It's one of the oldest debates in history - can men and women really just be friends? According to mother of feminism Mary Wollstonecraft, the answer was an emphatic "no!" Wollstonecraft herself believed that platonic friendships were usually a stepping stone for more insidious behavior. And maybe she's right. Even the best-laid plans to stay platonic can go awry, especially when the guy and gal in question have significant others. Such relationships can mean trouble for everyone involved. The good news is that it is possible to stay "just friends" with the opposite sex while still keeping everything on the up and up. The first step is putting boundaries into place. Remember, you're just friends. Avoid physical contact. Whether it's as innocuous as a touch on the arm or as intimate as a neck rub, do your best not to get physical. A simple gesture could easily spark an emotion you thought wasn't there.
Remember, safety in numbers. If you're always surrounded by people, it's much easier to remain on your best behavior. When you begin spending too much time alone together, the one-on-one sessions can quickly turn into something a bit more amorous. And while we're on the subject, one subject you and your platonic friend shouldn't be on is sex. And definitely not sex with each other. Consider sex a four-letter word, a topic that's totally off limits. Should it ever come up in passing, change the subject immediately. You don't want to put any ideas in your head. We all know that when talking about hot and heavy subjects, one thing can lead to another. It's great to have friends of the opposite sex because it brings some versatility into your life. However, it's best to proceed with caution. Remember, accidents happen, even among the best of friends.