Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Can Men and Women Really Be Friends?

My whole life I have had mostly male friends. Even when I was born, one of the first things I received was a welcome to the world card from my 1 year old new be-fri, Scott. I guess that is how the whole thing started.

When I was 4 years old, two boys moved into the house where my former best friend, Sherry had lived.  The day they moved in, I put on my prettiest dress, rode my red tricycle to their house, introduced myself and we proceeded to spend the day making mud pies.

Throughout the years, I continued to have more male than female friends and that still rings true to this day... or so I thought.

Recently, I saw something on one of those morning shows that you listen to only half paying attention while you are doing your hair and getting dressed before you head out the door. The subject was about whether or not men and women could really be friends.

Now, first let me say, When Harry Met Sally is one of my all time favorite movies. That statement is actually relevant, just bare with me. There is a scene in the movie where Meg Ryan (Sally) and Billy Crystal (Harry) have an argument about whether male/female friendships are possible. Sally insists that she has several male friends. Harry says she doesn't and tells her that men and women can never really be friends because the sex part always gets in the way. He tells her that even if she isn't attracted to the guy, it doesn't matter because, well the guy is still a guy and just wants to be friends with her so he can have sex with her someday. Sally is, of course, appalled.

I always watched this part thinking that the statement wasn't true. As I said before, I have lots of guy friends and am pretty certain that we are not having sex. And in the interest of truth in journalism (although I don't know that blogging counts as journalism) there has been a time or 2 when the envelope has been pushed (you know who you are and may I say, "How you doin'?")

Hey a girl has needs. Deal with it.

But, for arguments sake, and because 98% of my male/female friendships have been nonsexual, let's discuss this. Where was I? Oh, right! The stupid morning show.

So the person on this show says that while women can honestly become friends with and maintain a nonsexual relationship with a guy, men are only interested in becoming friends with women that they think they've got a shot at having sex with.

This is upsetting for several reasons. First, if it is true, it makes all that stuff I said to jealous ex-boyfriends total crap. Apparently my guy friends did all want to have sex with me. Second, it meant that a great deal of my male friends had pictured me naked, and frankly, if a large portion of men are going to be viewing my naked body, I would like it to be on the pages of Playboy...not that I would ever actually have the guts to pose for the smut mag, but still, it's the point. If I am going to be viewed naked, I want to be viewed in my natural state like the models. Meaning I want to be air brushed and have them photo shop the hell out of me. And of course, I would like to be paid hundreds of thousands of dollars for the pictures of my "body." That way I could afford to have my body nipped, tucked and sucked so that it might actually resemble the photo.

But I digress. So I want honest opinions and responses, especially from the male community. I love my guys. I have been friends with most of them for a minmum of 20 years. They are like brothers to me which besides making the whole thought of sex with them icky, it makes the whole picturing me naked thing all the more creepy. I believe they view me as a sister...and not in the Alabama "my sister is my wife" kind of way. Sorry all you Alabama folks out there, not trying to pick on you, but I gotta tell you, that crap doesn't fly in Detroit.

So come on men, and be honest. Do you have female friends and if so, are you friends with her because she is an all around great girl or because you hope one day, she'll look at you, realize she loves you and you'll live happily ever after...or at least that one night she'll get drunk enough and bang the hell out of you?



  1. Great topic! Interested to see whats said :)

  2. Shay,
    From a guy's point of view.....if you are even semi-hot, all your guy friends dream of having sex with you. But speaking from the experience of my friendships, that is not why they are your friends. There is a sort of a safety in the fact they can't or won't cross that line that makes your bond stronger. Don't let that physical and mental instinct diminish your friendships.

    Now, that the sappiness is over with, can I see your boobs? KIDDING!!! That was a joke!!

  3. I will have to agree with Barfly. If you're semi-hot, you're guy friends have checked you out, pictured you naked, and imagined having sex with you. However, that doesn't mean it's the reason they are friends with you.

    Guys and girls can be friends without sex interfering. The reason sex plays a factor between friends is the fact of closeness between the two. You feel safe with that person and, as you stated before, you have needs. Call it stress relief if you will.

    Guys will be friends with you because you're cool and fun to hang out with not because they want to have sex with you. But I guarantee you that if you offered sex to some of your guy friends they would take you up on the offer.

    Hope that helps.

    1. Of course, it's possible for guys and gals to be friends without sex interfering! LOL. For instance, I've been "just friends" with my high school sweetheart for twenty years now. Her husband accepts our friendship as two passionate people who are so much alike that we just know it would have never worked out had we stayed romantically involved as teenagers. We have the type of friendship where we are not afraid to talk about anything and respect each other enough never to think about one another for sexual gratification. I count her as one of my top five friends in life! :)

  4. Ok, first, as I said in the blog, if you want to see my boobs, you will have to get Hugh Hefner to pay me a butt load of money first:)

    Second, I agree with what you are saying about the closeness. I think if 2 people trust each other and there is at least some attraction there, many may go for it. After all, isn't having sex with a friend (friend with benefits) safer than picking up someone in a bar or something.

    I have often found that you can be friends with someone because you laugh, share interests and get along, BUT that doesn't necessarily make them boyfriend/girlfriend material. Maybe they are awesome friends, but you have seen them in relationships and they are overly jealous or controlling , etc.

    Don, I think it is great and very possible that exes can be great friends after the dust has settled. HOWEVER, the fact that you HAD a sexual relationship with her BEFORE you became friends. So you in effect "tested" the waters by dating first therefore the curiosity and the I-wonder-if-we-would-be-good-together was already removed from the equation.

    For the record, I believe men and women can be friends and great ones at that!

  5. I'd say it's easier for different gender friendships to blossom than for same sex friendships. People of the same gender are potential rivals when it comes to mating rights and territory. Any friendships that are stuck between two males are usually the result of a mutual stalemate in terms of social standing, or they are teaming up to bring down a more dominant alpha male, like a pack of socially maladjusted, awkwardly geeky wolves.

  6. I love how much conversation the is generating! it's funny because I believe you can find arguments for both sides. I have, in my experience, found that men are better friends to women than other women and vice-versa because of exactly what you said, Addman. yet, I know there are a lot of men that say that isn't possible. I believe these are men that have never been able to maintain a relationship like that. Like I said before, I believe you can be friends with someone that may not necessarily be good boyfriend or girlfriend material but you share some common interests that fuel the friendships.

    I have MANY guy friends that I have grown up with since preschool, kindergarten, etc and consider them more as brothers than I do as men/potential boyfriends.I know they feel the same about me. I think it all has to do with your relationships and experiences. I choose my friends by assessing whether or not they are good people-not what they have going on between their legs;)

  7. OK, you know I had to respond to this blog, Shay. The question you ask has been an on going question since humans became civilized. Can a man and a woman (really) just be friends? Hmmm! Speaking from my life experience with the opposite sex I would have to say yes and no. You see that all depends on the type of friendship you have with the opposite sex. For instance, if a man is really close to a girl as a "friend" and is able to open up to her about his life, his beliefs, his dreams, etc. the more secure he will feel around her and thus an attraction will develop for her. That means there will be moments in their friendship that he will visualize the two as a couple and how it would be if the two had sex. All this is human nature. The same can be said from a woman's perspective.

    Women like when men can open up and share what they are feeling, but they also like the dark-side of a man and the challenges of getting him to make him open up. A vast majority of men do not like opening up to women about their feelings, dreams, etc unless they visualize them as a potential "girlfriend/wife/sexual partner." Of course this is one of the many things that makes men and women so different.

    With all the women "friends" I have had in my life and continue to have I prefer to let them know only certain things about me not everything. Only a few I share everything, and those that I have shared my deepest thoughts and dreams has led to sex 90% of the time. Why? I say because when two people open up to each other that creates chemistry and deeper feelings. When those two things come into play the fireworks begin.

    I don't think looks are the main key to being friends with the opposite sex. Average people and below average people in the looks department are beautiful in different ways.Just like "good" looking people are ugly in many ways.

    The key to men and women being friends is knowing boundaries between each other. If you can respect the boundaries than of course you can be friends, if you cannot there is no hope. Sex will happen or the friendship will eventually end.

    Great topic, sorry for going on and on.


  8. Of course men and women can be friends, despite having pictures each other naked at some point. We are creatures designed to procreate. Everything about the way we have evolved has been to become more appealing to the opposite sex. So what if we have wanted to bone down with a friend before? It happens. The urge will pass.

    1. I agree 100% Nellie. Soemtimes we are become friends with someone because they are in an existing circle of friends. Other times it is because there is an attraction, whether it is visceral or intellectual and the more you get to know someone you either decide to explore it or like you said, get over it. Even if it starts out sexual, it doesn't mean it can't turn into a great friendship. Sometimes you NEED to get sex out of the way before you can focus on the mental connection.