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Aug 29, 2013 Hyacinth commented on Savage Love.
I'm 73 (my comment about the assumption that tickling is bad) -- I want to say, I don't think tickling should be "abolished" either -- I just think it's about consent. One should assume many touching-behaviors that have no consent are bad ones.

I know there are limits to this. A baby can't "consent" to snuggles, but that's necessary for the mental health of babies; I'm not some sort of extremist. But consent is nuanced -- and, while extremely important, not "extreme". It depends on the situation, the people, how old they are, what their needs are, what their mental capacities are. It's not "extreme" to view consent as nuanced and important. I don't think that's extreme.

I do tickle my daughter sometimes -- when she asks me to. Sometimes she asks me to. And sometimes she tickles me, and I've taught her that if I say no to tickling then she must stop. She must not tickle another if they don't want her to do it.

We're big on consent in this home. We're pretty snuggly, but if we're not already sitting there snuggling and kissing each other's heads, then I ask: "May I kiss your cheek?" She says yes or she says no, and I listen and follow her wishes. I know a lot of parents would find this absurd, but I am not up for using my kid as a comfort-object. Physical affection can be great for a person's soul, but she's not my teddy bear. Her rights are not less than mine, and I if my mom started kissing my cheeks and saying, "But you're my baby, just let me kiss you" then that would be insane of her and she'd be pushed off and I wouldn't want to see her for, I don't know... months. I remember getting kisses on the cheek that straight-up disgusted me when I was my daughter's age.

Consent is so much easier to do if one can practice it. It's not some sort of magical thing one can just teach with books or talks. One teaches it by living it.
Aug 28, 2013 Hyacinth commented on Savage Love.
I've gotta be the asshole who randomly steps into the comment thread (since I'm responding to my reading of many comments, and not one in particular) and says that tickling can be horrifically offensive, and that the assumption should be that tickling is a bad thing.

Tickling is a way people use kids to amuse themselves, and to pretend the kids are amused while they do it. "No, no, no" is typically ignored when a child says it while being tickled. Being tickled can be extremely invasive. I remember being tickled so hard I couldn't breathe, but it was clearly fine with me since I was laughing... based on a physical reflex? What?

People's fingers moving around on someone's body aren't okay just because they come with the cutesy word "tickle".

My daughter said, "NO, STOP TOUCHING ME" when one of her grandparents tickled her. She got in trouble for being rude. The grandparent who punished her for this was in deep shit with me when I heard of it. Tickling is touching, and it's touching that often causes a reflex that incapacitates.

So. There's my anti-tickling rant. I'm rather trigger-happy (in a colloquial, philosophical sense) when it comes to rights of women, but waaaay more so when the rights have anything to do with kids. Tickling can be a way for children to be taught (not on purpose, I realize -- but the road to hell is paved with good intentions and all) so many ways of being okay with it when people ignore the fact that you haven't given consent.
Aug 23, 2013 Hyacinth commented on Savage Love.
When I was fifteen I had the hugest crush on a guy who was missing one arm because it had been amputated when he'd had cancer as a small child. I liked him because he was quick-witted, smart, funny, and cute... the arm was really never something that concerned me, aside from the fact that I admired that he seemed to be able to do all my two-arm tasks with just one arm, and without any loss in the quality of how well the tasks got done.
Jul 11, 2013 Hyacinth commented on Savage Love.

Great post. Exactly my thoughts.
Jul 10, 2013 Hyacinth commented on Savage Love.
I don't understand how it's rude to not want a one night stand to spend the night. That's ridiculous. She's a stranger, and he's supposed to trust her to be in his home while he's asleep?

I've had many one night stands in my time, and many of the people were hurt when I insisted on leaving instead of spending the night. I never understood it. One night stands aren't friendships. You're not friends because you had sex. You aren't trustworthy because you had sex.
May 7, 2013 Hyacinth commented on Savage Love.


I'm not sure how it can actually be fixed. I happen to be in a weird situation, with one pair of friends, where I've heard from them both. She used to love sex but is basically asexual now because of an SSRI. He is not asexual at all. He desires her and she gets physical pleasure but not emotional or mental pleasure from sex. But she feels like a failure about it and wouldn't ever give him permission to "cheat". However, strangely, she's said she'd "get it" if he did, but she'd never ever want to know about it because she'd find it really upsetting and might leave

These are people who dearly love each other and have adult children and a life built together. He once described to me how amazing it is to look in her eyes and they both know exactly what the other is thinking, remembering, feeling. It's not at all simple to leave someone because they won't have sex -- especially when it's because of something physical they can't control, like absolutely needing an SSRI so as not to be suicidal.

(I suggested marriage counseling to both of them because it seemed weird and not healthy for me to be the one told about problems.)
May 6, 2013 Hyacinth commented on Savage Love.

"Honestly, if there's no sex left in the marriage, then it shouldn't devastate his wife to hear that he's getting some elsewhere. She knows he's human. Promising monogamy isn't the same as promising celibacy. If the news does devastate her, that's probably because they are still having sex."

I agree that cheating/lying is wrong, but this is absolutely not how I've seen it work. I've known MANY people who will no longer have sex with their partners but are deeply horrified by the idea that their partner might want to have sex with someone else. They feel that if their partner really loves them then sex should not be important.
Feb 2, 2013 Hyacinth commented on Savage Love.
I side with the porn-watcher because from my POV what it comes down to is that it's inherently unreasonable to expect a partner not to watch any movie they would like to watch. Censoring adult use of legal porn is a thought-police move, not a sexual values move. What if a guy masturbates to a picture of a woman in a bikini? Is that more acceptable? It's really simple to me: it's inherently ridiculous to ask other grownups to promise not to watch the videos they feel like watching, whether that's Tarantino films ("too violent!") or porn.

But this means I tend to fall on the "don't date someone who doesn't want you to watch porn" side -- I mean, I wouldn't date such a person. I still understand, though, that sometimes you fall for someone and it seems really sad to end the relationship over something like this. I can't say I think it's healthy to be in a relationship where one would have to lie about this, but I don't think a lie like "I do not watch porn" is any different, on a moral plane, than a lie like "I do not fantasize about anyone else when I'm having sex with you."
Jan 29, 2013 Hyacinth commented on Savage Love.
@10 My BS detector didn't go off about that letter. "This person has a very good explanation" isn't an indicator of BS.
Dec 8, 2012 Hyacinth commented on Savage Love.
I'm not sure how assigning consonants and a definition to something means one wants a fuss to be made over it.