The Wednesday Weigh-In: When you want to bone your friends

It’s been far too long since we’ve discussed sex in the Wednesday Weigh-In. Over the Good Men Project, Hugo Schwyzer challenges the conventional wisdom that you can’t be friends with someone to whom you’re sexually attracted.

In part, he blames the assumption that desire makes platonic friendship impossible on the myth of uncontrollable male desire: “One of our great myths about men is that lust invariably cancels out empathy.” He also notes that many of us–men and women–are taught to “mythologize sexual desire” and “sexualize emotional intimacy.”

Those last two points really ring true for me. As someone who has been attracted to many friends and has often acted on that–to different degrees, with varying levels of damaging fallout, and conflicted feelings in retrospect–those are definitely things that I’ve done. Desire can sure feel irresistible and different shades of attraction/affection/love are easy to confuse with lust.

What about you? Have you maintained purely platonic friendships with people who were attracted to? How did you manage it? Or did you act on your desire, and if so how’d that go for you?

Leave your stories–and wisdom–in the comments section.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like,, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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