Harry Was Correct

by on July 12, 2006 at 7:12 am in Current Affairs | Permalink

Addendum: Restored with the help of Ted Frank and others.

Harry: You realize of course that we could never be friends.
Sally: Why not?
Harry: What I’m saying is – and this is not a come-on in any
way, shape or form – is that men and women can’t be friends because the sex
part always gets in the way.
Sally: That’s not true. I have a number of men friends and
there is no sex involved.
Harry: No you don’t.
Sally: Yes I do.
Harry: No you don’t.
Sally: Yes I do.
Harry: You only think you do.
Sally: You say I’m having sex with these men without my
Harry: No, what I’m saying is they all WANT to have sex with
Sally: They do not.
Harry: Do too.
Sally: They do not.
Harry: Do too.
Sally: How do you know?
Harry: Because no man can be friends with a woman that he
finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her.
Sally: So, you’re saying that a man can be friends with a
woman he finds unattractive?
Harry: No. You pretty much want to nail ’em too.
Sally: What if THEY don’t want to have sex with YOU?
Harry: Doesn’t matter because the sex thing is already out
there so the friendship is ultimately doomed and that is the end of the story.
Sally: Well, I guess we’re not going to be friends then.
Harry: I guess not.
Sally: That’s too bad. You were the only person I knew in
New York.

Here’s an abstract from a recent meeting of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society (no online paper that I could find):

Getting Both Sides of the Story: Sexual Attraction and Sexual Events
Between Opposite-Sex Friends

Matteson, Lindsay K. (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire,
matteslk@uwec.edu); Gragg, Brittany I.; Stocco, Corey S.; Bleske-Rechek, April

Debate exists on whether opposite-sex friends experience sexual
attraction to one another and, if so, whether that attraction adds
spice or strife to the friendship. Little systematic research,
however, has evaluated these questions; and existing studies have not
asked for both friends’ perspectives. In the current study, 89 pairs
of young adult opposite-sex friends (mean friendship duration = 2
years) reported on their friendship. Men reported more sexual
attraction to their friends than did women, and this sex difference
endured after controlling for men’s greater sexual unrestrictedness.
Approximately 25% of friendship pairs had romantically kissed, and
over 10% had "fooled around." Attraction to friend was not related to
friendship duration, and sexual events occurred at various time
points in the friendship, suggesting that attraction to friends isn’t
something that is "overcome" with time. We discuss our findings in
the context of mainstream literature suggesting that opposite-sex
friendships are inherently platonic.

1 Chairman Mao July 13, 2006 at 1:51 pm

Prof. AT,

Sexual acts are a form (or act) of friendship.

Trying to choose one or the other is unnecessary. If one person finds the other attractive, then there is sexual tension even if the relationship is not (or not yet) sexual. This can be one or two directional.

You can have non-sexual friendships but they have to be based on some other basic (often subconscious) human need. What is pure friendship after all?

Libido is a human driver and results in many achievements (apart from babies). It is often shunned and denied (apparently more by women).

Is friendship a form of transcending physical desire and tending toward the purely spiritual?…..Similar to a religion? Or, does it fall into the category of family and/or tribal allegiance – a manifestation of carnal needs?

2 Ralph Hitchens July 13, 2006 at 2:45 pm

Harry makes a convincing argument. I loved “Seinfeld” but never found the Jerry/Elaine relationship totally convincing. Of course in their case the sex had happened in the past.

3 Greg July 13, 2006 at 10:13 pm

Here’s a link to a (funny) site that supports the argument that men and woman cannot be just friends. And, for a change it dosn’t blame it all on men…


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