fault. I provoked this discussion. I can now see why GB does not like fb as a term .. but perhaps occassional lover or friends with benefits is more appropriate?

Anonymous said...

I've used the term in my blog, and in life in general. I think, for me, it's an extension of how I feel about the men I am having sex with. I view them as friends and seperate completely from the relationship I have with my boyfriend. I think that I have difficulty accepting that I may have more than one emotionally intimate relationship (or perhaps I'm just deluding myself!), so I create a sense of some distance through this fb term.

For me, I have to be friends first before I can be open to the possibility of having sex with a person. I think of the men I'm having physical relations with as friends first - then in that sense, they are a buddy whom I happen to also be fucking... intermittantly: aka fb.

Ultimately, I think how we catagorize our relationships determines the schema to which we label those relationships. I am only comfortable emotionally bonding with one person at a time, and therefore I create a linguistic wall through a relatively distancing (but explicit) label.

Anonymous said...

I reckon the others should be referred to as an FB if your "BF1" doesn't know about it.

Anonymous said...

Technically, a FB is someone who is there for sex - no emotional attachments.

A lover has a greater emotional attachment (but, still not that serious).

A BF (or GF) is a step above a lover (greater emotional attachment) and has the possibility of developing a "relationship" over time.

But, your definition of a BF should technically be a friend with benefits. You do casual things with him (going out, coffee, movies, etc.) and enjoy their company, but when you say goodbye, you're onto the next person.

That's a friend.

Anonymous said...

see, I'd have a real problem with the word 'lover'... cos surely that implies love? Obviously, for the polyamorist, that's not really a problem, but for me it does feel a bit 'problematic'. Doesn't the boyfriend get all the love?

FB sounds like fun, but I'd agree it really doesn't work for this situation.


andrew said...

but how can you have x number of boyfriends?

Thats the think I don't understand!! Surely if you Provide each other with friendship and emotional support; and
Would miss him, perhaps enormously, if he decided not to see you any more etc etc then how can you be like that with so many different men???

or are you trying to deny the fact that they are actually fb's and not bf's?

Anonymous said...

good discussion ... i have been wanting to distinguish between, b/g f, lover, fb, and friend for ages.

b / g f building a future

lover enjoying the moments together, sex and not sex, without building a material future but investing in the emotional present with an intent to continue

fb just grabbing moments (seeing each other more than once) without any thought of a shared future

friend, a person with whom you share hopes and apsirations for the future without any intent to be doing any of it together in an 'intimate' (sexual) way

when people speak of those they have sex with and use the term friend it means that they enjoy doing non sexual things together - the problem comes in a relationship when sharing of purely individial hopes and expectations is done with someone who is either investing a matieral future, emotional present or nothing but sex with you with no regard for the other person

Anonymous said...

Ok, I'm gay (before you throw that back at me) but you are one f**ked up q***r.

Sort your life out. Pathetic.