Friends with Benefits: Is Sex Compatible with Friendship?

In Diane Jeske (ed.), The Routledge Handbook for the Philosophy of Friendship. New York, NY, USA: pp. 347-358 (forthcoming)
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Abstract

Natasha McKeever argues that prima facie, a friends-with-benefits relationship can be, at the same time, a good friendship. This is because sex is compatible with friendship in that it can complement and potentially even strengthen the three core characteristics of friendship: mutual liking, mutual caring, and mutual sharing. She acknowledges that, by generating uncertainty and having the potential to generate feelings of romantic love, sex does pose risks to friendship. However, she argues that while these risks are significant considerations, they can be mitigated and managed and so do not provide strong reasons against friends-with-benefits relationships.

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Natasha McKeever
University of Leeds

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