How many times have you heard someone give the execuse for not dating a friend as, "I don't want the sex to ruin the friendship?"
Really? Are you that bad at sex that years of friendship would crumble under your sexual incompetence? If that's the case perhaps you shouldn't date anyone, and take the time you'd use for dates and courting to study up on proper sexual technique.
Of course I get it if you're really not into your friend romantically and you're just throwing out the "I don't want to ruin the friendship" thing to spare your friend's feelings. However, I have to ask all of you what are you expecting from your romantic relationships? Why would you pass up someone you've known for years, that you get along with, that knows all about you and you him or her and yet you still want to spend time together?
No you all rather get yourself an online personals profile where you have to write an essay on why you're worthy of dating and then sift through other people's essays. You're going to spend your time reading these self involved online prose (that haven't been edited by a professional) when you haven't read Moby Dick yet. All so you can have awkward drinks or miserable dinner or with some stranger who may or may not have a criminal record. Your friends might have criminial records but you know all about that because you were there at the bar fight when he got arrested. Those type of shared memories is what bonds you.