Friends with benefits, "friends," and bed buddies are but a few of the names to describe an acquaintance fulfilling sexual needs and desires--they are your sexual safety net.
The beauty of the safety net is that attachment is not an issue, you sleep together and nothing is expected. They are the ones that you call on at 4 a.m. when you need a fix, they are show you go to the bar with and if you leave in the cab together you know it's a sure thing, they are the booty call.
The typical bed buddy for a girl is usually a friend who is a self-proclaimed manwhore--or likes to think he is. He is a great guy and would do anything for you. He is good looking and has a great sense of humor. He has an unlimited ego. This is the guy that you would never dare bring home to mom and dad.
The guy's bed buddy is easy-going, fun to be with and an extreme flirt. She is generally hot and a girl that you would never date, she is not really your type. She is the furthest thing from the girl next door, and definitely not girlfriend material.
But where is the line crossed? Can a bed buddy be a friend before and still a friend after?
The simple answer is yes, but only if the both of know there is no commitment. Commitment is for the serious stuff, and the relationship that you have with a fuck buddy is not serious.
Now for these casual relationships to succeed there must be rules. Rules different from the one-night stand. One-night stands don't require an exchange of numbers, whereas this sexual encounter does, in the event of a booty call.
The first of the rules is to keep things up front. Never make promises neither of you can keep, that just lead the person on. Ensure both know this is a casual relationship requiring no commitment or feelings. You are no more than friends having fun until the next serious relationship comes along.
Rule number two, jealousy does not exist. Encourage each other, if gallivanting around town together, to hook-up with someone else. If each of you fail, hail a cab and make like bunnies.
Third rule, always participate in sexual innuendoes and harmless flirting to reinforce the ego and boost the self-esteem. This does not harm either party, it's all fun and sets the stage for the night that may occur. It can be considered foreplay, it also suggests an encounter may resume later, unless you hook-up with another hottie.
The final rule to succeed with a bed buddy is to never expect anything. If he buys you a drink great, if he pays for the cab then he's a truly great guy. But remember, be a sweetheart, you are both still friends and deserve each other's respect.
Now, in some unfortunate cases, one person in the relationship may become attached. In this event all bets are off and the casual relationship has to end. Be up front and end it quickly, to avoid confrontation and retain the friendship.
Either that or try it out, they might make a good significant other. Always remember though, if it doesn't work out you're probably not going to be friends anymore. But hey, it was fun while it lasted.