Chapter

Sex, Romance, and Friendship

Daniel J. Hruschka

in Friendship

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780520265462
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947887 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520265462.003.0005
Sex, Romance, and Friendship

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This chapter suggests that Oprah Winfrey's description of a friendship raises important questions about how sex, romance, and friendship fit together. Is it possible to have a “romantic” friendship that feels like our stereotype of romance, with near obsessive affiliation and preoccupation with a partner, but that removes sexual desire? This chapter explores questions, differentiating the biosocial systems underlying different kinds of love that partners can feel for each other and examining how these different faces of love can interact in a single relationship. The anthropologist Helen Fisher proposes that these recurring folk distinctions reflect real differences in how our brains and bodies function in different relationships. Fisher argues that three distinct but intertwined drives—lust, romantic love, and attachment—play unique roles in the drama of human mating.

Keywords: friendship; sex; romance; biosocial systems; Helen Fisher; relationships; lust; romantic love; attachment

Chapter.  6038 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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