‘We don’t talk now’: Cautionary tales of sleeping with your friends

Yeah, you ruined everything

Friends are great. You really like them, and you are really close to them, but without any of the charged emotion of a relationship. You can just be yourself: a bit obnoxious, a bit drunk, a bit much, without worrying too much about the long-term repercussions. Largely, because unlike your girlfriends or boyfriends, you don’t have sex with your friends. You realise this makes life a lot easier.

Except you’re human, so you will invariably do your best to ruin a good thing. So occasionally, you will mistake closeness for attraction, or wonder whether there’s something ‘there’, or you will be drunk. And sometimes, it’ll be a lot of fun – and sometimes, you’ll realise that sex and friendship does not mix.

I asked some people to tell me whether messing about with a friend was a mistake or not.



We were all on holiday, everyone was a bit drunk, and we’d all been skinny dipping in the sea and subsequently (inevitably) had our clothes stolen. We got back to the villa and everyone else went to bed, apart from me and my very best friend, who was staying with another group of our friends elsewhere. I offer to share my bed with her so she doesn’t have to head back late: we’d done it platonically loads of times before and my other best mate was staying in a single bed right next to mine anyway, so there was no opportunity for any misdeeds. Fast-forward about six minutes and we’re having the quietest, most confusing sex of all time as our other mate sleeps soundly and unaware, about eight inches away. He moves in his sleep, I chicken out and lay there silently on top of her for a few minutes trying to work out if he’s awake, we decide to abandon the venture, and the next morning we both vow to never speak of the incident again.


It was the dying hours of a house party and my mate and I decided to call it a night. We moseyed out of the party and realised we could get the same night bus home. We were pretty smashed anyway, but this called for a celebration: specifically a bottle of gin, which we bought from a newsagent. We waited at the bus stop for ages, making good progress on the bottle, so by the time we were at the back of the bus we had found fresh reserves of exuberance. We were careering from seat to seat on the totally empty top deck, behaving like drunk children.

Anyway, the bus arrived at my friend’s stop, and he became solicitous for my continued journey home, suggesting I get off with him. In both senses, as it happened: we started making out as soon as we got off the bus. Then we just started walking through the streets, as though nothing had happened, larking about as before. We got back, almost finished the gin, and then he offered me one of his absent housemate’s beds. Very kind. Except about 30 minutes after we went to bed, he crawled in with me and we had sex in said housemate’s bed. I woke up about 8am and panicked, so I did a runner; later, he texted me to say his housemate and found him in the bed and turfed him out about 9ish. He later texted to say his housemate had my bra.

We’re cool now, though I’ve never been to his house again.


I know I never really fancied Ryan. He was what you’d call the best of bad bunch, but “he’s really funny”, I told myself. “We just really get on,” I remarked privately. Soon he became my best male friend. But sometimes, we confuse “funny” for “fit” – so one night, after a few drinks, it seemed like a good idea to pull, mainly because the two other mates we were with were getting off and we didn’t know where to look. We went back to his, I tried to get into it, but in the end it just kind of felt like when Joey and Rachel try and have sex on Friends (in fact, I think I made that joke) – especially when I went on top. There was some awkward laughter and commentary, no one came and it wasn’t worth it all.

So I have no idea why I did it again about ten times over the next twelve months.



Although we’d known each other for a few years, we never really spoke. In fact, she’d got with a couple of my mates and even gone out with one of them for a bit. But we met up as part of a huge group in Leeds for Halloween and I hadn’t had sex in a while, so I thought, ‘maybe I’ll just flirt a bit, see how it goes’. I start flirting and instead of rebuffing me, to my total shock, she upped the ante by about 5000 per cent. We were soon whispering filthy things to each other, in the presence of the rest of the group. During pre-drinks, we went outside for a smoke, started getting with each other and never really stopped. We locked ourselves in the house when everyone else went out and shagged on my mate’s bed.

Unfortunately, I picked the one bed in the house that belonged to the mate she had gone out with. Needless to say, when he got back from the union, he was furious, ripped the covers off us and shouted in our faces for a good five minutes. Would do it again though.


It was a summer BBQ which turned into an awkward morning goodbye. Most of our course had already left for summer so the rest of us decided to have a chilled evening grilling in my backyard. It was just me and my five guy mates, one of whom I’d got with before, as if that wasn’t awkward enough. Three drinks later we obviously ended up going out; one drink in a club led to five more, which ended up in slightly awkward sex at 5am – and not with the guy I had got with before. The worst part was he was snoring so much and would not budge so I slept on my own couch. The next morning we handled an awkward exchange (“Bye, I will see you the next time all our friends decide to get together!”). He followed this up with an awkward/friendly/more than friendly “I had fun last night” Snapchat. All I wanted to say was, “let’s just never speak of this again.” Thankfully I moved across the country a week later so I didn’t have to.


We were technically part of the same broader friendship group but had never spoken particularly meaningfully. He was very quiet and solicitous, and his stillness seemed to encourage in me quite the opposite: he made me brash, obnoxious, a bit loud. Clearly, I hadn’t quite realised I fancied him yet and this was my perverse way of getting him to notice me. Which – as it turned out – he did in the end, though not quite in the way I’d have liked. We were staying at a friend’s parents’ house in the country and were getting really smashed. I’d been teasing him a bit at dinner, goading him, laughing a bit too loud, which as a ‘flirting’ tactic is about as mature as pulling someone’s hair. Anyway, I think he sort of snapped a bit and we ended up having a really intense chat in the garden in which he started dissecting my personality with a surprisingly deft hand. He wasn’t being nasty: it was more like he’d become interested in me in a sort of fond, academic way and it made me feel like I’d embarrassed myself, which I had, so obviously I started crying. He totally panicked, gave me a hug and then we started making out and ended up having sex in the garden.

The next day, naturally, my attraction to him had all but disappeared – not because the sex was bad, which it wasn’t, but just because I’d clearly been tied up in knots about what I couldn’t have and now it seemed like he might be interested, I wasn’t. He was interested, as it turned out, and we had a series of intense conversations over the months following about our ‘relationship’ and slept together a few more times.

We don’t talk now.