Sex and Dating: Translating the dating and mating jargon

Prof. BuckNaked

It seems that every stage of the romantic game has a name. You’re “just friends.” You’re “seeing each other.” It’s “friends with benefits – totally non-committal.” Now you’re “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” (or other politically correct labels). But what do all of these terms mean? What can you do in each phase? When do you call yourself any of these? It can get more mind-boggling than thermodynamics. Fear not, I have it all laid out for you in crystal-clear terminology!

We’ll start with the dreaded “friend zone.” Dreamed up by (mostly male) socially awkward Redditors with nothing but the cold glow of their computer monitor to keep them company, the friend zone is a hotly debated area of romance. Is it just a place you perceive yourself to be in because you’re too afraid to take the relationship where you want it to go? Is it just you avoiding the fact that all you wanna do is bang the other person, and he or she is making that too difficult? Whatever your opinion is on this zone, it’s where most romances tend to start and some even end (sorry, Bollywood).

After you sing and dance yourself away from 300 kisses (sorry again, Bollywood), you may want to take the relationship to the next level. Now you have a choice: friends with benefits or full-on relationship. There are other options, but for the sake of simplicity we’ll keep it to these two. If you really just want to get into sexy-someone’s pants, you should make this clear from the beginning so that there are no misconceptions. Remember, consent is the ultimate rule, and without it, drop the idea! If you both want to proceed into phase three, the relationship, read on.

The relationship phase is when you both finally admit things are happening between you. At this point, you now can officially dub the relationship “named” and it becomes “official” between you and others. A contract has been signed. An understanding evolves that marks other suitors as off-limits. At this phase the vast uncertainty of the previous phases has cleared. You can now try the fun kind of sex, yell at each other, openly admit to bodily functions, etc.

Perhaps all of this strikes you as a trifle odd? Why do we need names and labels and phases for everything a relationship can possibly go through? Prof. Naked fully admits he’d be out of a job if people learned that it doesn’t matter what you call it if, at the end of the day, you are truly happy. So stop trying to shoe-horn your relationship into other people’s preconceived boxes and live by whatever makes you and your sexy-someone(s) happy.

As long as you keep in mind consent and happiness, things will work out – whether or not you worry over terms like “Facebook-official.” Happy travails in the vast landscape of relationships!