Cristina Nehring writes a good essay on opposite sex relationships, persistent "new" or "old" fears of commingling and what appears to be another repressive stammer in the fundamentalist community. It might be the result of the Sanford-syndrome.
Having worked all of my adult life in a male dominated world, I'd have been as isolated and alone as is possible if I hadn't included those valiant male, often young, occasionally handsome, colleagues, into my life.
We had lunch, dinner and coffee together routinely. We went to movies, seminars, symposia and workshops in foreign capitols. We shared gossip, books, music and recipes.
We stood near each other on lunch counter lines, laboratory benches and at podiums.
In summer we might go out for a drink.
We invited each other home. One colleague slept on my couch for a week.
We did not have sex!
Did the subject come up? Yes.
Were there opportunities for dalliance? Yes.
Did we cross the line between friendship and amour. No; not if either of us was partnered in a committed relationship.
Did I ever have an affair with a colleague? Yes. But when and if I did and he did, we were single, unattached and uncommitted.
So fundamentally I find this whole issue of male and female fraternisation as silly as putty.