The Best Platonic Friend Money Can Buy

Steve Harvey's decade-old confession about having no female friends reignites an ages-old front in the battle of the sexes - & creates new opportunities for enterprising guys

“If you’re good at something, never do it for free.”
Heath Ledger/The Joker, “The Dark Knight”

“A fair exchange is no robbery.”
-John Heywood, 1546

An 11-year old video snippet of longtime funnyman, pitchman and Black Love expert Steve Harvey resurfaced thanks to social media outrage engines like Tik Tok and Twitter, and has reignited yet another round of intense debate centered on the age-old question, “Can men and women just be friends?” (“Steve Harvey Draws Backlash Over Comments About Why He Can’t Be Friends With Women”, Apr 27, 2021, HotNewHipHop.com). Harvey, in a discussion with the lovely Fredericka Whitfield of CNN, tells the truth and shames the devil in response to the burning question for all time: Not only doesn’t he have any female friends, but that those men who attempt to tell the lovely ladies that they do have them (and would like to be theirs) is only lying to them…waiting for the chance to pounce on a short term mating opportunity. All of this was in service to his then-new book, “Straight Talk, No Chaser: How To Find, Keep & Understand a Man“, of course – which, as of this writing in early May 2021, has garnered a 4.5 star rating on Amazon, and ranking at #20 in “Mate Seeking”. Indeed, it is not at all implausible that the current firestorm of controversey surrounding his remarks back then, could very well translate into renewed interest in his book!

While everyone else on Black social media hops on for yet the umpteenth spin on the never ending merry-go-round of dating and mating discourse in contemporary Black American life, in this dojo we look to see what we can learn from the real time events and happenings of the day and how we can use it to our advantage. After all, one of the strengths of being a Non-Select Guy is our I.Q., right? And as it turns out, this tempest in a teapot gives us NSGs a powerful business opportunity – since we are often seen as “just a good friend” to the lovely ladies, why not capitalize on something they highly value – our Non-Sexual Companionship – and profit from it? What am I talking about, you may ask? Read on!

SHAMELESS PLUG AD BREAK: Haven’t you heard? The wait is over, and it’s official – “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman” has finally arrived and is NOW available at BookBaby, Amazon and wherever fine books are sold – get your copy NOW!!! Better yet, get your personally autographed copy – CLICK HERE for more details! OK, let’s get back to the article!

FIRST THINGS FIRST – NO, MEN & WOMEN CAN’T “JUST BE FRIENDS”. HERE’S WHY.
Let’s get the obvious out of the way before we dive into the details of my opening salvo, shall we? And to do that – and as is customary in this dojo – we turn to Science to sort it all out, once and for all.

In his immortal classic on the matter, University of Texas at Austin Prof. David M. Buss notes in “The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating” that men view their female platonic friends as sexually attractive much more than the other way around; that this is the case whether men are already mated or not(!); and that men are much more likely to breakoff or otherwise end a platonic friendship with women should they enter a romantic and/or sexual relationship with other men. Not only that, but attempting to get out of “The Friend Zone” – a common staple of dating coaching advice for men online and elsewhere – has an EIGHTY PERCENT FAILURE RATE, due to women simply NOT being sexually attracted to the vast majority of their male platonic friends (pp. 261-262). Coach Corey Wayne, for example, has a whopping THIRTY-NINE YouTube videos addressing the matter alone(!!) – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many other examples big and small, of dating coaches for men attempting to cut this Gordian Knot on YouTube alone – to say nothing of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, and so on.

What all of this proves, is that men – and let’s be honest here, we mean Non-Select men – have been refusing the accept the truth – that the women they want to bang, don’t want to BE banged by them, yet want very much to “remain just friends” – and with the scientific evidence being overwhelming with regard to the profound failure rate of “getting out of the friend zone”, you will be guaranteed to be wasting your time AND money in the fruitless, foolish pursuit. A big part of life, especially for a man, is to accept the world on its own terms. Being a Non-Select Guy means this in spades.

Bottomline: Men want sex from women first and foremost; women only see a minority of men in this way, while viewing the rest, at best, as “friends”; and Harvey proves that much time and money has been wasted in trying to “hash all this out”. To quote the late great Aaliyah, “we need a resolution” – and I think I have just what the doctor ordered.

But that’s just part of the puzzle – now we get to another that is in some ways, even more disturbing than the above…

SHAMELESS PLUG AD BREAK: Haven’t you heard? The wait is over, and it’s official – “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman” has finally arrived and is NOW available at BookBaby, Amazon and wherever fine books are sold – get your copy NOW!!! Better yet, get your personally autographed copy – CLICK HERE for more details! OK, let’s get back to the article!

WOMEN LIKE, WANT & NEED MALE “FRIENDS” – & WILL USE YOU TO GET IT
Ever wondered why women make such a huge production out of the idea of having male friends to begin with? I mean, why all the hub bub in the first place, right? And, since this is a conversation taking place in Black America, how many of us have heard Black women openly admitting that they actually prefer male friends over female ones? The answers to these questions are simple, and in some ways disconcerting: Because women derive a bounty of benefits from having lots of male friends, as Prof. Buss makes clear in the following quote, again from “The Evolution of Desire”:

“Women like to have male friends-they offer companionship, sharing,
protection in times of need, information about the opposite sex, and
even a boost to their self-esteem.” (pp. 262)

Not to be outdone, the good doctor follows up with what us Non-Select Guys get out of the deal:

“Men too gain much from their female
friends, including companionship, information, and sometimes
even contacts with potential mates.”

We’ll return the these quotes and scrutinize them more carefully later in this column. But for now, I’d like to turn our attention to the work of noted “direct dating” coach Alan Roger Currie, who makes the case in his books “The Possibility of Sex” and “No Free Attention” that women are not at all above using, deceiving and manipulating men into giving of their Non-Sexual Companionship with nothing in return.

Indeed, Currie’s work in this regard is supported by the scientific and empirical research; again, turning to Prof. Buss, in a paper he wrote for the Association for Psychological Science in 2017 titled “Sexual Conflict in Human Mating”, notes the fact that women have evolved deception strategies along these lines:

“Conversely, because women hold valuable reproductive
resources that men strongly desire, women can
deceive men about their willingness to have sex in
order to secure nonsexual resources. The key to the
success of this strategy is sending signals of short-term
sexual interest, extracting resources, and then failing
to deliver the sexual benefits implied by the signals
(Buss, 2016). In reports of experiences of deception at
the hands of the opposite sex, men are far more likely
than women to report having been deceived in this
way—25% of the men but only 4% of the women
(Haselton et al., 2005).”

So once again the scientific research and the boots on the ground experience of noted dating coaches like Currie converge on an undeniable conclusion: Women know EXACTLY what they’re doing out here on these dating and mating streets. The do not select men indiscriminately. They are not only strategic with the men they sexually and non-sexually align themselves with, they are more often than not ruthlessly so. They know who the Select Fuckboys are (I’m looking at YOU, Derrick Jaxn) and who the Non-Select Guys are, and tailor their strategies accordingly – which includes a kind of “plausible deniability” when it comes to “just being friends” with YOU, while getting their back blown out by the other guy. Please do not fool yourself: If you are in a woman’s life, it is for a very specifc and very real reason, and your continued presence in her life is contingent on the degree to which you continue to deliver on what she needs. Women have always been ruthless in the pursuit of their goals, aims and interests.

It’s time for us Non-Select Guys to return the favor, even the odds and level the playing field.

SHAMELESS PLUG AD BREAK: Haven’t you heard? The wait is over, and it’s official – “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman” has finally arrived and is NOW available at BookBaby, Amazon and wherever fine books are sold – get your copy NOW!!! Better yet, get your personally autographed copy – CLICK HERE for more details! OK, let’s get back to the article!

GOING FURTHER: THE “FRANKENDUDE” STRATEGY
Indeed, in a Black American context, it is not at all uncommon or unusual for a Black woman to cobble together three, four or more men into what I call a “Frankendude”, in an attempt to get all of her needs met as a woman: One guy will be “on call” for sexual services (we all know who this type of guy is typically on sight); another guy will be her de facto Uber driver; another guy will be her de facto handyman; yet another guy will be her de facto therapist; and another guy will be her de facto savings and loan (to which she rarely, if ever pays back, making her a de facto deadbeat).

Since this column is in direct response to the current Steve Harvey controversey, let’s take a look back at the book that made him a love doctor household name, shall we? In his “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man”, starting on pp. 37, Harvey gives what can only be a textbook definition of Black women’s desire for a Frankendude:

“Women are complicated creatures. You need stuff. Lots of it. And you expect your man to provide it, even if you haven’t explained what it is you need and want, or even if what you needed and wanted five minutes ago is wholly different from what you need and want now. In fact, I’ve said over and over again jokingly that they only way a woman can be completely satisfied is to get herself four different men – on old one, an ugly one, a Mandingo, and a gay guy. Now the four of them combined? They got you covered.”

Harvey continues on pp. 38:

“The old man – he’ll sit around the house with you, spend his pension check on you, hug you, give you comfort, and won’t expect any sex from you, well, he can’t get it up no way. From him, you get financial security. The ugly one? He’ll go above and beyond the call of duty to help you out: He’ll take the kids(!) to their lessons after school, run you down to the grocery store, wash the car on the weekends, babysit the cat – whatever you need, he’ll provide it because he’s just happy someone as beautiful as you is paying him any kind of attention. From him, you get “me time”. He frees you up to do all the things you need time to do. And then there’s the Mandingo man. You need a big ol’ Mandingo man. You know what you’re gonna get from him. He’s big, he’s not that smart, can’t build a good conversation, got muscles popping out from his eyebrows to his pinkie toe and when you see him, you know he’s going to put your back out. That’s all you want from him, and he makes sure he gives it to you real good. Mind-blowing sex – that’s what you get from Mandingo. And then you need a gay guy – someone you can go shopping with, who doesn’t want anything from you but gossip and details about what old man brought you, which errands you sent ugly guy to take care of, and and exactly how Mandingo had you doing monkey flips for a week. See, the gay guy gives you all the conversation you need (smile).”

Be honest, dear reader: Any of this sound familiar, to YOU? There’s a very good reason why Harvey’s book hit the New York Times bestseller’s list and stayed there for at least 13 weeks straight.

We’ve all seen this scenario play itself out in day to day Black American life, and have largely accepted it – until now. What Black women have unwittingly proven through their actions, is that they need us a lot more than we need them – I mean, think about it. Thanks in part to the pandemic and a rise of boutique services created almost entirely by men, what Black women might have offered us in the past, especially along non-sexual lines, can now be delivered to us at a fraction of the cost. For example (and though I don’t personally recommend it), one can order up tasty soul food that rivals or is even better than what your mama made; cleaning and maid services can be procured rather cheaply; heck, we can even cutout all the messy “baby mama drama” by hiring Surrogate Mamas(!). Since the main thing the vast majority of Black women have (or had, depending on who you’re talking about) is sex – the main driver of our reason to interact with them in the first place – all of the other “wifely” things they offer, can now be effectively outsourced.

There’s more that I can say on this, but I’ll save it for another day. I just wanted to illustrate the point that our needs as men when it comes to women are nowhere near as extensive (or expensive; read on!) as the other way around – AND THE SCIENTIFIC FACTS BEAR THIS OUT.

Getting back to my main point, I just want to note to the reader that all of these “services” a Black woman’s “male friends” dole out HAVE REAL WORLD MONETARY VALUE, AND NON-SELECT GUYS SHOULD TAKE NOTE OF THIS AND CAPITALIZE ON IT. It is in no way a crime or “wrong” for an NSG to value his time and expertise (which, let’s face it fellas, is multifaceted as we Non-Select Guys tend to know a lot of stuff and which means that we tend to be excellent problem solvers) and farm them out to the highest bidder – the exact same way IG models do (watch this excellent “story time” video by Brandon Rashad for more on this point: “STORY TIME | She Told Me To Pay For It?, YouTube, Apr 2, 2021) and other Black women do. On this point, Alan Roger Currie makes a powerful argument: It is not that (Black) women have been doing all this, but rather, that men – Non-Select ones in particular – have allowed it to go on for so long. He’s 100% right – but I would like to extend and revise his remarks just a bit further. Fellas, it’s time we got PAID for our Non-Sexual Services.

And here’s how we’re going to do it…

SHAMELESS PLUG AD BREAK: Haven’t you heard? The wait is over, and it’s official – “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman” has finally arrived and is NOW available at BookBaby, Amazon and wherever fine books are sold – get your copy NOW!!! Better yet, get your personally autographed copy – CLICK HERE for more details! OK, let’s get back to the article!

DON’T WASTE YOUR FRIENDLY
The idea’s been around for quite some time anyway; Japan has it, known as “Tokyo Toyboys” (“Boyfriends for Hire in Japan”, Vice/YouTube, Sep 16, 2013); they inspired what is known here in the States as “Rent-A-Gent”; and so on. The only problem is that in a Black American context, Non-Select Guys don’t “know their worth” – a phrase often uttered by Black women themselves, often as a defense and self-pep talk after getting pumped and dumped by a Select Fuckboy (I so LOVE role reversals, don’t you?). Non-Select Guys don’t realize that they are sitting on a literal goldmine, because what they bring to the marketplace is in seriously high demand by the ladies. Let’s go back to Buss’ quote about what women get from having male friends and why the love having them around, shall we?

“Women like to have male friends-they offer companionship, sharing,
protection in times of need, information about the opposite sex, and
even a boost to their self-esteem.”

Based on the above quote and right off the rip I see at least FOUR distinct services I can offer to women, and to use a baseline for my rates, I simply did some Googling around:

1. Companionship: Rent-A-Gent’s rates are about $200 an hour (“Rent A Gent is a startup that lets you rent a platonic male friend for $200 an hour — here’s what its like to use”, Feb 27, 2016, Business Insider; “My Life as a Rent A Gent”, Apr 2, 2015, GQ).

2. Sharing, Boosts To Self-Esteem: The national average cost of a therapist ranges between $100-$200 an hour, according to Psychology Today’s website (“Cost & Insurance Coverage”).

3. Protection In Times Of Need: According to Business Insider, a personal bodyguard starts out at $25-$30 an hour (“Everything You Need To Know About Hiring Your Own Personal Bodyguard”, Jan 12, 2012).

4. Information About The Opposite Sex: Per a very interesting piece on the Glamour website called, “$9,050 Worth of Love Advice…For Free!” (Mar 31, 2008), we see that the price for a dating coach can range from $100 to $1500 an hour(!).

And that’s just for starters. Think about it: Other “boutique services” can be offered, like the aforementioned de facto Uber driver, handyman and other non-sexual services, all for pay, all for profit. What a bargain, right?

Now, let’s return to what Buss averrs us guys get out of the “let’s just be friends” deal, shall we?

“Men too gain much from their female
friends, including companionship, information, and sometimes
even contacts with potential mates.”

Now we know that this is bunk, not only because of Buss’ own research on the matter, but also because of the conspicuous use of the words “sometimes” and “potential” – note their utter absence when talking about what women get from platonic male friends? That’s because of what Currie said: A LOT of women dangle “the POSSIBILITY of sex” in front of a lot of guys to keep em on the hook – something again Buss has confirmed himself in his own “Sexual Conflict Theory” – so stop it. Men get female friends to get sex, and since the science and commonsense has borne out it simply doesn’t work, our focus should now turn to another way women can be useful in our lives: By paying us for our non-sexual companionship services. It really is as simple as that!

Feel free to be creative with the above list; think of it as a rough guide; and think of the ways in which your non-sexual Non-Select Guy talents, skills and competencies can not only be useful to the lovely ladies, but how you can directly profit from them, too. With a bit of reflection, I bet you can easily think up half a dozen services you can immediately hire yourself out to the ladies for when they attempt to “friend zone” you or otherwise make it clear that they have no sexual interest in you (but want to keep you around). MAKE IT CLEAR THAT YOUR NON-SEXUAL COMPANIONSHIP COMES AT A PRICE and watch those freeloading heiffers vanish quicker than the Flash!

And, in case it hasn’t been made obvious by now, being a kind of Non-Select Guy mercenary is an excellent way to get rid of “manipulative timewasters”, too, as Currie would call them. When you make it known that you charge for your non-sexual time and expertise, quite a few ladies will balk right quick.

For a long time women have “loved” having “male friends”.

Let’s see just how much they love them/us, by seeing if they’re willing to pay for it?

Our job is done here.

Now adjourn your asses…

MOA

Mumia Obsidian Ali is a citizen journalist, podcaster, talk radio show host, commentator, newly minted dating coach and author of “The Book of Obsidian: A Manual for the 21st Century Black American Gentleman”. You can catch his daily live shows on YouTube & Mixlr, as well as his dating coach column at the Negromanosphere website. One of the “Three Kings” of the Black Manosphere, Mr. Ali has contributed to the creation and development of Black Male Media. Follow him on Instagram at @ObsidianRadio. He’s also a semi-professional pest.

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