40% of single Aussies have 'friends with benefits'

MORE than 40% of single Australians have sexual encounters with their friends, confirming through a major survey by dating website RSVP that they are in a "friends with benefits" relationship.

The mutually-beneficial arrangements are most popular with singletons between 30 and 39.

According to RSVP's annual Date of the Nation report, almost three-in-five, or about 60% have had a friends with benefits deal struck in the past.


Age group and the number in a friend-with-benefits relationship (%):

  • 18 to 29: 50%
  • 30 to 39: 58%
  • 40 to 49: 38%
  • 50 to 59: 37%
  • 60+ years: 20%

RSVP psychologist John Aiken said the arrangements work, as long as both sides know what to expect.

"If you set clear boundaries, friends with benefits relationships can work in the short-term," he said.

"However, there is always the risk that one side will become emotionally attached the longer it continues and this can put the entire friendship in jeopardy if the feelings aren't reciprocated.

"One of the reasons that we tend to get attached after sex is purely biological - humans release Oxytocin, the cuddle hormone, after sex.

"This creates a soothing sense of security and trust. And no matter how rational you try to be, these hormones can make it tricky to qualify your feelings.

"The other down side of a friends with benefits relationship is that it can act as a distraction, limiting your opportunity to meet someone with real potential."


Other findings from the RSVP report:

  • Date number three is the most popular time to have sex - one in three singles will have sex on the third date
  • 63% of singles Australians have had at least one one-night stand
  • More than a third of single Australians have faked an orgasm - 22% of single men and 61% of single women
  • Twice a week is the most popular ideal frequency for sex - one in four singles would like to be having sex twice a week
  • Once a year is the most common actual frequency for singles to be having sex (cited by 46% of single Australians)
  • Although 52% of single Australians are comfortable initiating sex, 64% say they prefer it when their partner initiates it


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