Love & Sex

Bang With Friends Takes All the Fun Out of Friend Sex

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It's perfect if you're paralyzed by fear of rejection and have a Facebook, which actually is probably a pretty large demographic.

And now, introducing the app that was definitely only a matter of time: Bang With Friends. It doesn't require too much of an introduction, considering the subtlety-free approach of its name. It works like this: you sign into the app with Facebook and choose the friends you'd like to get naked with by clicking a box under their profile picture that says "Down to Bang." If they're "Down to Bang" you too, you both get an email letting you know that your … er… respective doors are open, and the rest is up to you. It's perfect if you're paralyzed by fear of rejection and have a Facebook, which actually is probably a pretty large demographic. On the surface, this seems harmless enough: there are some studs in my news feed I wouldn't mind getting cozy with, and heck — maybe they wouldn't mind getting cozy with me. (By "getting cozy" I mean sex. These euphemisms are why I always end up sleeping in my jeans).

What this app really is, though, is a technological version of your best friend from third grade, the one who would go up to your crush during recess and whisper in their ear that you like him while you stood off in the corner of the schoolyard. And now that you're past the age of recess, instead of running up to your bff and chatting about what totally just went down during recess, you just have to sit around and wait for the news in your Gmail. Progress, I guess.

Here's my real beef: Bang with Friends cuts out the best part of friend-sex (other than the actual sex). I'm a big fan of casual sex and sex with friends, or friend-ish people. And my enjoyment of said sex is directly correlated to the comfort and ease with which I can talk to my partner/buddy. Bang with Friends destroys the potential for really amazing sex by doing the uncomfortable, chemistry-building groundwork for you. Casual sex with friends can be great, but I think at least part of that greatness stems from an already-established open stream of communication.

You know when you're hanging out with a maybe-more-than-platonic-but-almost-best-friend, just chatting about your UTIs or whatever, and then there's that moment when you suddenly think, "Wow, we could probably have pretty stellar sex." That's your mental "Down to Bang" button. And if you have that moment, the chances are pretty good your friend-person is having it too. The problem is, there's no way that moment could have ever happened if you two didn't already have the kind of connection that allowed you to wax poetic about your UTIs. And Down to Bang doesn't let you reach that point.

Don't get me wrong, there are times when having a middleman is a good thing. Like when you're Oz the Great and Terrible, and you just feel so much more powerful behind the curtain. I mean, people are generally bad at things like communication. And I don't think that's a result of "the demon internet" — communication is just hard. It's not easy to initiate a conversation along the lines of, "Hey, I'm into you… like, sexually. Are you likewise into me, and would you be interested in acting on that in a mutually satisfying way?" Difficult, yes, but I feel like the return rate with this technique yields better sex than letting a Facebook-connected app make that move for you.

Also, having that conversation usually leads to sex, like, immediately. Or quickly, anyway. But if you're perusing Facebook/BWF at work, and you get a "hit" from the app, aren't you more likely to file that away with all the other electronic alerts and blips that make up your day? There's no charged moment where you make eye contact and realize, "Oh shit, this is happening." There's just a little blip in the inbox. Are we really at the point where a moment of intercourse that used to be preceded by dozens of hours of sexually-tense interactions has been reduced to a series of 1's and 0's?

I can't foresee any benefit to cutting out the part before friend-sex where you talk face-to-face about pretty much everything. If you're looking for a mediocre romp with someone you kind of know, then by all means, download this app. But if you're gonna do the dirty with your friends, why not pick one you can gossip with post-coitus? Like one you're actually friends with?