If you've been single for a long time, you've probably considered attempting a sexual relationship that has no romantic basis. These casual sex relationships seem very inviting. You get the best of both worlds: a friend you can hang out with and a regular sex partner you can trust, without all of the drama involved in a romantic relationship. The thing is, it can turn into a sticky situation rather quickly. Before you enter into a sexual relationship with someone with what you are only platonically linked, it's a good idea to take a few things into consideration.
These relationships do work for some people. Men tend to find it easier, as they are almost universally capable of having sexual relations without tying in emotion. Women are a little different, however. We tend to tie in romanticism with sexual interaction whenever we want to or not. There is a chemical release in our brains that enterprises erotic stimulation and orgasm. While you may be a strong, confident, independent and sexually aware being, it is difficult to combat a base chemical reaction when it occurs.
Sex in women triggers the release of all sorts of chemicals. Adrenalin, endorphins and a particular chemical called oxytocin. Oxytocin is the major culprit in this scenario. It makes a woman instinctually feel a bond with anyone she interacts with sexually, regardless of whether there is an actual emotional or romantic bond there already. It can be disastrous in a casual relationship, when neither party is really looking for a relationship, but the woman in the pair starts to have feelings she did not even want to have in the first place.
You will need to be prepared for this occurrence if you start a "friends with benfits" relationship. You must be ready to combat the chemicals that will push you into wanting more from the man you're sleeping with. These casual relationships almost never turn into anything more than what they start out as, and you need to recognize that before going in. It is a good idea to only allow these relationships to last a short time because of this fact.
Another added risk is that most women enter these agreements with men who are already platonic friends. Starting a sexual relationship with someone who is already a part of your life can be dangerous. What if you develop romantic feelings for your friend? Are you willing to risk that friendship for a little sex here and there?
In the end, it is up to you. If you feel you can handle the situation (and all the chemicals your brain produces because of it), try it out. It does work for some people, though those are few and far between. Just remember to keep your cool and not get too attached!