The friend zone isn't real. The reality is, people who believe it's real, have not managed to assert what it is they want from their personal relationship to someone else and instead of owning that, they blame the other person for supposedly putting them in a place of friendship. I think it does guys in general, a huge disservice to suggest that they cannot simply be friends with a woman, and vice versa, without feeling as though they are sexually unsatisfied or without some hope that eventually the two "must have" sex in order to co-exist. Also as the video above suggests, someone can't simply be nice to another human being, again without the promise of some sort of sex or sexual favor.
I think it all goes back to the beginning, and this idea by some guys, who let's be honest, do most of the asking out of the opposite sex, that if he asks a girl out, she is in some way obligated to go out with him...just because he asked. Attraction doesn't work that way. You are "allowed" to say no, or in the case of hanging out with someone you think is nice, to just want to be friends with that person. It is incredibly presumptuous to assume that being nice should equal sex, or because you are attractive, or because you exist, or because you ask someone out, that they are in some way indebted to you, especially in a sexual way.
If you are a guy or a girl and you have no intentions of EVER being friends with the object of your desire, it is you who must assert that premise. It is you who must say that you don't want to "just" hang out, or volunteer to help them, or have lunch. You must assert you in no way want to be "just" friends, but that you actually want to date them, or if so bold, to have sex with them. If you never make that clear, don't put that on the other person when you don't end up with the relationship you wanted or actually, you know, listen to a person who says to you, hey I...just...want...to...be...friends, because odds are they mean it and if you are dumb enough to stick around thinking you're going to change their minds, five years later when you're "still friends," that's your fault, not the other persons because they told you up front what they wanted and you ignored that thinking you could change their minds or that they'd eventually come round if you just waited it out.
Man and woman can very much co-exist as friends as long as the two are very honest about what they want with their interactions and both honor that. If you can't be honest with yourself and say what it is you want from the other person or walk away because you know you don't want a friendship with someone you desire more than that, that doesn't make the other person a jerk simply because you didn't get what you want...that's life, and sometimes, it doesn't work out, and people aren't attracted to us, or people just want to be friends with us, and nothing more.