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Rules of Engagement: 5 Things Friends with Benefits Is NOT

A friend of mine was recently thinking of delving into new territory: the complicated land of friends with benefits. She's been in a bit of a drought but has a hectic schedule, so she isn't looking for anything serious. Thinking this setup could give her the best of both worlds, she asked for advice on how these relationships work—as if I'm some sort of expert. But the more questions she asked, the more I realized she’s just not cut out for this type of situation. In an effort to prepare her before she took the dive off the deep end, i.e., stop her from getting her feelings hurt down the line, I had to lay out five things friends with benefits are not entitled to.

No. 1: Dates
If "friends with benefits" meant a man was going to take you out and spend money on you, it would be called dating. That’s not to say you can’t ever grab a bite to eat—on the way to the house—but traditionally, wining and dining is not a part of the equation. If you want food, you’re going to have to get it on your own time and own your own dime, before it’s supposed to go down.

No. 2: Casual Conversation
"But can I call him just to talk?" When my friend asked that I had to pull an elementary school teacher move. Sure, you can, as in you have the ability to. But if it's too far before the sun goes down, don't be surprised if he doesn't answer. Conversation with a friend with benefits buddy will most definitely be causal. It should go something like this: “What are you doing? Nothing? Come Over.” Or, “Are you busy? OK, I'm on my way.” You've probably got about a 3-5 minute max on any phone conversation before you get to the bottom line: when are we meeting up? The same goes for texts. Sweet “Good morning,” “Goodnight,” “Hope you have a good day” texts aren’t really a part of the deal. You can send them if you like, but don’t expect it to be reciprocated.
No. 3: Cuddling
This isn’t automatically off the table, it's just a matter of how it happens. Cuddle time after sex? Possible. Cuddle time just because you want a man to hold you? Nah. You might be able to pull that with a boyfriend, but a man who's just a friend will not consider putting his hands around you and watching you sleep a benefit. Depending on the terms, your FWB might not even stay the night. If that’s the case, you may have to get used to rocking your own self to sleep.

No. 4: Demands on Time
“So, basically I can just call him up anytime I want it, and he'll come?” Not exactly. Ideally, that’s what would happen, but it doesn’t always. One of the benefits is being able to do as you please when you please. If you’re the only one your FWB is sleeping with he might be quick to jump in the car and drive over at 1am, but if not (or if he’s simply not in the mood), you really can’t be mad at that.

No. 5: Tantrums
This brings me to my final point—what you can and can’t get mad at. What people love about friends with benefits is that it (theoretically) eliminates nagging, arguing and all of the other negative stuff that can weigh a relationship down. Right along with not making demands on time, you cannot assume the behavior of a girlfriend in terms of going off on a man you're just sleeping with. If he does something disrespectful or violates your FWB agreement, then yes, by all means, have at it. But questions like “Why didn't you pick up the phone?” “Where were you?” and “Who is she?” don’t fall under your authority. On the flip side, he doesn’t get to ask you these things either because you’re a free agent too.

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SZA called for peace and understanding at Billboard's Women In Music event Thursday (Dec. 6).

During her speech for the Rule Breaker award, singer-songwriter recalled today's climate, asking her peers and those watching at home for a little bit of peace.

"I'm sorry for the state of the world honestly, for everybody in this room and I pray that all of us just get through it a little bit easier and just try not to lash out at each other," she said.

The recurring theme of unity among women was also heard on the carpet from artists like Tierra Whack. In addition to her message of love, the "Broken Clocks" singer also thanked her TDE family for rocking with her creative process.

"I'm just so thankful for everybody having patience with me, " she said. Shouting out the key members of her family in attendance, the TDE affiliate gave praise to her mother, father, and grandma. In this brief speech centered around the artist's growth Solána Imani Rowe, known more commonly as her stage name, Rowe everyone for their trust in her.

"I'm grateful for everybody taking the time to have the patience to watch someone grow, it is painful and sometimes exciting but mostly boring. And I am thankful for Top (Top Dawg Entertainment's Anthony Tiffith) for not dropping me from that label. For Peter, who I change my ideas every day and he be like okay I like this," she continued.

Thanking the likes of musical powerhouses like Alicia Keys and Whack, "The Weekend" singer offered her appreciation and condolences to Ariana Grande.

Watch SZA accept the Rule Breaker award above.

READ MORE: Anderson .Paak, Tierra Whack And More Praise Female Artists At 2018 Billboard Women In Music

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Beyoncé, Rihanna, And J. Lo Make Forbes’ Highest-Paid Women In Music List

As November comes to a close, many publications will be crafting their year-end lists for all things pop culture. Forbes released a ranking of the world's highest-paid women in music on Monday (Nov. 19), with Beyoncé, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna holding it down for women of color.

Beyoncé comes in at No. 3 on the list with an earning of $60 million as she made most of her money through her historical Coachella performance, the joint album with husband JAY-Z, Everything is Love, and the Carters' On The Run II Tour in support of its release.

Jennifer Lopez made No. 6 for earnings tallying of over $47 million thanks to her lucrative Las Vegas residency, endorsements, and shows including World of Dance where she serves as a judge.

Rihanna follows behind the "Love Don't Cost A Thing" diva at No. 7 with earnings of over $37.5 million. Although she hasn't toured since 2016—thanks to her cosmetics and lingerie lines, Fenty Beauty and Savage Lingerie—the Bajan pop star has been keeping herself busy.

Forbes' annual list (which factors in pretax earnings from June 1, 2017, through June 1, 2018) has placed Katy Perry at the top with over $83 million in profits due to her gig as an American Idol judge and her 80-date Witness: The Tour that brought in an estimated $1 million per night.

Scroll down to see Forbes' full list below.

Katy Perry ($83 million) Taylor Swift ($80 million) Beyoncé ($60 million) P!nk ($52 million) Lady Gaga ($50 million) Jennifer Lopez ($47 million) Rihanna ($37.5 million) Helene Fischer ($32 million) Celine Dion ($31 million) Britney Spears ($30 million)


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Kelly Rowland Hops In Her Bag With New Single "Kelly"

Kelly Rowland has it all and isn't afraid to brag about it on her new single, "Kelly."

Released Thursday (Nov. 22), the singer goes the clubby, confident route while rightfully dropping her attributes like her relationship with God, smoldering looks (a.k.a the drip) among other things. With "Kelly" being the first single since her 2013's Talk a Good Game, the singer comes out swinging, reminding everyone of her power in the game.

The mother of one has promised that her new tunes will be edgier and most honest than her past work that included vulnerable tracks like "Dirty Laundry" and massive hits like "Motivation" and "Commander." Speaking with Vogue over the summer, Ms. Kelly disclosed a few details behind the album.

“It’s about love, loss, and gain and whether it’s professional or with family or whatever, it’s just honest," she said. "I had no choice but to be honest and authentic with this record: it’s about friendship and marriage.”

She also explained a drop in confidence caused her hiatus. “I was thinking about pulling back from recording, but I couldn’t help myself: I still wanted to record. I still felt like I was missing something. The third year just came and left so fast. The fourth year I said: ‘I have to get to work’ and now I’m ready to release some music! I felt like I wasted so much time, and it was my husband who actually called me out on it. He said: ‘Babe, as great as those records were, I think you were nervous, you got gun-shy’, and when he said that it was like boom, a gong went off.”

Glad to have you back, Ms. Kelly. Listen to the eponymous record up top.

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