What Does FWB Mean? A Simple Guide To The Slang Internet Term Everyone's Using

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what does FWB mean

It's complicated.

We live in a world full of acronyms: of SMH and LOLs, ONWs and TTYLs. (Which stand for, in order, shaking my head, laughing out loud, on my way, and talk to you later.) But what does FWB mean?

Well, the real FWB meaning is defined as friends with benefits. Of course, benefits is a vague term. It could mean anything from a financial benefit to a personal one, but when it comes to “friends with benefits,” it is well known that the benefit is of a sexual nature.

According to one user, Sumner Callahan, on Quora.com, FWBs are “two people who enjoy other activities besides sex, but who usually end dates back in the bedroom.”

RELATED: The Truth About Whether Your FWB Can Turn Into A Real Relationship

That said, there is more to friends with benefits than just casual sex. In fact, other Quora users, like Sean Kernan, noted the scope of FWBs is greater and more complicated than it initially seems. Friends with benefits can come in a variety of forms.

There are friends who have sex “only when we [they] drink — hey I respect you, you respect me, we’re drunk, screw it.” There are friends who have sex as part of a “negotiation” (i.e., “Hey I’m frustrated, you are frustrated, why don’t we ‘alleviate’ our frustration.” And there are friends who decide to have sex because there is a “promise” that “nobody is gonna get feelings. We are just gonna do this and have fun with it.”

Unfortunately, the latter is dangerous. In the end, someone usually gets hurt.

So how do you balance your feelings and your friendship? According to Sean Jameson, the best thing you can do is to “remain emotionally neutral” and to keep all encounters strictly sexual (and cuddle-free). “When you start to cuddle after sex, your bond with him will get deeper," Jameson says. “This is not a good thing when it comes to keeping the situation free of emotion.”

Of course, emotional neutrality is easier said than done. (I would know; I fell in love with my best friend.) So just remember that if you are considering being an FWB, you can — and should — proceed with caution.

RELATED: 4 Crucial Do's And Don'ts For How To Make Friends With Benefits Work

Nicole Lane is a wife, mother, writer, and regular contributor for YourTango. She is a staunch defender of women's rights, she believes firmly in equality and parity, and she is an advocate for women's health, mental health, and sexuality.