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Thread: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

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    Default Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    Do you believe men and women can be friends? Is it possible to be friends with someone you find sexually attractive?

    I was just having a conversation with my brother about this. After the usual points about why I loathed the movie When Harry Met Sally, my brother sent me this video. It is kind of hilarious that all of the women say it is possible and all of the men say it is not. But then all the women say their guy friends would totally bang them, if they were into it.

    As a woman...
    Read the full article

  2. #2

    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    Yes?

    Let's get the obvious out of the way. Not everybody's heterosexual, even heterosexual people aren't usually attracted to every member of the opposite sex, and there's plenty of exceptions to every sex/gender norm for behavior or motivation.

    From there on, the question gets more interesting, but I my answer doesn't change. Sex and friendship go fine together. For the most part, all personal liking functions off' the bonding neurotransmitter oxytocin; friendship and love are just different areas on this same sliding scale, sex is a great way to move up it, and crushing/falling in love is the sensation of doing a lot of that rapidly.

    Sexual attraction functions off more than just how much of this general liking you have for someone, but still takes it into account in major ways. Most sexual attraction accompanies genuine affection, and the cliché guy being friends with someone he'd also like to have sex and/or get romantic with isn't 'faking' the friendship, he just isn't getting to take it as far as he'd like. Sometimes frustration over that can end up spoiling the otherwise positive experience of sharing less intimate time together, but that's optional and a separate emotion, not inherent to sexual attraction or a crush.

    So what do you all think? Can you be friends with someone you find hot? If you do find a friend sexually attractive, does that friendship generally involve having sex? Do you usually fool around with your friends? If so, does that change the character of the relationship?
    I find most of my friends hot. Some of those friendships involve sex, most of them at least occasional making out under influence when partying together. It does change the nature of the friendships, in that it makes them more enjoyable: you bond faster, which means you open up more, are motivated to be nicer and appreciate each other's company better. Unless there is unresolved conflict somewhere, this is a purely positive influence even on 'ordinary' friendship activities.

  3. #3
    nathanmbailey's Avatar Batteries not included
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    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    I think I'm going to have to break your questions apart and answer separate parts. For one, the concept of women not knowing their male friends have some sort of crush on them is usually bullshit. Most of them know and as my female friends actually joke about taking advantage of their friends from time to time. But, I also have male friends that would be considered hot that do the same thing to lesser attractive women. Honestly, I've been on both sides of that scenario. It is possible for a man and woman to be just friends though, I have many women as friends, a couple of them I've had sex with, most of them I haven't. Most of them are married also. So, maybe the question should be if a single man and single woman can be friends with one attracted to the other. Still possible, but much more difficult.

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    Amelia G's Avatar chick in charge
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    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raza View Post
    Yes?

    Let's get the obvious out of the way. Not everybody's heterosexual, even heterosexual people aren't usually attracted to every member of the opposite sex, and there's plenty of exceptions to every sex/gender norm for behavior or motivation.

    From there on, the question gets more interesting, but I my answer doesn't change. Sex and friendship go fine together. For the most part, all personal liking functions off' the bonding neurotransmitter oxytocin; friendship and love are just different areas on this same sliding scale, sex is a great way to move up it, and crushing/falling in love is the sensation of doing a lot of that rapidly.

    Sexual attraction functions off more than just how much of this general liking you have for someone, but still takes it into account in major ways. Most sexual attraction accompanies genuine affection, and the cliché guy being friends with someone he'd also like to have sex and/or get romantic with isn't 'faking' the friendship, he just isn't getting to take it as far as he'd like. Sometimes frustration over that can end up spoiling the otherwise positive experience of sharing less intimate time together, but that's optional and a separate emotion, not inherent to sexual attraction or a crush.


    I find most of my friends hot. Some of those friendships involve sex, most of them at least occasional making out under influence when partying together. It does change the nature of the friendships, in that it makes them more enjoyable: you bond faster, which means you open up more, are motivated to be nicer and appreciate each other's company better. Unless there is unresolved conflict somewhere, this is a purely positive influence even on 'ordinary' friendship activities.

    While I'm certainly currently friends with people I had a prior sexual relationship with and I've certainly fooled around with people I thought of as friends and not potential romantic partners . . . I don't see sexual attraction and friendship as being on the same spectrum at all. I've had satisfying sexual interactions with people I didn't like, maybe even kinda disliked. A long term partner needs to have components of both the affection of friendship and the excitement of attraction, but, at least for me, I don't see those things as requirements for the short term. But I do consider friendship a big deal.

  5. #5
    Amelia G's Avatar chick in charge
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    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by nathanmbailey View Post
    I think I'm going to have to break your questions apart and answer separate parts. For one, the concept of women not knowing their male friends have some sort of crush on them is usually bullshit. Most of them know and as my female friends actually joke about taking advantage of their friends from time to time. But, I also have male friends that would be considered hot that do the same thing to lesser attractive women. Honestly, I've been on both sides of that scenario. It is possible for a man and woman to be just friends though, I have many women as friends, a couple of them I've had sex with, most of them I haven't. Most of them are married also. So, maybe the question should be if a single man and single woman can be friends with one attracted to the other. Still possible, but much more difficult.

    I think you are right that it is maybe easier for people whose relationship status is clear. I was just discussing this with a (male) friend and it seems like clarity is kind of key. So maybe fooling around with a friend confuses the matter.

    As far as women not knowing someone has a crush, I think some of that comes back to the goalie nature of the female role in hetero interactions. There is the notion that the chick is supposed to stop things from going too far and the guy is supposed to be always ready to go. So I've had male friends who I thought might do me, if the situation were convenient, but where I didn't think they had any particular romantic interest, just an idle sexual attraction. I can find someone sexually attractive without intent, without intending to do anything about it. So I've been really hurt when it turned out that gentlemen I considered friends were just waiting for their turn at bat.

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    Mr Karl's Avatar Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    sure they can be friends.......I can can sort of understand the quaint way of thinking that they can't be, but I don't understand why anyone would want to live like that.

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    ForrestBlack's Avatar Administrator
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    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    Maybe I've lost perspective, but I think that has a lot to do with what people feel like they are supposed to say in a public interview. The responses seem to be more in line with social expectation than honest truth. I can't think of a girl I was 'friends' with but secretly wanted so much more from since I was like nine. Guys feel like they have to act like they would hit anything that moves or else there is something wrong with them and women tend to feel like... well, you know how a lot of joe regular straight guys seem to sincerely think any dude that's gay would totally bang them if they had a chance, even though that's really not the case? Women do the same thing

    It bothers me that over the years there have been a lot of attractive women that I thought of as friends, but when some of them found out that I really didn't want to get with them (for reasons beyond their attractive appearance) we weren't friends anymore, and frankly some of them were pretty rude about it. I can totally accept that someone is crazy attractive and still not be a ride I want to get on.

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    Amelia G (03-06-2012)
  10. #8

    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amelia G View Post
    While I'm certainly currently friends with people I had a prior sexual relationship with and I've certainly fooled around with people I thought of as friends and not potential romantic partners . . . I don't see sexual attraction and friendship as being on the same spectrum at all. I've had satisfying sexual interactions with people I didn't like, maybe even kinda disliked. A long term partner needs to have components of both the affection of friendship and the excitement of attraction, but, at least for me, I don't see those things as requirements for the short term. But I do consider friendship a big deal.
    Oh, I mostly relate. People vary a lot in how much they need to have bonded with someone to be comfortable having sex with them, depending on the influence of other prosexual hormones, susceptibility to anxiety and cultural perspective. But, whatever else your relationship with them, you're likely to like them a little better for the presence of sexual attraction, and significantly better after satisfying sex.

    Of course, the neurological variables underpinning personal relationships leave a lot of room for interpretation. You can believe someone to be your enemy and still subtly enjoy their presence, or you can like them for one reason and dislike them for another, leaving competing feelings any of which may or may not be noticeable at any time. On and of itself, however, sex is synergistic with friendship, and anybody playing the role of friend for extended periods of time is likely to mean it, sexual attraction or no.

  11. #9

    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by ForrestBlack View Post
    It bothers me that over the years there have been a lot of attractive women that I thought of as friends, but when some of them found out that I really didn't want to get with them (for reasons beyond their attractive appearance) we weren't friends anymore, and frankly some of them were pretty rude about it. I can totally accept that someone is crazy attractive and still not be a ride I want to get on.
    I think it helps to see this is psychological terms, rather than ethical ones. Rejection can hurt intensely (or not at all) depending on personality type; I don't imagine any of those girls ever decided that your friendship would be worthless if you didn't reciprocate sexually when proposed, but the emotional event itself changed how they felt about you in ways that overwhelmed the desire (if any) to be reasonable.

    Maybe some of those friendships could've been salvaged, if their initial outbursts could be forgiven and forgotten, but at that point neither party is likely to be motivated to try. You're rightfully disappointed in them, and they'd have to fight a lot of cognitive dissonance to decide that the friendship they just ruined didn't have anything wrong with it in the first place.

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    aXa's Avatar Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raza View Post
    For the most part, all personal liking functions off' the bonding neurotransmitter oxytocin; friendship and love are just different areas on this same sliding scale, sex is a great way to move up it, and crushing/falling in love is the sensation of doing a lot of that rapidly.
    i had to pull this snippet out. it really speaks to me and would explain why form a bond or develop a crush with people, often after a first meeting. at that point i usually dont know them well enough other than nowing that i *want* to get to know them better. it is afterwards, as we get to know each other that i learn to see what type of connection we have, and what form our relationship will take.

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    Raza (03-08-2012)
  14. #11

    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    Exactly! We call it different things depending on our history with the person in question, but that general feeling where seeing someone approach after a period of absence will make you smile, where you know that what you don't know about someone interests you by default, where being nice to them is rewarding for no reason in particular, where you trust them without basis in their history or where you just want to cuddle up to them after a nice orgasm - that's all the same hormone in action. And while it doesn't make you horny, exactly, it will efficiently break down your reservations to having sex with someone, both leading up to the decision and during the process to make it more enjoyable.

    Course, since it's an emotion in its rawest form, it's rarely the only thing on your mind. We sculpt, steer and taint our feelings with the social and personal preconceptions by which we explain our relationships and roles to each other, focusing on some aspects of a feeling while reducing others. Personally though, I think we lose more than we gain that way, and would be well served forgetting about most of these boundaries.

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    aXa's Avatar Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    i find myself wanting to hug & cuddle up with someone - or just be affectionate with them - often not being a sexual thing at all. that is not to say that it is not a part of my own sexuality or anything. i just need to be able to express that part of myself to those that i care about, on whatever level.

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    Bikerpunk's Avatar Ill-intentioned bad apple
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    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    Here's the part I take issue with

    I think it totally sucks to pretend to be someone’s super good friend, when all you want is to hit that.
    I've been friends with women I would completely and totally have sex with if I had ever appealed to them that way. However, with the exception of about three women, I'm the epitome of friendzone.

    Does that mean I'm just pretending to be friends with them if I'm friends with them? No. I can certainly be friends with someone and just ignore the fact that I'd ride them cross-country and hit it like the fist of God if they'd liked me that way too.

    But the problem for the girl that makes a statement like that is that she (Amelia, I read your post and understand that not all girls are like this) has 'boxes' she puts people in. 'Life Partner' 'Hottie in the bar I'd bang and never talk to again' 'Male relative' and 'Friend' are discrete boxes and you're supposed to fit entirely into one of them. Because she has no sexual interest in a friend means that if someone has sexual interest in her he can't be a friend to her, because after all she doesn't want to sleep with HER friends. That's what the Friend Zone is.

    I suppose my answer would be a qualified "No". If someone is completely suspicious of my motives and/or genuinely creeped out that though we're good friends and our wetbits will never meet I'd GLADLY run my tongue in places that would shock even her then, no. There's no way a friendship could survive that kind of creepedoutedness and/or suspicion.

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    theDragon_svDragcos's Avatar "Vampyre" / Senior Member
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    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    Yes, - I Happen to Think & Know so.

    I've had 'Female' Aquaintances whom' were just good friends w/Out any 'male-female' personal interactive involvements,...

    and of course obviously there are the 'serious' male-female relationship(s), that are 'More' than friends as well.

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    SyntheticShock's Avatar ...
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    Default Re: Question: Do you believe men and women can be friends?

    Tough question, complicated answer. It's human nature to be attracted to whichever gender your preference is. I still think you can be friends without wanting to sleep with them ALL though, but most of the time that is due to lack of sexual attraction on both parts. But I do think in a lot of instances the guys who do try and befriend girls have an ulterior motive to stay friends "just in case" a situation should arise. Feelings can change over time though, and maybe once a guy gets to know a girl better the sexual feelings may go away because of indifference's and can still remain friends. But I don't always know what goes on in the head of a man.

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