The "guy friend," a topic I thought WWPD had retired, must resurface now that Jezebel's linked to this hilarious Onion article (redundant?) about the phenomenon, entitled "Sexually Frustrated Woman Just One Of The Guys." Sample passage:
“You don’t have to be on guard around her,” said coworker and friend Ted Reiner, 26, a man to whom Valetta gives “awesome” dating advice and whom she has specifically styled her hair and clothes to please and hopefully arouse. “I don’t have to worry about what I say to her. I’m never trying to impress her or anything. Plus, she’s not high-maintenance at all. And she’s not crazy or clingy or anything.”A Jezebel commenter has already responded, "Sounds like a Nice Girl," i.e. like a Nice Guy, but a girl. I disagree. What's spot-on about the piece, in that usual spot-on Onion way, is that the woman doesn't give the men who won't date her a hard time. She doesn't whine about their lack of interest. She certainly doesn't try harangue the guys she wants to date into sleeping with her. She never even makes her interest known!
Which is really why the whole Nice Guy/Friendzone paradigm isn't gender-neutral. The man who befriends a woman/several women as a way of getting into their pants will generally make this known. A woman in the equivalent situation probably will not. (Having never had the good, or perhaps bad, fortune to be considered one of the guys, at least in a group of straight guys, I wouldn't know firsthand.)
Or maybe that's not quite it - maybe the difference is that in Harry-Sally friendships, it's assumed the man's carrying a torch, at least if he's single, even if he's not. Whereas part of what makes the Onion article funny (yes, yes, the dangers of analyzing humor) is that no one thinks unattached women with male friends secretly want to sleep with said friends, in part because no one - apart from women, that is - thinks of women as getting "sexually frustrated." The piece works both as a painful truth to the one-of-the-guys women who've experienced this - or so it's been received on Jezebel - and as a humorous gender-reversal for those who believe the received wisdom about only men thinking like this.