Can men and women be friends, or does the sex thing always get in the way? This topic has been on my mind of late. A lot on my mind. I have male friends. For the first time in my life I realize that I actually have quite a few male friends. With some we’ve dated and then become friends. With others, we’re just friends. That said, I cannot say that these are the most angst-free relationships. I know that on some level, way down deep (even suppressed/repressed) or just beneath the surface, one party or the other wants to have sex. Or have some sort of “romantic” or emotional connection, as women probably more often view it. If anything, this unspoken (or sometimes even spoken) desire dictates power dynamics. The only exception I can think of is that where age difference plays a factor, where a parent-child dynamic can be created.
I try to convince myself that this isn’t true. Certainly gay men and straight women have formed wonderful relationships — perhaps because there is no possibility of sex. Then again, you sometimes see that “unrequited” situation forming when, even though she knows it’s impossible, the woman develops romantic feelings for the gay friend. Same with straight men and gay women, I would think.
But I ask myself about gay people themselves – can a gay man be friends with another gay man without — wanting something? Or lesbians with other lesbians? Or a gay man with a with a straight man, or a gay woman with a straight woman. Perhaps the only healthy friendships are straight women and straight women, straight men and straight men, and gay men with gay women. No desire whatsoever.
Makes me sad, somehow. Are we this petty? Base? Led through life by our loins? I really value my relationships with my male friends. I adore them. Having friends who are very different from us enriches our lives, just like befriending people of other cultures. Opens our eyes, broadens our perspective. Our relationships are the threads that together make up the fabric by which we identify ourselves and approach the world. The fewer the colors and textures, the simpler and duller the cloth. The more colors, textures, materials, and the more threads themselves, the more elaborate, beautiful, and large the blanket becomes that enfolds us.
Is repression the way? Is being open about our desire and agreeing to not act upon it the way? Should it remain unsaid? Is the unspoken norm an important factor by which we have kept our society running?
Is this even true? Am I jaded? Opinions?