Can men and women be just friends without any sexual tension between them? I don't believe so. I believe, both from personal experience and from several scholarly sources, that there is always, at some point, a sexual attraction between two people of the opposite sex who have a friendly, pleasant relationship. There are too many natural human instincts that drive us to be sexually attracted to a person for male-female friends to not ever experience physical attraction towards each other.
From my personal experience, I have learned that it is very difficult to be friends with a male who is sexually attracted to you when you do not feel the same way. For example, my sophomore year I befriended an adorable, nerdy kid named Bob. He was someone who I could easily talk to and our friendship quickly blossomed. One day, I was informed that he liked as more than a friend.
This unfortunate occurrence was the demise of our relationship because it made for quite an uncomfortable atmosphere since I did not share his feelings.
In an article by Susan Foster Ambrose, which was written to convince people opposite-sex relationships do work, she says people involved in these types of friendships "enjoy the subtle chemistry of having men [or women] as intimate friends" because "you're playing with a sexual component." She goes on to quote Dr. Marilyn Ruman, "In any male/female relationship, there's going to be some sexual tension" which is the key component to make the friendship fun. Ambrose then explains that her good male friend actually asked her out on a date. Even though she did not take it him up on it (and they remained good friends), this still proves the sexual tension does exist in all male-female relationships.
In another article, Letty Cottin Pogrebin argues...