End of story.
Be realistic, how often are you poked by a member of the same sex?
If a member of the same sex pokes you, chances are they're gay. And if they're not gay, and you two are "just great friends"...Everyone else thinks you guys are gay. Not that there's anything wrong with that, of course.
--THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF POKING--
I) Never poke someone you dont know and haven't spoken to, simply because you find them attractive.
Stop being obvious and gross/stalker-y.
II) Don't poke anyone you don't want to have sex with. You'd just be an asshole giving them the wrong message. If you "just want to say hello", then IM them or comment on their profile etc, and actually say hello.
III) Don't return any pokes to the person who poked you if you dont find them attractive. You'll just be leading them on. It's not cool to break unnecessary hearts.
IV) Straight men don't poke other men. It is never appropriate. End of story.
V) DONT OVER-POKE! If you're poking more out of routine than to display real affections, you're poking too much. Limiting the frequency with which you poke helps retain the value of a single poke.
VI) If your poking is becoming too frequent, you need to have sex already. Once you've been poking back and forth for a few days, it becomes time to take the poking from the internet to the bedroom...or shower, kitchen, main lounge, attic, museum, airplane, fast-food restaurant bathroom, Chuck-E-Cheese's ball-pit, etc.
VII) Be careful when you decide to hide your pokes. Hiding a poke is the same thing as a rejection, and you don't want to send the wrong message to someone you might be interested in. If you are attracted to a person but don't want to be bothered with constantly poking back and forth, just leave the poke up there, it doesn't bite.
VIII) Poke wars are retarded (see #6). The process of poking isn't fun. You're just clicking a friggin' button. The sex that comes afterwards is the fun part. Two people competing over who "gets poked last" or who "pokes the other the most" or whatever is the most ridiculous concept I've ever heard. It's like two people sitting across from each other saying "I want to have sex" back and forth but with neither of them actually doing anything. They poked you, you poked them. Now stop the poking, and go have sex.
IX) If you like being an elusive, hard-to-get poke, don't give it up too soon! Sometimes, witholding that poke for a few days can intensify the relationship. Or, if you like subtly letting others know you're angry, take a long time to return their pokes, or hide their pokes altogether. Internet poking is as mental, as real poking is physical.
X) The last, but certainly not the least important Commandment: PRACTICING SAFER POKING.It was already stated in the First Commandment that it's wrong to poke those you dont know that you only have physical attractions for, however, creeps are out there, and it happens nonetheless. DON'T POKE PEOPLE YOU DONT KNOW. You never know who that mysterious person poking you is. You never know who they've poked, or even if they were safe pokers themselves. Unsafe poking can lead to stalker-esque relationships, both in and out of Facebook. And you never know who might give you a virus (be it spyware or herpes). Neither of us want that.
Two ways to poke safer are: to completely abstain from poking (this is the only 100% safe, religiously appropriate way), and to only poke people you know. Also, putting up sexy, cute, or marginally attractive profile pictures that non-friends can see might lead to unwanted poking. Be wary...and slutty/hoish at your own risk. I recommend neutral profile pictures of puppies, flowers, or famous athletes. Doing anything else might attract attention and end disasterously!
If you were: a victim of a poke-and-run, poked anyone without protection, a forced-poke victim, or gave accidental drunken pokes to that "less-than-par" sorority girl, please contact your local teen crisis hotline, police station, health center, school counselor, or any trustworthy adult.