This was an essay I edited for use in The Academy News when they approached me to contribute something concerning co-educational relationships and activities. To make the essay "appropriate," I edited it severely. The original is at http://xenlogic.wordpress.com/2007/12/02/men-for-dummies.
The World According to Xenocrates: Men for Dummies
“Men and women can only be friends once there is absolutely no sexual attraction between them.”
Why is it that when it comes to friendships with men, that women can’t understand that there is and always will be sexual intent in a man’s relations with her? It’s not even something that we premeditatively desire. It’s just there – like a sting in the back of our minds, slowly driving us mad. Even if the relationship is purely professional and they never see each other again until the next seminar or meeting, EVERY man thinks about every woman he sees that is not directly related to him as a sexual object before he sees her as anything else – even if that woman is his boss. Men are hardwired to sexually objectify women. We do it every single time we see an even moderately attractive woman. The process is so automatic and happens so fast, that most men aren’t even consciously aware of it when it happens. If you’re a man reading this, think of every woman in your office that is even remotely attractive. I’m sure there’s at least one. Now imagine if you weren’t married or otherwise engaged. Do you realize where you thoughts went just for a second there? Yeah. You know what I’m talking about.
Women out there probably won’t be able to relate to this, since women can become such good friends with a man that the thought of... [intimacy] never enters her mind – ever. Women can be... duds like that. That’s the most fascinating thing about them for me; women have to be “switched” on... It either happens if you bring enough chemistry to the table when you first meet one or you meet her physical requirements the first time she sees you. Men however, are just on 24-7, whether or not we want to think about it. Now that’s one of the crucial things that most women fail to understand when they decide to have guy friends. They don’t realize that men were simply not designed to be friends with women unless the level of attraction is positively zero. In fact, whenever a man sees a woman for the first time, several things automatically happen in his head at the speed of thought:
He checks her shape – He does a quick symmetrical analysis of her body’s curvature. Calculations of gradients under each curve happen at lightning’s pace.
Inventory – He does a quick check of key vitals... His brain quickly records all this information for future reference. Yes – there’s always a future reference.
Comparison Chart – After enumerating her inventory, the man’s brain automatically compares his numbers against his shopping list. This is a list of key items in the perfect woman in his mind. If he is already involved, he compares her with that girl.
Decision – If her statistics match or exceed his perfect woman chart stats, his brain starts to produce a neurotransmitter called Serotonin, that incites his brain’s pleasure center. If not, she is instantly discarded as a potential. Even when he is already engaged with another woman, women who fit his comparison chart are relegated to a waiting list... Even if a man has no intention of engaging the woman... [intimately], his brain does this processing anyway. Every man does this to virtually every ... eligible woman he meets – even women that are just friends. And that is where the trouble is…
Can men and women be friends? Sure - just like lions and gazelles. If a lion isn’t hungry, the gazelle is safe – just like in that Disney animated movie where predator and prey sing and dance together like duplicitous morons high on crack. So long as there is absolutely no sexual attraction between them, men and women can be ‘just friends’ for as long as they feel like fooling themselves. However, men were not designed to ‘befriend’ women...
In fact, just like in the animal kingdom, men can make deeper bonds with other men than women, because they can share that same powerful hunter instinct with their kinsmen. You don’t see lions and deer sharing a joke over coffee, or an eagle and a mouse trading cooking secrets...
Women believe that they can make friends with any man - even when they know those men are attracted to them. This is a logical fallacy... Only nice guys fall for this psychological delusion. You can spot nice guys by the high number of female friends they have. These are men who readily befriend women in the hopes that one day, they will get lucky... They are effectively playing a numbers game, while their women folk think they have a nice, innocent, completely platonic relationship with them. They would even swear by it. Silly, naive women.
Women need to understand that whether he’s a nice guy or an alpha male, no single man in his right mind wants to be “just friends”. Not a single one of them...
Ladies, now that you know what’s on our minds (as if you didn’t already know), then think carefully the next time you tell a guy that you just want to be friends. It’s probably not worth it. In fact, if you respect your male friend, just turn him down firmly but gently. It’ll make a man out of him yet. I know a lot of you women treat this information with broken hearts. Some of you become perplexed as to why a man would walk away from a perfectly decent friendship – it’s simple: There are other women out there that would be more than willing to give him what he’s looking for. Why waste his energy on the one woman who won’t? That’s crazy. If that sounds too harsh, then that’s because it’s true...
Men and women can be friends only under the following circumstances:
If the woman outrightly fails the man’s instant four stage objectification analysis. In other words, she is ... unattractive.
If the man has identified another woman that far exceeds the scoring of the prospective female friend.
If the woman is married or otherwise engaged to a male friend – or at the very least, a male who he respects.
If the woman has children and he doesn’t want kids, yet...
That’s how it works ladies. So stop whining about us and our complaints about being “just friends”. So long as a... possibility [of intimacy] exists, we don’t want to be just friends.