Twice a month I put on my friendship hat and write two posts on female friendship over at The Art of Friendship.  You can venture over there to see a little watercolor header I painted and to find two years of posts on the drama, delight, poison and pleasure of girlfriends.  I co-author this blog with psychologist Dr. Sally Falwell who also happens to be one of my closest friends.

Last February, I wrote at the Art of Friendship about girls who Hold Hands and how the art of physical touch is slowly dying in adult friendships. That was also a popular post.

Last month I wrote here at RubySlippers how men and women can delight in each other as friends (Harry and Sally are Wrong).

In both posts I recognized an awkwardness when it came to my own ability to talk about touching between friends.

I don’t get quite so awkward talking about a lover’s touch or even the sanctioned hugs and handshakes that our Western culture permits, but when it comes to touching with creativity or affection, we in the West are too quick to change the subject.

How about this cold weather we’re havin’?

Two weeks ago Dr. Sally talked about her friendship with a woman who is also a lesbian (She Sleeps With Women). She opened the subject of friendship and sexuality.

I want to build on this question of friendship intimacy and sexual intimacy by exploring the differences and similarities between friends and lovers. And to be totally honest, our culture is BIG TIME confused about the two. They bleed into each other in most people’s minds. Friends can’t say “I love you” without being lesbians, as the comments on this lovely clip from Anne of Green Gables illustrate.

C.S. Lewis said that lovers face one another, talking about their relationships or each other’s magnificence. Friends stand shoulder-to-shoulder looking and talking about their common interests: good food, knitting, Zumba, collecting ladybugs, you name it.

For years, Lewis’ distinctions were enough for me.

But now, I’m not so convinced. I want better distinctions and more honest similarities . . .

To explore this question and enjoy the Art of Friendship finish reading at “Friends or Lovers?

For those who don’t want to click to a new site (because let’s be honest that one click away feels like too much work), can I tempt you to click above on “Sparkling Resources“?  I’ve recently updated this list to include a list of MUST WATCH movies.

Feel like adding any? Click above.