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Playing Your Position


*** Admin Note***

Merry Christmas to all! The SBM Staff wishes you long cuff stroke sessions, quality time with those you love, and a partride in a pear tree…n sh*t

Now enjoy the musings of Max.Fab!

Whenever I write about unconventional relationships like unboyfriends, open relationships, or casual hookups, the discussion always leads to someone protesting that they can’t get involved in these types of situations because they’re unable to “turn their feelings off”. I think this may well be the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard in my life.

For one thing, the last time I checked, the only people who are able to completely turn off their feelings are sociopaths; I hardly think it makes sense to say that we can’t do something because we’re not sociopaths. Secondly, it’s not our feelings that are the problem in life, it’s how we choose to act on said feelings.

This is where the notion of playing your position comes in. And all it really means is keeping your behaviour confined to the scope of the situation you’re in. It seems pretty simple but it always seems to go so terribly wrong.

Let’s take for example the f*ck buddy and friend with benefits relationships. Such a beautiful concept – two people coming together (pause?) for a thronx and maybe a conversation with no obligation to participate if they don’t want to and the freedom to do the same thing with other people an hour later if they’re up for it. It could be a such a wonderful thing; if only people didn’t mess it up.

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Wait – did you catch that? People sh!t it up, not feelings.

What goes wrong in these situations is not that someone catches feelings; that’s a common enough affliction that even I the most cold-hearted among us cannot avoid forever. What goes wrong in these situations is that one f*ck buddy wants to make their feelings the other f*ck buddy’s problem. So when a woman finds herself daydreaming about jumping brooms with the man that just put it on her, instead of keeping it to herself like she should be she decides she’s going to unilaterally alter the nature of the relationship by suddenly expecting the man to date her. And then get angry when he doesn’t see the point in paying money for milk he’s been getting for free. And when the male FWB suddenly decides he wants exclusive access to the p*ssy he’d previously been content to have a time share in, instead of sitting quietly and waiting for the wave of temporary insanity to pass him, he starts flying into jealous rages over the fact that other men are sniffing the ladyflower.

The whole point of casual relationships is that no one has to alter their behaviour to accomodate anyone’s feelings. So when we start imposing them on one another the delicate balance of the no-strings situation is irrevocably upset. This is where playing your position comes in. If you are a jump off or a f*ck buddy or a friend with benefits, you have to abide by the rules of engagement. And all “situations” have them, whether they’re tacit or explicit. If a man wanted to walk down the street holding hands with you, he’d be your boyfriend not your f*ck buddy. And if a woman wanted to give you exclusive access to her nani, she’d make you put a ring on it. Basic principle of playing your position – if you’re not a bona fide, don’t act bona fide.

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But playing your position isn’t only confined to casual relationships; it applies to those of you who are boo’d up as well. When you are in an exclusive relationship, you’re expected to reserve certain behaviours for your significant other. But we’re all human and sometimes we feel the urge to get close to someone other than the one to whom we are enslaved committed. That’s not the problem. The problem is when the man who wifed the high-powered no-cooking career woman starts eating his meals in little Suzy Homemaker’s panties. The problem is when the woman who married the strong silent type lets another dude whisper sweet nothings in her ear while he’s long stroking her. It’s not the inclination to experience something with someone else that’s the problem, the act of doing so is the problem.

One of the things that separates humans from animals is our ability to squelch our urges, but people seem to forget that when it comes to relationships. Once sex or love gets involved we like to pretend that we have no choice but to act on every feeling we have, regardless of whether it’s appropriate. Playing your position is basically a fancy way of saying you made your bed now lie in it. And if you don’t want to lie in it then get out.

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What do you guys think? Are you able to keep your behaviour appropriate to the situation you’re in even when you have conflicting feelings, or are you a line-crosser?


  1. Playing your position is cool in theory, but everyone wants to be promoted. Keeping with the f-buddy example, how long can casual sex go on? We wish it could be a long term thing but eventually it's time to upgrade to something more either with that person or with someone else. The F-buddy doesn't want to hear that you're handcuffing someone new and still think you have those same old benefits. And that is the conundrum of playing your position even if you pretend that it's not that serious– you eventually expect be promoted or released from your contract. even the third string QB gets a shot at the being first string during the preseason.

    1. Personally I can't get down with the FWB, but I do believe it can work if people do truly play their roles. Thing is, we get comfortable. We need to be "nice". We lie to ourselves about what it is. Men don't want to be the @sshole, women don't want to be the slut. So they end up treating FWBs like girlfriends and boyfriends and ish gets confusing.

      Rules should be established and strictly followed. Don't be spending the night. Don't be buying me gifts, talking to me hours on end about nothing, calling and saying I miss you when you really just miss my body and all it's warm cavities. Don't you EVAH tell me that you love me while we're reupholstering reproductive systems!?!? WTDTA? Keep it real. When you want some, ask for some. No need to ask how my day was. If we're in a consentual FWB situation, I know the deal and if we're not-you are the asshole. Don't trick folks. You can be cordial and respectful, just don't treat me like a boyfriend and then be shocked when I start acting like a girlfriend.

  2. @Nc17 exactly
    No problems with fwb situation, at the start. But when it goes on for a while or more than 3 months, people either get bored, or ready to upgrade/move-on.

  3. I'm going to have to agree w/ NC17!

    I think being in a "no strings" arrangement can get to the point where you're ready to move on at a certain point.

    I think having a sexual relationship with the same person over a long period of time is definitely going to generate some feelings (strings attached or not) and if the sex is the bomb even worse! Dude isn't going to want you to give up the good good to anyone else and the chick is going to put dibbs on the Magic Stick!

    So I agree in the sense that having the feelings isn't the problem it is how you to deal with them. I personally am able to keep my composure in situations and not cross the line but, it's definitely a maturity thing. I wasn't always like this. I had to go through different situations and learn from my mistakes and gain the wisdom that I have now to be able to NOT cross any lines that I'll regret later.

    1. i agree! Eventually feelings always come in to play when you have been dealing with a person for an extended period of time. Especially sexually!

  4. I will be honest and admit. My feelings have got the best of me once, i voiced my feelings when i should have kept it to myself. But you live and you learn. Funny thing is when i got back content with the situation he wanted to step out his position. lol

  5. first off theres a lot of contradiction. you said jumpoffesque relationships require no feelings but then you said the only ppl who cut off emotions are sociopaths. or maybe theres no contradiction at all. maybe youre acknowledging ppl who participate in "unboyfriend, open relationships and casual hookups" are psychotic. id have to agree with you there.

    in that case it would be SUPER innapropriate to act on every desire and feeling bc youd be stalking or manipulating someone or charming them into letting you use them so you dont kill them or hurt them in some way bc you didnt get what you want. um. wow.

    on the other hand when it comes to love acting on those desires and feelings is important. its what creates intimacy and flattery. its the action and the words that keep you guys together bc its an expression of deeper need for another person. when it comes to love there are no lines. you and the other person are each other in full.

    1. "you said jumpoffesque relationships require no feelings but then you said the only ppl who cut off emotions are sociopaths."

      I think, in fact, she said the exact opposite. That feelings were very much involved at all times; but how you act upon to those feeling is the crux of the issue and point of the post.

      Everything is not for everybody…and that's. ok. #JackHandy

      1. lol @ people who read oppositional comments just to find something wrong with them. i honestly would have hit you in the mouth if this were a real conversation.

        and not even bc im offended but bc youre an idiot that decided to talk to me.

        1. @merry e-life: wow! your a clown for that statement! you chose to respond initially to this post so how are you fake gangbanging online with this bullshit ass statement;/ hit yourself in the mouth for being a effn lameass! if you don't agree with anyone's opinion's on here then go to another blog.

  6. You've said a mouth full. People need to play their position and when they don't, they shouldn't get mad when drama pops off.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly when you said, "If you don't want to lie in it, then get out."

    Before stepping outside of a committed relationship, try ending the relationship first and then go out and sleep with whoever.

  7. Great post! Yes, ideally men and women are supposed to know their role in these types of arrangements, but that rarely happens. There is already a natural imbalance of "attachment" emotions between the sexes, so I can't see how women could repeatedly play this game and not expect to get burnt. We have the shorter end of the stick.

    One time I played the FwB game and had to cut it off promptly after 3 weeks even. It took 3 weeks too long for me to catch onto how that would all end. It didn't make sense. If its companionship and exclusivity I sought, I'm much better off work on making him dear BF (and most girls know you don't have sex with the ones you really, really like). Shortcuts lead to dead ends. Well, I'll work on that with the next guy at least 😉 No point expending energy persuading a man whose already hit it. lol

  8. "Govern Yourself"….ACCORDINGLY!

    I just wish people would "know thy self" and act accordingly. Don't force yourself into something you know damn well your not quite capable of. I know from front street what will and won't work for me, whether it be a dress or a man. No sense in squeezing myself into anything that won't be the right fit.

  9. LMAO and http://youtu.be/pc0mxOXbWIU ! I can't turn my feelings off!!

    [email protected], shoulda wore my Santa Clause and the reindeer bedazzled Kevlar this morning. Merry Christmas to you too!

    I guess my problem is that my ego can't FATHOM that I'm deserving of any "position" less than #1. Can't do it. So if he's not trying to wife me and we're not just friends. Ion't got the time. Also I don't believe in basing my actions off of someone else's expectations or needs. I yam what I yam. Popeye.

    In short, I do play my position. Friend, possible, girlfriend, or wifey. I was never properly trained to be FWB, JO, Eff Buddy, etc; I'm grossly unqualified. So I respect the position enough to not even give it a bad name by doing it poorly but I root, root, root for those who do the job well!.

    Despite our seemingly very different angles on the FWB situations, I agree wholeheartedly with every word written here:

    "One of the things that separates humans from animals is our ability to squelch our urges, but people seem to forget that when it comes to relationships. Once sex or love gets involved we like to pretend that we have no choice but to act on every feeling we have, regardless of whether it’s appropriate. Playing your position is basically a fancy way of saying you made your bed now lie in it. And if you don’t want to lie in it then get out."

    I choose to stay out of that bed, because I know me and I couldn't lay in it without flipping the EFF out and reinforcing "crazy girl" stereotypes.

    I hate this posted on Christmas eve…good topic Max. I enjoyed it.

    Cheery yuletide to all!

  10. " Once sex or love gets involved we like to pretend that we have no choice but to act on every feeling we have, regardless of whether it’s appropriate. Playing your position is basically a fancy way of saying you made your bed now lie in it. And if you don’t want to lie in it then get out"

    I'm going to frame this and put it on my fridge. This definitely rides for more than a casual relationship… When you put yourself in a situation you either put up or walk out. There are some things that are not within your control and you have to accept that. What another person does in your "relationship" is out of your control but what you do… Honey that's all you

  11. I agree if you make your bed…then you should lie in it. And it is easier to make a soft bed when you communicate what your needs are. Why do couples (no matter what the label) find it so hard to communicate? Communicating is not nagging, complaining, or raging – simply say how you feel about something and offer a suggestion on how it can be easily fixed without the sobbing or yelling.

    If you are getting bored offer some suggestions to spice it up and if the other party chooses not to play along then in a civilized manner – let them know it's not working. If the other person has an ounce of feeling for you they will try to make things better if they don't…then they won't lift a finger.

    It seems to be easier for men and women to act inappropriately than to communicate and work at it. Laziness breeds contempt.

  12. I really like this article. It's very accurate! Maybe I'm a little cold hearted but… I'm not a line crosser. And emotion is at a shortage for me. Sociopath? Naw, I'm not that bad but I know how to keep a good thing going. I feel that people, especially women, fuck shit up when their deep down inner feelings start coming out of their mouths in hopes of fishing out a mutual feeling of "lets be more than just cutbuddies". You really have to fully understand that when you jump into an "open relationship" there are major limitations to the emotional availability. Just to be safe go ahead and assume that the other person isn't emotionally available at all…lol ( I am such an asshole )

  13. Remember that people who feel the need to have an open relationship are people who are afraid to be alone and deal with the pressures to maintain a comfort zone. Followers not leaders. So, if your looking for love and a relationship you need to stay away from people who can't hold a connection. Don't play yourself. And no, don't start something in hope of changing a person. That's a fight you will never win. It may be sad, but its true! Plus,these type of people have baggage or skeletons that you really don't want to deal with. Save yourself the trouble!lol I would choose quality over quantity any day!

    1. so in other words get into a relationship with someone you have a genuine connection with. be with someone whose bonds go deeper than 'keep my bed warm' and a person whose ready for that is one who takes the lead in establishing such things.

      being with a quality person like that is WAY better than being with a whole bunch of ppl you just use for a good time bc the experience is genuine.

      i co sign.

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