You Say Either, I Say Either: Why Our Generation Could Never Have a When Harry Met Sally.

27 01 2012

We all know the scene where Harry tells Sally that men and women can never be friends. Just friends. Because the sex part always gets in the way.

But. Could we argue today, that with all the gender deconstruction, the openness to pansexuality, bisexuality, homosexuality, that technically, no one could be “just” friends because the sex part always gets in the way? The argument being if you’re friends with someone you have to be attracted to them on some level. And eventually that attraction might lead to some sort of physical intimacy. And that physical intimacy could eventually lead to awkwardness and then the end of the friendship.

If that’s the theory than we couldn’t have any friends.

Right?

Or we could all be friends. And not let sex be the deciding factor in determining who we want to spend a majority of our time with.

I just started reading Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, which is basically an argument against human monogamy as “the only way.”

Now, I’m only like 100 pages in and know little about the authors and their expertise, but I am fascinated by the concepts of egalitarianism. For example, if we were more of a sharing culture, like humans were when they were nomads or our relative the bonobos (pygmy chimps) are now, we’d be a much calmer, happier bunch. Theoretically. There would be less territorial fighting, less possessiveness, more caring, more thoughtfulness, more clan-like collective development of children so they could survive and thrive easier. And more sex.

So. Are we getting to a point in our society where we can ditch old concepts of monogamy, and become more of a collective sharing community? A place where we are all friends; friends who may or may not have intimate physical relationships with each other? Or is it still too much?

What’s wrong with friends with benefits within a community?

Not just random people from bars or online dating. But like a tribe. A Clan. Like whatever clique you’re in now, why can’t it just be lots of friends with lots of benefits? Not just sexual. But the deeper connections, the sharing of ups and downs, etc. Why does sex often mess things up?

Are we still stuck in this deep-rooted puritanical individualist capitalist consumer culture where we feel ownership over another person? Particularly after that person shares sexy time? As if sexy time demands more seriousness than say a deep conversation over Foucault and the institutionalization of learning or whatever. Why don’t we get possessive over that?

“Johnny! Johnny! Were you just talking to Patty about cyborg feminism? I thought you only talked to ME about cyborg feminism? How dare you!!!! I will NO LONGER have any sort of meaningful conversation with you from NOW on.”

Exactly.

I don’t know. I feel like I could go on and on about this topic. So I’m just going to stop for today. Feel free to comment below or email me privately to discuss.

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