Perhaps one of the best comedy films to ever explore the relationship between friendship and sex is the 1989 film “When Harry Met Sally…”
The film asks the question, “Can men and women be friends without sex getting in the way?”
The question has long been debated by both men and women alike for years, before the film came out. While the answer may vary by person and relationship, the fact is sex often does get in the way of men and women ever truly being friends and making an intimate connection (outside the bedroom).
Women may find it easier being friendly with a man, simply forming a platonic, yet emotional relationship, where sex is not a factor. Men, meanwhile, have a more difficult time forming a genuine emotional relationship with a woman.
Men are often like dogs in front of a meat market- they see what they like and attack it, regardless of any deeper emotional feeling.
In the film, for example, after the two main characters have sex for the first time, it is the character of Sally who comes away from the experience with a deeper sense of where their relationship has progressed to, while it takes the character of Harry a bit longer to realize how the relationship has evolved and what the next step will be.
The frank talk of the sexual relationships between men and women is perhaps the film’s greatest legacy. Doesn’t every woman wish that she had a male friend in whom she could confide her deepest sexual fantasies to and he wouldn’t judge her, but instead would offer his own feedback?
Sometimes, speaking to a man with whom you are not romantically involved with is easier than speaking about sex with a man you are involved with. For men, having a close female friend is a perfect opportunity to get inside the female brain and gain further insight in to what really makes a woman tick. Every woman wishes that her man understood her better, so guys, why not let sex get in the way of a relationship- and discuss it with your closest female friend? That way, you will learn what women really want.
Perhaps the film’s most famous moment is also rings the most true. Naturally, every man assumes that no woman has ever faked an orgasm with him. In the film, Sally proceeds to put that belief to rest by showing Harry her fake orgasm in a diner. The fake orgasm scene leads to the classic line, “I’ll have what she’s having.” Undoubtedly, many women do (on occasion) fake an orgasm. This brilliant scene displays an act that has been likely been carried out in bedrooms across the country.
Like it or not, fake orgasms happen. This could happen for various reasons (we’re tired, just not in the mood, etc.) However men take faking an orgasm as a cardinal sin and insult against their performance when it is not necessarily the case. Faking it just happens. Perhaps the biggest lesson to take away from this classic film is that good communication, in all aspects, leads to better sexual relationships. If men and women would more openly speak about sex, instead of letting the idea of true intimacy impact whatever relationships they have, there would be a greater development of a true mind and body relationship- with the added bonus of better, more satisfying sex.
By Lynne T Murray