Lately, I’ve been spending a lot more with my male buds. They’re good friends, buying me a drink if my funds are low and spreading beer cheer when I’m down.

They provide an endless source of entertainment, as long as you’re going for dirty jokes, discussions of programming languages I don’t understand and music that doesn’t interest me.

Another great advantage is to eavesdrop on their discussions of women. It’s always interesting to hear their perspective on social situations with the opposite sex. Believe it or not, men (at least these ones) aren’t all that different from women when it comes to mustering courage, figuring out whether a date is a date and debating when to call.

Last Friday we all went out for beers at Landmark Tavern, which, in my humble opinion is one of the best hangout bars in Raleigh. Typically, it’s a roughly even mix of men and women, but that night the place was jam-packed with johns.

My eyes roved the room. “Raleigh really IS a great place to be single,” I thought.

I’m as rusty as the Tin Man when it comes to checking out guys and not really into it just yet anyway. (Gimme Oil Cans for courage and another week, ok? Blech, Foster’s.)

But it occurred to me that even if my social skills were up to speed, surrounded by the so-called “sausage fest,” could I be successful? What man would dare approach an attractive female surrounded by four guys?

One of my guy friends from college says that there can be no friendship between two members of the opposite sex without some degree of sexual tension. I disagree; I have had many friends for whom I feel no attraction. But he said for men, it’s different.

And I wondered – as I enjoy my single status, do I not get an ego boost out of hanging out with my guy friends? Aside from their genuine friendship, don’t I enjoy the male attention, ribbing and minor flirtatious comments as we wax poetic over Chimays?

Indeed, three of these four (the foruth has a gf) pay me compliments on a regular basis, and the all deserve knighthood for often opining that my ex is a “worthless douchebag.” (I didn’t say they were well-spoken knights.)

But then again, friends are the people who are there for you, who make you feel better, give you that boost up when you’re down. So what’s wrong with that?

Now, my only concern is that maybe my old college friend is right – perhaps there is a shiver of sexual tension between me and each of my single male friends.

If that’s the case, I have no need to worry about whether my guys will be messing with my game at Landmark. It’s whether I, in a moment of weakness, will decide maybe one of these guys should be part of my game instead of my relief from it.

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