What is a "platonic" gay friend?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 03, 2007 11:23 PM GMT
    I am having a running argument with a friend of mine on the East Coast. I say that a "platonic" gay friend is one with whom you do not have a physical attraction (or at least one that you will act on),with whom you share activities in life, but no physical or sexual activity, although you may kiss goodbye and hello closed mouth.

    He says that it is common for PLATONIC gay friends (as opposed to "friends with benefits" or a friend much more than a friend but less than a boyfriend...in betwixt and in between) to neck, caress, lay on top of each other on couches.

    I say bull bleep.

    I say that even if you are not having contact involving the penis, if you are on the couch necking, repetitively, caressing, kissing open mouthed...you're in a physical relationship that is much more than "platonic."

    Am I nuts? I'm interested in hearing from guys in closed relationships/partnerships too. Would you be "jealous" or upset if your partner had a so-called "platonic" friend with whom he necked and caressed, and had a strong emotional connection, even if they didn't suck or fuck each other?

    John
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    Oct 04, 2007 12:00 AM GMT
    A platonic relationship is defined by the absence of romance and sex. Necking and caressing are foreplay. They may not be full-on sex, but they sure as hell disqualify the relationship's platonic status.
  • DiverScience

    Posts: 1426

    Oct 04, 2007 12:15 AM GMT
    Agreed.

    Necking and petting and caressing and kissing are not "sex" but they certainly aren't platonic either.

    Platonic
    1
    capitalized : of, relating to, or characteristic of Plato or Platonism
    2
    a: relating to or based on platonic love; also : experiencing or professing platonic love
    b: of, relating to, or being a relationship marked by the absence of romance or sex

    Platonic Love
    1 : love conceived by Plato as ascending from passion for the individual to contemplation of the universal and ideal
    2 : a close relationship between two persons in which sexual desire is nonexistent or has been suppressed or sublimated

    By either, no sex, no kissing, no romance.
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    Oct 04, 2007 12:17 AM GMT
    Well, Paradox's is the usual modern definition.

    One of my (estoeric) areas of research was Marsilio Ficino and the Florentine Academy. Ficino basically launched Renaissance neoplatonism and coined the term "platonic love." (Ficino's astrology is arguably the first psychology.)

    As I recall, he was specifically talking about the relationship in the Greeks' system of educational pederasty -- love between men and boys. What was desired was beauty. This COULD have an erotic component. (Intercrural penetration would actually kinda duplicate your friend's description of, er, friendly frottage). But the erotic component was secondary to the apprehension of beauty and ideally, physical desire would be sublimated as intellectual and aesthetic questing for beauty.

    So, if you go by the original definition (including the definition in the Phaedra and the Symposium), your friend can make a case for calling his relationships "Platonic." But by ordinary contemporary definitions, he's coppin' a feel from his pal.

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16305

    Oct 04, 2007 12:29 AM GMT
    For me its pretty simple, I view "platonic" as someone who has an interest in you as a person, not sexually,
    so I agree with you. I do have platonic gay friends who I think are attractive, but its a line that is not crossed. If so, its not platonic.
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    Oct 04, 2007 12:38 AM GMT
    I think your friend is full of shit, if there is a sexual aspect to the touching then it is not 'Platonic' in the modern sense.

    On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with two male friends holding just each other - such as for emotional support in hard times; or wrestling playfully with each other; or even just being 'comfortable' with each other when you are relaxing, as long as there is no sexual overtone to it.

    Hell, I have held straight guys under all those conditions, so why not gay guys?

    R
  • DrStorm

    Posts: 185

    Oct 04, 2007 12:41 AM GMT
    Let's put it this way - Bill was not having a platonic relationship with Monica, even tho he muttered those famous last words "I did NOT have sex with that woman!"....well then, explain the stain Mr President!

    FastProf...you're my good platonic friend icon_biggrin.gif

    PEACE

    daWeatherMan
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    Oct 04, 2007 12:51 AM GMT
    I agree with your definition of platonic fastprof. Lying on top of each other, or caressing each other is going beyond what I consider "platonic". To me those activities sound like the early stages of foreplay!
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    Oct 04, 2007 1:16 AM GMT
    Platonic love has rather little to do with Plato's theory of love. Perhaps your friend is classically educated?

    In any case, I think we all have rather different boundaries of personal space. I have a friend who is quite decided not into me but pushes those boundaries. I am a rather tactile person and will usually hug friends to greet them, and even cuddle when watching tv (especially in movies like Titus Andronicus! Jeez!) On the other hand, for me these sorts of physical contact are not sexual. If one feels uncomfortable, bat them off!
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    Oct 04, 2007 2:12 AM GMT
    I don't have much to add to the discussion except a vote. John, you may be nuts, but not based on this particular question. I suppport your original position (pun intended) not your East Coast friend's.


  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 04, 2007 2:15 AM GMT
    (removed: off topic)
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    Oct 04, 2007 2:49 AM GMT
    Thanks for the great responses so far, guys.

    I would also love to hear from you guys who are partnered. No matter what the definition of 'platonic friend' would you be upset or jealous or feel that your partner is cheating if he open mouth kissed, caressed, massaged, laid with, his "platonic friend?" Over the course of a close friendship, that runs back four years...repeatedly. In other words, OW, it is more than copping a feel, though I know what you meant, on one occasion....it is part of the relationship.

    Yes, DrStorm, we are very good "platonic" friends...icon_twisted.gif
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    Oct 04, 2007 3:48 AM GMT
    I think you're right, John. Your East Coast friend is playing fast-and-loose with the definition of "friend." To me, a friend is a friend, and someone who's mouth or body are on you frequently is in a category all their own. Stand your ground. icon_wink.gif
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    Oct 04, 2007 4:38 AM GMT
    I doubt John has trouble standing his ground twister.

    I suppose only the parties involved can say what the relationship means to them, but it does sound like a relationship with at least 'certain' over the norm benefits. I'm also assuming that this person has some sort of partner, maybe monogamous from the drift of the conversation -- at least I would assume that the issue would not be the same in an open relationship, or even an issue. I guess the issue would be does the other partner know, and what sort of relationship and communication do they have? If no, then you probably have an issue even if no sex involved, and it would seems to me that, if that be the case, said person is probably deluding himself from the extent of the relationship. Certainly physical intimacy is not the only thing that has ruined a relationship. Probably not what most would think of as platonic.

    But then many people are also phobic of physical contact. Is cuddling on the couch sexual or not? Depends, and the same goes with wrestling, and other forms of physical contact as well. I've certainly kissed, and not this closed mouth peck business fastprof, more than once where I found the person stimulating or interesting, but not appealing sexually. But I will admit that while the kiss may have not meant much to me, at least sexually, they have meant something to the other person.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 04, 2007 4:40 AM GMT
    Hold me, wrerick icon_redface.gif
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    Oct 04, 2007 4:44 AM GMT
    wreick the wise said: "...I've certainly kissed, and not this closed mouth peck business fastprof, more than once where I found the person stimulating or interesting..."

    Thanks, Keith and others.

    I understand what you said captioned above, Keith, but would you repetitively do that regularly over a four year period if you did not have some sexual interest?

    All of us have "given into the moment" with someone towards whom we are not really greatly attracted. But would you seek this person out over and over?

    I doubt that anyone would.

    John
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    Oct 04, 2007 5:15 AM GMT
    Agreed. Could be either a positive or a negative friendship/relationship, but has wandered off course of what platonic currently means.

    OW wrote: Hold me, wrerick

    Response: Now that would hardly count as platonic!
  • zakariahzol

    Posts: 2241

    Oct 04, 2007 10:59 AM GMT
    I end a platonic friendship from a friend of 5 years because he start to cross the line of physical contact. He use to be respectful, until we start to be really close friend . He start climbing on my body as a way to wake me up. Forcing me by pulling my hand to dance when I dont feel like it. One day he even peek under my bathing towel. He claim its all fun and games
    and he dont mean it sexually. I repeatedly told him to stop, when we dont I have no choice but to end our friendship. He have no respect to my personal space so I cant be his friend any longer.
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    Oct 04, 2007 2:14 PM GMT
    All relationship is built on mutual respect and boundaries and when that is either crossed or disrespected then we are faced with making a decision.
    Which can be gut wrenching, especially if we valued the so-called friendship.

    I just went through something like this but my former friend was female.

    It was very unpleasant.

    What angered me the most was if she was really my friend she would have NEVER put me in the position to end the friendship. I felt very violated.icon_evil.gif


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    Oct 04, 2007 2:27 PM GMT
    Hey fastprof, in answer to your question about partnered guys, let me put it this way. If I walked in on my husband and some guy in the situation you describe, my response would no doubt be something along the lines of "What the f!@# is going on here?" How's that? LOL!
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    Oct 04, 2007 2:39 PM GMT
    Yeah, I agree with Gigaram. If I was in a relationship, that would NEVER fly.

    I'm affectionate with my friends (i.e. hugs, put my arm around them), but NOT like foreplay, LOL!

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 04, 2007 10:27 PM GMT
    fastprof...

    I agree with your definition of platonic. "Platonic" implies certain boundaries. Once things move to the necking, caressing, laying on top of each other phase, it is most definitely NOT platonic any more because those boundaries have been crossed. That's going into the "friends with benefits" territory at the very least.

    As for the relationship question... if I were in a relationship and caught my lover doing this with a "friend", that would end the relationship. It wouldn't matter how long they'd been "friends". There's obviously a sexual attraction there and they're obviously not doing too good in terms of restraint. If they're gonna go that far, they may as well get naked and do the deed.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Oct 04, 2007 11:35 PM GMT
    Thanks again guys. At least I know I am not crazy, at least on this issue.icon_razz.gif

    :-)

    John
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    Oct 04, 2007 11:44 PM GMT
    I agree with you John! I have a question, will our friendship only remain platonic?
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    Oct 05, 2007 12:59 AM GMT
    Im with you Fast Prof...platonic friends is no physical contact of any kind because you have no attraction that way...but you enjoy hanging out and you confide in each other and go to that person with personal issues....My best friend John is that for me...weve never done ANYTHING and neither of us has that desire...

    If you do have physical contact...making out...etc...its not a platonic friend....its more!!

    Just my opinion.