When Harry Met Sally

This has been touched on a few times in various threads here, but no definate view.

When Harry met Sally, he told her men and women can’t be friends as sex always gets in the way, so friendship is doomed.

She counters: “What if they don’t want to have sex with you?”

He says “Doesn’t matter. The sex thing is already out there.”

We all know that Sally and Harry couldn’t just be friends.

But is the philosophy true? Can women and men be friends with sex not intruding?

Of course they can. I have always had platonic friendships with women. Some of my closest friends over the years have been women. It depends on the peeple involved.

Yeah, but you still wonder what they look like nekkid.

So that means that people who are bi can’t have any friends, ever? That’s stupid. It is entirely possible to have close, non-sexual friendships with people of the opposite sex. Several of my closest friends are guys. I do not want to sleep with them, and I’m pretty sure they don’t want to sleep with me.

It is entirely possible to have close, non-sexual relationships with the sex you’re interested in banging but that’s because the sex thing has already been decided. Even if it was just a fleeting thought in your mind for an instant, when you first met - “Yes, or no”. This really depresses me sometimes by the way. But I think it’s true. (This doesn’t mean you’re forever wanting to have sex with them.)

Yeah, I’d say most hetero male-female relationships have “possibly sexual” as the default, but if the sexual potential is eliminated for whatever reason, then continuing platonically is not impossible at all.

I have a friend seriously considering doing her Master’s Thesis on this. She believes certain steps must be taken in order to ensure that the friendship survives (this part won’t necessarily be included in the study).

  1. Both people can not be attracted to one another. If they are, they must have a conversation up front to set boundaries.
  2. They can’t drink around one another unless other friends are present and not hooking up themselves.
    There’s more, I may call her at lunch to get the rest.

Heh. I had a roomate who I really wasn’t all that hot for while sober. For a several-month strech we became pretty regular drinking buddies, and that led to some pretty drunk and dirty sex, which we had more frequently than I’d like to admit.

What was totally bizarre about it (for me especially, given my personality) was we were pretty much fine with it the next morning. Eventually she found another drinking buddy with whom she actually had romantic prospects, and he took my place. Again, I had absolutely no problem with it. I would have stayed friends with her except she progressed into alcoholism. I had already very nearly physically beaten a previous codependent roomie right out of the apt., so I had zero patience for her behavior once it got out of control. School and trying to rebuild a legitimate love life stressed me out enough as it was, and so I probably was too harsh on her when I finally wrote her off. But I am convinced the sex had nothing to do with it.

I’ve never had a guy friend that hasn’t wanted more. Or that I haven’t wanted more from. I’m young yet, so maybe in the future…

I have had many friendships with men and women, and haven’t had sex with the vast majority of them. I think it sells people short to suggest that friendship is only possible with people you couldn’t mate with.

Yes. My two closest friends are women. Hot women. One of whom I have had sex with about a zillion times when we were in a relationship. Somehow, it doesn’t intrude at all, no matter how much we drink.

Do I ever think about it? Sure. Often. But I think about sex when I’m talking to my boss too, and trust me when I say that, despite all his other good qualities, I do not find him attractive.

Thanks folks for the really interesting replies. There’s some conflicts of course. I was really interested in what Twoonsunday said about erecting (probably a bad choice of a word) barriers when people first meet, or at least putting the relationship in context (my words). However, how do you know at that stage you will be attracted to each other as time goes by?

I have female friends that I’ve never had sex with, but have fantasized about it, and so have they. (I have very open discussions with all of my female friends, despite our current relationship status). Even though we’ve never had sex and probably never will, we’re still good friends, and it’s not as if we’re only friends because of the potential for future sex.

I know that most of my wife’s male friends were at least initially interested in her as a sexual conquest, which in most cases didn’t happen, but they remain friends. They even joked about it in our wedding video- “we couldn’t make it happen dude, but you won! Congratulations!”- type of comments.

So I guess in both cases, the initial interest in the other person was guided by an interest in sex with the person, but despite never consummating it, the relationship was formed and grew and was nurtured by other, non-sexual factors.

It’s always an issue. Unless she’s really, really not attractive.