DEAR HARRIETTE: I have a GBF (gay best friend). We are just like any other friends, except that I am a straight woman, and he is a gay male. My GBF and I will hug or play fight over an item we both want -- like nail polish or a cookie -- the same way I do with many of my female friends. Some of my male friends have pointed out that I have a double standard for my GBF. I do not like to have men other than my boyfriend touch me, but I allow my GBF to. My rationale is that a gay male would never be attracted to me, so I allow him to touch me while keeping a respectful distance from my straight male friends. I don't understand why they would complain about a "double standard" reserved for one person in my life. I don't want to seem like someone who has too many rules around her life, but I never thought my refusal to get too close to other men would become something about which I need to defend myself! What should my response be if I get accused of having double standards again? -- Boundaries, Pittsburgh
DEAR BOUNDARIES: You have to follow your instinct on the level of intimacy you find comfortable with different friends. As long as you are respectful with all of them, you should feel at ease. Your male friends who are complaining are probably jealous of the closeness you share with your friend. That's their problem, but since these people are your friends, you may want to limit your displays of affection when you are all together.