Friendships among menfolk are called endearing terms like “bromance” and “male camaraderie.” These bonds are perfectly acceptable in society. Close female friendships are acceptable, after providing thorough evidence that your girl gang is not a witch’s coven or a secret lesbian league hellbent on overthrowing the patriarchy. Yes, these examples come from personal experience.

Then we enter the realm of male/female friendships. Society simply doesn’t know how to process this friendly mingling of genitals, other than to smoosh them together and yell “AND THEN THEY HAD SEX.”

Our heteronormative society is flabbergasted by platonic relations between people of the opposite sex – but why? I have a few suspicions:

  1. Fear of extinction: If men and women aren’t constantly having sex with each other, will humans die out? This is not the time to discuss Earth’s current over-population or the “population momentum” that boring scientists talk about. I wanna see babies, and I wanna see them now!
  2. God’s will: If men and women aren’t having sex with each other, who are they having sex with? Unfortunately, homophobia continues to run rampant and any sex other than hetero sex is not kosher according to the bigots in power. If you sinners are going to have sex outside of marriage, at least do it by The Good Book, i.e. penis + vagina (minus any female pleasure, you dirty skank).
  3. The phrase itself: The term “opposite sex” is sneaky in that it tricks people into thinking about intercourse. Anytime I hear “I have tons of friends of the opposite sex” I immediately think of a giant orgy. Perhaps that’s because I’m a bit of a pervert (but we call this sex-positive now).

If you’re about to dive into the judgmental ocean that is befriending people of the opposite sex, or if you’ve already dipped your toe into the opposite sex pool but need some navigation, here are some tried-and-true options for avoiding others yelling “JUST DO IT ALREADY” at you and your friend-who-just-so-happens-to-have-different-genitals.

  • Are You Two Related? When deciding which person of the opposite sex to befriend, always choose whoever can pass as your brother from another mother, or sister from another mister. If you and your friend appear to share DNA, folks are unlikely to ask, “How long until you two crazy kids get hitched?”
  • Become a LGBTQIA Community Member. I grew up extremely liberal and became an ally to the LGBTQIA community early on. Through my friendships with LGBTQIA individuals, I’ve learned that a “breeder” like myself can have as many dude friends as she wishes. The one caveat being: these dude friends must be, as one friend described himself, “so obviously gay – I am as gay as the sun is bright, and you can quote me on that.” No one ever asked if we were “together” and to be honest, I was a little sad because he’s quite the catch.
  • Befriend an Alt-Right Person That You Not-So-Secretly Despise: I, a bleeding-heart liberal snowflake, am unlikely to associate with members of the Alt-Right. I mean, I can’t even watch Fox News without screaming, and that’s just television that I can easily shut off by means of baseball bat practice (see – I’m athletic). Get me next to anyone who talks about men’s rights with a straight face or says shit like, “White supremacists aren’t all bad,” and I simply lose my shit. I can’t deal. Ignorance, hatred, racism, sexism, and homophobia are buttons that no one should push unless they want to unleash my inner Kali (she’s that Hindu goddess that is super talented at decapitating heads and drinking blood). I bet you’re wondering – how does this liberal rant fit with the topic of befriending people of the opposite sex? Hang in there with me. Picture it:  Mr. Alt-Right and me at a coffee shop, arguing non-stop. My face is red with rage (but I still vote blue) and onlookers will instantly know we’re not doing the sex with each other. The red-faced-and-screaming scene is common with marriages on the brink of divorce… but those folks probably aren’t “doing it” either. And so, whether the man at the receiving end of my screams is my soon-to-be-ex-husband or an Alt-Righter, it’s safe to say we won’t be asked pesky questions about the likelihood of our genitals touching.

Though not a comprehensive list of ways to maintain a platonic friendship with someone of the opposite sex, I’ve found these most effective for dodging “will they or won’t they” questions.

I don’t know about you, but the assumption that my friend should be a “friend with benefits” is really offensive to my asexual pal. Yeah, that’s right – some folks have little to no interest in sex, to begin with! And it has nothing to do with my attractiveness, or my inability to keep food in my mouth while talking non-stop.