Turns out, having a Friend With Benefits is actually good for way more than glorious NSA banging. When you do them right, FWBs act like training wheels for real romantic relationships because they allow you to experiment without the crippling commitment and Netflix fights. And although it might seem like nothing but meaningless sexytimes, maintaining a healthy fuck-buddy system can prime you for a relationship better than a 45-minute workout primes you for cheesecake.

Here's how.

1. You learn how to communicate your desires

Given that the nature of your FWB relationship is purely sexual, it makes sense that you'd exploit it to fulfill your fantasies. With a FWB, you don't really have anything to lose by asking them to spank you like a misbehaving mini-pony during sex, and because of that, the lack of stakes means there's less judgment of each other's desires. It becomes easy to talk about what turns you on and what doesn't because again, your FWB exists to fuck you, and aside from being Sizzler's regional employee of the month, turning you on and getting you off is their job.

When you find yourself in an actual relationship, you've built a skill set around communicating what you want in bed. In any good relationship, telling your partner what you need and how to turn you on is the key to keeping things un-boring and horny. When you've spent time with a FWB articulating those needs, it becomes a lot easier to bring up your furry fetish to your future ex. Treat yo' self, guuurl … or man.

2. You learn how pointless jealousy is

Part of the lube-filled beauty of the FWB deal is that your relationship isn't exclusive. Ideally, you're not emotionally invested in each other outside the sex dojo, and so the prospect of being with other people is a reality both of you have to face. In doing that, you'll both have to grapple with, and overcome with feelings of jealousy. Life lessons abound.

You begin to realize that when your FWB is interested in other people, it has nothing to do with you. You come to that conclusion because your non-exclusivity also means that you're interested in other people, but it doesn't change how you feel about your FWB, right? Exactly. Jealousy begins to seem trite, and a waste of your time. In a real, relationship, that realization is more useful than a condom in a red light massage parlor.

When you have experience confronting jealousy and learning how to overcome them, being in a real relationship becomes a million times easier. Other people become a lot less threatening to your relationship, and through your experience dealing with your FWB's other booty-call babes, you learn that having confidence in your relationship and trusting your partner is way more rewarding than checking their text history while they're in the shower like a certified stalker.

3. You learn how to be friends with someone you're banging

Friends! You have them. You know how they work. You talk about your feelings candidly, you do weird, fun things together, tell each other secrets, have each other's backs, tell them when there's 50 lbs. of spinach in their teeth, and so forth. Many of those same actions and behaviors you enact in friendships are what add to intimacy in a real relationship.

In a FWB relationship, adding sex to the mix doesn't change that friendship vibe; you're just doing all that and fucking in gold lamé latex bodysuits afterwards. By doing that, you learn the value of treating your partner like your best friend, instead of someone you possess. Two things happen when you start to think like that. First, you start to appreciate them more. Second, it gives your relationship dimensions and depth, which are things that give you tools to work through conflict and support each other. And plus, have you ever had sex with your best friend? That shit is cool.

4. You learn how to set boundaries

In most FWB relationships, negotiating boundaries is one of the first things you do other than balls-to-the-wall coitus. What's the nature of your relationship? In what way are you both allowed to see other people? Do you stay the night? Do you only have sex on the condition that one of you has pizza in your possession? It feels weird at first to negotiate things that normally come spontaneously, but once you get through the initial awkwardness of saying "Look, we only fuck on a full moon and don't look at me in the eyes," you're both a lot happier.

Great, now that you've figured out how to set boundaries with your FWB, doing that in your real relationships should be easier than telling a your cult members that oral sex gets them a seat on the spaceship. After all, relationships are the healthiest when couples set boundaries. Doing it will help you know where each other stands about issues like cheating, sex, communication, and most importantly, farting in front of each other (only allowed in the event of internal implosion).

5. You learn to moderate your expectations

Getting caught up in the moment and living in the present trumps setting future expectations with your FWB any day of the week. What are you gonna do, plan to eat whipped cream off each other's nipples five years from now?

Expectations suck, because when you expect something to happen exactly the way you see it, you or your partner almost always fail, and that feels shitty. But a FWB setup necessitates that you let go of expectations; there's no commitment (other than that you're coming over at nine to slob on some knob), so both of you are free to do what you want, when you want. In situations like those, you learn that relationships really do exist solely in the present, and that makes you appreciate them that much more. It also teaches you that people will be who they are regardless of what you want them to be, and you can chose to accept or reject that at your own risk.

That same infallible logic applies even more so to your real relationships. While some degree of future-vision is good in a relationship, letting go of expectations and focusing on the present puts the focus on how you feel about each other right now, not what you "should have been" doing, or "should be doing" in the future.

So, there you have it guys n' gals. Now go out there, and seduce everyone on your Top 8. We promise your future ex-husband or wife will thank you for it.