Just friends, really

Joey Garcia

Men are incapable of having a platonic relationship with a woman. Even if the woman is not good-looking, men are always waiting for a “friends with benefits” opportunity. Yes, men can hold back, but only when they make a conscious decision to do so to avoid harming someone else (like a wife or girlfriend). The only way that men and women can be friends is if both decide to turn off the electric charge that occurs naturally between the sexes. It can be suppressed but, for men, the proximity of a woman always will cause it to return. You tell readers to have friendships with members of the opposite sex only if attraction doesn’t exist. My point is that for men, it always exits. So what’s a man to do?

Start seeing women as human beings first, women second. You might discover that when you stop using women as vehicles to satisfy you sexually, you can actually begin the process of connecting with them as people. What a concept!

It is a more conscious way to live, so if you are intent on denying possession of a higher consciousness, it won’t interest you. You might even imagine that it’s impossible. But since I have several close friends who are (gasp!) men, I asked three of them to respond to you:

Guy No. 1: “Wasn’t there a movie about this? Isn’t this Billy Crystal’s character in When Harry Met Sally? I disagreed then, and I disagree now. I don’t think that men want to have sex with every female they speak to or meet. It’s insulting to both men and women and reduces men’s emotional makeup to a one-note song. It’s Freudian in the worst way. As in every man wants to have sex with his mother/sister/daughter and if you deny it, you are just repressed. Or is it sort of a Taliban attitude? As in men are animals, they can’t help themselves, so women have to dress in burqas. Yes, there are men who filter everything through their sex drive, the way some people filter everything through religion or politics, but most men are not oversexed monsters with only one thought in their heads. Men have an emotional complexity above the level of a dog humping a leg. Personally, I have had deep and important friendships in my life with wonderful, attractive women that I did not want to have sex with. But I have also had non-sexual friendships with women who I was or am sexually attracted to but do not act on because of some social boundary or limitation. Married women are the most obvious example. This last type of relationship is hardly impossible if one has been socialized in some minimal way. P.S., I bet that you have no sisters.”

Guy No. 2: “Grow up! You’re not 14! Adult men and women can be friends without the guy acting like a testosterone-fueled teenager.”

Guy No. 3: “I think this has to do with consciousness and how awake someone is spiritually. One needs to be extremely diplomatic in choosing friends of the opposite sex and in determining how close those relationships should be. But there are so many amazing people in this world that I would hate to lose the opportunity to have an amazing, uplifting friendship with a woman. But if those friendships ever turn ‘electric,’ then, yeah, boundaries and expectations have to be stated and followed. So I think self-esteem and consciousness in one’s self are the main factors in creating healthy relationship dynamics.”

I hope that my three guy friends have inspired you to edit your outdated beliefs about men and women.

If not, please be careful. Some critters die alone in those tar pits.

Meditation of the week
Hip hop mogul Russell Simmons is taking a stand against the use of the b-word, the n-word and the h-word in rap songs. Yo, Mr. Simmons! When you invest your millions into programs to cleanup the damage created by the artists and records in Def Jam’s catalogue, you might be saying something. Until then, you just pimping your new book. Aight?

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