Originally my question for this week was going to be the 90’s rom-com standard: Can men and women be friends? But I’m not a fan of the heteronormative, exclusive wording of that question. Also, it’s kind of broad. I know men and women can be friends. I’ve seen it happen.

So going along the same lines, but tweaking the intention a little, my questions for you this week are:

Do you have friendships with people of your preferred sexual gender(s)? Have you ever experienced sexual attraction towards a friend and if so, how have you dealt with it?

I have a strong sexual orientation towards men. I’ve also enjoyed close friendships with guys for pretty much all of my adult life. As for sexual attraction? Yeah, that’s a thing that happens and I’ve dealt with it differently in different friendships. It’s not my favourite approach but sometimes I ignore it entirely. Other times I have confessed my attraction, but only in the way past tense like, “Three years ago, I was TOTALLY into you but now I just think of you as a cousin.”

Ideally, I prefer to just say when I’m feeling crush-y.  Admitting to sexy feelings in a non-sexual relationship is super-awkward however; once it’s all out there, we can do helpful things like putting boundaries in place that will help protect both the friendship and our relationships with our respective sexual/romantic partners.*

Occasionally I find myself sexually attracted to people who are not men. But (with a couple exceptions) friendship often diminishes my sexual feelings, instead of triggering them. The intimacy of friendship translates to an attraction that is often very physical, but in way that has nothing to do with my nether parts.

*Except The Man of Mans. I told him I was attracted to him so we could put boundaries in place that helped us date, have sex and get married.

 

 

Comments

  1. Ross Brown says:

    Great question. It’s still sometimes hard for people to think that men and women can’t be friends without sex getting in the way. Especially for men, who are hard-coded to think about sex every time we see a woman.

    I have friendships with many women and, with the exception of my wife, they’re all platonic. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t entertained the thought of having something more (though I’d never act on those thoughts). Many of my closest female friends have become more like family, and so our life-long, sex-free relationship is ever-enduring.

    I do have a friend with whom I find sexually attractive, but I’ve never said anything and don’t plan to. I feel that bringing out those feelings would damage the relationship.

    Love your blog!

  2. NJ says:

    I would say that the majority of my friends are male and, while I am sometimes attracted to them, I would never consider acting on it. I am generally a very flirtatious person, with friends of both genders, so it’s usually a case of honesty being the best policy. I can certainly find someone attractive, even flirt within reason, without worrying about mixed/hurt feelings on my part. The issue is often that the other person can’t handle that, which is why I’d rather be honest about how I feel so I don’t cross any boundaries that would end the friendship.

  3. Bob LeDrew says:

    I’m a straight man, in a straight relationship, and I cannot imagine being without the strength of friendships that I have with women in my life. To my mind, there’s a difference between mentally acknowledging that a woman you happen to be friends with:

    a) is a woman
    b) is of the gender that I am normally attracted to
    c) possesses characteristics that I find attractive,
    d) is someone who in theory I could be attracted to, and under the right set of circumstances, make the two-backed beast with

    and lusting like a horndog.

    What a sad world it would be if we could only be friends with people who were found sexually UNattractive.