Defining friends with benefits



This link takes you to the text and images from my first conference presentation, where I describe my journey to define friends with benefits. I was encouraged by my supervisors to go to non-scholarly sources (gasp) so I played on the dark side, looking at Urban Dictionary, and doing some free Googling. I found a mix of attitude and advice out there.

The paper was well received:

22 April 2011 The presentation to the AHPA National Conference went really well, and was possibly the best attended concurrent session; maybe 80 people. It’s all part of my plan to be known and noticed. I was happy that Fran Baum had complimented me on my presentation. It was good to eventually find a couple of other tweeters, and one bloke had come to Cairns from SexTech, so I was jealous. The other is David from FPV and it was good to meet him.

A point I made in the presentation was that by having the language to describe things and social scripts to follow we are more likely to contemplate those behaviours. One woman confirmed this by approaching me later and saying, “That’s what I need in my life.” She described being single for eight years, wanting ‘physical activity’ but not the responsibility of a man. Another delegate said her grandmother had had a friends with benefits relationship. They are out there!

Suggested APA citation for the paper: Kirkman, L. (2011, 12 April). What are ‘friends with benefits’? The challenge of defining a new term in a scholarly way. Paper presented at the Australian Health Promotion Association’s National Conference, Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns, Queensland, Australia.retrieved from

About fwbresearch

This site is to inform people about an Australian study exploring the experiences of rural baby boomers in friends with benefits relationships. The research team consists of Linda Kirkman, a PhD candidate in Health Science at La Trobe University's Rural Health School, and supervisors Dr Virginia Dickson-Swift and Dr Christopher Fox. Posts include presentations about the research, publications, and reflections on sexual health promotion.

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