I've been friends with boys for as far back as I can remember. Never one to sit with the girly girls or hole myself off for fear of cooties, what began as a nice, co-ed mix turned into mainly hanging out with dudes as I got older. This was partly because of a tom-boy streak, and partly because the young girls I was around were not the most logical beings on the planet. For someone with the social skills of Megatron, I wasn't exactly fitting in with the world of second-guessing motives, lip gloss and finely tuned social strategizing. The local boys, on the other hand, were mainly focusing on video games, sports, or whether or not they had beards. These were simple things. I understood them.
For the most part, I quite like having a lot of male friends. They invite you to cool stuff, like ultimate frisbee games and seeing The Dark Knight at midnight, and genuinely don't care whether you wear makeup or not. Cursing is fine, teasing is fine (the girls got offended or thought I was flirting which, as a heterosexual female, was not something I was really intending) and on no occasion did any of them require that I lie about whether their favorite outfit was attractive or not.
Don't get me wrong, there are downsides to hanging out mainly with the opposite sex. When I was in the 3rd grade, one of the guys I was friends with told me he had to tell me a secret on the playground. I'd had a crush on him all year, so I was excited and anxious, hoping he was going to tell me that he like-liked me, too. But when we met on top of the climbing arch, what he said instead was, "I told everyone that I don't like Colleen anymore, but I still do. Don't tell anyone, okay?" And I said okay. I didn't tell anyone for another 8 years, and even then I didn't use his name.
There's also the awkward moment - the genuinely awkward moment, not the lololol internet joke moment - where one of your guy friends gets a crush on you. Having hung out with them and thought of them as nothing more or less than 'bros,' the idea of doing anything sexy with them is a bit like doing sexy things with a chalkboard. Not only is it emphatically unsexy, you're not even sure how it'd logistically work out. But, as their friend, you don't want to hurt them.
In the near-perfect situation where no one wants to get intimate with anyone else's naughty bits, other people are constantly shipping you. Not just online - oh no. No matter what your sexual preference actually is, when around friends of the opposite gender everyone else is going to suspect you're thinking about doin' it. Even if you are not. Somehow, especially if you are not. This often means that any video I make with a male friend sparks sexual speculation - even when people know one or both of us is taken. Same thing if you and a guy friend hang out a lot; your mutual friends raise an eyebrow when they see you consistently meeting up to "watch TV and play Mario." This can even be a problem when you're just trying to make friends with a guy. Asking a guy to hang out, even if you're both in relationships, is somehow always seen as more than just hanging out. I don't know how to fix this, and welcome suggestions!
My best friend is a guy named Andrew that I met while eating Nutella peanut butter toast on my back porch - we sprung up a conversation about puppies, and it's been nothing but workouts and shooting the breeze late at night (PLATONICALLY) ever since. Thanks to a random question about whether he'd rather sleep with Adele or Lady Gaga, he named me Officially a Bro - a status of which I am very proud. Andrew's like the brother I never had. Our families mutually want to adopt each other, and neither of us has any interest in the other beyond friendship.
I have female friends as well, but it's always seemed to me that they're more acceptable to have in society. Being close with a male friend always gets people wondering about whether it's more than just friendship, or whether you're not actually attracted to men at all (my personal favorite logic jump.) I've never regretted befriending guys OR girls - for me, it's all about the person, not the gender. What do you guys think? Have you ever been in this kind of situation?
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