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My first best friend on the planet lived across the street from me. Our mothers were best friends. We were born in the same hospital, only weeks apart. We loved all of the same things, Big Wheels, Garbage Pail Kids, bubble gum, filching candy from the dish on top of the piano and picking cat tails in the marsh down the street. I considered us to be absolutely alike. Save for one minor detail that I only learned of one day while we were in the pool together. He had dangly bits between his legs where I had what appeared to be a second butt.

I Figure Out The Hardware

I moved away where I made another best friend, David, and another best friend, Ashley (oh, like you didn’t have multiple best friends when you were eight), and this tended to be the pattern I followed. For every female friend, I had an corresponding male friend. Luckily, thanks to Health Class, I learned what the dangly bits were called (cock-n-balls) and that my second butt was actually a vagina. This cleared up a lot of the confusion for me, although I didn’t pay it much mind. I would have, however, given all of my allowance for a month to be able to write my name in the snow with pee.

That First Crush

It wasn’t until puberty hit and I grew a set of itty-bitty-titties and fell in love with an absolutely dreamy guy in my first period science class that I realized that maybe, just maybe, there was something a bit, well, different about guys and girls, besides the obvious crotch issues. Sure, I’d read The Sweet Valley High books and I knew that I was supposed to have puppy crushes on boys that I thought were cute, agonizing over which Valentine to send him, and I’d had a few throughout the years, but never anyone I’d considered a friend.

But it’s never surprised me when I hear my gay friends say that “they just knew” because man, when I saw that cute boy in my science class, I just knew. It was like a light switch flipped and I was awash with hormones. Oozing out of my pores and seeping across the floor like a particularly heart shaped fungus. Oh, I had it, and I had it BAD. My days and nights were consumed by girlish thoughts about my new crush and it must have been absolute torture to be around me. Ah, puppy love.

A Vagina Tea Cozy?

This was the time in our lives where girls and boys aren’t supposed to be friends, we’re warned, because, of those pesky bits between our legs which, as I was walking, oozing proof, could get us into serious trouble. In high school, I fell in with a group of guys that called themselves The Metal Heads and was introduced first hand to one of the reasons that men and women have a hard time being friends: significant others.

While it was flattering to imagine that I was secretly traipsing around, having romantic trysts with the guys I considered to be brothers from other mothers, it simply wasn’t true. I’d sooner make Polish Sausages from my own intestines than consider letting any one of them use my own vagina as a tea cozy (side note: what IS a tea cozy?) but jealousy knows no bounds and many of these women, and many of my own boyfriend’s simply couldn’t understand that we were just friends. When I was around, it was all sneers and snotty looks, jealous glares and catty remarks and it always make me feel like a gigantic steaming pile of poo. Really, hand to God, we were just friends.

Friend Or Lover?

I’ve always been able to separate the people that I want to have The Dirty, Hot Sex with and the people who I am to be friends with, and to me, there’s a golden window of opportunity, a Critical Period, if you will (and you will because I am a dirty slut who can be very, VERY persuasive), in which someone could go either way—friend OR lover. But never both. Once that window slammed shut (now that I am an old married hag, of course, it’s not only shut, but nailed and caulked and boarded up), it stayed that way.

Being Mature Sucks Balls

The Metal Heads, the same guys that I met when I was a gawky fourteen year old with dyed red hair and an obsession with bangle bracelets well, three of them stood up for me when I got married and I’d imagine that I’ll probably participate in their weddings too. If in no other manner than getting shockingly drunk and making a spectacular ass of myself, because that’s what you do when you’re celebrating with people who’ve known you since way back when. Because fifteen years later we ARE still friends, probably because we never screwed around or dated. Having had no dating baggage, we’ve managed to stay together where we wouldn’t have otherwise, because, let’s face it, who really stays friends after a break-up? I sure as hell haven’t. I maintain civility with the one I share a kid with because I have to. Fucking being mature and shit SUCKS.

It’s a hotly debated subject–if men and women can really be friends–and there is obviously no one-size-fits-all answer. I suppose my own answer would be sometimes which is, I know, is about as clear as mud. I don’t have any problems with The Daver having female friends, supposing, of course, the female in question doesn’t want to suck his dick in the bathroom (or, really, any room), nor do I have problems with Dave having male friends providing THEY don’t want to suck his dick in the bathroom. I think that’s where the line is hazily drawn in the sand for me, providing there aren’t any really sexual or romantic notions involved, I don’t see why men and women can’t be friends.

Providing, of course, there’s no oral action. Unless you’re into that sort of thing.

What do you think, o wise Toy-With-Me-ers? Is it possible for men and women to be friends?