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Can Friends With Benefits Really Work? columnist Bianca Valerio discusses the factors you must consider before hooking up with that hot friend you've been crushing on.

We engage in many different relationships in life--with our friends, family, colleagues, and lovers. The last category includes the "f" buddy, which deserves special mention. The only thing that differentiates these relationships is the level of intimacy, trust, and priority--or lack thereof.

But, here's the thing. To take on a "special friend" requires a high level of trust to begin with. Will the other person spill the beans? Tweet? Make a Kim or Paris out of you by releasing a racy video? Fall for you? Make you fall for them? Yikes! If a person you trust who supposedly cares about you has the capacity to complicate things, what more someone who only sees you as, well, a sex partner?

No one can really say what anyone is capable of, but there's one thing you need to remember when entering any type of relationship: Manage your expectations. Ironically, having a fu-bu does not and cannot involve mind games for it to work. Go into it as you would a business deal. You need to lay down all parameters, taking into consideration factors like:

1. Frequency of hooking up

2. How not to get caught by anyone

3. Your public image together when your friends are around

4. Whether or not you will talk about personal things when you hook up

5. The kind of roles you'll be playing in fulfilling your sexual needs

6. If you'll hang out outside of your hook-up sessions

And the list goes on...

Another requirement for a casual affair between friends is you must leave your feelings at the door. Think that's cold? Well, the factors above cover the IQ and have been proven to make most business partnerships successful. But, as we know, EQ is what complicates everything. Are you ready to take on those complications should they arise?

As much as we all want to be strong enough to take on challenges in life, it is also humbling to know that no one can escape the emotional trap. It can come unexpectedly, like a blast of lightning, and BAM! It just hits you! Therefore, my advice when considering a friendly sexual relationship is to proceed with caution.

Indeed, everyone has their own strategy for making a good thing work without attachments, but, as they say, things don't always go the way we plan.

Do you think a "friends with benefits" arrangement can work?

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