Alexis on the Sexes: Sex for rent

ALEXIS MCKINNIS | Updated 12/31/2013

Why to avoid “roommates with benefits.”

Q: I’m tired of living in suburban soccer-mom land, and am considering a move back to the city. I’m in preliminary roommate discussions with a former co-worker. I’ve drunkenly made out with him in the past and would do it again, and I’m interested in sleeping with him from time to time. I don’t want a boyfriend, but I do find him sexy, and I think he can properly address my needs from time to time. What’s the best way to approach a future roommate with a request for a “roommates with benefits”-style arrangement?


A: Here are the four mostly likely outcomes of having casual sex with your roommate:

It evolves into a relationship and now you have a live-in boyfriend. A live-in boyfriend whom you didn’t want and can’t get away from when you need to be alone, especially after he’s done some really stupid boyfriend crap such as forgetting your birthday and trying to make it up to you by buying the “Dexter” box set, except that’s his favorite show and not yours. You contemplate breaking up and moving out.

You have sex a few times, then one of you becomes disinterested while the other is still all about it. You spend the majority of your time at home avoiding each other and having awkward encounters in the kitchen when both of you are trying to cook a pizza. One of you makes plans to move out.

Your sexy roommate is great in bed. So great, in fact, he’s fairly certain he can get away with eating all your pizza when you’re not home and shorting you on his half of the Comcast bill every other month. His debt in the frozen foods and cable departments hits quadruple digits. You withhold sex and tell him he has to move out.

You enjoy a roommates-with-benefits arrangement for a few months, until your pal meets the woman of his dreams and ends all physical contact with you. His new girlfriend used to be a lingerie model, volunteers at the Dorothy Day Center and cooks a mean pizza. She likes to scream his name when she orgasms and you can hear them having sex three or four times a week. You make plans to move out.

Consider these scenarios carefully before you even think about hooking up or shacking up. You can be roommates or you can be friends with benefits, but you can’t be both.


Q: I’ve been married for about a year, but we have been together for about nine years. My main concern is that we have not had sex for going on 10-plus months. Wondering if this is a common problem after tying the knot.


A: It might be a problem some couples experience after being together for so many years, but it’s not something that automatically happens right after marriage. Something has changed in your relationship, but it wasn’t just the act of walking down the aisle. It’s possible your wife feels like her life is finally complete — especially if you’ve had kids and are done reproducing — so she no longer prioritizes maintaining a sex life. Depending on your respective schedules, making time for getting it on isn’t always easy. Also, your wife may be experiencing stress in a different area of her life, and sex may be the furthest thing from her mind.

The only way to get to the bottom of this is to talk to your wife. Ask her what’s wrong and offer to do whatever you can to help get your sex life back on track. Tell her that physical intimacy is important to you, and if not having sex ever again is a deal breaker, tell her that, too. You have been with this woman for nine years, so you should have no trouble starting a conversation about something so essential to your marriage.

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