Should friends have sex?
The question is perhaps as hackneyed as cavemen wanting to become billionaires so they can shoot million-dollar dildo rockets into space (they finally got one out there days ago). With the exception, of course, of the 1960s to the 1970s, even way into the ‘80s, when dildos weren’t as widespread and active as the real thing (battery problems, I presume).
Imagine growing up in a world run by free love, flower power, weed-ipedia, and heavy-metal Euro bands. Sex during those years had become a sort of social experiment where borders were tested, intimacies defined and redefined if only to examine honest-to-goodness friendships and if they can withstand the pressures of l’amour.
Somewhere between the rise of Led Zeppelin to the discovery of the internet lay the sprouts which eventually turned “friends with benefits” into something commonplace in some circles. Tolerated, though not always accepted. Frowned upon by the Silent Generation, but cheered by, you guessed it: Boomers like me.
However, just a quick observation: while some of these couples ended up getting married post-coitus, other friendships took on a more “awkward” position (and I don’t mean those found in the Kamasutra).
This is sad in more ways than can be imagined. The more intimate versions of l’amour are said to have thrived on an ongoing friendship between couples, a quality in the relationship they work hard on preserving even after decades of screaming babies, mortgage, and the dreaded seven-year itch.
But for true friends, it seems that sex only got in the way of platonic intimacy. While a thin line separates friendship and the affairs of the heart (more so, the gonads), for many, the line ought not to be breached.
Friends who get too close for comfort, but never, even once, enjoying sex is not exactly uncharted territory. That much is certain, at least, in theory back in the day. But seeing how might a couple go about pulling this off for any length of time, even as sexual tensions and unintended consequences hound their steps, can be an enigma for some.
This is where a 2021 Netflix movie comes in: Alessandra de Rossi’s My Amanda where she teams up with heartthrob Piolo Pascual. The plot is simple: two best friends living well-nigh the life of “lovers” with the exception of—you guessed it—sex.
I have to admit that I find the movie funny in ways I hardly expected it to be. Endearingly spontaneous is its undeniable quality. And while some may think that it requires a tad too much suspension of disbelief for its conscious resistance to the call of the wild, the possibility of the story actually happening in real life is, well, not that far-fetched.
But then, it's not every day that one gets to have Piolo Pascual's character (Fuffy)—a hunky writer/poet who sleeps around with everyone but the kitchen sink, or rather, his best friend--as anyone's bestie. For me, though, it's the impossibility of it all that's the real teaser.
There's also the dialogue: I love every heartfelt minute of it. Even after all the teasing and flirting—yes, flirting (look it up in Google, boys and girls, but try not to do this at home)—and the still-it-doesn't-happen scenario keeps the audience glued to the screen. It’s a great viewing strategy where the audience waits for who'd first give in to the sexual tension being hurled around like cheese-wrapped jalapeños in a food fight.
It's a brave movie that seeks to answer the age-old query: can man and woman be more intimate than friends and not tinker with their private parts? Fream (played by Alessandra de Rossi) doesn’t seem to mind having an eat-all-you-can night with her friend as the main dish. Apparently, a one-night stand wouldn’t do anyone a world of hurt.
But as the story seeks to prove: sex can sometimes be quite overrated, more so between friends.
Nearing the end, however, the movie stood on its premise as obstinately as to suggest blind continuity of the movie's proposition, which I felt demanded more suspension of disbelief than the audience is willing to dish out.
But since it's fiction, and I can believe in vampires, why not something as wonderful as a platonic relationship for a change?
Of course, this article is not out to prove that best friends are better off simply loving one another instead of falling in love with one another. I fell head over heels in love with mine and we’ve been together for the last 15 years. And she’s my one and only best friend.
For who would I’d rather be with for the rest of my life?
Photo courtesy of Netflix