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Study Says Sleeping With A Friend Doesn't Have To Ruin Your Friendship

On Friday, you invited your best friend over to Netflix and chill.

When you initiated the invite with your BFF, you really meant you wanted to watch a movie, eat pizza and chill on the couch.

Except your friend had other ideas. One thing led to another and, well, let's just say you never made it to the credits.

Can your friendship still go on after you've seen each other naked, or is it doomed forever?

That was the question posed to sex researcher Dr. Justin Lehmiller on his site, Sex and Psychology. According to Lehmiller, your friendship still has a fighting chance, but it's up to you to make it work.

In his response, Dr. Lehmiller noted a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior that asked 308 college undergrads, 119 men and 189 women, about their relationships with previous friends with benefits (FWB).

According to the responses, FWBs have about a 50/50 shot at surviving after the sex goes stale.

Here's how Dr. Lehmiller broke it down:

Specifically, just 18.5 percent said that they were no longer friends at all, 31.5 percent remained friends but were less close than they used to be, 35.4 percent remained friends and were just as close as they were before they started having sex, while 14.6 percent remained friends and were even closer than before.

Those who reported they were no longer friendly with their FWBs also reported higher levels of feeling deceived and higher levels of loneliness and psychological distress.

So how can you make it work after the deed is done? As Dr. Lehmiller suggests, it's all about good communication. He wrote,

I found that FWBs who had better communication were more likely to maintain a relationship of some sort with their partner in the future.

So go ahead and go for it if you want -- just make sure you and your friend are on the same page about what you both expect to get out of all these sexy new benefits.

Citations: Sex Question Friday: Can "Friends With Benefits" Go Back To Being Friends? (Sex and Psychology), A Sex Researcher Explains the Fate of Friends With Benefits (New York mag)