By Zoe Eisenberg
I have always had more male friends than female friends. Women can be catty, and passive aggressive—two things I have no tolerance for. Not that I can’t be a bitch, but if I am going to be a bitch I would prefer to snarl and hiss in your face than behind your back. It’s more fun, anyway. As I reached late middle school and early high school, my dad would often speculate about my close male friends. He said he didn’t think that men and women could ever truly be “just friends” and we would argue about it—lovingly of course.
Yes, I said, I can have male friends. Platonic male friends. I found men to be better companions than women, who often let competition get in the way. Men, to generalize, are more low maintenance and honest. They will tell me to my face if there is food in my teeth and would rather watch Ong-Bak than PS, I Love You. I do have a great group of close female friends now, but the majority of the women I really, truly connect with are women who are down-to-earth and low maintenance.
I have always believed whole heartedly in platonic male/female relationships; until recently. Back in high school, when my father and I would have these “no-really-it-can’t-be-platonic” conversations, I would bring up some of my closest male friends as examples of functioning sex-free male/female dynamics. Well, flash forward eight years and I am now dating the guy who used to be my go-to example of a platonic male friend. I wrote about our progression out of the friend-zone on SexyTofu.com a few months back, trying to sneakily (?) talk about my situation while pretending to be hypothetical.
Since we have started dating, I have begun to really think about if in fact men and women can be friends. Were we friends for so long because we truly didn’t have an attraction to one another, or because of circumstance—when we met as awkward kids (I had braces!), we were dating other people. He was dating my friend, and I was dating his.
Last night I brought this up to a couple of my girlfriends, who at first, both claimed to have platonic male friends. However, upon further dissection, it became evident that while they are “platonically” friends NOW, they have had some sort of sexual, or in the least—flirtatious, encounter with nearly all of their “friends” in the past.
These flirtatious encounters varied from hot and heavy to fairly innocent; A drunken kiss next to an empty keg, a sexually charged AIM conversation when we were still too young to properly place those feelings, a failed attempt at dating that proved the electricity just wasn’t there, or a groggy morning where you wake up in their bed and never, ever speak of it again. Or maybe just the underlying feeling that yeah, maybe they kind of dig you, or at least think about you naked on occasion. The only group of men that my friends and I could confidently say were completely platonic—and always had been—were coworkers and superiors.
It isn’t to say that I don’t have platonic male friends, or that platonic male/female scenarios don’t exist. But what I am saying is that at some point, somewhere, many of these “platonic” friends have crossed the line, or flirted with crossing the line, or thought about thinking about crossing the line. When it didn’t work out, things reverted back to a comfortable “been there, doesn’t work” normality and we don’t think about it anymore. Does that still count as platonic?
This idea is perfectly exemplified in the following video, where two filmmakers ask a group of college men and women about “being friends.” You really have to watch it.
I used to argue for that men and women could be just friends, yes, most definitely…but now I am not so sure. I have a handful of male friends I used to date, and tons of male friends I would never consider dating. But if the above video stands correct, then does that mean the ones I wouldn’t sleep with would consider sleeping with me? Is that why our friendship works? What do you think? Ladies—think about all of your male friends, and decide if this rule applies. Men—would you sleep with your female friends if they wanted to? Be honest!! I want to know.
The Lusty Vegan is a lifestyle and sex column focusing on living and loving as a twenty-something year old vegan. More rants from Zoe Eisenberg can be found at www.sexytofu.com. Follow her on Twitter @Sexytofublog.