Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Sex-Possible Friendships

I may not act like it (bitches), but the truth is I love you guys. I think about you every time I start a post and how I can best entertain you and not waste your time. And, it’s not just because I’m quite sure you are the coolest of the cool (cause I mean, hello) it’s also because you have great comments and feedback, and I appreciate that.

BLEH, okay, shake that nice shit off with a drink and let’s get to it.

So, several of you had some really interesting things to say in this post about my past opposite sex friendships where the guys wanted more (and I did too in some cases), and I thought I would address one of those comments. "Ash" is a self-described “Long time reader, first time poster” who said “your post has definitely touched something that some of my friends and I discuss a lot.”

So here is the first issue: I think the post actually speaks to the very nature of men and women and society. I understand the position you were in growing up - I did the same thing to girls I REALLY liked and not just hooked up with. I knew it could wreck everything if we hooked up and it didn’t work out (which of course it wouldn't). But can guys and girls really be friends for life?

So, that’s a tough one. Personally, I found it pretty complicated to have straight male friends when I was not in a relationship—and even a couple when I was (there are a few exceptions though). It appears to me that it really comes down to how serious the history with the friend and the personalities. In friendship, there is always something about that person that attracted you to being their friend. So, after a few drinks and couple lonely weeks or whatever, it’s natural for two people to want to connect physically as well as emotionally. I think in these situations, what usually happens is one wants to be more than friends, the other doesn’t, and one or the other will give in. This can lead to great friendship or loss of friendship / possibly great relationship. After this rejection or acceptance, what comes next really depends on the strength of the friendship.

I grew up in a small town, and went to kindergarten with the same people I graduated with for the most part. From that time I have my core group of friends that includes one girl who seems like you ie: one of the guys, always around etc., yet none of us dated her. (She was attractive also, so it isn't like someone would not be into her.) She and I have both moved away but we all get together as group a few times a year. She even asked me to read at her wedding and it was really great, but somehow awkward. Is it because we are basically programmed to reproduce with the opposite sex that it becomes socially awkward to have CLOSE opposite sex friends for life?

This is tricky, too. I think in these cases it's more that you are both comfortable with the "just friends" label. I've had the funny "you're really cute but I think being friends makes the most sense" talk with guys who I think felt the same way. And, if he didn't then I'd figure it out eventually and then we'd have to be honest about it. So any awkwardness was more because he wasn't being honest, as opposed to the actual close opposite sex friendship.

Not that I am particularly affected by what is socially accepted, but it seems that sometimes those friends fall to the wayside once we are older/married etc. Not because we like them any less, but because that emotional/friend closeness is societally "supposed" to occur with a spouse/significant other. Is it a function of age? maturity? habit?

You got that right. I think it is a function of all three. First, once you are in a committed relationship, you have less and less time for others. You start to weed out the extraneous friendships or more importantly, those that your significant other may not like or participate in. For example, if you are married, and your wife hates your friend Bob, but loves your friend Bill, 9 times outta 10 you will maintain your friendship with Bill over Bob. No matter how much you like Bob, you will just stay better friends with Bill. He gets the barbeque invites, double dates, the kind words, etc. and you must see Bob at seedy bars behind your wife's back so she doesn't bitch at you. The same is true for your female friends who you could possibly be attracted to. Unless you have a really secure girlfriend, she probably isn’t going to like your hot friend too much. And, I’d like to say that won’t happen very much because women are really secure, but I don’t think I need to explain why I can’t.

Additionally, consider that women are just as territorial as men when it comes to the opposite sex. You wouldn’t want so dude you’re not that close to hanging out with your foxy lady? And, you probably will bitch about it to the point where she starts hanging out with that guy less and less. It just happens.

You seem close to a number of opposite sex friends so how has that affected your "regular" relationships or do you say "hey if he can't handle my friends you aren't really that into me etc?"

I have been pretty lucky in my regular relationships in that the guys don’t care about those opposite sex friends. In fact, most have been cool enough to befriend them. This is the BEST strategy for either partner as you can make a new friend and let your place in your significant other’s life be known to their sex-possible friends.

and to the guy who stopped talking mid-sentence, is it OK that he was so interested in you (maybe not just for sex, but more) and didn't want to make that investment in yet another female "friend". Maybe he was the guy who always ends up as friends - not that he only values the vagina. I mean come on, Its OK to value it but not ONLY that!

I totally would never judge him for that. And I was just being snarky by suggesting that he only is interested in the pink. I am sure many guys get sick of that “friends” label and drunk and horny on a Friday night was probably the last place he wanted to run into that.

Final thought (which you may disagree): Your average woman sees sex as an exclusive prize (lot's of people want it, only the winners get it)--your average man sees it as threshold to cross (if she's cute, the more the merrier)-- and that’s a pretty serious natural disconnect (unless you are a gay male, then you have it sweeter than all of us heteros).


Blogger Frankly, Scarlett said...

Lovely post and much of it rings true.

I would like to say though that I have been lucky enough to maintain a very close friendship with an attractive, successful man for many years and we are just that, only friends and its fabulous. It's only when the guy can't see past the sexual object in front of him that loss of friendship becomes inevitable.

1:23 PM  
Blogger V said...

You are lucky--it takes a good friendship to get into that place

2:23 PM  
Blogger The View from Dupont said...

You know, this hits so close to home right now. My best friend in the world being a man who... well, lets just say there was a lot of drinking involved about a week ago. We've been the closest of friends for over three years now - through just about everything together - and we haven't spoken since.

Breaks my heart in a way that being dumped never could, but people have been telling me forever it would happen, so maybe I just should have listened, right?

2:36 PM  
Blogger KassyK said...

I'm with Irish Red--two of my best friends are guys but I've never hooked up with them and never would. One is in love with his girlfriend and she knows we)(meaning any of his girlfriends)wouldn't hook up with him (she's one of the confident ones).

But the other one is the biggest flirt of all time. My ex & him got into the hugest fight at a wedding once bc he asked him some really inappropriate questions about me and the bedroom.

That being said--we are still able to be close friends. I think its just a rare thing...but I've found it a few times.

2:37 PM  
Blogger V said...

View: That really sucks that the friendship hasn't recovered. Do you think time will help or maybe if you talked about it? Or, do you think he was just "waiting you out" (sorry, that's awful to say).

Kassy: It's really hard for guys to deal with other guys and their girlfriends. And, you are right, it is rare.

2:41 PM  
Blogger KassyK said...

PS I love that movie Just Friends...Ooppsies, I'm naked!! Anna Faris is my girlfriend, I adore her.

9:50 PM  

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