Sex issue: How to transition from friends to friends with benefits

To start off, it is important to remember that every friendship is different, as is every person, so the same advice will not apply to everyone. However, I will try to give some tips that work almost universally.

1. This should be a given, but so many people are spectacularly bad at it: always look your personal best when you see the person. This is probably just good advice in general, especially when you like someone, including your friend that you want to sleep with. If it only costs an extra five minutes to pick clothes that match and to make your hair look good then it’s probably worth it. If your friend sees that you are always looking good they are more likely to want to sleep with you. It sounds primitive, but attraction is a primitive instinct, and you should use it to your advantage.

2. If you have the sort of friendship where you talk about sex, then talk about it. Most people our age like to talk about it, that’s why we print this supplement, so discuss your preferences with each other. If you find that you match in some regards your friend is likely to notice too, and they will then start thinking about sleeping with you (if they haven't already).

3. Be prepared for them to say no. Not everyone will be into you, and not everyone likes, or feels comfortable having casual sex.

4. Don’t try and force it. Before you make a move, make sure they want it. Ask them, read their body language or their subtext, whatever it takes to know they want you. Getting it wrong is a good way to harm a friendship and you should always have consent.

"Friends with benefits" is a tricky concept and doesn’t always work out, but sometimes it can be exactly what you and your friend need.