‘We got together because we found friendship and communication were more important than an initial lustful connection that so often goes wrong.We by-passed the sex stage and ended up in a wonderful partnership.Take it away and people learn to communicate properly, to really connect.’Atalanta, who lives in a pretty Sussex village with her 16-year-old son Alfred, initially intended the site to be a traditional matchmaking forum — but was pleasantly surprised to see it evolve into a platonic meeting place as well.‘Working life has changed.Many creative people, even designers and artists, often spend all day sitting in front of computers, which can be rather lonely.
‘The world, and our roles in it, have changed but we all still want to meet people with whom we have a connection, whether friendly or romantic.’ Suzie King, meanwhile, is enjoying a happy platonic partnership of a year’s standing with a 62-year-old former accountant which, she says, is every bit as fulfilling as her previous, more traditional, relationships.Most of these do not explicitly state the sexual or nonsexual nature of relationships; the fact that homosexuality was taboo in Western European cultures at the time means that some sexual relationships may be hidden, but at the same time the rareness of romantic friendship in modern times means that references to nonsexual relationships may be misinterpreted, as alleged by Faderman, Coontz, Anthony Rotundo, Douglas Bush, and others.The content of Shakespeare's works has raised the question of whether he may have been bisexual.Although twenty-six of Shakespeare's sonnets are love poems addressed to a married woman (the "Dark Lady"), one hundred and twenty-six are addressed to an adolescent boy (known as the "Fair Youth").The amorous tone of the latter group, which focus on the boy's beauty, has been interpreted as evidence for Shakespeare's bisexuality, although others interpret them as referring to intense friendship or fatherly affection, not sexual love.Platonic Partners was set up eight years ago by Suzie King, a counsellor from Cambridge who is now 59, after she realised there was no forum for people like her who craved companionship and affection, yet had lost interest in the sexual side of life.‘The most consistent feedback has always been that sex can get in the way.We associate sex with intimacy, but that’s often far from the truth.It is not uncommon to see students of the opposite sex, who do not have an intimate relationship, hugging or holding hands. The decision whether or not to establish a sexual relationship rests with the individuals involved.Students often feel free to talk about sex-related subjects and engage in sexual relationships.Lesbian-feminist historian Lillian Faderman cites Montaigne, using "On Friendship" as evidence that romantic friendship was distinct from homosexuality, since the former could be extolled by famous and respected writers, who simultaneously disparaged homosexuality.(The quotation also furthers Faderman's beliefs that gender and sexuality are socially constructed, since they indicate that each sex has been thought of as "better" at intense friendship in one or another period of history.) and maintained a lifelong friendship.