There is an odd sort of comfort in hooking up with your best friend.
There is a sweet, soothing familiarity in being with someone you’ve known for a long time, someone who imbues a sense of security in you that you couldn’t find elsewhere. You aren’t afraid of being yourself with them because they’ve seen you at your absolute best, but they’ve also witnessed some heartbreakingly low points in your life. You’ve never had to impress them, so they’ve always gotten the full package rather than the glamorized version of yourself that you present to everyone else, constructed to fit an image you hope to represent.
You don’t think twice about vocalizing what you want — what feels good and what doesn’t — because you lost any capacity to feel shame in front of them after that time they watched you drunk-eat an entire platter of nachos with tortilla chip crumbs in your hair and melted cheese on the front of your shirt. They’ve held you, sobbing hysterically about something that mattered a lot at the moment, and they’ve let you wipe snot and tears on their shirt. After that, what else do you really have to lose? If they were going to judge you about anything, they would have already done it long ago.
You get to giggle freely when things don’t go as planned, when an elbow swings out of place and jabs someone in the face or when one of you accidentally farts mid-coitus. These small mishaps, which would leave you mortified in any other situation, don’t matter because there is less pressure to perform. Instead, you simply enjoy.
You forget to worry about how your stomach looks from this or that angle and whether your thighs seem too big today. They don’t even notice love handles, stretch marks, and excess skin. And if they did, they wouldn’t mind. You know this not because they’ve had to tell you, but because you know that they care about you as more than a sexual being.
In fact, it felt vaguely weird for you to even view one another in such a context at first, but it was easy to laugh and shake off any awkwardness. How could you feel awkward around someone who is so close to you?
However, when it’s over and you begin to look for your underwear, which you’ve tossed carelessly into some mystery spot in the room, you wonder if this will ruin your friendship. You’ve heard horror stories, and you know it has for other pairs of friends. And you don’t want to give up your friendship, losing the person who stays in on Tuesday nights with you — playing Mario Kart and eating Taco Bell until four in the morning. You don’t want to lose the person who is so attuned to your emotions that they can discern your thoughts before you even say them out loud. You don’t want to lose your best friend.
You won’t. And if you do, it will only be a temporary loss. You were friends before and you will be friends after because you have so much more in common with one another than each other. With you two, it is less about the act than it is about the act being with someone you know and love.