It is indeed difficult to find platonic relationships between a man and a woman. The sexual tension is all too palpable and invariably it leads to the inevitable and from then on the relationship acquires a different meaning. When you are just friends, you enjoy a different camaraderie and respect. You get introduced to mutual friends and learn more about people as you go along. Once you have had sex with a close friend, the scenario changes and it is possible that you may even start feeling guilty about the whole thing and how you have possibly lost a good friend in the true sense of the term.
However, in these modern times, it is still possible to have friends with whom you share the bed and not feel too guilty or squeamish about the affair. This is referred to as the ‘friends with benefits’ arrangement and is seen as a very practical option by many men and women. The relationship is based on the assumption that as a couple, you can sleep together but have no emotional attachment or expectation that it will culminate in something very permanent such as marriage. Both the partners are free to look out and even have other flings. It is a simple case of casual sex with a known person as per the convenience of the couple and there is nothing more to it.
Such relationships tend to work out well if somebody has been having a crush on the other person for a long time and circumstances just did not permit the couple to get together and express their lust for each other. However, once the occasion presented itself, one of them was able to give vent to emotions and that resulted in a convenient arrangement leaving both the partners satisfied. It also happens when one of the partners get lonely due to separation from his or her partner and this friend is seen as the ideal stop gap figure to take care of the loneliness.
The only possible problem with such an arrangement is that ultimately one of the partners will want something more out of either the relationship or would get bored of it and that is when there is a possibility of an emotional vacuum being created in the person who is left behind. There is also the possibility that despite the casual nature of sex involved, some feelings do get transmitted between the couple and that is bound to develop into something stronger as time goes by. Ultimately, it can cause some heartburn for one of the partners if the other decides to go his or her way. So casual sex with the same partner over a period of time does not remain casual in the true sense of the term and does cause emotional turbulence.
Couples who have been thick friends also try to get together as a trial mechanism to see whether they can gel with each other through such arrangements. This again can be fraught with danger since you can never be sure about how the relationship will progress once they have sex with each other and the physical boundaries are crossed.