I've been friends with this man for a few years now. We act platonic, but there's always been a pretty strong sexual tension between us.
In the past, one of us was always in a relationship. Now, we're both unattached for the first time and the tension is escalating. The only thing I worry about is potentially losing a friend if we act on it.
I don't want to date him, I have no romantic feelings for him. At the same time, we're both extremely attracted to one another. I worry that if something happens, he will develop feelings for me or I will develop feelings for him or it will just become awkward.
Is it possible for friends to sleep together and remain friends? Or is it not worth the gamble? If I should try and just keep things platonic, how the hell do I resist someone I'm so attracted to and who I know is attracted to me?
--Wanting to Have My Cake and Eat It Too
Dear Wanting Cake,
I once had a friend with this same problem. And like most of my friends do, he turned to me for advice on how to deal with it. We'll call this guy Patrick.
I told Patrick to act on his impulse and sleep with the guy (both were gay) with no strings attached. I didn't foresee this being a problem, since both guys had what appeared to be feelings for one another.
So one day, Patrick confessed his attraction. To his (and my) surprise, the other guy was taken aback. He said he'd always just wanted to be friends and had no interest in sleeping with Patrick. What can I say? I give bad advice sometimes. Oops.
After that conversation, things went sour between the two. Patrick's friend stopped returning phone calls and they never hang out anymore.
So my advice to you, Wanting Cake, is to strap on a make-believe chastity belt and keep your hands off that friend. He may not really be attracted to you in that way, and you could mess up a beautiful friendship.
Sleeping with friends is a recipe for disaster. Since neither of you want a serious relationship, the affair would only result in casual sex. And you can only have sex with someone so many times before the new wears off. When the sex starts to wane, so might your good friendship.
As for keeping those feelings at bay, I'd say don't act on them, but honor them as they are. Sometimes the crush is more fun than the pursuit or the sex. Eventually you or he will meet someone else, and your sexual tension will likely dissolve as well.
Got a problem? Write Bianca at firstname.lastname@example.org