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Sail Away

August 28, 2013

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I'm a cute, mostly straight, twentysomething, single, and (safely) sexually active woman. This happens to me pretty often: I hook up with a guy, we start fooling around, and we're both really into it. I reach down, and he's full sail. Things progress-clothes come off, etc.-and, as is generally the polite order of things, the lady comes first. (This isn't the problem.) I'm not aggressive, but I'm not shy. I tell a partner what I like and how to do it. They are always happy to oblige. The thing is, after I get off, a lot of times, the guy is limp. (This is the problem.) They usually express frustration and indicate that they're very much turned on but it's just not working. Generally after a few times, they will stop having this problem, and we will end up having lots of fun. So I don't think I'm doing anything "wrong" to kill the boners. I think maybe I'm just intimidating. In fact, I've been told so. Why does this happen and how can I reduce the awkwardness? Should I talk about it or just ignore it? And should I keep trying to make him hard? Or will that just make his dick panic worse?

Fragile Ego Males

P.S. The more a guy likes me, the more this seems to happen.

So... you go to bed with a guy, he's at full sail, and then you inform him that you, the lady of the hookup, will be coming first. You instruct him in the art of What I Like & How You Should Do It, and by the time he's done—by the time he gets you off—that dick has sailed. Or his dick sails are empty. Or something.

Why does this happen? I have three theories...

Theory One: Lots of straight guys make it into their mid-20s without ever having encountered a sexually assertive woman, FEM. A woman who advocates for herself in the sack, who knows what she likes and isn't too shy to ask for/insist on it, can come as a shock to a sheltered/indulged/entitled boy's dicksystems. And while some deeply insecure guys (guys you wouldn't wanna waste your time and your twat on anyway) may find your assertiveness off-putting (or sail-emptying or dick-limpening or whatever), it may be the case that even the more secure guys you go to bed with (guys you would wanna lavish your time and twattention on) could be thrown by their first encounter with a sexually assertive woman.

Theory Two: Guys who throw themselves into making it happen for you could be losing their erections because they're focusing on pleasing you and getting you off. Making it happen for a partner—particularly if you're making it happen with your mouth and it takes longer than 15 minutes—can be hard work. A guy can get wrapped up in giving someone pleasure, slip into a more service-oriented head space, and then discover that his dick has wandered off when it's "his turn."

Theory Three: If you're going home with some guy at 3 a.m. after a night of boozing, and he spends the first 45 minutes eating your pussy, he may be spent by the time you get off.

And here's how you reduce the awkwardness when it does happen: Acknowledge the situation without dwelling on it, don't treat it like a catastrophe, and suggest taking a break—have some ice cream! Get a few hours sleep!—before having another go at it. And when you start in again, FEM, go with the impolite order of things, i.e., he comes first next time.

P.S. The more a guy likes you, FEM, the more performance anxiety he may experience. And the more he likes you, the more invested he may be in—and the more distracted he may be by—getting you off.


I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for two years, and we've been living together for one. Several times a day, in passing, he reaches his hand inside my shirt and quickly grabs a boob, and then continues on his way. I could be cooking or studying or brushing my teeth, and he just digs in there out of the blue and doesn't usually even acknowledge me before or after. In bed, he is very considerate and giving, GGG and all that—no complaints. I've tried to bring it up two or three times, but he gets offended, so I drop it. Do I have a right to prefer an offhand kiss on the forehead or something more affectionate and less boob-grabby? Is this typical for LTRs? Am I a selfish prude?

Groped Too Fucking Often

Before we talk about your boobs and what you can do about your asshole boyfriend—pepper spray?—can we talk about my husband's ass for a second?

It's a spectacular ass, and I love to grab it. But my husband doesn't like to be grabbed in certain ways, in certain places, or at certain times. So I don't grab his ass in those ways, in those places, or at those times—despite how much I like to grab his ass. Because that spectacular ass of his? It's his ass, not my ass, and he gets to decide when, where, and how it gets grabbed, touched, fingered, fucked, spanked, etc. And I respect his limits because I respect him. Because he's my partner, not my possession.

Those boobs of yours? They're yours, GTFO, and you need to communicate to your boyfriend that there are times when you want him to grab your boobs and times when you don't want him to grab your boobs. Don't make the mistake of framing this conversation around his feelings. You are not "bringing it up" to see how to come to some sort of understanding or compromise. You're bringing it up to set a limit. And once that limit is set, GTFO, don't put up with the boob grabbing. If he leans in to grab your boob, move away, slap his hand, blast him with pepper spray—whatever it takes, in other words, to communicate your displeasure in an unambiguous manner. If he gets offended, let him. If he stays offended, leave him.


I'm a 46-year-old homo who's fairly content most days living the single life. Since coming out when I was 20, I've been in a series of failed relationships and single for the last 10 years. I'm convinced I never really learned how to flirt. I get all tripped up when I see a PYT who I want to talk to. Add to the mix that I was diagnosed in '91 as poz. I'm so afraid of rejection that I don't even try anymore. I'm good-looking, outdoorsy, adventurous, and free-spirited. I'm not afraid of exploring caves or rappelling off cliffs, but I'm a total wimp when it comes to interacting with a potential mate. I know there are younger guys who are attracted to older guys like myself. I'd love some advice on how to increase my mojo regarding flirting and dating.

Doing It Really Trepidatiously

Nothing will boost your dating mojo like getting laid, DIRT, and that won't happen if you don't force yourself to take risks and talk to the next PYT—pretty young thing—who catches your eye. And remember: Lots of twentysomething and thirtysomething PYTs are poz themselves, DIRT, and lots of negative guys are willing to date poz guys. Putting yourself out there may result in some unpleasant rejection from jerks who are freaked out by your HIV status—but you don't want to date jerks, right?


On the Savage Lovecast, proper "slutiquette" and how to wean your boyfriend off "The Nipple Thing" at savagelovecast.com.

mail@savagelove.net

@fakedansavage on Twitter

 

Comments (345) RSS

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AmyC 1
Oh, man, I totally feel ya (see what I did there??) on that boob grabby thing, GTFO. My husband is like that allthegoddamfuckingtime. Here's how I roll with it:
Let's say, for the sake of round numbers, he grabs my tits (unbidden, unromantically, just grabby) 100 times a week. About 80 of those times I'll be mildly annoyed with it. Those 80 times, I'll "let it slide" with some sort of response that lets him know I'm LETTING IT SLIDE because I don't want to get in a fight/be a dick about it/whatever. A return butt-grab, a sardonic smile, a quip if I'm thinking quickly enough. Occasionally he will get an exasperated "Can you just not when I'm standing over an open flame, dude?"
About 15 of the remaining 20 times, I'm already in a mood, and the boob grabbing leads to surprise sex. Yay!
The remaining 5 times, I'm actually PISSED about it, and he gets a talking-to. He is not surprised by this because I've already told him 80 times that this is inconvenient for me, but I don't bring down the law every time because I'm awesome like that. Time to rein it in. He is properly chastised and it isn't a problem again for a long time.

Moral of the story: I agree with Dan; they're your tits, and if it bothers you, you should tell him and he should knock it the fuck off. But also: just remember that he will forget sometimes, and so maybe cut him/your relationship some slack once in a while.
Posted by AmyC on August 27, 2013 at 6:11 PM · Report this
lolorhone 2
A good friend of my acquired a very grabby boyfriend about two years ago. They had a very fun, very sangria-intensive party about 3 months into their relationship and he grabbed her ass in front of several of her coworkers and several more of her friends (myself included). She smiled, took his hand, leaned in and said "If you ever do that again, you're going to get shanked." He laughed nervously. She pulled a switchblade from her pocket and ran her fingers over it without opening it. She then said "I'm not playing with you and I'm not fond of repeating myself." Cut to the present day, she's in a loving relationship with a respectful partner who is slightly (and rightly) afraid of her. Might have been extreme, but 1) he deserved it and 2) it worked.
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 6:29 PM · Report this
I Hate Screen Names 3
@1: If grabbing tits is three times more likely to result in getting laid than a stern talking-to, then I'm grabbing those tits. Hell, you could reverse those probabilities and I'd still probably grab them. Just sayin'.
Posted by I Hate Screen Names on August 27, 2013 at 6:30 PM · Report this
4
@2: If you reverse the genders on that story, it'd be a huge red flag for the woman to leave the man who'd threatened her with a knife and complete justification for her to call the cops. What the guy did in your story wasn't cool, but threatening with a knife was far out of proportion and should be DTMFA at the very least.
Posted by Old Crow on August 27, 2013 at 6:50 PM · Report this
5
I disagree with Dan's last comment... I don't see why refusing to date someone HIV positive automatically earns you the title of "jerk".
Posted by welkin25 on August 27, 2013 at 7:00 PM · Report this
6
GTFO -- "He gets offended so I drop it."

Those are the words that jumped out at me. Never mind that he's grabbing you in a way you don't like. Fill in ANY thing he might do, any annoying habit, any little quirk, and look at how this plays out.

You bring it up. He gets offended. You back down. Neat deal for him! What else can he get away with with those rules?

You: "Honey, could you clean up your own mess? I'm the only one who ever cleans the bathroom, and I'm starting to resent it."

Him: "Sniff. You hurt my feelings."

You: "Oh, alright. I wouldn't want to offend you. I'll do all the housework for now on."

You: "Sweetheart, you went out with the guys and spent your entire paycheck at a bar leaving me to pay all the bills. This has to stop."

Him: " I'm catastrophically hurt."

You: "Oh, alright."

Can you play? Can you get anything you want by playing the I'm-offended card? Or does it only go in one direction?

Either this man is a manipulative jerk, or you've lay down as his doormat before giving him a chance. Follow Dan's advice. Stick up for yourself. One sentence on the problem (I don't like being grabbed.) One sentence on the solution (Stop it.) One sentence on the consequences. (This bothers me enough to move out.) (Though to be honest, Dan's pepper spray idea appealed too.) Then follow through.
Posted by Crinoline on August 27, 2013 at 7:14 PM · Report this
7
Giving Grabby Hayes the benefit of the doubt, he might be thinking that he's playing some sort of little game between them. "Look, I'm violating your boundaries! (But not really) (tee-hee)" In which case the answer is the same. "No you really are violating my boundaries. Knock it off!" If he doesn't, then he's just really in to violating boundaries in which case, goodbye.
Posted by Howlin' Jed on August 27, 2013 at 7:15 PM · Report this
8
Fem,

You're coming across to these guys as too masculine. They sense it and wilt.

You see this already, hence your flip handle and the "mostly straight". Try some girls for now. Go back to guys if you really want some cock.
Posted by Hunter78 on August 27, 2013 at 7:20 PM · Report this
9
GTFO,

You're good, but he'd really prefer a woman who did like to get grabbed.
Posted by Hunter78 on August 27, 2013 at 7:25 PM · Report this
lolorhone 10
@4: But the genders aren't reversed. That's why Dan (half-jokingly) advised pepper spray to GTFO; it was gender appropriate. He wouldn't have advised a man to repel his girlfriend with aerosolized cayenne pepper. My friend had asked her boyfriend more than several times not to grab her like that and he only escalated to the point where he felt comfortable doing so in front of her friends. And, besides, we all know what's next in line after repeated unwanted intimate contact, even from spouses? And such a thing is much less of a concern for men than women. She wasn't just being dramatic. Reversing the gender isn't always an applicable argument.
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 7:28 PM · Report this
lolorhone 11
@5: Refusing to date someone because their HIV status is kind of ignorant. But Dan was talking about "unpleasant rejections" specifically.
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 7:36 PM · Report this
12
@ 4 - "If you reverse the genders on that story..."

Sorry, but no. There are so many reasons that doesn't work that it's not even funny. And for the record, it also doesn't work to "reverse the races" or "reverse the sexual orientations," in case you were wondering.

And for the record, what that guy was doing was playing a non-consensual power game and he as doing it in front of her friends and her coworkers. That isn't just "not cool," it's a HUGE red flag. I would have dumped the fucker on the spot and kicked his ass out of my house.
Posted by MiscKitty on August 27, 2013 at 7:36 PM · Report this
13
@ 10 - Beat me to it.
Posted by MiscKitty on August 27, 2013 at 7:37 PM · Report this
lolorhone 14
@12: I thought she handled the situation quite well (and powerfully) but, other than that, I agree completely.
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 7:45 PM · Report this
15
Wow, #1 - you and your husband have sex 15 times a week, as in: more than twice a day?? Wow!!
Posted by Mmmm!! on August 27, 2013 at 7:56 PM · Report this
16
@ 14 - I didn't mean to imply that there was anything wrong with how she handled the situation. I was trying to make it clear that I also would have regarded his behavior as an extremely serious offense.

Different things work for different women. Props to her for doing what works for her and it sounds like it's turned out really well. =)
Posted by MiscKitty on August 27, 2013 at 7:58 PM · Report this
nocutename 17
@lolorhone et. al: Not telling anyone else what to do, but if I felt that I needed to pull a knife on my boyfriend to get him to take me seriously, I think I would probably just prefer to break up with him.

Boob/ass grabbing when not appreciated, and *especially in public situations* is irritating as all get-out and suggests that to the grabber your body is his/her property. The way the lw describes it, it also suggest that her boyfriend is massively immature. If he can't respect such a simple and easy-to-understand-and-observe boundary, I can't figure out why she has stayed with him.
Posted by nocutename on August 27, 2013 at 8:00 PM · Report this
18
So it's OK to pull knives on men, as long as you're their "partner". How many times do you get to stab them? Is it OK to shoot them, too?

I guess to you guys there's one sex that's human and one that's not.

I'd have absolutely no problem with you dumping the guy on the spot and kicking him out, #12. But pulling a knife? No.
Posted by Old Crow on August 27, 2013 at 8:03 PM · Report this
19
@11
Unless we are talking of purely platonic dating... otherwise, while use of condom can reduce HIV transmission, the protection isn't perfect. I don't see anything wrong with being more risk-averse than others, and I don't think this is being ignorant either.

As for the word choice of "unpleasant rejections", I assumed all rejections would be unpleasant...
Posted by welkin25 on August 27, 2013 at 8:11 PM · Report this
20
@ 18 - So how much sexual assault is sufficient for a woman to be allowed to threaten (but not commit) violence in an attempt to make it stop?
Posted by MiscKitty on August 27, 2013 at 8:30 PM · Report this
21
@18, he's assaulting her. She didn't open the switchblade, she just showed that she was serious about protecting herself from further assault.
Posted by EricaP on August 27, 2013 at 8:32 PM · Report this
nocutename 22
@19, 20: He's supposed to be her boyfriend; he's not a stranger assaulting her in a parking lot. Unwelcomed ass/boob grabbing from one's romantic partner is an annoyance (and for some, a red flag about boundaries) but hardly qualifies as "assault." If she feels she needs to pull a knife on him to get him to pay attention, you think this is an acceptable relationship? Is this how they're supposed to settle all disagreements? If they can't talk, if she can't say, "stop it," and he can't respect that, then they should see a counselor or they should break up.

I think the "what if the genders were reversed" game is a good one to play here. People seem to think it's kick ass, or ballsy, or cute, or clever that a woman is willing to pull a *switchblade* on her *boyfriend.* I can't imagine who would think "you go, guy" if a man threatened his girlfriend with a knife because she tickled him and he hates being tickled. There is no way that a friend would say something like "he's in a loving relationship with a respectful partner who is slightly (and rightly) afraid of him."
Posted by nocutename on August 27, 2013 at 8:48 PM · Report this
nocutename 23
Ugh: I meant @20, and 21. Sorry about the mis-numbering.
Posted by nocutename on August 27, 2013 at 8:49 PM · Report this
24
@ 22 - You do know that people can rape their spouses, right? Well, they can also sexually assault their partners. Being in a relationship does not allow you continued access to someone else's body after they have explicitly withdrawn consent.

And claiming that sexual assault between intimate partners is analogous to tickling? Tickling? Really? Shame on you. =/
Posted by MiscKitty on August 27, 2013 at 8:56 PM · Report this
lolorhone 25
@16: Fair enough.
@17: I asked the same thing and she said it was uniformly a drunk thing with him (they both worked the closing shift at a bar) and that he always (for the three months he got away with it) felt awful the next day. It took me a very long time to like this guy, but I do now- he treats her with the upmost respect, inebriated or not.
@18: She threatened him with a closed blade, she did not brandish. Enough with the MRA fake victim bullshit.
@19: Proper usage of condoms provides a highly effective level of protection against HIV as any other STD. It's analogous to universal precautions being the reason HIV positive doctors can treat/operate on patients. And yes, all rejections are unpleasant, but Dan is clearly talking about being regarded as diseased damage goods, not something silly like 'not pretty enough'.
@20, 21: Thank you.
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 9:01 PM · Report this
26
TIckling someone against their will is MORE invasive than grabbing their ass, not less. Neither of those things is "sexual assault", especially not between people in a relationship, and equating them with rape is sickening. Neither of them justify pulling a switchblade on someone. Pulling a switchblade is not a "you go, girl" moment, it's not female empowerment, it's not a blow against the patriarchy; it's a fucking psycho move, and if you can't see that, there's something seriously wrong with you.

It's kind of amazing how some of you will rush to make excuses for bad behavior as long as the person doing it has a vagina. It's like you're trying to become the cartoon that right-wingers make you out to be.
Posted by Adz on August 27, 2013 at 9:16 PM · Report this
lolorhone 27
@22: She'd had enough of the unwanted grabbing and it was, in that moment, especially, acutely disrespectful as it was in front of her coworkers and friends. I now know what she knew then; he was oblivious and too drunk, not a total caveman asshole. He is actually a pretty great guy, which is why she didn't bail. However, she put him on notice that night- you pull this what qualifies as assault/harassment shit again, drunk or not, you're going to regret it.
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 9:27 PM · Report this
nocutename 28
@24 (MiscKitty): Yes, I do know people can rape their spouses; I just don't see a boob-grab as synonymous with rape. If you are offended at my comparison of a boyfriend's grabbing his girlfriend's boob or ass with a boyfriend tickling his girlfriend when she doesn't like being tickled, I am equally offended, as someone who has been acquaintance-raped and the mother of a young girl who has been violently raped in a life-threatening assault, by people's conflation with a boyfriend's grabbing his girlfriend's boob when she doesn't like it with rape. I'm getting a little sick and tired of every single unwanted physical contact being likened to sexual assault. There are gradations, there are limitations. There is context. If two people are in a relationship with each other in which they touch each other sexually with implied permission, I can understand why one person might grab the other. It's then up to the grabbee to make his/her unhappiness with the grabbing known, if said grabbing is unwelcome. I believe that in the context of a romantic relationship, this can and should be achieved without weapons and threats of violence being brought into play.

Perhaps everyone has something which might seem innocuous to others which feels like assault to them: I hate, HATE being tickled. I find it sadistic. I feel threatened and panicky; it makes me hyperventilate. It bothers me much more than ass- or boob-grabbing. There has come a moment in several of my romantic relationships when a bf has tickled me and I say, severely: "Stop. I really hate being tickled." If a bf tickled me another time--which has only happened once--I said it again, and added, "I mean it." It was clear I wasn't joking or flirting. The tickling wasn't repeated. But even though it had that effect on me, I knew that none of the guys that did it thought they were assaulting me. And even though if a stranger did it, I would consider it assault, I interpreted the tickling as having been meant playfully. That doesn't mean I was willing to put up with it. So yes, tickling.
More...
Posted by nocutename on August 27, 2013 at 9:34 PM · Report this
29
GTFO, reach down and grab his balls once or twice.

I dated a booby grabber for a few months. He didn't start doing it until about 6 weeks in, after we became intimate. I told him no, and he'd remember for a few days and then do it again. One night we were at dinner with some friends and he casually reached in and grabbed my boob. I reached between his legs and grabbed his balls, not hard, but firmly enough that he knew I wasn't screwing around. He says "Babe, let go! You can't just reach in there like that!" My response was "every time you grab my breasts, at any time, at home or in front of your dudebros, I'm going to grab your balls and hang on."

He pouted so much that we went home early that night. When he was still pouting 2 weeks later, I dumped him.

Basically, your boobs = your rules. If he can't handle it, cut him loose.
Posted by ZT Goddess on August 27, 2013 at 9:34 PM · Report this
30
@ lolorhone - Okay, now I have to ask: was the knife thing a final grand gesture or would she have actually injured him if he had done it again? I've been assuming that she was trying to get him to pay attention to what she was saying rather than making a credible threat.

@ 26 - No, tickling someone is not more invasive than grabbing their ass or breast. I've had all three done to me without my consent and I can say quite definitively that tickling, while irritating, does not leave one with the same sick feeling in the pit of one's stomach that being groped does.

Also: "Sexual assault is any involuntary sexual act in which a person is threatened, coerced, or forced to engage against their will, or any sexual touching of a person who has not consented"

All rape is sexual assault. Not all sexual assault is rape. In other words, your right to make grabby hands ends where my ass begins.
Posted by MiscKitty on August 27, 2013 at 9:40 PM · Report this
nocutename 31
BTW, I don't mean that I understand public grabbing to be normal or acceptable. That to me, is grounds for a breakup. The original lw talked about constant, but private grabbing. Lolorhone's friend's situation and ZT Goddess's situation is different--and far more troubling. But I still don't think that pulling weapons is warranted.
Posted by nocutename on August 27, 2013 at 9:40 PM · Report this
32
I was about to grab each of yall's boobs, but now I think I'll take my grabby self off to some other comment section.

jill
http://www.inbedwithmarriedwomen.com
Posted by inbed http://inbedwithmarriedwomen.blogspot.com on August 27, 2013 at 9:47 PM · Report this
lolorhone 33
@26: Uh, no. The blade was closed, the threat implicit. Being in a relationship does not give either partner clearance to grab anything on each other without permission. And no, it's not rape, it's assault.
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 9:53 PM · Report this
nocutename 34
@lolorhone: I understand that the friend's bf isn't a caveman asshole, but was drunk. And therefore, presumably beyond the ability to comprehend reasonable speech.

But.

If your friend really felt that she was "putting him on notice" ("you pull this what qualifies as assault/harassment shit again, drunk or not, you're going to regret it."), I don't understand what she was threatening him with. Either she wasn't willing to put up with drunken, public, humiliating groping any more (fair enough), in which case, she breaks it off, or she was . . . what? Planning to stab him? Get arrested for assault herself? Why is pulling a knife on a romantic partner to let him know you consider his behavior deal-breaking behavior considered acceptable? I understand that things worked out, and it's two years down the line now, and he has treated her with respect, but that all strikes me as ends justifying means.

What would have happened had he grabbed her again? Would she have cut him? Would she come off like a feisty, spunky gal in your story then, or like an unhinged, violent person? Probably she would have dumped him. If that's what she really would have done, then that is what she should have told him she'd do if he repeated the behavior.
Posted by nocutename on August 27, 2013 at 9:54 PM · Report this
35
NoCute:

@ 31 - I was actually limiting my comments to lolorhone's friend's situation. I'm not entirely sure whether the LW has clearly and explicitly withdrawn consent so that situation seems a bit murky to me. But lolorhone stated clearly that his friend not only withdrew consent but did so repeatedly and despite that the behavior escalated.

@ 28 - I'm claustrophobic. Severely. I had to be heavily sedated in order to have an MRI done on my back. So for me, being in a London department store on Boxing Day was a much worse experience than being sexually grabbed without my consent. However, being in crowds is innocuous to most people, just like tickling. Being groped against your wishes is not innocuous. That's why I groused at you for comparing tickling - something that (while extremely uncomfortable for you) is innocuous for most people - with non-consensual groping.

As for the rape/sexual assault thing: the two terms should not be used interchangeably. Sexual assault is, by definition, grabbing someone's sexual parts without their consent. But as people try to take the word "rape" out of news stories and court rooms because it's "prejudicial" or because it's an "ugly word" (for an even uglier act) people have started using the term "sexual assault" as a euphemism for rape. But it's not. "Rape" is the correct term for rape. Not "sexual assault."

So let me ask you this (serious question, no snark): why do you object to me calling sexual assault by its correct name?

See, when we pretend that women who are sexually assaulted are just complaining or being drama whores and we deny them access to the correct term for what has happened to them, it's a form of silencing them. Just like when we deny rape survivors access to the correct term for what happened to them and force them to downplay it by using the term for a lesser included offense: sexual assault.
More...
Posted by MiscKitty on August 27, 2013 at 10:08 PM · Report this
36
You fuckwits, threatening to stab anyone is wrong. Sexual assault is wrong. That is a poisoned relationship.

Maybe the two deserve each other, and we should be happy that they aren't out there waiting to meet us.
Posted by wat on August 27, 2013 at 10:11 PM · Report this
lolorhone 37
@30: My friend feigns crazy so she doesn't have to get crazy- I know her as a sweet girl, strangers see her as not-to-be-fucked-with- so no, she wouldn't have really cut him. She just wanted to make her point final and lasting.

She carries the knife because she was almost raped on her way home from work about five years ago- she fought him off and ran away. She said wasn't horribly traumatized, but the grabbing thing was definitely a button for her in more than just the obvious way. When she told her boyfriend he said "Why didn't you tell me that?" She said "I told you to stop every time you did it. That should have been enough. I'm over it now, but you were this close to blowing it."
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 10:16 PM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 38
So far, the best response I've seen to the unwanted boob grab - especially in front of others! WTH! - is the return grabbing of the boyfriend's balls. That's about equally as invasive of space & should get the point across w/out pepper spray or a knife (WTH). (Bearing in mind those balls are delicate, of course.)

It *is* hard when you're with someone - especially someone who maybe hasn't had a ton of relationships - & they're so excited that they have a pair of actual breasts to play with, that they go a little nuts & have to touch them as often as possible, to make sure they're really real. ;)

Last guy I dated who did that, I'd just smile & smack them away, if we weren't in the context of impending sexytimes. But after awhile he stopped taking me seriously, & then it was ass-grabbing..then it was ass-grabbing in front of other people. :/ I wish I'd thought of the elegant ball-grabbing solution back then. Could have done it at Thanksgiving w/ his huge Catholic family. That woulda ended that pretty damn quick.

He wasn't a bad guy, overall, just too immature & too depressed to maintain an adult relationship. & because he was inexperienced, far too grabby.

One thing about the SLLOTD re-runs is that I've noticed w/ bemusement that the regular Slog crowd doesn't have a lot to say about 'em. That dick, er, letter has sailed.
Posted by Eva Hopkins http://www.lunamusestudios.com on August 27, 2013 at 10:20 PM · Report this
39
@30: I can't speak for boobs, but I've had my ass grabbed without my consent by strangers, family members, acquaintances, and on numerous occasions, a convicted child molester (who, thank God, didn't molest me). Most of these happened as an adolescent, but I've gotten unwanted attention in adulthood, too.

I've also been restrained and tickled, again without my consent. The latter is far, far more invasive and traumatic, and makes you feel a million times more helpless. I'd take a hundred ass-grabs over that. People piss themselves from being tickled, for fuck's sake; they generally don't from being ass-grabbed.

It's fine that your experience of it is different, but YOU DON'T GET TO SAY which is worse from any perspective but your own. Period, end of discussion. (BTW surely you realize that tickling often has a sexual component?)

Framing this as a conversation about your "rights" is counterproductive. Sure, you have the right to lead a life with your bodily integrity intact, free of unwanted touching -- in principle. But in practice, most people, male or female, don't actually get to HAVE that right (and would gladly trade an ass-grab for what they do go through). I certainly didn't, as a child, as I've described above; nor did I have that right when I was recently accosted by the drunk, homeless piece of shit who decided to call me a "faggot" and get in my face, nor when I was waylaid and physically attacked as an adolescent by a group of kids. But had I stabbed any of them to death (as I surely wanted to), I would be in jail.

So you'll forgive me if I think that equating a partner's ass-grab (douchey though it may be) with a criminal sexual assault is incredibly precious, whatever the law may say (and while I'm 100% in favor of stranger-groping getting prosecuted, I think if you tried to press charges when a partner grabbed your ass in public, you'd be laughed out of court). I've had my bodily integrity violated (if that's the standard we're using for ass-grabs) on numerous occasions, including by people whose behavior in doing so was inappropriate on every level, and you know what? It wasn't, and isn't a big fucking deal. Threatening one's partner with a switchblade -- even as a "joke", even if you want to believe that having a vagina automatically makes it an act of empowerment instead of an act of violence and abuse -- is worse, period. I've been threatened with a knife, and it's fucking terrifying. Threatening YOUR PARTNER with a knife breaks a contract that's more fundamental (no pun intended), and frankly more important, than anyone's right to be free of ass-grabs.
More...
Posted by Adz on August 27, 2013 at 10:20 PM · Report this
40
so, I wouldn't grab my wife's butt in front of her friends or in any other situation where I'd expect her to not enjoy it, and if I did, I certainly wouldn't blame her for embarrassing me, throwing me out, whatever - but if she threatened me physically with a weapon (and it wasn't 100% unambiguously a joke) I'd very seriously consider divorce. And for someone I had dated a couple of months that would have been it.
Threatening violence is just way over the line, creepy, really not funny and I find it kind of odd that people here are so callous about it.

If you feel your partner is not respecting you and you want to make clear how much you feel violated, disrespected etc. by what he's doing, you threaten to leave him. By all means do leave him temporarily or permanently, depending on how you feel. If you're afraid he's going to hurt you, you leave immediately and most certainly don't threaten him except with the police.
Posted by adam.smith on August 27, 2013 at 10:20 PM · Report this
lolorhone 41
@36: It's always black and white over the internet, isn't it? Fuckwit.
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 10:21 PM · Report this
42
@ NoCute again, this time re: 34

I actually have a guess: I think she didn't dump him on the spot because she didn't want to end the relationship and I'm guessing that she didn't threaten to break up with him because she didn't see that as enough of a threat to 1.) make sure he knew how serious she was and 2.) allow her to save face in front of her friends and coworkers.

Of course, I could be 100% wrong. Maybe it wasn't an empty threat and she really would have hurt him. But I'd prefer to think that lolorhone wouldn't be friends with a stabby psychopath.
Posted by MiscKitty on August 27, 2013 at 10:22 PM · Report this
43
If your boyfriend won't quit groping you, you dump him. If necessary, publicly and unceremoniously. But you don't pull a knife on him.

By the way, what she did was assault. What he did was battery.
Posted by avast2006 on August 27, 2013 at 10:22 PM · Report this
44
@20: She could call the cops. She was physically holding him so he couldn't move away, which doesn't sound like further sexual assault was an immediate threat.

To me, if you don't think the situation is important enough to call the police about, it's not important enough to justify threatening with a knife.

@21: Yes. As an emergency measure, fair enough. As a precedent for conflict resolution, when they've been drinking, in an ongoing relationship... ugg.

@25: Bullshit. Threatening to knife someone, credibly enough to frighten them, is threatening to knife someone. I don't have to take it from another guy and I'm certainly, and very correctly, not allowed to do it to my "romantic" partners; why does having a "romantic" relationship make it OK for a female "romantic" friend to do it to me?
Posted by Old Crow on August 27, 2013 at 10:23 PM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 45
@37 - with more context, your friend makes a little more sense, but I'd say as a *general rule* one shouldn't *have to* flash a knife to make a point in a relationship; & in most cases, such a gesture = me, heading for the door as fast as possible immediately after.

To be fair to your friend though, her saying stop every time he did it *should have* been enough. They're not like, toys, or something. Yeesh.
Posted by Eva Hopkins http://www.lunamusestudios.com on August 27, 2013 at 10:23 PM · Report this
46
@29: now, THAT is an awesome (and proportionate!) response.

Meanwhile, the knife thing... at these moments, I like to paraphrase Homer settling an argument between Bart & Lisa. "Kids, kids... you're BOTH awful." We all have our bad drunken nights, but yow, do these two come off as high-level reprehensible in lolorhone's account. Strangely, I think I would find it a totally sympathetic, relateable story if it seemed the people involved walked away with the conclusion that everyone behaved badly, to varying degrees, but they learned about each others limits and committed to working to be better in the future. Casting this messy drunken ugliness and threatened violence as a female empowerment story is quite creepy & unsettling.

If I felt I had to pull a knife on someone to get them to listen to me, I'd just dump them... because actually pulling the knife would be insane. Conversely, I'd be immediately done with anyone who pulled a knife (or any weapon!) on me. Talk about a deal breaker!

Also, trying to make distinctions over the blade was closed, the blade was open... supremely silly. The key issue is the same: resolving disputes with your romantic partner using weapons! (Imagine the story as: "she pointed the gun at him, but it wasn't loaded" or "she took out her gun, but she didn't aim it directly at him")
Posted by JyLckhart on August 27, 2013 at 10:33 PM · Report this
47
@37: You do realize that your whole post is one big "But (s)he didn't mean anything by it", right? You're making excuses for the person because you like her and you THINK you know her, so it's OK by you. But it's no different from someone making excuses for, well, any abuser. The moment you threaten your partner with a deadly weapon, even in jest or retaliation for a real wrong, you become an abuser.

(There's also the whole "violence is funny and/or justified when it happens to men" narrative that you're happily tapping into, and which is milked steadily by Madison Avenue and primetime comedy, but that's a topic for another day.)
Posted by Adz on August 27, 2013 at 10:35 PM · Report this
48
GTFO: I'm entirely with Dan and Crinoline. They're YOUR boobs, not his!!
If he doesn't respect you or your boobs and doesn't know any boundaries, dump his sorry ass.

Also, good points made by @1 AmyC and @2 lolorhone regarding GTFO's situation.

@ lolorhone: I'm glad to read that your female friend has a more respectful boyfriend now. Grabbing anyone else in front of friends and co-workers, no matter how hot they are and / or how intinate the relationship, is just plain unsat.
Posted by auntie grizelda on August 27, 2013 at 10:42 PM · Report this
49
@29: Right the fuck ON!!
Posted by auntie grizelda on August 27, 2013 at 10:44 PM · Report this
lolorhone 50
@39, 40: If you're in a relationship with someone and you specifically, repeatedly tell them to not touch you- and they continue to touch you- they have forfeited all allowances for intimacy. And I still contend there's a difference between letting you know I have a knife and brandishing an unsheathed blade. Severe impropriety begets severe impropriety.
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 10:45 PM · Report this
51
"Cut to the present day, he's in a loving relationship with a respectful partner who is slightly (and rightly) afraid of him."

Kind of speaks for itself, doesn't it? Fairly screams "psycho" to me. And putting the original pronouns back in place doesn't make it one whit more appropriate.
Posted by avast2006 on August 27, 2013 at 10:50 PM · Report this
52
@ 39 - "Restrained and tickled" is not the same thing as "tickled." So tell me, is it being restrained that makes you feel helpless or is it being tickled? 'Cause if you can easily remove yourself from the situation, I just can't see where "helpless" comes from. (And "tickling with a sexual component without consent" sounds a lot like "touching private areas without consent" so there ya go.)

Teaching people not to rape decreases the rate of rapes. Google it. So there is absolutely no reason to assume that teaching people not to sexually assault wouldn't reduce the rate of sexual assaults. This kind of crap is not inevitable. See the Scandinavian countries for proof of concept.

Laws that protect our rights (such as the right to life, property, and bodily autonomy) are in place to allow society to have a recourse when someone commits a transgression. The degree of the transgression dictates the degree of the punishment under the law.

And since you're "100% in favor of stranger-groping getting prosecuted" but you believe that a women should be "laughed out of court" if she tried to press charges against a boyfriend who had been drunkenly escalating his non-consensual groping for three months... Well, just wow. That's truly astonishing.
Posted by MiscKitty on August 27, 2013 at 10:53 PM · Report this
53
50: She didn't "let him know she had a knife." What she did was explicitly verbally threaten to stab him -- that's what being 'shanked' means: not cut, stabbed -- and backed it up by showing the weapon.

Forfeiting allowances to intimacy is accomplished by dumping the person. Not by threatening to kill them.
Posted by avast2006 on August 27, 2013 at 10:57 PM · Report this
nocutename 54
I just spent over half an hour writing a long response to MiscKitty on two different points, when the internet ate it. I don't have the energy to rewrite it.
Posted by nocutename on August 27, 2013 at 10:57 PM · Report this
55
@ 54 - Well that just sucks. =/ I'm sorry that happened to you and I don't blame you one bit for not rewriting your post.

Should I regard us as being in a state of "agree to disagree" or a state of "having different perspectives but not being completely at odds?"
Posted by MiscKitty on August 27, 2013 at 11:01 PM · Report this
Skye Blu 56
semi-related story= my friend's cousin was well-known to me and my friend-group, he often tagged along and we tolerated him for her sake. Despite knowing I was a lesbian (and in a relationship) he kept trying to hit on me, tried to give me a "friendly shoulder-rub", I told him no and threw off his hands and he put his hands on me again. I turned and pinched him in the neck so hard he fell to his knees (who knew the Vulcan Neck Pinch really worked?).
Posted by Skye Blu on August 27, 2013 at 11:02 PM · Report this
lolorhone 57
@47: I don't think she meant nothing by it. I think she meant to scare him, significantly. I don't think her actions were the most even-keeled, but neither was the escalating drunken assault on his part. It was all a mess- but I don't blame her for responding the way she did. You do and that's fine, but skip the condescending bullshit where you pretend like you're in my head and know what makes me agree with her.
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 11:03 PM · Report this
58
@54: The local text editor app is a safer bet when you are dealing with more than a sentence or two. I've developed that habit after losing a few long responses.

Pity, though. I would have liked to hear what you had to say. Your contributions have been the more sane part of this thread.
Posted by avast2006 on August 27, 2013 at 11:07 PM · Report this
lolorhone 59
@51: I'll refer you to my post @10. You don't want inappropriate, be careful who you fuck with.
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 11:08 PM · Report this
lolorhone 60
@52: Thank you, MiscKitty. I'm fairly astonished at some of the responses myself.
Posted by lolorhone on August 27, 2013 at 11:13 PM · Report this
fannerz 61
I like knives, I carry a penknife. I have a knife collection that has scared people (yay balisongs!). If my partner drunkenly groped me in front of coworkers there would be massive fallout and he would have been ejected from the party. I would never pull a knife on anyone unless I felt my life was definitely and immediately threatened. Not. Cool.
Posted by fannerz on August 27, 2013 at 11:24 PM · Report this
62
@lolorhone, Crinoline, and EricaP, in case you missed it, catch my responses to your comments @224, @225, and @226 from last week's Kinky Kid issue.
XO :)
Griz

p.s. Dan---I found your The Dinner Table Debate video on YouTube!!
I have seen the first 21 minutes, so far, and plan to get right back and watch the whole thing.
By the way, how was Hawaii?
Posted by auntie grizelda on August 27, 2013 at 11:24 PM · Report this
63
"@39, 40: If you're in a relationship with someone and you specifically, repeatedly tell them to not touch you- and they continue to touch you- they have forfeited all allowances for intimacy."

absolutely. Hence my "leave him, temporarily or permanently". What you do not forfeit is your right not to be physically threatened with a deadly weapon, which is a felony.
Posted by adam.smith on August 27, 2013 at 11:26 PM · Report this
64
@42: "I think she didn't dump him on the spot because she didn't want to end the relationship"

Kind of a dicey alternate form of discipline she picked, then, isn't it? Because the moment she pulled the knife, whether the relationship ended or not is entirely up to the person she was threatening with it.

I would like to think I am respectful enough of my wife that she would never find herself feeling like she needed to threaten me with violence. (For starters, being desired is a huge part of my sexual gratification, ergo grabbing the ass of someone who is clearly not enjoying it is a complete turn off to me, so she likely wouldn't have to ask even once, let alone multiple times.) But if she ever pulled that little trick with the switchblade, the ride home would include a stop by the police station where she could explain herself to a magistrate, and there would be divorce papers at the breakfast table, as evidence of the appropriate way to deal with someone who is out of control.
Posted by avast2006 on August 27, 2013 at 11:32 PM · Report this
65
@59: Referring back to #10: "That's why Dan (half-jokingly) advised pepper spray to GTFO; it was gender appropriate. He wouldn't have advised a man to repel his girlfriend with aerosolized cayenne pepper."

In other words, you think it's fine for women to commit violence against men. That, too, speaks volumes.
Posted by avast2006 on August 27, 2013 at 11:38 PM · Report this
66
@22: I think the argument over whether tickling is equivalent to sexual assault is a complete red herring. So let's take tickling out of the equation and try again:

"I can't imagine who would think "you go, guy" if a man threatened his girlfriend with a knife because she kept grabbing his ass when he didn't feel like it, even in front of company. There is no way that a friend would say something like "he's in a loving relationship with a respectful partner who is slightly (and rightly) afraid of him."
Posted by avast2006 on August 27, 2013 at 11:51 PM · Report this
lolorhone 67
@63: This is reminding me more and more of the thread about the gay rugby player who shoved and got in the face of a drunken asshole who called him a faggot on the street. I got into a rather protracted argument with Rob in Baltimore about whether or not the rugby player was justified. My point was that, while the drunken asshole would win in court, he could not say that he did nothing to create and contribute to that conflict. So physically assaulting someone repeatedly would absolutely be contributing to the conflict. One in which a verbal threat made to stave off further physical assaults seems right in line. Like I said, a mess- but one where I understand the severe attempt to end it. Anybody claiming even relatively clean hands on his part is on some serious bullshit.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 12:11 AM · Report this
68
My boyfriend like to grab my boobs at random moments during our conversations, but he has asked me multiple times if that is okay and I usually react positively. Occasionally I'll give him a look but it's usually if he's interrupting me when I'm talking about something unrelated or something.

Point is, you get to decide how much you do or don't like having your boobs grabbed and how often. He gets offended? At what? Because you think he's the kind of guy who grabs boobs (He is.)? Because you think he's the kind of guy who'd grab his girlfriend's boobs when she didn't like it (Yup. That too.)? YOU should get offended that he doesn't listen to you when you say I DON'T LIKE THAT STOP.
Posted by kellarules on August 28, 2013 at 12:12 AM · Report this
lolorhone 69
@65: Not at all what I said, but enjoy your MRA boner.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 12:13 AM · Report this
70
@69: What the hell is "gender appropriate" violence, then? Those were your words, weren't they? MRA, my ass.

@67: Who is claiming clean hands on his part? Most of the responses are saying dump his ass. Saying that threatening to shiv your boyfriend is a disproportionate response for a boob group when a simply dumping would suffice is not claiming that the boob grope is legit. Sheesh.
Posted by avast2006 on August 28, 2013 at 12:21 AM · Report this
71
@67 - well, but now you're (thankfully) backtracking quite a bit. We're from "he deserved it & it works" to "it's a mess".
Sure we're all flawed, but I'll claim clean hands on never threatening anyone with physical violence and even if that weren't the case, I would most certainly hope that non-violence be a criterium for a "model" response, and that's what you initially presented this as. Had you brought this up as a cautionary tail of how grabbing&groping can lead to terrible escalation I don't think you'd have gotten the same responses.

Nowhere did I say or imply that what he did was OK. I'm perfectly willing to say that he contributed to the escalation. But you're saying/implying that what she did was OK. And it wasn't.
Posted by adam.smith on August 28, 2013 at 12:36 AM · Report this
72
oh, I read "clean hands on his part" as referring to commenters not to the bf. If you were referring to the bf, what @70 says. Of course that wasn't OK at all and no one here said so.
Posted by adam.smith on August 28, 2013 at 12:42 AM · Report this
73
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.
Posted by Hyacinth on August 28, 2013 at 1:03 AM · Report this
lolorhone 74
@70: That's where we disagree. You say disproportionate response on her part, I say the realm of the appropriate had been abandoned quite some time ago on his part. This is from @10:

And, besides, we all know what's next in line after repeated unwanted intimate contact, even from spouses? And such a thing is much less of a concern for men than women. She wasn't just being dramatic.

Call the perspective lop-sided if you want, it's the fucking truth.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 1:17 AM · Report this
lolorhone 75
@71: Not backtracking. It's a mess, he deserved it, and it worked. As I said before, the realm of the appropriate has been abandoned well before the disengaged switchblade. I didn't present this as a model response, just one I understood. I said this before as well: she might not win in court, but that is hardly the unwavering measure of truth and justice.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 1:24 AM · Report this
76
I am very late to this party.

If you don't like it, then maybe taking sex off the table EVERY time she is grabbed will make him knock it the fuck off. Two weeks, problem solved.
Posted by JJinAus on August 28, 2013 at 1:40 AM · Report this
Eva Hopkins 77
Oh hey, before we completely forget about LW #3 / DIRT: your odds of meeting someone great increase exponentially if you continue pursuing activities you love, keep getting yourself out there, & just take Dan's advice. If at first you don't succeed..

Tell ya what, you have to ask about 20 guys out to coffee before one says yes. Or, that's what I ask people to go with me to. :) Climbing/hiking/etc. Date stuff.

The poz status, your age, etc: only as big a deal as you make of it. Also, I bet a PYT a little closer to your age wouldn't intimidate you as much.

Go, DIRT, get out there & go..!
Posted by Eva Hopkins http://www.lunamusestudios.com on August 28, 2013 at 1:44 AM · Report this
78
Grabbing your partner in inappropriate and unwanted ways is very uncool, a person who does this should be dumped post haste if they continue to violate boundaries after a stern talking to. Anyone who pulls a knife and threatens their partner deserves to be dumped immediately before ot after talking to the cops. Yes I'm a woman, yes I've been sexually assaulted; that doesn't change the fact that pulling a knife when not in danger is fucking psycho.
Posted by jujubee80 on August 28, 2013 at 2:59 AM · Report this
79
Mr Rhone - I think it would have served your original post better to have included just how repeated the offence was. You appear to have implied it with the "grabby boyfriend", but a point of such pertinence could have used fuller elaboration.

A loving relationship in which partner A is slightly/rightly scared of partner B isn't exactly high on the list of relationships I'd choose from either end for anyone of whom I happened to be fond, but it's not my relationship and they are presumably adults. I suppose there's possibly some pro-feminist value in there being some OS relationships in which he's afraid of her, but following up on that would require too big an investment of mental capital in OS relationships. I'll content myself with wondering whether I'd be a little more comfortable with "gender-appropriate" responses if they came with an acknowledgement of a presumption of superiour male strength that is usually but not always the case and can be entirely the reverse, or if such an acknowledgement would only do more harm than good, as I certainly see difficulties raised by a power standard.

The one thing I will dispute is your calling him "a pretty great guy". At least I have some fodder for cross-examination. He has a history of committing serious offences when inebriated, and escalating them to the point of eliciting a response that some have found controversial. The most I'm willing to grant you on this one given the evidence presented is "otherwise pretty great guy with an inebriation problem". It may be possible that his offences are entirely confined to those with whom he happens to be in a relationship, but my experience of people with inebriation problems is that this is rarely the case. If he didn't respect his girlfriend, the jury could well believe that there were a good many other people he didn't respect as well. Now, has he reformed? On the evidence given, I'd say the symptom has been cured but probably not the disease. He respects (or fears) her, even when inebriated. Okay, fine, as far as it goes. But it doesn't go far on its own as presented. I'm going to assume that he still behaves badly to other people when inebriated, and he does still get inebriated, but she's fine with whatever other offences he continues to commit since he's now respectful to her regardless of his level of intoxication. [I'll append that, while a total abstainer myself whose non-abstaining partners never became offensive when intoxicated, I can accept that standards may well be different in circles where frequent inebriation is the norm.]

By the way, you don't mention whether she respects him. Not that she has to respect him; relationships come in all flavours. But it lets me end on some Austensplaining:

"Your lively talents would place you in the greatest danger in an unequal marriage. You could scarcely escape discredit and misery. My child, let me not have the grief of seeing you unable to respect your partner in life."
More...
Posted by vennominon on August 28, 2013 at 3:27 AM · Report this
80
@73, I wish my parents had been more like yours when I was growing up. My mother's side of the family in particular were/are massive fans of the "tickling/pinching just because it's cute and funny when the child is uncomfortable is totally okay!" school of unwanted physical contact. If I got angry then I was being oversensitive and they were just messing around. That kind of psychological conditioning takes a *lot* of undoing as an adult, so kudos to you for addressing it early on.
Posted by Rei on August 28, 2013 at 3:48 AM · Report this
81
Ms Hopkins - I'm seeing quite a balance with DIRT. His wanting to pursue PYTs (it seems safe to assume exclusively, and was that there all along or when did it start and why?) gives him an out from feeling he's rejected because he's positive. Mr Savage (who, if memory serves, has frequently appeared to presume that there anyone who declines, however regretfully and respectfully, to date a positive person is a jerk and covers this by equating any decline to freaking out) provides the counterpoint; if he takes his chance and is shot down he can call them jerks for not wanting to date someone positive instead of feeling he's too old.

Given how slippery his style is and that he doesn't openly confirm that his interest is exclusively in PYTs, let alone speculate as to why, I'm going to guess that there's something there. Also, it might just be I, but the objectification put me off a little. Far be it from me to discouraging anyone from dating or attempting to date younger men (I've gone a generation in both directions), but it seems at least worth exploring whether he might not see in such a young man some sort of prize that would give him some kind of validation. I also wonder if he attributes some sort of magical quality to good flirts that they don't really possess, and whether he wants a role-specific sort of relationship or if he just happens to have a narrowly specified range of attraction and that just happens to be the sort of person he likes.

One thing that feels very modern about his letter is that it's not at all clear what proportion of his target population is openly same-sexer. And where do they materialize?

I don't know, then, whether to tell him to optimize his venue (either by orientation, activity, or specificity of attraction) or to value his targets as people and demonstrate appreciation, respect and understanding.
More...
Posted by vennominon on August 28, 2013 at 4:19 AM · Report this
82
@73, I couldn't agree more. Tickling is often/usually about power. And it sure as heck isn't the person who's getting tickled who has the power. Good for you for teaching your daughter A) it's her body and B) she gets to say who touches it. The fact that it was in relation to a grandparent is even more important, since a lot of child sexual abuse comes from family members. Not saying that was the case here, but it teaches her that who it was doesn't matter.
Posted by Firefly on August 28, 2013 at 6:38 AM · Report this
Alison Cummins 83
I’m going to accept lolorhone’s assessment that the friend’s relationship is currently good and mutually respectful. This is a good thing, right?

Not everyone is sane. It appears that both lolorhone’s friend and her boyfriend may be a little off-balance. All the more reason for them to need a teammate in their corner.

Sounds like the drawing of the boundaries worked for them. Maybe they have a bit of a D/S dynamic going on. Maybe they both like that.

vennominon, avast2006, adam.smith, you 1) would not mention a knife to your partners in the course of negotiation 2) terminate negotiations immediately had your partners mentioned a knife 3) have never been in a situation where you wanted to maintain a relationship with someone who wasn’t listening. That’s nice for you.

I don’t know about 4), where you guys are all in happy long-term relationships and your partners are pleased that you are such good and respectful listeners. Nice for you that you can afford to get all smug and righteous about someone else needing to cross a line in order to be taken seriously. Alternatively, if one or more of you has been dumped for not listening you might want to reconsider whether smug is really the line you want to take.

lolorhone’s friend wanted to maintain a relationship with her boyfriend, she didn’t want to leave him. Apparently he preferred listening to her to getting smug and self-righteous. According to lolorhone they worked it out. Not sure what the issue is here.
Posted by Alison Cummins http://cleanmyscreen.peghole.com/ on August 28, 2013 at 6:43 AM · Report this
84
First, I can't believe how much energy you all expend on defining and redefining, interpreting and reinterpreting EACH OTHERS situations. We each have our individual boundaries. Some conform to a mystical "social norm," whereas others don't. A well matched, well balanced couple understands and and respects each others boundaries - even the implied ones. What may be permissible and even encouraged on Saturday night at a drunken dance party, is not appropriate at church on Sunday morning.

As for DIRT and "rejection from jerks who are freaked out by your HIV status" - Geez, Dan... some people like come - taste it, eat it, play with it, in their ass, in their pussy, etc. Last I checked that's not a good practice with HIV poz juice. That person is following your own advice and being safe - it doesn't make them a jerk!
Posted by ultra50 on August 28, 2013 at 6:44 AM · Report this
85
"he gets offended, so I drop it." Well, there's your problem. You're the one with the right to be offended because, as Dan so eloquently points out, it's YOUR body, not something he owns. The correct response in his position is apologetic, not offended. Next time, don't drop it. Continue explaining that you don't like it and it doesn't matter whether he deeply understands your position on the issue or not; it's your body, he has no right to do anything to it you don't want done and if he doesn't knock it off as of right then, you'll be moving on to someone who'll show you some respect.
Posted by GG1000 on August 28, 2013 at 6:44 AM · Report this
Alison Cummins 86
Disclaimer: I have had to use physical force to enforce boundaries with partners. “This is my room and my bed. If you try to get in and sleep with me I will slash you with this riding crop.”

In my case I would have preferred to leave the relationship but it wasn’t an option for me at the time. Physically enforcing boundaries worked and enabled us to maintain a peaceful and mutually respectful relationship for several more years.

Early in my current relationship I had to break stuff and scream and cry in order to get heard. It’s a lot of effort and not fun. Now my partner can hear me when I say something’s not ok but it took long and painful practice. The relationship is worth it and I am proud of my partner.

I’m glad for people who have always been able to be heard the first or second or third time.

I don’t know that I’m glad for people who have never been in a relationship that wouldn’t be easier to walk away from than to fix.
Posted by Alison Cummins http://cleanmyscreen.peghole.com/ on August 28, 2013 at 6:56 AM · Report this
87
For the whole GTFO discussion-- It's so easy in comments sections to drift towards extremes rather than solutions. So we end up talking about how knives or pepper sprays aren't okay instead of talking about what might work. GTFO likes her boyfriend, has a lot invested in the relationship, enjoys their sex life together, and doesn't necessarily want to break up with him over this. Right now the positives outweigh the negatives, but she wants some ideas on how to fix this one big negative.

How about something like this:

In a quiet moment, she says "I want to be clear that I hate it when you grab at my boob. You may think it's funny or affectionate. To me it feels like an attack."

Then he has a chance to respond. He may say that it is pretty funny or that he's offended that she doesn't like him or that it doesn't matter what she wants because he enjoys it. He may even say that he didn't know she didn't like it and apologize. She then answers his objection using the starting point that Dan laid out. These are her boobs, and she's setting limits. For instance, if he plays the offended card, she can calmly point out that he's escalating, that all she wants is for him to stop grabbing her boob, and that she hasn't said anything about not liking him in other circumstances. If he apologizes, she can tell him that his apology accepted as long as he never does it again.

Step 2. He does it again. This time she raises her voice, says NO, and tells him to cut it out. Perhaps an argument ensues. Perhaps he giggles or pouts. She can say, loudly, "go ahead and pout so long as you leave my boobs alone when I'm studying."

He may cut it out, or it may continue.

Step 3. He does it again-- and again and again. More and louder arguments come with every attack. Now she knows what she's dealing with and can make some decisions. She may decide to dump him, but at least she'll be doing it after communicating fully. They'll understand each other. He's not willing to stay with someone who's not amenable to having her boobs grabbed, and she's not willing to stay with someone who keeps grabbing her boobs. They've reached their mutual deal-breakers and can go their separate ways.
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Posted by Crinoline on August 28, 2013 at 7:03 AM · Report this
88
Dirt,

You want PYTs, but not getting any? Try WOPs (Wise older persons). Not so good looking, but more interesting and less flirtation required. Honesty a great asset.
Posted by Hunter78 on August 28, 2013 at 7:50 AM · Report this
89
Anyone who thinks that an appropriate response to unwanted touching from a significant other is threatening to mortally wound said SO and brandishing the weapon with which they would commit the felony for which they would most likely spend decades behind bars is NUTS. If I had a girlfriend who slapped my ass in public, repeatedly despite my requests she stop, and my response was to pull out a gun and say "do it again and I'll blow your brains out!" I'd be rightfully sitting in a cozy prison cell. Making a threat against a person's life IS A CRIME and way out of proportion with what was taking place.

Anyone of you who can sit there and do anything other than wholeheartedly condemning her actions need to think long and hard about your intolerable levels of sexism.

That does not mean that what he was doing was in any way right or acceptable; it wasn't. His actions were inappropriate and absolutely warranted action on her part but it did not in any warrant warrant threatening felony assault with a deadly weapon, branding a weapon, menacing, and attempted murder.
Posted by creativityescapesme on August 28, 2013 at 7:54 AM · Report this
90
Note the high dread of some of the antiticklers. I was tickled, mostly by older sibs, and I tickled younger sibs and others in turn. Intense sensation, something like pain, and the feeling of being under another's control. But I wouldn't abolish it. A rush, a high.
Posted by Hunter78 on August 28, 2013 at 8:07 AM · Report this
91
Being lovers, partners of friends doesn't mean giving up all boundaries. I'm a woman and had a female friend who used to grab my boobs whenever she felt like it (both in public and in private)-one time on a street corner with a car full of people gawking.

I ended our friendship b/c she turned out to be a huge psycho, but I think her being grabby with me was one of the biggest red flags. Other red flags: she was obsessed with torture porn movies (Saw, etc), she was verbally abusive, and displayed a lot of atypical behaviors for an adult woman- not like any of my other girlfriends. When we were roommates I woke up to find her in bed next to me after she'd been out drinking.

Don't get me wrong- I'm ok with lesbians and have had other female friends come on to me by either touching my knee or kissing me- I'm not biased against women who want me and think of being hit on by a woman as not much different than being hit on by a man.

My point about grabby people, whether they're male or female, is that they're sexually agressive and my guess is that some of them are probably deeply disturbed like my former bff was. I think the LW with the grabby bf should be watching for other red flags and seriously think about ending the relationship if this guy isn't willing to behave more respectfully.
Posted by boundaries please on August 28, 2013 at 8:09 AM · Report this
92
@87: Exactly! The important thing is how to deal with it under normal circumstances. Your approach is good.

I think the LW needs to bring it up one more time. Say, "I've been reluctant to bring this up because often it turns into an argument or hurt feelings. But I really need to discuss this and I really need to you listen. Can you do that for me?" Most decent people would say yes to a request put like that.

Then she needs to explain that she doesn't like it when he comes up to her in the middle of the day and grabs her breasts. She needs to explain that, in the future, he has to know that she hasn't given CONSENT to him doing this. Use the word consent; it might wake him up.

Then she has to come around to his point of view. He likely does this as an affectionate gesture-in-passing. (I am guessing this because both me and my husband are inappropriate grabbers, and it's meant both casually and kindly.) Perhaps she can offer an alternative affectionate gesture he can use as a substitute? Perhaps she wouldn't mind a side hug, or a kiss on the shoulder, or something.
Posted by MichelleZB on August 28, 2013 at 8:14 AM · Report this
nocutename 93
For what it's worth, the original letter about boob-grabbing didn't say that the writer, GTFO feels "attacked" when her boyfriend grabs her. She says he reaches into her shirt and grabs her several times a day on his way through a room when she's doing something like studying or doing the dishes. Her attitude doesn't suggest that she feels assaulted, but that she finds this behavior extremely irritating. She would prefer a different display of affection: ("Several times a day, in passing, he reaches his hand inside my shirt and quickly grabs a boob, and then continues on his way. I could be cooking or studying or brushing my teeth, and he just digs in there out of the blue and doesn't usually even acknowledge me before or after. In bed, he is very considerate and giving, GGG and all that—no complaints. I've tried to bring it up two or three times, but he gets offended, so I drop it. Do I have a right to prefer an offhand kiss on the forehead or something more affectionate and less boob-grabby? Is this typical for LTRs? Am I a selfish prude?")

I think they're both probably young--he's still excited to have a pair of boobs right there in his house, that he can touch any time he wants, and she's wondering about what is "typical" in relationships and if she's being a "selfish prude" for not wanting him to treat her body like some sort of worry beads. Being young is no excuse, but perhaps accounts for an explanation.

So I don't think she needs to say she feels attacked, unless of course, she does feel attacked. She can just say "Stop it. I don't like it when you grab me in passing on your way through the room. It bugs me. If you're trying to initiate sex, that's one thing, but if it's to show affection, it has the opposite effect on me, and if it's just because you *can,* well, no, you can't. They're my breasts; they are part of me. And I don't want that to happen any more."

From what she said, he gets offended. Well, they can talk about that. Why is *he* offended that she wants to maintain bodily integrity? And he can sulk all he wants. He might want to consider that sulking is not a particularly attractive quality, and that she's not taking anything of his away from him. Either he changes his behavior, sense of entitlement, and attitude and all is well, or he doesn't, they get along worse and worse, and they break up. The end.

P.S. How can I create italics on my Mac here? I hate using astericks.

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Posted by nocutename on August 28, 2013 at 8:24 AM · Report this
94
Well, I'm glad there are so many supporters of "stand your ground" here. Because you do realize that's what you're arguing, right? The gf could have trivially easily chosen to retreat, i.e. leave the boyfriend if she felt threatened. She was surrounded by her friends, so it was the perfect moment to leave if she felt threatened. Instead she chose to commit a felony by threatening to kill him with a knife.

And as for:
"And, besides, we all know what's next in line after repeated unwanted intimate contact, even from spouses? And such a thing is much less of a concern for men than women. She wasn't just being dramatic."

if she really believed that was even a remote possibility (and from your telling of the story my guess is she didn't, though I can't know), then the whole knife thing may be more understandable, but was insanely stupid and you, as her friend, were terribly negligent letting her sleep in the same apartment as the guy for one more night. Again, if you told this as the tragic story a battered woman staying with her abuser and carving out some measure of respect - that's be different. But you didn't.

@83 - sounding like a broken record, but if you need to threaten to kill someone in order for him to take you serious you should leave. There simply is no situation in which threatening to kill someone is preferable to a safe retreat. I won't accept that basic norms of non-violence are "smug". I also won't accept that not assaulting my partner automatically makes me a "respectful listener". Though I hope I am, not assaulting your partner is an incredibly low bar and if your partner isn't able to jump that, he should be dumped stat. Nor will I accept that a relationship in which one partner is described as "a little terrified" of the other is healthy.
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Posted by adam.smith on August 28, 2013 at 8:34 AM · Report this
95
I don't have any problem with Dan's advice to GTFO, but I am disheartened by the refusal of most of the commenters to recognize the messy boundaries of real-world sexual relationships. The only really honest comment was the first, in which AmyC acknowledges that sometimes an uninvited boob-grab is a good thing.

I think in most healthy sexual relationships, people will sometimes, spontaneously and without formal notice, touch their partner's erogenous zones. That's not sexual assault - that's foreplay. I suspect that if you asked GTFO to describe the hottest sex she'd ever had with her boyfriend, it would be something initiated by an un-requested grope.

I'll bet for every letter Dan gets from a woman with a grabby boyfriend, he gets another from a woman in an established relationship complaining that her boyfriend/husband never touches her anymore, and that she has to initiate all the sex.

My point is that spontaneous, unannounced sexual touching is a normal part of most sexual relationships. It can be good or bad, depending on the circumstances and the people involved. The precise boundaries will be messy and fluctuating, and will have to be worked out between the partners just like most other relationship issues.

Treating all uninvited touches from a lover as a bad thing is unrealistic and unhelpful. Characterizing them as "sexual assault" is a cheap and abusive rhetorical trick. Threatening to shank your lover while showing the knife you'd use is probably a D felony
Posted by Bama Librul on August 28, 2013 at 8:42 AM · Report this
nocutename 96
Thank you, Adz, adam.smith, Mr. Ven, avast2006, creativityescapesme, and jujubee80.

Posted by nocutename on August 28, 2013 at 8:45 AM · Report this
Alison Cummins 97
“if you need to threaten to kill someone in order for him to take you serious you should leave.”

And yet she didn’t leave him. They are still together two years later. He too has agency. He can leave if he thinks she’s too insane to be worth it. He hasn’t.

Both of them prefer a relationship that includes latitude for him to be dense and for her to take extreme measures to get his attention, over leaving one another. *Both* of them prefer this. It’s nice for you to say they shouldn’t prefer it but clearly they do.

If she threatened to kill him — or kill herself — if he left or if he maintained contact with friends and family, that is completely different. We have no indication that she did either of those things. From lolorhone’s account she is not interested in controlling him, only in defending her own boundaries.

If he is that dense that it takes a knife to get his attention, he probably needs a partner who is willing to be dramatic. If he had a partner who restricted herself to more conventional means of communication it sounds like he would either be abusive or single. Apparently he prefers being with lolorhone’s friend to being with someone who is unable to effectively defend herself against his shit and to being single.

“Nor will I accept that a relationship in which one partner is described as "a little terrified" of the other is healthy.”

Maybe a little D/S turns him on. Who are you to say that’s unhealthy?
Posted by Alison Cummins http://cleanmyscreen.peghole.com/ on August 28, 2013 at 8:57 AM · Report this
98
I like the part where she pulls out the switchblade to "save face in front of her coworkers." Who are these coworkers who are like, "Boyfriend's a douchebag, thank God she's got a switchblade"?

Why are any of these people dating each other? Gropers, knife-wielders... For that matter, why are they mingling with the rest of us? Jeez Louise.
Posted by milkshake on August 28, 2013 at 9:14 AM · Report this
99
I second 96 and would like to request that 95 be added to the list.

On a side note: WTF, people. Really, trying to tell nocutename that SHE's silencing assault victims when you're using their suffering to justify some chick threatening her bf in front of her friends with a fucking knife? You're absolutely mental. If a chick I knew EVER did that I would threaten to call the police if she didn't proceed to throw said weapon into the nearest street. I wouldn't care if she was my friend and just trying to make a point. That's like saying a dude who beats his wife is trying to make a point. And yes, I'm saying what she did is straight up spousal abuse. Fucking morons.
Posted by Really Now... on August 28, 2013 at 9:28 AM · Report this
100
Gtfo,

Of course you can prefer a kiss on the forehead, but it sounds like you haven't discussed this. You've put with it for a year, why are you changing directions? Would you really throw up this relationship just to stop this previously permitted grabbing?

Perhaps your expectations about a relationship have "matured". He remains glad to see you and cop a feel.
Posted by Hunter78 on August 28, 2013 at 9:34 AM · Report this
101
@97 My brother use to date (thank whatever deities that may be he's married!). From what I saw and heard of him and his friends, most of whom I knew since they were seven/eight, a lot of them would put up with some crazy bullshit a woman would never get within ten feet of just for the implicit chance to stick their cock somewhere.

Plus, are you now implying that women stuck in abusive relationships are just into S/D? That we're just imposing our morals on a couple when someone calls the cops or restrains the aggressor when a public act of spousal abuse occurs? After all, women have their own agency as well so they must still be in those relationships for perfectly healthy reasons yes?

Unrelated question; I've read some of your posts on slog. Do you just dislike men in general? Cause you kind of come off that way.
Posted by Really Now... on August 28, 2013 at 9:43 AM · Report this
unknown_entity 102
FEM: Since your letter is a re-run, I will summarize what I wrote last time. 1) Good for you being assertive about what it takes for you to orgasm. 2) Unless penis in vagina is required for your orgasm, make the first couple of encounters non-penetrative (oral, manual stimulation) so that the third time he has a feel for what gets you off and the mood killing instructions are not necessary.

GTFO: Your husband may think the brief/random gropes are an equivalent to a quick kiss or peck (and that is giving him the benefit of A LOT OF doubt), but since it is your body, you have the final say so. Lay down the law and if he starts getting gropey again, push him away, shout at him, drive it into his head that these random gropes are a thing of the past if he wants to remain married.
Posted by unknown_entity on August 28, 2013 at 9:51 AM · Report this
103
Jesus Christ, I'm seconding all those who think that threatening someone with a knife is insane. @97 That's NOT how D/s works. Would you say that some battered wives must be turned on by D/s? After all they rarely leave their abusive husbands.
Posted by puddles on August 28, 2013 at 9:54 AM · Report this
nocutename 104
And you, Bama Librul.
Posted by nocutename on August 28, 2013 at 9:56 AM · Report this
105
I haven't been so intrigued (and disturbed) by a comment thread in a long time. In almost all such situations, where there's a lot of people with a lot of heated opinions about the rightness or wrongness of someone else's relationship, I have the mindset articulated by Alison Cummins... who are we to judge, if it works for them great, etc. Yet now I find myself in one of the "extreme" camps, because I just can not see any version of threatening your partner with a knife that shouldn't be an immediate DTMFA.

I think I've only encountered one similar situation in real life, which is almost impossible for me to describe succinctly. A couple I knew (gay men, so no gender imbalance issues to confuse it), as the relationship progressed one of them started "jokingly" making references to killing the other if he ever left him. Most of our mutual friends were slightly unsettled, but were fine with seeing it as a joke. Me and a few others were totally disturbed by it and completely turned against their relationship. After some interactions that made it clear that the threatened partner wasn't happy in his relationship but also wasn't interested in leaving, I stopped seeing them. It's not a situation where he's trapped... he has the resources and support to get out of the relationship, if he so desired. He just seems to feel whatever positives he gets from maintaining this relationship outweighs the negatives he would have to deal with in getting out of it. His life, his choice, but it felt so deeply wrong to me I just couldn't support or be a witness to it.

I've had situations where I would express a concern about a friend's relationship to them. If the response is "yeah, but it doesn't bother me", then I stop caring also, because it's their relationship, not mine. This is the one and only time where I didn't automatically have that line of thinking, the threat of violence was just too viscerally alarming to me.

I can't articulate just how surprising it is for me to see how many people there are that are perfectly fine with this kind of murder threat within a relationship. And I'm equally surprised to discover that I, who typically doesn't have absolutes and thinks context is everything, does have at least one universal rule after all: no murder threats! Ever!

We all have our own deal-breakers, I guess. Even merely as bystanders.
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Posted by JyLckhart on August 28, 2013 at 10:03 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 106
76 wins the thread. Especially for AmyC at #1; if grabbing you means he has a 15% chance of sex, and only a 5% chance of really pissing you off, then he has every reason to think it's a good idea to grab you, because it is. Particularly if he can't tell which it's going to be ahead of time; unpredictable rewards are a strong behavior conditioning technique.

Lolorhone--your friend is an abuser and a felon, and needs to spend some time in jail learning that assault isn't okay.

You, personally, need to spend some time teaching yourself to understand that assault isn't okay even if the victim is male. Men are humans. Full humans, not a subset of humans who are okay to assault.

Women, too, are humans, and so they should go to jail when they commit assault.

@97
And yet she didn’t leave him. They are still together two years later. He too has agency. He can leave if he thinks she’s too insane to be worth it. He hasn’t.


The fact that an abuse victim has not left does not mean it isn't abuse. This is 101 stuff.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 10:20 AM · Report this
107
Grabbing: I say "incoming" or "pearl-diving" before touching my beloved on his most sensitive spots, so he has a chance to object or block me if he wants to.

Limpness: I've noticed straight men frequently go limp while performing oral sex on me. Maybe the blood is going to their heads!

Posted by marilynsue on August 28, 2013 at 10:26 AM · Report this
108
"And yet she didn’t leave him. They are still together two years later. He too has agency. He can leave if he thinks she’s too insane to be worth it. He hasn’t."

right, and if there is one thing reading Savage Love tells us is that no one ever stays in a relationship s/he shouldn't stay in.

As for "who are we to judge" - I'm much less interested in judging the couple or the knife-wielder than the way the story was re-told @2 and the reaction of those present. The reason I'm "judging" is that I think social norms matter. And I strongly believe a world in which there is a strong social norm against threatening your partner with a knife, ever, is a better world. (As is, just to be clear, a world in which groping your partner against her will wouldn't cross a guy's mind, no matter how drunk). So yes, if someone tells a story that implies that threatening to kill someone is even remotely OK, I judge. If people idly stand by when one person threatens to kill another person, yep, I judge.

And just because I'd like to hear you say it - if you don't judge, if you think he "deserved it" - you also think he deserves to be "shanked" (aka murdered) if he ever does it again, right? He had it coming, right?
Posted by adam.smith on August 28, 2013 at 10:26 AM · Report this
John Horstman 109
@4: Nope. Anyone - anyone, including a spouse - grabbing generally-sexualized body parts without consent (in the context of an LTR, the consent could be implicit, but it still needs to actually be there) is sexual assault. Context is important. A man threatening a woman with a knife if she wants to hang out with friends is an abuse red flag (well, at that point it's already abuse). A man threatening a woman with a knife because she just sexually assaulted him is an appropriate response.

@73: I agree 100% - in fact, I go so far as to assert that the way we train children that they do not have ownership of their own bodies (tickling, forcing them to hug or kiss relatives, insisting they engage in various sports or other activities they dislike, even unwanted medical interventions) is the single biggest reinforcing structure of rape culture. It broadly teaches people from birth through adulthood that they don't actually have bodily agency.

@95: It's foreplay IF IT IS CONSENSUAL. If it is unwanted, then it's assault. In an established relationship, it may very well be the case that there has been implicit consent established for any number of behaviors and touches - explicit verbal consent may not be necessary every time to establish that consent exists. That's fine. But you're making a mistake in conflating a lack of explicit verbal consent in established relationships with a total lack of consent. Being in a relationship is not an all-access pass to someone else's body.

Basically, in any case that isn't certain, establishing explicit consent for sexual behaviors is a good idea to avoid assaulting or raping a partner (because you don't want to assault your partner, right?). I'd wonder why this is so hard to understand, but then I already know: we live in a rape culture, and people frequently argue that explicitly establishing consent is actually a mood-killer (BIG FUCKING RED FLAG - if eliminating any doubt that you're assaulting someone also eliminates the sexual appeal, then your sexuality is built around assault, and you need to work on fixing that before you try to engage sexually with other people).
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Posted by John Horstman on August 28, 2013 at 10:27 AM · Report this
110
@87: I agree with the general outlines of your plan, with the proviso that my limit for "he does it again - and again and again" would be considerably shorter than what is implied by your description; somewhere around three times, once the initial discussion of how I don't like it had happened.

0. Initial discussion: tell him I really don't like that, that it annoys the crap out of me, and that since I am sure he is not the sort of person who enjoys annoying his life partner that he will refrain in future.
1. Tell him he has already been informed that I don't like it, that I won't stand for it in a relationship, that if he persists the relationship will be finished, and that the evening is pretty well spoiled for me, so go home.
2. Tell him he is clearly not respecting my boundaries, that he's already gotten his one free pass, that there won't be another. Now go home for the next two weeks and think about whether you want a relationship with me or not, because one more incident -will- end it.
3. Tell him he is either too stupid or too disrespectful to be able to respect my boundaries about my body, we are through, don't come back.

I don't care whether it was a boob grope or something stupid like flicking an earlobe or beeping the tip of my nose. It's my body -- ALL of it, not just the naughty bits. You either touch it in ways that I like, or not at all. Also, I don't think it necessarily has to devolve into escalating fights or pouting every time, though if he did that it would probably shorten my patience and harden my resolve.

(Before anybody asks, I'm projecting hypothetically into the situation of the letter, which explains the pronouns. Obviously a boob grope would be kind of a weird thing to do to a straight guy.)
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Posted by avast2006 on August 28, 2013 at 10:36 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 111
@94 Well, I'm glad there are so many supporters of "stand your ground" here. Because you do realize that's what you're arguing, right? The gf could have trivially easily chosen to retreat, i.e. leave the boyfriend if she felt threatened. She was surrounded by her friends, so it was the perfect moment to leave if she felt threatened. Instead she chose to commit a felony by threatening to kill him with a knife.

Everybody's a supporter of "Stand Your Ground," as long as they believe it will only be used for the benefit of people who they think of as human and only against people who they think of as subhuman.

Me, I would be on the team with Zimmerman and lolorhone, but only insofar as we're talking about spiders, angry bears, and rabid dogs--"black people" and "male people" aren't fair game.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 10:39 AM · Report this
dick_score 112
I have never commented on one of these, but this thread has gone so far off the deep end. Feminism, by definition, is fighting for EQUALITY between the sexes. Don't believe me? ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionar… ) By that definition, changing the genders is completely appropriate. Threats of physical violence, whether against a man or a woman, or from a man or a woman, are completely unacceptable, and illegal.

I will not even get into the unwarranted Boob grab is assault vs. foreplay, because that is totally individual. I have dated girls who would randomly grope me, and who loved when the reverse happened. I have dated girls who are only ok with initiating contact once we are in the bedroom. Some people like brownies, some don't, it is a personal issue. You know what isn't a personal issue? Threatening violence.
Posted by dick_score on August 28, 2013 at 10:40 AM · Report this
dick_score 113
I have never commented on one of these, but this thread has gone so far off the deep end. Feminism, by definition, is fighting for EQUALITY between the sexes. Don't believe me? ( http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionar… ) By that definition, changing the genders is completely appropriate. Threats of physical violence, whether against a man or a woman, or from a man or a woman, are completely unacceptable, and illegal.

I will not even get into the unwarranted Boob grab is assault vs. foreplay, because that is totally individual. I have dated girls who would randomly grope me, and who loved when the reverse happened. I have dated girls who are only ok with initiating contact once we are in the bedroom. Some people like brownies, some don't, it is a personal issue. You know what isn't a personal issue? Threatening violence.
Posted by dick_score on August 28, 2013 at 10:42 AM · Report this
114
@110:

I generally agree, especially re: "It's my body -- ALL of it, not just the naughty bits."

The only caveat I have is that with something like a boob grab it could be complicated that in certain not-yet foreplay situations the LW might welcome it (not while doing the dishes, but maybe when settling down in front of the TV). This would make the lesson a bit harder to understand for a particularly dense boyfriend.
Posted by migrationist on August 28, 2013 at 10:45 AM · Report this
115
@109: In so far as an established relationship confers a certain level of implied consent, by establishing recognizable patterns of when sexual behavior is welcome, having a conversation about specific limitations on time, place, and manner, should serve to revoke those situations without revoking the general implied consent.

The problem in the letter is that that conversation has occurred and isn't being respected.
Posted by avast2006 on August 28, 2013 at 10:49 AM · Report this
116
@112:

Thank you for pointing out that feminism is for equality, not for special treatment.

Posted by migrationist on August 28, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 117
@114:

I assume avast2006 had in mind a specific kind of touching that was *never* welcome, rather than a kind of touching that was sometimes unwelcome and sometimes foreplay. In the latter situation, it's just a garden-variety "not a mind-reader" communication problem, requiring some explicit discussion of signals.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 10:50 AM · Report this
ScienceNerd 118
I just had to share after reading GTFO's letter...

My ex used to pat the underside of my boob when he wanted to have sex. It used to make me SO MAD, although I had no way to expressing why the gesture made me so angry. I even told him how angry it made me, explaining that the gesture did the exact opposite of what he probably hoped. He didn't stop, or he would instead poke my boob with his finger...

We are now broken up. Not over that, although it was in line with the main problem.
Posted by ScienceNerd http://stanichium.tumblr.com/ on August 28, 2013 at 11:14 AM · Report this
119
@1 (AmyC)...

Anyone who "forgets" not to touch you non-consensually is a predator. A person says, "don't touch me this way" and someone touches them that way? I can't even conceive of the entitlement and self-absorption one would have to feel in order to do that.

Seriously, just because there's no penetration or physical damage doesn't make it any less of a violation.
Posted by offfwhite on August 28, 2013 at 11:25 AM · Report this
120
@109

You don't seem to be someone who understands nuance. At all. Already established relationships change what is happening in MANY situations. Let me tell a little story to illustrate my point.

A young boy is waiting on the sidewalk outside a supermarket and a man pulls up in a vehicle. He tells the boy to get in the car. The boy says no, I won't. The man, again, tells the boy to get in the car. The boy once again refuses to get in the car. The man tells the boy to get in the car or he will put the boy in the car himself. The boy refuses, and starts to run. The man grabs the boy and forcibly puts the boy into the car, locks the doors, and drives off.

If that man is the boy's father or another authorized caregiver, this is simply a case of a child being difficult and a parent or caregiver forcing the child to comply with a reasonable request. If the man is a stranger, it is kidnapping.

I think the problem is that many feminists -- like yourself -- do not seem to understand that actions between people are not black and white and what is happening depends very much on the relationship between the parties.

Being sexually assaulted by a total stranger is one situation -- one in which I think most people would agree that pulling a knife to defend yourself is warranted -- and being grabbed by an SO is something else entirely.
Posted by creativityescapesme on August 28, 2013 at 11:28 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 121
@118:

Thanks for dumping the asshole. And for not threatening him with a knife.

Teaching assholes that asshole behavior will get them dumped is a valuable public service.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 11:37 AM · Report this
122
Jesus, this comments section is a clusterfuck. Everyone has already made the same points five times over. Maybe it's time to move on, folks...

FEM: The problem is almost certainly #2, unless there is booze involved. I generally can't maintain an erection when giving extended oral sex. Unstimulated boners have something of an expiration date, and giving good oral sex requires concentration. That means I'm going to be focused on her responses and not on the general sexiness of the situation. Hard to keep a hard-on with that mindset.

Dan gives some good advice, but I must ask why FEM's first thought isn't "Time to reciprocate"? Dude just spent some time, at your request, getting you off with his mouth. Even if he's basically spent and would like a break, why not ask "Hey, would you like me to return the favor?
Posted by Thunderstruck on August 28, 2013 at 11:43 AM · Report this
lolorhone 123
Jesus. Thanks to Alison Cummins and a few others who have not metaphorically locked up my kind and generous friend in the insane asylum. Thank you to those who recognize that crossing a line once in defense of your self has lasting value and does not necessarily merit a 5150. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I'll point out that 1) their relationship- relationship, not hostage situation- is great now 2) not everything need be on such absolute terms- in fact, things almost NEVER are on such absolute terms 3) this not about the internet's opinion as to whether "equality of the sexes" applies to every iteration of argument and incident- this is about this particular situation between these particular people. You know, human beings- not concepts or crusades.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 11:45 AM · Report this
Alison Cummins 124
puddles @103: Nothing lolorhone said indicates that he is battered. Maybe he is, maybe he isn’t, but defending yourself against assault is not battery. Maybe their relationship doesn’t work like your idea of D/s, but isn’t it possible he thinks she’s hot when she’s mad?

JyLckhart @105: You describe a situation where one threatens to murder the other for leaving. That’s not what lolorhone’s friend did. She wasn’t trying to control her boyfriend, she was trying to protect herself.

Eudaemonic @106: Doesn’t mean it is abuse either. If the relationship is otherwise healthy, doesn’t make their friends cringe and both are flourishing within it, we may deduce that she did what she needed to get his attention and that it worked to improve communication. If their relationship makes their friends unhappy, then yeah, it was probably one incident in an overall pattern of abuse. The way lolorhone talks it seems to be more of the former than the latter. But maybe not. Neither of us know.

Maybe you guys are all very close to perfect and only ever attempt relationships with other people who are also very close to perfect. Any difference can be resolved in a single reasonable, respectful discussion. If that doesn’t work you shake hands and leave and try again with someone else. Yay you.

In my world few people are like that. If the overall pattern allows the partners to thrive then I am going to defer to the judgement of the people directly involved as to whether the knife-threat incident was a dealbreaker.

Look, seriously, who else is going to have these two? He is dense and needs someone who is not afraid to make herself very very clear. She is a bit over-the-top and needs someone who appreciates her clarity of expression. If they make a good team, more power to them. I am not going to order them to break up solely because their failure to follow avast2006 @110’s very reasonable script makes them undeserving of partnerships.

lolorhone, in your estimation *do* they make a good team? Are both of them better people for being in the relationship?
More...
Posted by Alison Cummins http://cleanmyscreen.peghole.com/ on August 28, 2013 at 11:48 AM · Report this
lolorhone 125
@120: I think if anything this thread has proven that it is hardly only feminists who see things in nuance-free black and white.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 11:50 AM · Report this
126
I'm with those who say you can't judge lolorhone's friend's actions as abusive from the information given. There is such a thing as nuance, and healthy relationships can include off-color humor about violence if that humor is okay with both partners.

And humor can be used to convey serious messages -- my husband used to joke:

"The day I stop looking is the day I die; the day I start touching is the day I die."

I hadn't ever threatened to hurt or even leave him, but he was referencing the cultural message that there would be serious consequences for infidelity. (Now that he's entitled to extramarital sex, he doesn't make that joke any more.)

That said, I liked vennominon's perspective @79 most of all:
>> The most I'm willing to grant you on this one given the evidence presented is "otherwise pretty great guy with an inebriation problem"...By the way, you don't mention whether she respects him. >>
Posted by EricaP on August 28, 2013 at 11:51 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 127
1) their relationship- relationship, not hostage situation- is great now

She threatens people with knives, and he's afraid of her. What the fuck would you think was a hostage situation?

Given that you've established that you believe it's acceptable to control your partner with death threats, your reassurances are both very strange and somehow not reassuring.

3) this not about the internet's opinion as to whether "equality of the sexes" applies to every iteration of argument and incident- this is about this particular situation between these particular people. You know, human beings- not concepts or crusades.

Either this statement is complete bullshit, or there's no such things as sexism and abuse. Which is it?
If "equality of the sexes" doesn't apply to everything, then the sexes aren't equal. If being born male means forfeiting my right to be free from death-threats, then it's okay for being born female to mean forfeiting some of your rights. Which ones are you offering to give up?

Also? Once you've described how she uses death threats to control her partners, it's a bit late to describe her as "kind and generous."
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 11:56 AM · Report this
128
So, I married one of those casual boob-grabbers. But long before the wedding, we had a conversation along the lines of "I love it when you grab my boobs during sexytime, but I hate it when you grab my boobs when I'm cooking/studying/whatever."

We have settled into him approaching and announcing "I wanna grab your boob!" so that I can put aside what I'm doing and humour him for a minute or say "Not now" depending on my mood (kinda like @107's "incoming!"). It's all done very light-hearted and playfully, but still deals with the underlying consent issue.
Posted by Wild Rose on August 28, 2013 at 11:57 AM · Report this
lolorhone 129
@124: They absolutely are a good team, and both of them have blossomed in each other's company. They're actually the one couple I know who are textbook examples of one evening out the other. That's part of the reason this has been so difficult; they are people, not anecdotes and both of them mean something to me. In the rush to have an opinion, to stake out some semiotic turf, people forget that being a person is complex and confusing business. Why do you think there are so many advice columns?
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 12:02 PM · Report this
130
@127, lolorhone is a guy.
Posted by EricaP on August 28, 2013 at 12:02 PM · Report this
131
@124 to me words like "afraid" applied to one's partner, absent of an explicit D/s context, mean just that.
Posted by puddles on August 28, 2013 at 12:03 PM · Report this
lolorhone 132
@127: Fuck off. That is all.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 12:03 PM · Report this
lolorhone 133
@131: He's afraid to cross that line with her again. I don't see this as a bad thing, considering his drunken obliviousness beforehand.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 12:11 PM · Report this
134
lolorhone... you're as big a lunatic as your friend. You really are. Your friend is a loose cannon waiting to go off and should be spending some quality time in prison. That is a simple fact. THAT IS NOT DEBATABLE. She committed a very very serious felony. That is a fact. A person who threatens to kill a partner while brandishing a weapon cannot ever be described as kind or generous. She's a psychotic criminal who should be in prison, and you're a fucking idiot.
Posted by creativityescapesme on August 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM · Report this
135
You MUST be a troll. By all means, let's make sure lots of men keep their women in line by making them fear they will be murdered if they step outside of the boundaries set by the men. You're a big supporter of a father to behead his daughter if she loses her virginity before she is married to her husband, right? Because you're advocating the same sort of control through threat of death here.
Posted by creativityescapesme on August 28, 2013 at 12:16 PM · Report this
136
The more you speak the more I think this man is in desperate need of assistance by the authorities. I am fearful for his life. Because you know what I'd be thinking in that situation. "Holy shit, if she's threatening to kill me, I wonder what will happen if I do something else. Maybe if I accidentally piss her off, she'll cut off my penis while I'm sleeping!"

He is in a textbook abusive relationship and your friend is an abuser. Not only are you not trying to change your friend from being a shitty, abusing criminal, but you're actively supporting such predatory and psychotic behavior.
Posted by creativityescapesme on August 28, 2013 at 12:19 PM · Report this
137
@135, so in your view, a woman saying "I'll hurt you if you touch my body in ways I've forbidden" is exactly the same as a man saying to his daughter "I'll kill you if you have sex."
Posted by EricaP on August 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM · Report this
nocutename 138
Of course there's nuance. And within any established relationship there are fluctuations. I didn't like #1's breakdown, because as many people acknowledge, it gives odds that favor trying the old boob-grab again, as it pays off pretty well, and draws an angry response so infrequently.

But that's AmyC's marriage. Presumably, both partners in a romantic relationship know the inner nuance and workings of that relationship and both their partner's and their own priorities, boundaries, willingness to concede, etc. Different people have different hard limits. Not only might casual grabbing be received differently by different people, but as some have pointed out, sometimes a no-context-boob-grab might be welcome and sometimes not welcomed by the same person. But for some people, some activities are ALWAYS going to be irritants instead of turn-ons, and GTFO sounds like someone for whom a boob-grab-in-passing-during-an-otherwise-non-sexual-moment is always annoying. It's never gonna lead to sexytime for her. She's within her rights to feel that way.

She should be able to unequivocally tell her bf that. He should be able to respect that.

Alison Cummins @83 & 86: I don't think it's smug of people to not consider knife-wielding in the same category as just another thing you sometimes have to do to be really heard by your partner.

No doubt most of us have our versions of what we needed to do OCCASIONALLY/rarely to convey the depth of our feelings, or the seriousness of our objections or what have you to our partners. We have occasionally yelled, or cried, or used atypical language, or thrown something. But I wouldn't suggest that this is a training maneuver and that sometimes you just have to realize that you're going to need to "break stuff and scream and cry in order to get heard. It’s a lot of effort and not fun. Now my partner can hear me when I say something’s not ok but it took long and painful practice. The relationship is worth it and I am proud of my partner."

That you suggest it is common for people to have to resort to these measures or much more disturbing ones ("I have had to use physical force to enforce boundaries with partners. “This is my room and my bed. If you try to get in and sleep with me I will slash you with this riding crop.”) makes me sad for you; that you suggest that people who don't need to do that are acting in a holier-than-thou way and rubbing in the fact that their partners have the ability to *listen* to them without the threat of knife-play hints at a really disturbing life.

Just my two cents: If you have to threaten "slashing" a "partner" with a riding crop to make sure he doesn't try to get in your bed and sleep with you, I don't know what kind of "partnership" you are talking about. Perhaps the word you meant was "roommate?" Or "ex-partner?" You hint that you were forced to continue some aspect of this relationship past when you would have liked to give it up , and I'm assuming the reason lies in economics, in which case, you made a decision based on reality and which you tried to optimize, but I have to take issue with your choice of the word "respect" to characterize your relationship after you introduced the slashing threat.("Physically enforcing boundaries worked and enabled us to maintain a peaceful and mutually respectful relationship for several more years.") If I know that the only reason I'm not being sexually assaulted by my supposed "partner" is because I have threatened him with bodily harm, I am loath to call that true "respect" on either side
More...
Posted by nocutename on August 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM · Report this
139
@137

As near as makes no difference. You are enforcing boundaries through threat of death. Once you get to that level of controlling and psychotic behavior, the boundaries you are trying to enforce are largely irrelevant.
Posted by creativityescapesme on August 28, 2013 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 140
@EricaP:

I'm with those who say you can't judge lolorhone's friend's actions as abusive from the information given.

Look, having just read through the archives, most of the time I kind of love you (Don't tell my wife!), but if I said "I control my partner's behavior by pulling out a knife and threatening to stab her," I'm pretty sure you wouldn't have any trouble reading the abuse tea-leaves here.

There is such a thing as nuance, and healthy relationships can include off-color humor about violence if that humor is okay with both partners.

I agree, if you're stating a general principle. But did the description sound in any way like humor to you?

lolorhone is a guy.

Wow. That's even worse. So what's his excuse for not knowing that men are humans, and that human rights apply to us?

@132:

Okay, given that you're a guy, then putting your money where your mouth is means something different: next time you do something your partner doesn't like, kill yourself. According to you, that would be appropriate. After all, you're just a man, not a person, right? As you've argued here, that means you don't get the rights that people do.

@ Allison Cummings:

The way lolorhone talks it seems to be more of the former than the latter. But maybe not. Neither of us know.

Actually, we do know. What part of controls her partner's behavior with death threats leaves the slightest bit of ambiguity?

Seriously, can you think of a way for it to be more clear than "threatens partner with knives?" I'm curious.

Maybe you guys are all very close to perfect and only ever attempt relationships with other people who are also very close to perfect. Yay you.

I've had partners who committed breakup-worthy offenses. Often (albeit not often enough--hey, I was young) I broke up with them. I didn't threaten them with knives. I guess not being total scum now makes me "very close to perfect?"

I'm not sure whether to say "thanks for the compliment" or "that's really depressing." Both? But I feel obligated to say that there are really lots of us "very close to perfect" people out there who don't control our partners with death threats; we're not close-to-perfect, we're normal--you can still be a very bad partner without sinking to the level where knife-wielding death-threats start being a concern. If we seem implausibly good, keep looking; there's no need to settle for partners who make us look "close to perfect."
More...
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 12:27 PM · Report this
141
Lolorhone; you're friends can be lovely people and end up happily together in a wonderful relationship for the rest of their lives.

But they BOTH still fucked up that night. The knife wielder significantly more than the groper. There is no getting around that or justifying it.

@109 WTF

I agree that early on you address an issue in a respectful matter and if they can't respect your feelings then you have a real problem, but that doesn't give you license to disrespect or harm your partner.
Posted by Really Now... on August 28, 2013 at 12:31 PM · Report this
lolorhone 142
@126: He no longer drinks to excess so the inebriation problem is non-existent now. She respects him not only as a person, but for tackling his problem head on (and subsequently making great strides in his career). And thank you for your contributions, Erica P.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM · Report this
143
@139 if I say "if you hurt me, I'll hurt you," does that still seem like unacceptable "enforcing boundaries through threat of death"?
Posted by EricaP on August 28, 2013 at 12:34 PM · Report this
lolorhone 144
@134: Considering my lunacy (not to mention the fact that I have no idea who the fuck you are), do you really think I give a fuck about your personal assessment?
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 12:35 PM · Report this
145
@124:
I am loud, I am argumentative, I am verbally aggressive. My ex-boyfriend tends to be very evasive which felt at times completely passive-aggressive to me - so no, we weren't always great communicators. But neither of us ever resorted to physically threaten the other. And I only called him an asshole once in our 6 year relationship. After I realised how much that wounded him, I never again used such a swear word again.

So, no, you don't have to be perfect or reasonable, you just need some respect for each other to try to avoid being an abusive partner.
Posted by migrationist on August 28, 2013 at 12:36 PM · Report this
146
@140 "I agree, if you're stating a general principle. But did the description sound in any way like humor to you?"

Yes. I assume the bystanders laughed, and then she put the knife away. Do you think they all backed away and someone called 911?
Posted by EricaP on August 28, 2013 at 12:37 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 147
@ nocutename:

Thank you.

@ 139:

As near as makes no difference. You are enforcing boundaries through threat of death. Once you get to that level of controlling and psychotic behavior, the boundaries you are trying to enforce are largely irrelevant.

Yeah. Psycho would-be murderers who try to control other people's sexual behavior by threatening them with knives belong in jail, where they'll be kept away from the rest of us. It doesn't matter why they thought it was okay to be a psycho would-be murderer. It doesn't matter whether or not you or I think the boundary they're trying to enforce is a valid one or not. I don't think people should run a red light, but I don't think it's okay to threaten those people with murder, either.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 12:38 PM · Report this
nocutename 148
I'm pretty sure I've already brought lolorhone's anger on me, and I'm afraid he's going to lash out at me now for presuming to know what he was thinking (which is a real shame, cause he has been my biggest SLOG crush in a while), but here goes:

I think he told that story @2 expecting to get applause, and a laugh. Like "Here's what my kick-ass female friend did: you go, girl!" At first, he got that response but then a bunch of people, I among them, criticized his friend's actions (though I never disparaged her sanity). I think he felt like he had to defend his friend and his choice of anecdote. So suddenly details started to get added to mitigate her response (she was almost raped once before, he's a great guy, he asked her why she hadn't told him it bothered her before and she explained that he hadn't listened; now they're solid, they're a textbook happy couple, fuck you if you don't see it my way).

However, no matter how much backpedaling gets done, and no matter how much glossing over happens, the fact remains that many of us think that brandishing knives and threatening your partner with them is not the way to solve communication problems in a relationship. We also don't think that a relationship in which one party is "rightly" fearful, even if only a little bit, of the other can be called a good one. Lastly, I am troubled that anyone would present this story as an exempla or an amusing anecdote. I wish lolorhone was capable of acknowledging these points.
Posted by nocutename on August 28, 2013 at 12:40 PM · Report this
lolorhone 149
@135: "By all means, let's make sure lots of men keep their women in line by making them fear they will be murdered if they step outside of the boundaries set by the men."

Which one of us is out of their fucking mind? Where the fuck did you get that?
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM · Report this
150
lolorhone's point basically amounts to "Men are rapists at heart, collectively speaking, and any unwanted touch from a spouse or boyfriend is a sign that he's finally revealing his true, rapey nature. Therefore, women have the right to use violence to control an individual man's unwanted behavior, and should really get a free pass for it: after all, don't we collectively deserve it? But since women are so oppressed and infantile*, they can't actually be expected to work to prevent things from escalating, or leave a situation that's apparently so traumatic that they'd THREATEN TO KILL their partner. That's asking too much, of course."

*(and in case it's not clear, lolorhone's argument is utterly and totally demeaning and infantilizing towards women, implying that their violence can't be judged by the same standards as men's violence because, uh, rape, or patriarchy, so their poor little pretty heads can't be asked to act with maturity and decency. But it's OK, we should trust HIS judgment about whether a woman who threatens her partner with a knife is abusive or not; after all, he KNOWS her.)
Posted by Adz on August 28, 2013 at 12:43 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 151

Yes. I assume the bystanders laughed, and then she put the knife away. Do you think they all backed away and someone called 911?


I think you and I interpret the word "afraid" very differently?

But no, obviously nobody called 911, since the onlookers were apparently the sort of people who think abuse is funny as long as it's only directed at the sub-human creatures called "men." Do you think abuse stops being abuse if the people who see it think it's okay to abuse "that kind of person?"

This is a real problem--plenty of men get abused, and they're always surrounded by people who think it's funny, rather than thinking it's abuse. That's rape culture.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 12:44 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 152
@ 149:

Which one of us is out of their fucking mind? Where the fuck did you get that?

I'm not creativityescapesme (though it often does), but that's pretty obviously what the world looks like if it's okay to treat women the way you say it's okay to treat men.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Report this
lolorhone 153
@150: That's what you are saying. It is truly amazing the shit people pull out of thin air. Your generalizations are yours alone. Enjoy your fictional righteousness.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 12:48 PM · Report this
154
@Adz @150:

I made a similar argument recently about the infantilisation of women by men who beat up men on their behalf, and I can only say: it doesn't go over well with a lot of people here.
Posted by migrationist on August 28, 2013 at 12:51 PM · Report this
155
You have repeatedly said that her threatening him with death "worked." You've said how he is "rightly a little afraid" of her and it is keeping him in line. You basically are saying that her threatening to kill him and brandishing a weapon while making said threat has made him into a model boyfriend. You are saying that all she had to do was make a legitimate threat against his life and now she doesn't have to do any work to keep him in line like a good little hostage.

Threatening to kill him WAS NOT OKAY and getting a result where he is now basically always on his best behavior and a perfect little angel IS A HUGE RED FLAG that she has him terrorized and he is terrified of what will happen. We also haven't even gotten to the fact that if she is willing to do what she did in a public place in front of friends and coworkers, who really knows what she's threatening to do -- or actually doing -- to him behind closed doors.

Posted by creativityescapesme on August 28, 2013 at 12:54 PM · Report this
lolorhone 156
@151: "This is a real problem--plenty of men get abused, and they're always surrounded by people who think it's funny, rather than thinking it's abuse. That's rape culture."

Yes, plenty of men get abused and it is not by any means alright. But if you think that is the totality of rape culture, you are seriously misinformed.

And, BTW, being drunkenly repeatedly groped by your spouse in front of your friends and coworkers despite explicitly asking them to stop isn't abuse?
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 157
@ 154:

That's a shame, because it should. Stepping away from infantilization doesn't mean giving people only the privileges of adulthood. It also means letting them provide for themselves.

And sending them to jail when they commit very serious crimes.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 12:55 PM · Report this
Alison Cummins 158
nocutename,

Partnership: we were lovers and living together but she and I did not share a bed well. (She slept in the middle of the bed. If I tried to roll her over to her side while she was sleeping she would wake up startled and frightened and shout at me and punch me until she woke up. Not evil on her part but not ok either.) I moved in with her on condition that I would have my own bed and my own room, which I got. Then she announced that she was converting her bedroom to a studio and was going to sleep in my bed. I disagreed. Reasoning was ineffective. Taking the riding crop to bed with me made my point.

I don’t know if it’s common to have to do these things to enforce boundaries but given my experience I know it can’t be rare either. I expect that I’ve had more marginal partners than most people because I’m more tolerant than most people. Being willing to go a little further than most people to enforce my boundaries has made it possible to have relationships with less conventionally functional people than most people bother with. (Just so you know, I have never threatened anyone with a knife.)

Not everybody goes around threatening people with knives — if that were so, lolorhone would not have a story. But if someone is willing to go further to enforce her boundaries in order to be able to have a relationship with a particularly obtuse man that she loves for his other amazing qualities, I’m not going to begrudge her that relationship. If *he* accepts that yes, she really did have to go that far to get his attention, I’m not going to begrudge *him* that relationship. It would be smug of me to say that they can’t have eachother because they don’t play by my rules. I don’t want someone I have to threaten with a knife or a riding crop; my partner doesn’t want me to threaten him with a knife or a riding crop; neither of us are partnered with lolorhone’s friends; we’re cool.

You don’t need to feel sorry for me. At all.

Unless I hear that lolorhone’s friends are unhappy, I don’t feel sorry for them. In the meantime I accept lolorhone’s judgement that they are doing well and I am not urgently motivated to have her involuntarily hospitalized or arrested and tried.
More...
Posted by Alison Cummins http://cleanmyscreen.peghole.com/ on August 28, 2013 at 12:59 PM · Report this
159
@151: I think it's even more insidious than that. There's a belief in Euro-American culture (can't speak for other parts of the world) that when a woman commits violence against a man, it must be because he deserves it. In this worldview, women are basically moral and soulful creatures who don't have the destructive, aggressive, violent nature that men have, so any time a woman hurts a man, it must be that he's pushed her so far that she's been driven to extreme measures.

Lots of people who cluck their tongue at honor killings also believe that death or mutilation is a just consequence for male infidelity -- or at least they joke as if they think so (and as feminism has taught us, jokes can be deadly serious and deeply damaging). Or a different example: when was the last time you saw a commercial where a woman hits a man was used for comic effect? Can you imagine seeing the opposite?

Furthermore, there's an even deeper, maybe near-universal belief that men who are victimized always deserve it, because they were too weak or cowardly to prevent it. Hell, it's even evident as a subtext in lolorhone's comment; his amused contempt isn't just because a guy who played grab-ass got his comeuppance, but also that the silly wimp was afraid of her. (Would you like to imagine what might've happened to your friend if he HADN'T been afraid of her?)

I've known a couple guys who were abused by their female partners, and the shame and embarrassment was etched on their faces whenever they talked about it. But it's not just gender roles or patriarchy or rape culture or insert-buzzword-here that's responsible for that shame; it's also the sense that both sides of the aisle think that THEY DESERVED IT by default.
Posted by Adz on August 28, 2013 at 12:59 PM · Report this
160
@151, how do you interpret my husband's frequent statement (@126)?

"The day I stop looking is the day I die; the day I start touching is the day I die."

Is that a cry for help, from a guy who is clearly terrified of his wife who abusively controls his sexual behavior?

Or is it a joke told to remind himself that he believed he would face real-world consequences for infidelity?

He used the word "die" -- does that mean he thought I would actually kill him? Can people be "afraid" of consequences, without actually being afraid for their life?
Posted by EricaP on August 28, 2013 at 1:00 PM · Report this
nocutename 161
@151: Being drunkenly repeatedly groped by your spouse in front of your friends and coworkers despite explicitly asking them to stop may well be legitimately considered abuse. It is by and to some people, and it isn't by and to others.

The appropriate response if you feel you're being abused by your partner should be to leave that partner or to make it clear that if the activity continues you WILL leave (and mean it, and make sure your partner knows you mean it). The appropriate response is not to threaten someone with a knife and then say, well, that taught him! Now that he knows what will happen if he gets out of line, things are fine between us!

I don't think she belongs in jail or is homicidal. But what she did wasn't right, either.

P.S. I had a friend who walked out of her marriage in large part because her husband drunkenly repeatedly groped her in front of their friends and his coworkers despite the fact that she explicitly asked him to stop. (This behavior didn't start until several years after the marriage had been going.) She felt that his ignoring her and continuing that behavior signaled a general lack of respect for her. What she never considered doing was threatening his physical safety. When it got to the point that she considered it abuse, she decided she didn't want to be married to such an abusive asshole anymore.
Posted by nocutename on August 28, 2013 at 1:04 PM · Report this
162
Adz, @159, "Lots of people... believe that death or mutilation is a just consequence for male infidelity -- or at least they joke as if they think so"

I agree about the power of jokes, and I don't like my husband's joke. But do you think my husband's joke was evidence that his actual life was in danger? It's good to analyze jokes, but that doesn't mean they should be taken literally.
Posted by EricaP on August 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM · Report this
lolorhone 163
@155: HE WAS ABUSING HER (DRUNKENLY GROPING SOMEONE WHO TELLS YOU NOT TO IS ASSAULT AND ABUSE, SPOUSE OR NOT). He's "rightly" afraid of crossing that line with her again. That's the only dynamic that remains from the first fucked-up three months of their relationship. She crossed a line once in response to his crossing an ever escalating line repeatedly. Calling her a lunatic for that (and making him the sole victim) strikes me as quite a lopsided perspective for a purported egalitarian.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 1:11 PM · Report this
164
And I just have to say that nocutename has been pretty much nailing it in every post in this thread so far. Post 148 sums it all up quite perfectly and reasonably. If anyone lost it in the clusterfuck it's worth backtracking...
Posted by JyLckhart on August 28, 2013 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Cat in fez 165
Hyacinth at 73 is so, so thoroughly correct. I had an emotionally abusive ex who would tickle me to the point of not being able to speak or breathe, and/or crying, pretty regularly. I had told him not to do so, I told him not being able to breathe was scary...but he didn't care. It was not the only unwelcome behavior like this, but it was the only one that wasn't explicitly sexual. Pretty sure it implicitly was, inasmuch as he was getting his jollies doing things to me without my consent.

We do -totally- minimize the potential invasiveness and bodily integrity issues of tickling, and I think it's horrible training for kids about boundary respect.

We are on Savage Love here, and I don't think 73's position is at all incompatible with 90's enjoyment of tickling and note that he or she "wouldn't abolish it". The commentators here think all sorts of things more alarming than tickling shouldn't be abolished, just practiced exclusively with consent.

I feel like #95 is missing some stuff about the boob-grabbing described in the letter. He writes: "I think in most healthy sexual relationships, people will sometimes, spontaneously and without formal notice, touch their partner's erogenous zones. That's not sexual assault - that's foreplay." The letter writer specifically notes that the boyfriend doesn't interact with her -or acknowledge her- in any other way before OR AFTER. I'd be hard-pressed to remember boob-touching initation of sex in my relationships that didn't have something else first -- like, embracing or pulling close, or touching a shoulder first then sliding there? Smoldering glances? Talking with words? But more importantly, the -letter writer-'s boyfriend is NOT trying to initiate sex.

He is grabbing her boob in a way that -ignores- the rest of her -- her brain, her hands that are busy cooking, and yeah, her loins that some more considerate boob-touching might inkindle. That is fucking disturbing. She's his girlfriend, not a pair of boobs floating tantalizingly in midair. And if he were trying to initiate sex, he wouldn't honk and run, he'd linger and fondle.
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Posted by Cat in fez on August 28, 2013 at 1:14 PM · Report this
nocutename 166
Alison Cummins: Okay, I don't feel sorry for you. I think your attitude of "well, yay for you, all you people that have such perfect, perfect relationships that you never have to go to outrageous lengths to be heard/respected by your partners" speaks eloquently and to me, distressingly. But if it works for you, I'm not judging--until you bring out a switchblade. Then I'll say that that is not warranted and a bad idea.

I don't know whom you were addressing, or whether it was still me, when you said, of lolorhone's friend, Ms. Switchblade and her suitor, "I accept lolorhone’s judgement that they are doing well and I am not urgently motivated to have her involuntarily hospitalized or arrested and tried." I never said that she should be arrested, in jail, in a mental hospital, whatever. I originally just said that I thought if she was that bothered by his groping, and they couldn't talk it out, she ought to have left him.
Posted by nocutename on August 28, 2013 at 1:14 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 167
Adz, you should register. Everything in 159 is very true.

@ 158:

If *he* accepts that yes, she really did have to go that far to get his attention, I’m not going to begrudge *him* that relationship.

If I were an abuser, and my wife "accepts" that I really had to give her a black eye in order to get her attention about the dishes being unsatisfactorily clean, would you begrudge her that relationship?

Is there any level of abuse that, if done to a man, would make you recognize it as abusive and unacceptable? What is it?

You don’t need to feel sorry for me. At all.

But I do. Otherwise, what kind of person would I be?

I don’t know if it’s common to have to do these things to enforce boundaries but given my experience I know it can’t be rare either.

Given my experiences--and the law--I know (with at least as much certainty as you have) that it is rare. It sounds like you've had a long run of really shitty partners, and I do feel sorry for you, because that sounds awful.

If anyone doesn't have the life experience that would let them know that a simple lack of using death threats to control a partner isn't enough to make me near-perfect, I can't help but feel very, very sorry for them. I'm not a perfect partner; I'm not anything like a perfect partner. But I would never even consider doing anything like that, and in that respect I am in no way special.

If you don't see it that way, I'm sorry that I don't have much more to offer other than to say that I am so, so sorry for you, and that people are so much better than that, and that you deserve better than what you've gotten. Everyone does. Every last person.
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Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 1:15 PM · Report this
168
@27, 57 lolorhone,

I'll play the role of the buzz-kill and say: if the BF is apologizing for his grabby/boundaries violating behavior, frequently, after drinking too much, then it is time to examine the possibility of too much drinking.  Perhaps taking sex off the table every time he had a few too many would also be prudent.

With regards to his partner: if I ever found myself threatening a loved one with a knife, I would likely end the relationship simply because of being too scared of myself and the situation that got me there happening again.  

Another factor in the boob grabbing question is how much the boob owner likes being touched there under any circumstances.  I adore my wife's perky boobs and long nipples, but she simply doesn't enjoy being touched unless she's in the mood.  I caress her, she shrugs me off, I stop trying.  She wants to sleep with my hand and arm on her breasts, I'm good till my arm falls asleep.  It isn't difficult to create an understanding, if you pay attention to your partner's needs (unless drugs or drink get in the way).

OTOH, I caress my wife's ass, if and only if, there is nobody else in the house.  Admittedly I do it in part cause I hope she'll do it to me, but it also is where she enjoys being touched in privacy.  As a compromise for me being "careful", I get to do a nude (on my part) full body lotion application to her body after her shower.  It may not be PIV, but is it sex?  We make it so.

Peace
Posted by Married in MA on August 28, 2013 at 1:15 PM · Report this
lolorhone 169
@159: That subtext is entirely your invention. This is no longer a debate; this is literary interpretation. Pull what you will from what I wrote; it's got nothing to do with what I meant.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 1:20 PM · Report this
170
@168, re the drinking, yes, you're right, but lolorhone explained @142 that "He no longer drinks to excess" and "she respects him not only as a person, but for tackling his problem head on."
Posted by EricaP on August 28, 2013 at 1:23 PM · Report this
171
@163

The fact that you don't view touching a partner without permission and making a legitimate threat against your partner's life while brandishing a weapon as completely lopsided speaks volumes about you and nothing it says is good. I don't condone his activities in any way, but making a legitimate and believable threat against the life of your partner is not in any was reasonable. It is pretty much the definition of psychotic.

If you're willing to cross the line into felonies that carry decade-plus prison sentences in front of friends and coworkers, there is absolutely no reason to believe that she isn't still threatening him with all manner of terrible things. In fact, I'd be completely shocked if she weren't essentially holding him in that relationship against his will with a laundry list of threats.
Posted by creativityescapesme on August 28, 2013 at 1:23 PM · Report this
172
@169: Everyone has the right to point out that there are implied subtexts to the things you say. You might not like the subtexts, or might not have consciously intended them, but that doesn't mean they're not there. Everything you write is the product of a worldview, and the more you write, the more you reveal about your assumptions. (And here, nothing else matters but what you write; your alleged intent is irrelevant -- you're words on a page, and are judged by those words.)

With your passionate defense of feminist tropes, surely you know how often people speak and don't realize the implications of what they're saying; if you can't muster enough humility to consider that maybe you're in the same boat, and are unwittingly revealing blind spots that others are pointing out to you, then that also says something about you.
Posted by Adz on August 28, 2013 at 1:27 PM · Report this
173
Man, I did not expect this direction for the thread.

Lolorhone, one more sympathetic vote.

There are a lot of places where "switch the gender" is appropriate, but 'sense of physical threat' usually doesn't work. Men tend to be larger and to have much more upper body strength. Then there's hormones--there's a reason Dan's advice to parents of gay boys parallels that to parents of straight girls, because their children will be dating someone under the influence of teenage boy hormones. Saying "he could physically force her, but she could physically force him too! It's totally equal!" is willfully naive in terms of both physical power and which way physical force tends to be applied, statistically speaking.

So if someone physically larger and stronger assaults you, ignores your 'cut that out,' and you then escalate to "If you ever do that again I will punch/cut/strangle you" in a voice that finally, finally gets their attention, I really can't get too het up about it. Actual punching/cutting/strangling is different from a one time "I SAID GET OFF ME" underliner.

More telling as a gender switch is to have a same sex couple. And depending on circumstances I can see a whole lot more "and that is when (s)he finally figured it out and stopped, and things were good between them" than "and that is when we all know it was abusive, because while all the assaults were not abuse the threat of physical violence if it happened again was."

As for original letter writer, her problem is largely casting this in terms of bf's fee-fees rather than her boundaries. Spell it out, don't feel bad if he pouts while he gets used to the idea, and if you've been trying to laugh it off but sometimes get mad you're sending mixed messages.
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Posted by IPJ on August 28, 2013 at 1:27 PM · Report this
lolorhone 174
@168: That is exactly what he did- he now monitors his drinking carefully to avoid getting so aggressive with my friend. They've been fine ever since, despite what others on the thread seem to believe MUST be the case.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 175
EricaP:

how do you interpret my husband's frequent statement (@126)?

I am able to differentiate between a joke made by a person who is joking, and a death threat made by a person holding a knife and making a death threat. You can too, right?

If, instead of your husband making a joke, that anecdote had been about you holding a knife in front of your husband and saying "If you do that I will kill you with this knife," those anecdotes would be comparable. They are not.

For what it's worth, I don't like that joke either (though I still might have laughed, I'm somewhat sorry to say; I'm going to hope and pretend that it's only because your husband, from all you've said, sounds like a guy who could probably deliver the joke really well).

@156:

Yes, plenty of men get abused and it is not by any means alright. But if you think that is the totality of rape culture, you are seriously misinformed.

Obviously, I don't think that. You know that, because there is nobody who uses the phrase "rape culture" unironically who doesn't know that.


And, BTW, being drunkenly repeatedly groped by your spouse in front of your friends and coworkers despite explicitly asking them to stop isn't abuse?


No, it probably is. As you know, as I've stated several times that it's asshole behavior and a dumping offense. Threatening someone with a knife is a years-in-jail offense. He's an asshole; she should DTMFA. She's a felon; she should go to jail for a long time. I'm in favor of both of those outcomes. Regardless of the gender of the perpetrators.

Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 1:29 PM · Report this
Cat in fez 176
Almost forgot. @76: I love that even in the comments to Savage Love, we can't get away from the default assumption that women use sex as leverage, men want it constantly, and therefore it's trivial and painless for women to 'deny' men sex. And no, she doesn't "obviously" have a low libido because she doesn't like this invasive pointless boob grabbing.
Posted by Cat in fez on August 28, 2013 at 1:34 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 177
lolorhone:

@159: That subtext is entirely your invention. This is no longer a debate; this is literary interpretation. Pull what you will from what I wrote; it's got nothing to do with what I meant.

If you say disgusting things in public, and people interpret them to mean you're saying something disgusting, that's not their fault; it's yours.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 1:39 PM · Report this
178
110 Avast-- I believe we agree with each other so much, please accept the following as splitting hairs.

It's impossible for either of us to enumerate the exact order of what we suggest for the correct response for each offensive boob grab without knowing the boyfriend's responses to the calm statement of annoyance ("it bothers the hell out of me" or "it feels like an attack" or "shoot, I lost my train of thought and my exam is tomorrow").

From there, we'd have to know his response to the same sentiment with the slightly raised voice (apology? counter attack as in you do things that bother me too? defensiveness? laughter? pouting? rationalization?). And so it goes with each move on GTFO's part met with so many possibilities on Boyfriend's part as to lead to exponentially expanding possibilities on GTFO's part and so on.

More hairsplitting-- To my eyes, you jumped to threatening to end the relationship pretty quickly, but really, I was only thinking of 3-5 chances after the initial statement of annoyance and limits. But that's because I'd hate to be in a relationship where any time I said something bothered me I'd have to bring out the threat to be heard:

"Pick up your socks, or I'm leaving!"

"Remember to turn out the porch light, or I'm out of here!"

"My steak's too well done AGAIN!"

I mean these examples humorously, but you get the idea. Hopefully a good relationship involves a fair amount of putting up with the other person as well as a good amount of standing up for one's self. I know of no easy way to iron out these big and little differences, but it shouldn't have to involve breaking up over each one.

Now as to the boob grab on a straight guy. I adore rubbing my boyfriend's chest. He's well built and does not have man-boobs. I just think that's one of the sexy parts of his body.
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Posted by Crinoline on August 28, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
lolorhone 179
@175: Who uses the term "rape culture" ironically?

Oh, and since we're making legal arguments:

"Groping is considered illegal when there is no consent. The legal charge can vary from state to state but generally is considered to be sexual battery, sexual groping, or "unlawful touching". In some jurisdictions, groping is considered "Criminal Sexual Conduct", in the second to fourth degree, if there is no penetration."

-Overview of Sexual Battery Laws Within the United States
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 1:44 PM · Report this
dick_score 180
Good Lord... I feel like if everyone had some "myself and I" time, people might be able to relax and not freak out at each other.

@Team LoloRhone: Can you not step back and see that threatening violence is never an acceptable option, except when the threat against them is equal and imminent? (i.e. grabbing a breast in front of a group is unlikely to lead to rape with a room of witnesse)

@Team Psycho Slicer: Can you agree that it is possible that the threat was not so much a serious, I will murder you, and she was probably not going to stab or shank or cut or slice of dicks? Jail time/being committed comments make you seem like judgmental asses that jump to insane conclusions on every internet comment section.

I am not sure why it is so hard to acknowledge that both are wrong, but one shouldn't have a weapon pulled on them, and one shouldn't go to jail based on a story told by someone who was told the story?

Posted by dick_score on August 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM · Report this
hotmomma 181
How is not wanting to date an HIV infected person ignorant? Condoms break, right? When condoms break, a possible infection can occur, right? Am I missing something? I haven't been in the dating world for a while, but did those things stop occurring to people? Not wanting to risk a life threatening infection to date someone doesn't seem like a ignorant or asshole move. It is a choice. People who are willing to take the risk, that is their choice. People not willing to take the risk, that is their choice too. Why assume they are jerks?
Posted by hotmomma on August 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM · Report this
lolorhone 182
@177: Just because you interpret what I've said as disgusting does not make it objectively disgusting. Pretending otherwise is just a baseless attempt to win an argument. And that failure of logic is your fault.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 1:54 PM · Report this
183
@lolorhone, do you think her next move was to stab him, if he had continued to grope her?
Posted by EricaP on August 28, 2013 at 1:55 PM · Report this
lolorhone 184
@180: I never said she did not cross a line. I said I understood why.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 1:56 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 185
@179:

Who uses the term "rape culture" ironically?

Internet crazies, and probably non-internet crazies. If you've avoided meeting that particular type so far, good on you.

Derail attempt failed, though. Groping your partner when they didn't want it isn't the same--isn't even comparable--to threatening your partner with a knife. Deducing this is a trivially easy task for anyone who isn't seriously messed up.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 1:57 PM · Report this
lolorhone 186
@183: I think the point was to scare the shit out of him, not to actually hurt him. I said as much @37.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 1:58 PM · Report this
187
"Can you agree that it is possible that the threat was not so much a serious, I will murder you, and she was probably not going to stab or shank or cut or slice of dicks?"

Sure, but if a man had issued it to ANYONE, male or female, that threat would be taken very seriously, and that's a serious problem. One could just as easily say that lolorhone's friend was deliberately, and cynically, taking advantage of a kind of "female privilege" that lets her make threats that would get a man thrown in jail, beaten to a pulp, or killed. That is, she was exploiting (and reinforcing) gender roles to her own advantage -- something that helps to perpetuate patriarchy, not to undermine it.

Part of equality is no longer giving women a free pass for behavior like that because "she's just a girl", or because the idea of a Very Bad Man being humiliated or sliced up gives us a pleasant frisson of schadenfreude for all the times we've felt victimized.

As I acknowledged above, I had my ass grabbed repeatedly by a FUCKING CONVICTED PEDOPHILE when I was a kid, in situations I couldn't escape, and I'd like to think that gives me some standing to speak to the emotional distress that's involved in being ass-grabbed by someone who ACTUALLY wants to rape you. And, well, it ain't that much. Anyone claiming it as a horribly traumatic experience that justifies a violent, felonious response is full of shit, and motivated more by a desire for revenge, tribalism, and righteousness than by any sense of right and wrong.
Posted by Adz on August 28, 2013 at 2:05 PM · Report this
lolorhone 188
@179: Does your need to get personal anytime I make a point you disagree with qualify you as an internet crazie?

And it wasn't a derail attempt: by your logic, my friend's boyfriend should be serving SOME time of his own. Maybe not as much as my friend, but SOME, right?
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 2:06 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 189
lolorhone,

Please, please don't date any humans until you've come to understand that it is not okay to threaten your partner with a knife under any circumstances, ever, and no matter what gender your partner is.

Violence is not a communication tool. Ever.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 2:07 PM · Report this
190
@183: Oh, okay, she didn't actually intend to kill him, she just wanted to threaten him to a degree where he BELIEVED she'd actually kill him. That's perfectly fine then!
Posted by creativityescapesme on August 28, 2013 at 2:07 PM · Report this
191
@186, okay, thanks, I must have missed that before. But if she really meant him to believe she would stab him, then I withdraw my hypothesis that it was just a tasteless joke.
Posted by EricaP on August 28, 2013 at 2:12 PM · Report this
192
You know,

I can actually envision a threat of violence that wouldn't be unreasonable in this situation like if she said, "The next time you do that I'm going to slap you right across the face" or "The next time you grab my ass I'm going to grab your balls" or something like that. Is it still a threat? Yes. Are they both still wrong? Yes. Is it fairly proportional to what he was doing to her? I'd say yes. Certainly not a good thing but at least something that you'd be able to say, "Hey, if he's grabbing her ass and she tells him she doesn't like that then she grabs his balls... tit for tat."

The same can not be said of threatening to kill him.
Posted by creativityescapesme on August 28, 2013 at 2:14 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 193
@188:

It was a derail attempt, and we both know it, because we both know that entering an intimate relationship with someone implies a degree of consent to sexual contact, and that the degree is negotiable. Laws about what happens when there's no consent (as opposed to some consent) are a derail.

We're "getting" personal because the fact that you don't seem to believe that violence isn't a communication tool means you're a deeply shitty human being. I can't help but believe that; all non-shitty humans have no problem understanding that basic rule about violence. You've made a profoundly personal revelation; it's impossible for it to not be personal.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 2:15 PM · Report this
dick_score 194
@Adz I agree, it is wrong. I said as much in my comment. You took one portion and ignored the conclusion, which was what that statement you cut out was from: that while wrong, it does not merit being committed or jail time, and that by jumping to that conclusion, you are assuming you know a whole lot more than you actually do, given the fact that you were not there, nor do you know them.

Posted by dick_score on August 28, 2013 at 2:24 PM · Report this
195
right @179, but that exactly is the problem I have with what you're saying.
You repeatedly imply that those of us who find threatening to kill someone completely unacceptable must not think groping is serious.
But that's a complete non-sequitur. In the moral and legal system of a civilized society we don't do vigilante justice. Just because he did something that was both morally and legally absolutely wrong does not give her _any_ right to retaliate. Maybe mitigating circumstances - both legally and morally - but no right. Just to make clear how serious I am about this - we can make the dude's behavior much more clearly crimininal. Say, have him be her creepy boss who won't start groping her. Still doesn't make it right to threaten to kill him. And no, even creepy groping boss doesn't "deserve" to have his life threatened.

And you go on complaining how we're dealing in absolutes, how we're not seeing the people involved, yadda yadda. Go read your post @2. See how much "gray area" you find there. You say "1) he deserved it and 2) it worked". That's the totality of your moral assessment. And we're saying hell no to that.

Then there are all the complaints about us speaking from a position of privilege, our perfect relationships, etc. Sure, privilege, parents & friends who model etc. have helped but a) I doubt any of us got a relationship with good communication without working on it (though I have to say the standards espoused here so far are pretty low) - and b) if our relationships are so great , why _shouldn't_ they be a model for other people?
I ask you, too, to re-read the post that sparked all this @2. Does it really not sound to you like this is being told as a model of a good way to solve the problem of a groping partner? And is it really so hard to understand why anyone who doesn't believe we should be living in a Zimmerman-style vigilante society takes issue with that?
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Posted by adam.smith on August 28, 2013 at 2:26 PM · Report this
196
@192: I personally would have no real problem with "You grab my ass again, and I'll grab your balls". It does escalate the situation a tiny bit (testicles are more vulnerable than glutes), but it's proportionate and fits the crime. Threatening someone with a deadly weapon is wildly disproportionate, and is in the most literal sense a far more severe crime. The only way a person could think otherwise is if they have a view of men and women that, as described earlier, leaves both sexes looking pretty worthless.
Posted by Adz on August 28, 2013 at 2:27 PM · Report this
lolorhone 197
@193: There was no consent because SHE TOLD HIM REPEATEDLY TO STOP DOING WHAT HE WAS DOING. Being her boyfriend doesn't give him a free pass against her explicitly stated wishes. I believe people who think that are deeply shitty human beings, so I guess we're even.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 2:31 PM · Report this
198
@194: I never said that, in practical terms, she "should" be jailed for it. Theoretically, they could both be jailed for their behavior, but whether they "should" in this particular situation is hard to know from an Internet distance, and kind of irrelevant.

What I can say is that when a person speaks approvingly of someone using the threat of physical mutilation or deadly violence as a corrective for unwanted male-partner behavior, and seems completely unaware of the injustice and toxicity of that stance, it's time to start tearing out the foundations of the thought process that led there, and asking why some people get such a gleeful hard-on at the thought of seeing a man humiliated, afraid, and/or stabbed.
Posted by Adz on August 28, 2013 at 2:34 PM · Report this
dick_score 199
No, but you were referring to my response to everyone calling for jail time, convictions, mental institutions, etc. It was not at you, it was at an entire group.
Posted by dick_score on August 28, 2013 at 2:39 PM · Report this
200
@197: No one, not a single person in this thread, has argued that the boyfriend should get "a free pass against her explicitly stated wishes". By claiming that someone has, you're lying, full stop; by equating "It's fucked up to threaten your partner with violence" with arguing for open season on women's bodies, you're committing an act of calculated dishonesty of the kind so easily, and so bravely, carried out from behind the safety of the Internet.
Posted by Adz on August 28, 2013 at 2:39 PM · Report this
lolorhone 201
@195: I already reread the post @2, which is why I added more and more information about the situation. Once again, I never said she didn't cross a line. I said I understood why. On the gay rugby player thread, I told a story about a friend of mine who was owed money by his coworker. We ran into him at a bar, and the drunker my friend got the more aggressive he got, finally asking the coworker what the fuck he doing out at a bar when he owed him money. He replied that his mother had died earlier that afternoon and that was why he was drinking. My friend then asked if he was sure she had died of cancer and not shame that her son was a fucking deadbeat. The coworker crossed the bar in a shot and hit my friend in the head three times rapidly and forcefully with his fist before I separated them and the bartender asked them to leave. Was the coworker in the legal wrong for putting his hands on him? Absolutely. Could my friend really say he had nothing to do with creating and escalating the conflict? Hell no. Again, yes, a line was crossed. But not without cause.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 2:45 PM · Report this
202
@199: But again, I think focusing on whether her behavior "should" have put her in jail is focusing on something that's essentially irrelevant. It's fine if you think it doesn't, but it's a funny thing to be definitive about: the information that makes you think "shouldn't go to jail" is every bit as suspect and secondhand as the information that makes other posters think "should".
Posted by Adz on August 28, 2013 at 2:46 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 203
@ 191

But if she really meant him to believe she would stab him, then I withdraw my hypothesis that it was just a tasteless joke.

Thanks. I feel like you sometimes assume the best of people too much... but all things considered, it's a good problem to have.

@ dick_score: I think Adz--for reasons unrelated to you personally--might be hypersensitive both to BothSidesDoIt-ism and to the (obvious but often ignored) gender issues there. Having that same unfortunate sensitivity, I have to admit I had some of the same reaction to your earlier post, since I read it in mostly the same way Adz did--and a "split the difference" response is outrageous and offensive when both sides so manifestly are not guilty of comparable offenses.

Jail time/being committed comments make you seem like judgmental asses that jump to insane conclusions on every internet comment section.

Jail time for committing serious crimes which, but for her gender, would have rightly landed her serious jail time, is not insane or judgmental. It's a belief in equality. Men are people. Women are people. If it's a crime to do it to one, it's a crime to do it to the other.

This isn't about admitting that both are wrong; "Team Psycho Slicer" has never at any point denied that. But one was wrong, and the other was very, very, go-to-prison-for-years wrong. Saying "both wrong" sounds a lot like trivializing the latter.

Particularly since you had just done so: It is insane to think that it's okay to threaten your partner with a knife. It is not insane to think that doing so should have the same penalties for women as for men, and that it is not funny. Since you called the latter insane and not the former, Adz misread you less than you seem to think.

More...
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 2:48 PM · Report this
dick_score 204
@Adz Yes, but I believe in giving the benefit of the doubt in judging people, innocent until proven guilty, and generally not pronouncing sentences on people/situations I do not know. For all I know she is insane, but I am not about to declare her dangerous to society as a whole based on a source citing a source who was there.
Posted by dick_score on August 28, 2013 at 2:52 PM · Report this
205
@187 Adz,

As someone who had his ass grabbed and fondled in the act of a pedophile trying to get me to let him suck/fuck me (@17 woken from sleep, he was an adult, utterly blotto drunk), I was saved by my restraint from allowing my rage to give in to my terror.  And there it is: sometimes terrorized people go berserker in the process of defending themselves.  I am deeply ashamed of many things that happened in that incident, which given I wasn't responsible for causing the event is another source of trauma, but keeping just enough restraint to not feloniously assault him then or after isn't one of them.  Most arrow straight teen male weightlifters wouldn't have fared so well.

Peace

P.S.  I consider myself fortunate that I enjoy getting head at all, by women.  Had I been sleeping on my back that night, things might have turned out differently, and the "Uncle Ernie" might not have escaped retribution.
Posted by Married in MA on August 28, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 206
lolorhone:

Being her boyfriend doesn't give him a free pass against her explicitly stated wishes.

Can you quote where anyone said this? Literally anyone; there is no one here who thinks that. Since you can't, and you know it, I think we're pretty much done here. When you need to lie to pretend you're right, you're not right.

I have concluded you're a shitty person based on shitty things you have said over and over, and then elaborated, and which a non-shitty person is incapable of believing. You've concluded I'm a shitty person based on things you made up in your head that didn't happen. I'm okay with that; if you had the kind of judgment that's worth anything, we wouldn't be in this position in the first place.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 2:58 PM · Report this
lolorhone 207
@200: "...we both know that entering an intimate relationship with someone implies a degree of consent to sexual contact, and that the degree is negotiable. Laws about what happens when there's no consent (as opposed to some consent) are a derail."- Eudaemonic, @193

Eudaemonic is explicitly stating that because my friend's boyfriend was her boyfriend, that he inherently had SOME consent. That is not true. He had NO consent from her in those instances because she specifically, repeatedly told him to stop what he was doing.

And I'm not equating your argument with Eudaemonic's disgusting (hey!) statement; I'm saying I think HIS statement alone (and anyone who would think that) is foul. Hope that clears everything up for you.

Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 2:58 PM · Report this
nocutename 208
EricaP: When did you decide that lolorhone's friend was making a "tasteless joke?"

In post #20 (responding to someone who thought the friend's reaction was far too extreme, you said: "he's assaulting her. She didn't open the switchblade, she just showed that she was serious about protecting herself from further assault."

But by #126, you had done a complete about-face:
"I'm with those who say you can't judge lolorhone's friend's actions as abusive from the information given. There is such a thing as nuance, and healthy relationships can include off-color humor about violence if that humor is okay with both partners."

I'm curious: what in the exchanges over the thread between #s 18-125 made you decide that she was no longer being assaulted and making a serious threat in response but was making a bad joke in response to an annoyance?

Posted by nocutename on August 28, 2013 at 3:00 PM · Report this
Eudaemonic 209
204:

Yes, but I believe in giving the benefit of the doubt in judging people, innocent until proven guilty, and generally not pronouncing sentences on people/situations I do not know.

This is that "we can't convict someone we don't know just based on what we heard" bullshit with which we're all so familiar. Two points: One, you are aware, aren't you, that we're not actually sending her to jail, right? None of us are on a jury, and she is not on trial. So everything you just said is irrelevant; I'm sure you know this.

Two? I don't know what "proven guilty" means to you, but I stop at innocent until you pull out a knife and threaten to stab your partner. Once you do that, you're no longer innocent of doing that. The benefit of the doubt only exists when there is doubt.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 28, 2013 at 3:03 PM · Report this
210
@205: I appreciate your post and your story, and am genuinely sorry you went through that. I think it's probably for the best that you restrained yourself, though I'd sympathize (to say the least) if you had beaten the crap out of him; were I on a jury I'd find it hard to convict you, let's put it that way.

In my case I was quite a bit younger, but there was a network of adults around who would have prevented any escalation (or allowing him to be alone with me for more than a brief moment). However they didn't see his games of grab-ass as enough of a reason to start what would've been a huge fight. For me, they were little more than an annoyance.

The thing is, though, I don't see lolorhone's friend as a terrorized person. (Nor was I, FWIW.) Annoyed, sure, and probably feeling a bit violated. But terrorized, enough that a violent response could be excused or legitimately invoked? Nope, I just don't think grab-ass from an existing partner rises to that threshold.
Posted by Adz on August 28, 2013 at 3:04 PM · Report this
211
@201: There are causes when lines are crossed most of the time. That there's a cause, doesn't, in general, justify crossing the line.
Posted by Old Crow on August 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM · Report this
212
so @lolorhone:
which is it: he deserved it or she crossed a line? Because you can't have both.
If he deserved it, what she did was right. Not "perhaps understandable under the circumstances," but right. Do you think it was?
Posted by adam.smith on August 28, 2013 at 3:11 PM · Report this
213
(FWIW, I think half of what adz writes is MRA crap loaded with "us poor men are victims" bs and I think given the status of the US's penal system I'd avoid sending people to jail as much as possible. Just making sure I'm not dragged into those things by association)
Posted by adam.smith on August 28, 2013 at 3:15 PM · Report this
dick_score 214
@209 Dang, I thought we had the power to convict, as bestowed by the Deity known as Dan Savage. Sarcasm, but yes, I am aware. But that doesn't mean we should just jump to conclusions, and defending it is exactly my point. There is a reasonable middle ground, and it is:

"Both were wrong, but we shouldn't go to such extremes to defend some bad behavior or in judging the consequences that should be doled out."

But, you arguing is proving the point that both sides should rub one out and calm down.
Posted by dick_score on August 28, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
215
I'm bored with the comments on LW2 so I'm striking off on my own with LW1. I had something similar happen to me once. We were both turned on. He was hard. He asked me to masturbate for him, and I did. The moment after I came, I motioned for him to get inside me, but he was soft. It took him a moment of his own masturbating before he got hard again. That was ages ago, and I haven't thought about it for a while.

I understand that the LW would be perturbed if it's happened more than once with different partners.

I like Dan's theory #2. I'd also suggest that if her being intimidating is causing the men to go temporarily soft, and if she doesn't like that, she might consider not being quite so intimidating. That's for her own sake, not for the guys'.

On the other hand, she seems to have reached that conclusion on her own. She says that generally after a few times they stop having the problem. Perhaps after a few times, they feel less intimidated. Problem solved.
Posted by Crinoline on August 28, 2013 at 3:24 PM · Report this
lolorhone 216
@212, 213: I think he crossed a line and then, in reaction, she crossed a line. I think he deserved to be scared out of violating her body/space. I think he took the exchange outside of the realm of the appropriate when he groped her in front of her friends and coworkers and after she had repeatedly (over the course of months) told him not so. Legally, he'd probably win in court. Doesn't mean his line-crossing did nothing to legitimately provoke her line-crossing. (BTW, I don't think you could call her threat murderous- injurious, but not murderous)

And I appreciate your even-handedness and your restraint in not getting personal. Truly.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 3:36 PM · Report this
217
@207: You're mixing up two different levels of discussing consent. In the context of a sexual relationship, there's an assumption that a steady stream of intimate bodily contact between two people is normative. That's a different discussion from whether consent has been given or withdrawn for a particular act at a particular time.

Generally speaking, the law really isn't very interested in policing the niceties of non-violent, non-genital, non-coercive physical interactions between people in an ongoing sexual relationship. If a stranger grabs your ass on the street and they're prosecuted, what's really being addressed is that act's potential for damage to society, not an affirmation of your right to lead an existence utterly free of unwanted contact and have every intrusion on your person punished.

Unwanted grab-ass between otherwise-consenting sexual partners doesn't meet that standard. It may be technically illegal, but it doesn't harm society in any meaningful way, and the law's not going to be interested -- any more than it would be interested if a girl stuck her finger up my ass, I told her "I don't like that, please don't do it" and then she did it again a week later. And it'd be ESPECIALLY uninterested if she kept doing it and I didn't terminate the relationship, not because I was being coerced or threatened to get me to stay, but because I found her otherwise appealing and hoped she'd stop.

Does your friend's boyfriend's ass-grabbing behavior suck? Sure, it sucks. But quit trying to give her a rape victim's halo. Having your ass grabbed by your sexual partner in public may be embarrassing or humiliating, but it doesn't entitle us to respond with threats of deadly violence, and no one should laud us for doing so. And frankly, I don't think the exterior of the backside is some magical body part anyway; if her boyfriend put his arm around her in public one time too many, and she threatened to shiv him, we wouldn't be having this conversation -- but I don't really see much of a difference.
More...
Posted by Adz on August 28, 2013 at 3:36 PM · Report this
218
@213: How the fuck did I get anointed the representative of "send her to prison"? I never argued for it.

As for "MRA crap", not my scene; most of the MRA sites I've seen are too mired in anger and conservative value systems. But I'm ceaselessly amused by those people who think that the path to equality is for men to take the blame for everything and feel guilty for having been born, and somehow that will end rape and women's oppression -- as if guilt and self-loathing ever led to a happier world. (Meanwhile, the men who actually commit these crimes laugh and keep doing 'em.) It's a gas, it really is, to watch overprivileged, (mostly) white people fall all over themselves to find any possible pretext to stoke their sense of righteous indignation -- so long, of course, as they never have to step out from behind the safety of their computer keyboard.
Posted by Adz on August 28, 2013 at 3:50 PM · Report this
Fortunate 219
@97 "And yet she didn’t leave him. They are still together two years later."

For which I am personally very grateful. These two idiots deserve each other. I am very glad that these to idiotic, dysfunctional people chose to stay together rather than inflict their crazy on other, normal people.

Crazy psychos should be together. They understand each other and deserve each other. And it keeps the rest of the dating world safer.
Posted by Fortunate on August 28, 2013 at 4:02 PM · Report this
220
@208 I don't remember really, but let's say I identified with lolorhone’s friend from the beginning. Old Crow’s response @18 annoyed me, and I spoke up to suggest that, yes, she was within the realm of proportional response.

The conversation continued, and you posted @34 that if she couldn’t get him to stop without the threat of violence, then her only option was dumping him. I was probably still identifying with her, and got defensive on her behalf.

I tried to imagine what I would have meant if I had picked up a knife and said, “I’ll shank you” to a friend or partner. I certainly wouldn’t have meant for them to believe themselves in danger. But it brought to mind many occasions when my husband and I have casually joked about violence; one of us is sharpening the knives, let’s say, and looks over at the other person with bloodthirsty eyes. It’s funny, to us. And posts @39 & @47 about how it wasn’t even okay “in jest” or “as a joke” riled me up. Avast’s comments about how “the ride home would include a stop by the police station” bugged me too – it sounded like he wasn’t actually scared of her violence, or he wouldn’t give her a ride anywhere; he just wanted to stop her from standing up for herself.

And then I thought of the joke my husband used to tell, alleging that I’d kill him if he touched another woman. And that made me identify even further with lolorhone’s friend, albeit unconsciously adjusting her story to my purposes along the way. Alison had a firmer grasp on the woman’s actual motivations, I suppose.
Posted by EricaP on August 28, 2013 at 4:05 PM · Report this
221
I think my issue is with Lolorhone's description of the incident, more than the details. If I were narrating the story from his point of view I'd say something like "One of my female friends had this problem, and in the heat of the moment she reacted in this problematic way, and it seems to have worked out surprisingly well for the couple since (touch wood)". But L. approves of her pulling a knife on this guy ("he deserved it, and it worked" #75), and he goes on to describe a relationship where one party is, in his words, afraid of the other, as a "loving" one. Well, either the guy's afraid of the girlfriend, OR it's a loving relationship: relationships that mix those things are by definition disfunctional/abusive.

And I am by no means as nonchalant as Lolorhone that this is part of the past between them. The couple have established that it's OK for her to threaten him with a knife when she's drunk and angry. What happens the next time she's drunk and angry? (Think that's NEVER going to happen again? Really?) Let's say years from now he cheats on her, and then confesses some time when they're both drunk, 'cause he's too scared of her loving kindness to confess when he's sober. People do that sort of thing. What happens then? Stabitty-stab-stab? Maybe so, maybe not, but if I were a friend or relative of the boyfriend it's not a risk I'd want him to take. I would want him to run fast and run now from that relationship. (And there's no contradiction between saying that and saying that she would have been justified for dumping him for his ass-grabbing, which I also believe.)
Posted by Old Crow on August 28, 2013 at 4:05 PM · Report this
lolorhone 222
@217: Nobody needs or deserves a halo here. Let's just agree to disagree, this has been pointless for awhile now.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 4:13 PM · Report this
223
And I still don't think "afraid" has to mean "afraid of her physical violence." I think it can mean "afraid that she won't be a sweet & docile wife."

Lolorhone? You're the one who used the word. Is he afraid of her hurting him? Or afraid that she'll leave him?
Posted by EricaP on August 28, 2013 at 4:14 PM · Report this
224
So I read the first 30-something comments, and nearly 200 comments later you are still talking about the same topic. Wow! ... Just me stating obvious facts I find interesting, don't pay any attention to my ramblings.
Posted by J_Sunrise on August 28, 2013 at 4:15 PM · Report this
nocutename 225
Thank you, EricaP.
I find the way we all project our own histories and issues onto these letters or stories fascinating. We all do it. And then in the end, we're all arguing with someone else about something having very little to do with the original letter.
Posted by nocutename on August 28, 2013 at 4:30 PM · Report this
lolorhone 226
@221: The first 3 months of this relationship were indeed fucked up- and wholly separate from the dynamic they have now. It took that particularly fucked up night to make him realize that his drinking was out of control and affecting his relationship- and for her to realize that she could not go on tolerating his drunk aggression w/r/t her body and space. They both agreed that getting to that point was not worth it, so if they were to continue seeing each other, major shit had to change. And it has- he monitors his drinking and the last thing she got mad at him about was leaving the toilet seat up. Taking those first months (or just that one night) and extrapolating a personality out of it for either one of them is foolish and narrow-minded.

P.S.

Perhaps my non-chalance had to do with the fact that I not only knew how the story ended, I know them.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 4:36 PM · Report this
lolorhone 227
@223: Definitely the latter. Funnily enough, they're kind of gross-adorable now. Both of them would be devastated if it didn't work out.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 4:43 PM · Report this
228
exactly what @221 says: It's the telling that's problematic. And with that I'm out.
Posted by adam.smith on August 28, 2013 at 4:47 PM · Report this
lolorhone 229
@Erica P, @Nocutename

Regardless of where either of you stood on the issue, you were respectful and thoughtful and I truly appreciate it.
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 4:49 PM · Report this
Anarcissie 230
I once lived among a people among whom inappropriate touching of another's erogenous zones in public, regardless of the supposed relationship, would almost certainly have led at least to a display of weapons if not something more serious. You can say they were savages, but I thought they had great self-possession and dignity. It probably helps to have some boundaries you're serious about.
Posted by Anarcissie http://www.etaoin.com on August 28, 2013 at 5:15 PM · Report this
231
just a word... i didn't read the knife story as a threat of 'assault'- despite the words used, but as a very direct defense "here is the line, DO NOT cross it".
although i can't imagine being in a relationship where that level of defense was required, i have been in that situation : where entitled arseholes (friends of a friend, at a party) thought that the word 'no' was meaningless, and that it was cool to sexually intimidate a 16 year old; and they needed to be shown that i was to be taken seriously. i was drawing a line - this is my body and i will defend it - not threatening to attack. there is a difference. but i know that they thought i was crazy, and my response unjustified. for the record, they had hand-cuffed me without consent, and were refusing to release me.
Posted by sappho on August 28, 2013 at 5:34 PM · Report this
232
Dan, not sure if you will get this, but on JoeMyGod.blogspot.com, someone came up with a slogan to deal with sponsors who are still sponsoring the Russian Homophobic Olympics: "NOT BUYING IT".

Simple. Terse. Sums up everything.

Feel free to run with it.

Todd

Washington, DC
Posted by tas20036 on August 28, 2013 at 6:00 PM · Report this
233
Ms Cummins - I thought I made it quite clear that I didn't have to like their relationship.

Mr Rhone - Thank you for the information that he has curbed his drinking problem. Had I not been posting at 4:30 a.m., I'd have emphasized that you are the only one who actually knows these people. I am not entirely convinced that they didn't just luck into their relationship's working well for them now, but I do also sympathize with you.
Posted by vennominon on August 28, 2013 at 6:23 PM · Report this
234
Unwanted touching is a misdemeanor.

Displaying a deadly weapon and making threats is a misdemeanor and at least 2 felonies.

It is highly likely that, had a cop witnessed this, the girl would now be a felon. The people saying she got away with it because she's a woman sound like MRAs. She got away with it because no one called the cops, not because of her gender.

There is no right to after the fact self defense, she only has the right to use however much force is needed to stop the attack.

Alison described proper use of force: stopping something that is currently happening. Also appropriate level, the minimum effective level.
Posted by mage on August 28, 2013 at 6:53 PM · Report this
235
@206. Really, you need to calm down. You are being deliberately inflamatory. I agree that threatening someone with a knife is a bridge too far, but nowhere in this story did she say "I will murder you." you are also being fairly naive about the likely criminal consequences if the police had been called that night. I work in the field, so know from experience. Didn't Dan just share a recent link on his blog about how an adult teacher got a 30-day prison sentence for raping a 14-year-old child? (A sentence that rightly outrages all intelligent people.) The woman was clearly out of line and it seems most everyone, including her friend here, acknowledges that.

It is hard to always know, in the cool and sober light of day, how one will react to a violation in the drunken heat of the moment. Not all of us will react in an ideal or thoughtful manner. We can be ashamed, apologize, avoid the set ups for those situations in the future, and hope they never occur again.

A little compassion and restraint from name-calling would do wonders for your cause here.
Posted by sad in Chicago on August 28, 2013 at 8:16 PM · Report this
nocutename 236
Lolorhone: Thanks for the nod. And thank you for not lashing out at me when I took it upon myself to theorize what you were doing and why. This clearly hit a nerve with a lot of people and I think several things were said by several people that probably were not really meant.
In reality, most of us were probably a lot closer to each other than some wanted to admit. Sometimes it's fun just to argue in the abstract and push a point, which is what it seemed a few people were doing here, so the rhetoric got more and more inflamed. I at least appreciate that the SLOG crowd is an articulate and eloquent bunch.
Posted by nocutename on August 28, 2013 at 9:26 PM · Report this
237
@FEM: This is one of the many reasons I avoid what I call linear sex. Loosening things up, changing the order of things, being more playful, doing things to each other instead of going through a routine that must end with Phase One Completion, i.e., your orgasm, keeps everyone much happier and more engaged. For me, fucking for brief-ish periods of "foreplay" time (a word which reinforces the linear sex idea, and which I usually avoid but am using here for obvious reasons) is very exciting. Perhaps a bit more talking ahead of time would help, too. I myself would have trouble with the rather regimented sex you've described. The fear that you won't get an orgasm unless you manage it and take care of it first may disappear if you allow for more freedom than you are right now and add a little bit of trust to the mix. And maybe don't buy into the idea that once he's come, sex is over. Sex isn't over until both people have come as many times as they want to, in whatever order.
Posted by A. Towne on August 28, 2013 at 9:30 PM · Report this
Still Thinking 238
Sounds like some people could do with more manners and less drinking.
Posted by Still Thinking on August 28, 2013 at 9:50 PM · Report this
239
I find it disturbing how many people think nothing of sending someone to prison...nevermind the fact that assault is a misdemeanor, battery is a misdemeanor (at least in my state, unless you have a prior conviction), and calling it "attempted murder" is flat out hyperbole and exaggeration; and who are also of the mindset that her threat was retaliation and not defending her boundaries. @189 This human would happily date Lolorhone, he could threaten me with a knife every day and I would have great fun practicing my knife defense;)
Posted by tachycardia on August 28, 2013 at 10:26 PM · Report this
lolorhone 240
@239: I am genuinely touched, tachycardia. But I'm more of a nunchaku guy myself : )
Posted by lolorhone on August 28, 2013 at 11:32 PM · Report this
241
It's pretty obvious that the reason FEM's dates lose their boners is her shitty attitude. The very fact that she blames the situation on "Fragile Male Ego" and "dick panic" is a dead giveaway. Penises know when someone has contempt for them. And her sense that she is always entitled to come first just confirms what a shitty attitude she has. Also, if she had decent blow job technique, which would include genuine enthusiasm, the guys probably would get it up again. Her mistake is believing the guys when they say they are turned on. They are just being polite.
Posted by notfromaroundhere on August 28, 2013 at 11:52 PM · Report this
242
With FEM, besides her kind of shitty attitude, there might be a problem of simply stopping all the time. I learned this the hard way (through experience): If a girl is very orgasmic, and just starts coming and coming and coming and coming, one after another...and, importantly, resting briefly after each time (either by pushing him away a little or demanding that he stop)...she may well put herself into a rhythm that totally fucks the guy she's, well, fucking. He starts to build to orgasm, aaaaaand, she came, we're stopping for a second to let her catch her breath. Oh, good, we're going again, building, almost there, aaaaaaaaand, she came, we're stopping again. Fuck. Oh, good, going again, getting there, getting there, getting there, aaaaand, great. Great. Just. Fuckin'. Great.

I dated a very nice girl, wild in the sack, who was like exactly that. The angle would be right, I'd be on the verge, and she'd come and drop her legs in such a way that I couldn't maintain the angle or get deep enough to finish -- and by the time we started again, I wasn't close anymore. I'd keep getting almost there, and never make it. I finally had to tell her "come all you want, but if you stop letting me fuck you because you just came, I'm never going to come. And if I'm never going to get off with you, I'm going to get off of you."
Posted by AnotherBob on August 29, 2013 at 12:42 AM · Report this
Eudaemonic 243
@ nocutename:

In reality, most of us were probably a lot closer to each other than some wanted to admit.

221 summarizes very well what my point was. Lolorhone is talking about felony domestic abuse like it was funny.
That's the beginning and the end of this.
Posted by Eudaemonic on August 29, 2013 at 5:34 AM · Report this
244
sappho@231, feel free not to answer, but I'm curious what you threatened to do to those creeps.

@nocute, I wonder if part of the issue with this thread is that different people have had varying experiences with the police. If you think of the police as a positive force in society, then you feel less need to defend yourself. If you've encountered abuse or worse from the police, then you may feel you are the only person you can depend on to defend yourself.
Posted by EricaP on August 29, 2013 at 7:22 AM · Report this
245
I think FEM has been watching too much porn, and now has unrealistic expectations of men because of it. I mean, I'm not just a piece of wood, to be used and abused whenever and however it suits her, it's just so objectifying and demeaning.
Posted by bkski on August 29, 2013 at 8:06 AM · Report this
246
@EricaP:

For me, it's not so much how I feel about the police but more how I feel generally about how to treat others, and specifically about the relationship between men and women.

I have never been sexually abused or sexually assaulted (the skinhead who groped my breast to intimidate me plainly assaulted me, nothing sexual about it). In my late teens and early to mid-twenties, I let my male friends sleep in my bed, despite the fact that I knew that some of them were interested in more than cuddling. None of them ever overstepped my boundaries.

I was slapped once by a guy- after me slapping him for offending me. After he had slapped me back, I thought for a moment and had to concede his point: slapping him wasn't okay even though I was offended. We are still friends, 20 years later.

I feel secure with my friends and relatives. The thought that I felt so intimidated by my partner that I needed to pull out a knife to threaten him, is so dreadful that I cannot see the point remaining in that relationship.
Posted by migrationist on August 29, 2013 at 8:15 AM · Report this
247
I've reread Letter #1 and have a 4th theory that Dan didn't include, something really simple. Maybe the guys just need a little stimulation in order to stay hard. It's natural enough to get hard from being turned on alone. It's something else to stay hard for a longish time without some amount of rubbing or touching. I'd guess the guys are telling the truth when they insist that they're turned on.

I also note that while FEM describes it as a problem, she says it stops being a problem after a few times. So it's a problem with a solution she's already found. This might be something that goes under the heading of getting-to-know-you. She doesn't sound like she's complaining or complaining too hard, but if she were, a way to rephrase the complaint would be: "I don't get absolutely everything I want the first time I demand it." That's just not something to be taken terribly seriously.
Posted by Crinoline on August 29, 2013 at 8:53 AM · Report this
248
For those commenting on FEM (LW1), note that she asks, "should I keep trying to make him hard?" So she is trying to do her part; she’s not just lying back and expecting the equipment to work right away.

I agree with Crinoline that FEM has already stumbled on the best solution, since the "problem" goes away on its own after the first few sexual encounters. In the meantime, the only advice I'd add to Dan's is to alert FEM not to go directly to the dick when you think it might be limp after he gave you his full attention.

Teasing comes first: kissing, licking the ears, fingers, letting him suckle your breasts...rub around on him like a happy kitten, and let your thigh figure out if he is starting to get hard. Once his erection gets underway, you can stroke it directly or give him oral and get him all the way hard. But heading straight for the dick can be too much pressure, especially on those first few dates. You've already come, so just fool around playfully and let him decide whether to push things towards intercourse or just make out for a while and then call it a fun night.
Posted by EricaP on August 29, 2013 at 10:01 AM · Report this
249
FEM sounds like kind of an asshole. I've never tried straight sex, but if someone told me that there was a set order in which the two parties should come, and that I was always expected to go second...I'd tell them to go fuck themselves.
Posted by Robin Banks on August 29, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this
lolorhone 250
@243: I saw that my perspective wasn't properly conveyed by my original post so I continued to add information and context and further explanation of my opinion in subsequent posts. Instead of simply engaging me in debate (or even just stating you had a problem with the tone of my original post), you insisted I was "a deeply shitty person" and continued to be inflammatory, vicious, and bullying. That's the beginning and the end of it for me.
Posted by lolorhone on August 29, 2013 at 10:53 AM · Report this
251 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
252
I have something new to discuss, a reasonably appropriate topic to the end of the month. I am still sorting out my reactions to Arthur Ashe Kids' Day this past Sunday (in its traditional spot the day before the beginning of the US Open).

Before my main idea, a few side points. On the plus side, Mrs King (Billie Jean, not Dr King's widow) and Mrs Obama were in attendance. Mrs Obama seemed to be well received by the young American hopefuls introduced at the start of the programme (a big step up over how PGA golfers tend to whine about not wanting to meet members of a Democratic administration). The USTA program of age-appropriate courts and equipment seems to be helping to get new players in the under-10 bracket. And they had a wheelchair player in the skills challenge.

On the minus side - actual tennis, which was once well over 25% of the programme, is down to two segments, neither of which produces even exhibition-level shots, and about a tenth of the overall content. The wheelchair player (perhaps a replacement for the injured Ms Sharapova, and they never had this idea before Ms Vergeer retired on a decade-long winning streak?) was male, so that Ms Williams(S, not V) was the only female of five participants in the skills challenge and the only woman who hit a tennis ball during the entire programme.

Now for my month-appropriate points to consider.

In the opening speech (possibly longer than the tennis content but that's not the point), Mrs Obama included a tribute to Mrs King as an excellent role model to a nice little list of people in various groups. No prize for guessing which group was omitted. Given that the target audience of the day was a stadium full of ten-year-olds, this didn't feel like a cause to ding Mrs O. But it did make me wonder how one does mention appropriately the Alphabet Soup to ten-year-olds, at what age of target audience one would ding a speaker for the same omission, and whether this constitutes a point against the assimilationists who think we're a full part of the Big Happy Human Family.

I had a real difficulty, though, with the male co-host, apparently a person of colour. The female co-host, apparently white and some sort of Olympic medalist, acted like a twelve-year-old in a manner quite suitable to the occasion. But the male co-host kept making heterocentrist cracks until I finally had to resort to the Mute button. Being well into second-guessing mode, I started alternating between wondering whether there ought to be a partial POC Pass for heterocentrism and wondering whether such a pass would be racist.
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Posted by vennominon on August 29, 2013 at 12:57 PM · Report this
Allen Gilliam 253
Regarding the first letter:

Theory four: This bitch cums like a wildcat and scares the guys' dicks limp the first few times until they get used to it. It's difficult to maintain an erection when you're looking around for something to put between your lover's teeth to keep her from biting her tongue off!

(I don't mean to imply that cumming like a wildcat isn't a great and wonderful thing, just scary to an inexperienced twenty-something.)
Posted by Allen Gilliam http://softlyspokenmagicspells.com on August 29, 2013 at 1:28 PM · Report this
nocutename 254
@Mr. Ven,
I know nothing about tennis or its protocols. But why "Mrs." King and "Mrs." Obama, when all other women are "Ms.?"
Posted by nocutename on August 29, 2013 at 3:58 PM · Report this
lolorhone 255
nocutename @255: King and Obama are married, and therefore "Mrs." is the correct honorific. Sorry, I'm an English nerd.
Posted by lolorhone on August 29, 2013 at 4:06 PM · Report this
lolorhone 256
@254, I meant
Posted by lolorhone on August 29, 2013 at 4:08 PM · Report this
nocutename 257
@EricaP: I don't understand the police angle at all in your musing. Lolorhone's friend didn't need to "defend" herself, as he told the story. She was angry at her bf and he was embarrassing her so she threatened him. She clearly couldn't have felt all that really frightened of him or she wouldn't have dated him before the incident in question or continued to date him afterward. (Even as he defended her, lolorhone didn't suggest she was a terrified, abused woman who didn't dare to leave her abuser. Instead he made it clear she's a badass who cultivates a dangerous persona so she is left alone.) As for the police? Are you suggesting she would have called them but didn't think they'd respond to her based on her previous experiences? Who would think to call the police and say, "My boyfriend keeps grabbing my ass; I want you to arrest him."?

Despite the spin put on the story later, in the form of some more clarifications, there is really no way one can represent her as a terrorized woman in need of protection who has learned she can't trust the police to do their job and has decided she must become a vigilante in order to survive unharmed.

Here's the original posting @2:
"They had a very fun, very sangria-intensive party about 3 months into their relationship and he grabbed her ass in front of several of her coworkers and several more of her friends (myself included). She smiled, took his hand, leaned in and said "If you ever do that again, you're going to get shanked." He laughed nervously. She pulled a switchblade from her pocket and ran her fingers over it without opening it. She then said "I'm not playing with you and I'm not fond of repeating myself.""

My good or not-good relationship with my local police force would have no impact on how I read that letter.

IT WAS AN ASS-GRAB. From a man she had been dating and having sex with for 3 months. Whom she continued to date. She was drinking, he was drinking. There's no way one can plausibly spin this into assault and self-protection without projecting all kinds of other stuff on to it. Including, perhaps, a history of assault and distrust of the police, but in order to do that you first have to stop reading the post as written and do something else.
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Posted by nocutename on August 29, 2013 at 4:17 PM · Report this
nocutename 258
Lolorhone: "Ms." as an honorific isn't just a different spelling of "Miss," which connotes a woman of unmarried status, and is differentiated from "Mrs." to signal a married woman. The whole point of the introduction of "Ms." was to create something more akin to "Mr." which doesn't indicate whether the man is married or not (because a man's marital status is not particularly relevant, whereas historically, a woman's marital status was THE single most important piece of information). "Ms." is supposed to refer to any woman and render both "Miss" and "Mrs." obsolete and irrelevant. Thus for Mr. Ven to use both "Ms." and "Mrs." in his post means either that he is using it as an alternate spelling of "Miss," which it isn't, or that he is unclear on the point of it. Mr. Ven is always so precise that I have a hard time believing either, but he is also so precise that I don't think this was either an accident or sloppiness on his part.
Posted by nocutename on August 29, 2013 at 4:33 PM · Report this
lolorhone 259
@258: My guess would be his assumption (and mine) that Mrs. denotes a married woman. Apparently, the specific denotation of the honorific Mrs. began in the 17th century, which makes it either outdated or the latest iteration of the term. So sayeth Merriam-Webster:

Mrs.
noun \ˈmi-səz, -səs, especially Southern ˈmi-zəz, -zəs, or in rapid speech in sense 1 (ˌ)miz, or before given names (ˌ)mis\
plural Mes·dames

Definition of MRS.

1

a —used as a conventional title of courtesy except when usage requires the substitution of a title of rank or an honorific or professional title before a married woman's surname

b —used before the name of a place (as a country or city) or of a profession or activity (as a sport) or before some epithet (as clever) to form a title applied to a married woman viewed or recognized as representative of the thing indicated

2

: wife

Posted by lolorhone on August 29, 2013 at 4:48 PM · Report this
nocutename 260
Lolorhone: Yes, but what do you do with the fact that Mr. Ven also used "Ms." and not "Miss" in that post. Why not use "Miss" to refer to Mesdames Sharapova and Vergeer?
Posted by nocutename on August 29, 2013 at 5:00 PM · Report this
261
@Erica P, I think you are on to something about how a person views self-defense informing how they view the situation with Lolorhone's friend. I don't think this is related to how they view the police. Most of the martial artists I know consider the police to be a positive force in society. They are law enforcement themselves, or they train law enforcement to do their jobs more safely and effectively. But the police are who you talk to after something happens...they don't get you out of a situation alive. If you are attacked, a guy is not going to stop beating on you or raping you, or whatever while you call 911 and wait for the police to get there. It is much better to be able to extricate yourself so that you CAN call the police. And the less force you have to use to do so, the better. So, a knockout is better than killing the person. A joint lock is better than a knockout. Showing a weapon, so that a situation never escalates into ACTUAL violence, is a good thing. The best thing is to not get into a dangerous situation. Lolorhone's friend does this by cultivating a persona of being a badass, that prevents her from actually having to hurt anyone.
@Ms. Cute, I wouldn't call this assault and self-defense in the sense of her bf being a credible threat to her safety. Part of self-defense is setting a boundary, and enforcing it. She did that, which is not the same as everyone who says she attacked him with a knife, or the person who showed less than common sense and called it attempted murder. I do, however, agree with everyone who is saying that if you have to enforce your boundaries with weapons, as a general rule your next step should be to leave because that is not a healthy relationship. It comes back to my previous point to Ms. Erica, that if possible, it is better to avoid situations where you might need to use force.
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Posted by tachycardia on August 29, 2013 at 5:08 PM · Report this
lolorhone 262
@258: I honestly didn't want to post any further about this, but to add yet more context to my original post here:

1) It was a loud and forceful ass grab- an ass slap that moved into a ass grab, really- and it stopped some very loud drunken party conversation cold.

2) My friend dropped her drink and broke her glass because of it.

3) If I had to guess, I'd say she felt violated and embarrassed, not frightened.
Posted by lolorhone on August 29, 2013 at 5:13 PM · Report this
263
And tell me again why anyone bothers being sexual?
Posted by Ronald777 on August 29, 2013 at 5:14 PM · Report this
264
257-- On the other hand, in the original rendition of the story, he is slightly and rightly afraid of her. What is he afraid of? If the whole bit about the knife was just in fun, then it wasn't a real threat and he has no reason to be afraid. If it was a real threat, then the comments about abuse and domestic violence make sense. If it's in self defense, then it follows that the ass grabs were assaults. But if that's the case, the loving respectful relationship that follows doesn't make sense.

In other words, there are logical disconnects all over the story. It really doesn't make sense.
Posted by Crinoline on August 29, 2013 at 5:16 PM · Report this
nocutename 265
@lolorhone:
And I don't want to get back into this. But you posted your story in response to the letter in the column from a woman who doesn't in any way suggest that there is something violent or scary or forceful in her husband's boob-grabs. She is irritated and puzzled. Your story was the second post in the comment thread, and you presented it as a "here's the fun way my kick-ass friend dealt with a similar problem." You told the story in a funny way and you told it as a counterpart to an annoyed woman who is frustrated because her husband has gotten "offended" when she tries to tell him she doesn't appreciate the boob grabs. So did you think that the lw was being assaulted and that was the point of commonality? Did you think the story was funny and assume we would, too? Why did you initially misrepresent the nature of the incident?
Posted by nocutename on August 29, 2013 at 5:25 PM · Report this
lolorhone 266
@260: Perhaps he simply sees Ms. as an abbreviation of "Miss" and not the replacing honorific akin to "Mr."? I myself wasn't aware of the Ms./Miss differentiation you explained. And Merriam-Webster apparently still has obsolete definition:

Definition of MS.

—used instead of Miss or Mrs. (as when the marital status of a woman is unknown or irrelevant)

See Ms. defined for English-language learners »

Origin of MS.

probably blend of Miss and Mrs.
First Known Use: 1901
Posted by lolorhone on August 29, 2013 at 5:26 PM · Report this
267
nocute @257, she carried a knife to protect herself after almost being raped on the street. Maybe she lives in a part of the US where no one finds the police very helpful. Do you agree that there are pockets of the US where many people don’t trust the police? Do you agree that in some of those pockets (and outside as well), domestic abuse is pretty common?

Assuming she knows many guys like this guy (ass-grabby, and unwilling to respect her repeated requests to leave her body alone), she may not have felt she could just leave this guy and move on to date a nice feminist in a nice neighborhood with nice schools. (And that's my response for tachycardia @261, who says she should leave him.)

He was harassing her. She said she would hurt him if he continued. Standard advice for victims of bullying in the past was to take on your bully physically. I don't look back nostalgically for that time, but I also don't say that those kids were evil felons if they sucker-punched someone who had been taunting and poking and pushing them for months. Different cultures have different standards (as Anarcissie pointed out @230)

In a world where the cops are expected to be good guys, with a monopoly on legitimate violence, I can see why people think she over-reacted. But imagining myself in a world where no one else was going to protect me from (common) acts of domestic abuse, I can see her actions as more justified.
Posted by EricaP on August 29, 2013 at 5:30 PM · Report this
lolorhone 268
@265: I don't think I misrepresented the incident. It was a violation of her body/space which she then turned on its head with the knife thing. Not only have I consistently said both parties were well outside of the realm of the appropriate, I referred to her response as "extreme" in the very first post. Her instant flipping of the script on him did struck me as something that would be useful to the LW (conceptually, not literally of course).
Posted by lolorhone on August 29, 2013 at 5:44 PM · Report this
nocutename 269
@Crinoline: Yes.

Also, I'm not discounting the fact that having your ass slapped and grabbed is a violation, but it's a pretty minor violation, really.
Posted by nocutename on August 29, 2013 at 5:47 PM · Report this
270
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.
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Posted by Hyacinth on August 29, 2013 at 5:58 PM · Report this
lolorhone 271
@267: THANK YOU. FWIW, she reported her near-rape to the police the next day and they advised her to "Be careful" in that part of town. To answer the "why not leave?" question: She had known and liked him as a co-worker for a year before they began to date, and the drinking thing was a Jekyll/Hyde situation i.e. he was (and remains) a very different, very nice guy when sober. As I said before, he immediately curbed his drinking after the party incident and they've been inseparable ever since.
Posted by lolorhone on August 29, 2013 at 6:03 PM · Report this
272
My experience with guys who go limp later on: Stopping themselves from coming too soon sometimes results in their not being able to get off at all. It's rare when a guy can turn it right back on. While you are getting off, he's turned on enough to stay hard. When you simmer down, that stimulus fades and so does he. Give him a few minutes or just wait until he is not as worried about getting you off, that is, when he gets used to you and relaxes.
Posted by anyannie on August 29, 2013 at 6:06 PM · Report this
273
There's more drama in the posts than the letters.
Posted by Hunter78 on August 29, 2013 at 6:07 PM · Report this
nocutename 274
I think I need to take a break from SLOG for a while. Cheerio, folks.
Posted by nocutename on August 29, 2013 at 6:10 PM · Report this
lolorhone 275
@264: If you understand that the first 3 months of their relationship were wholly different and separate from the last two years, there is no logical disconnect. His drinking was the catalyst for his disrespect; she was responding to that flipside of his personality which, now that he has curbed his drinking, does not assert itself. Thus the loving relationship that followed. He's afraid of relapsing for the loss of the relationship and the fact that he knows she absolutely will not tolerate any more his drunken bullshit.
Posted by lolorhone on August 29, 2013 at 6:22 PM · Report this
lolorhone 276
And with that, I'm done talking about it. Thank you to those who engaged in civil debate.
Posted by lolorhone on August 29, 2013 at 6:27 PM · Report this
277
FEM, I agree with all 3 of Dan's theories but in my experience #2 is most common and most likely, especially in the context of a new but potentially ongoing sexual relationship. A man does not necessarily maintain a continuous erection whenever he is within 10 feet of a naked woman or even when he's going down on her. Especially so then, because those who are really putting their minds to work are going to forget about (and have less blood flow to) their cocks. What I do after I've finished is take a few moments to breathe, relax, and then maybe share my experience with my partner, in a hot way if I want to continue having sex (maybe more technically if I'm seriously done). Hearing positive feedback and seeing you smile is a surefire way to get your guy going again.
Posted by Sex Worker on August 29, 2013 at 8:10 PM · Report this
278
@Lorlohone: The point of using Ms. is that a woman's marital status isn't supposed to be relevant to anything, at any time, unless she herself declares it is, in which case Miss or Mrs. should be used. Ms. was in use long before 1900. It was originally used back in the 1700s to shorten Mistress, which was proper for any woman at any age, regardless of her marital status or age. You stated that Billy Jean King is married, but that hasn't been true for a long time. She lists a woman as her life partner (not wife). In the 50s or 60s it would have been proper to still refer to her as Mrs. King, but that has been out-of-fashion since the mid-70s.

You also stated that you used Mr. for the President because he is married, but surely you recognize that Mr. is proper for any man, married or not (boys used to be called Master up to about age 12, but that's pretty obsolete).

Usage of honorifics isn't really an "English nerd" thing, it's more a "customs and manners nerd" thing, and has changed many times throughout history. At this point in time, in the absence of specific instructions to the contrary from the person herself, it is the custom to use Ms. Many women also use Ms. X in their professional lives, but Mrs. Y in their personal lives (see what I mean by it being about customs and manners, not English?) The exception is actresses, but then, actresses get exceptions to lots of things: they tend to still go by the quaint "Miss So-and-so", her maiden name, even if she's Mrs. John Doe in her personal life.

Interestingly, in France, after a certain age, a women is referred to as "Madame", out of respect to her dignity, even if she has never been married. We've been moving in this direction with Ms. here, according a woman the respect of not caring what her marital status is when writing of her or addressing her personally.

All this to say, you should use "Ms." when talking about a stranger or a public person, as your default. For what your friends prefer, ask them.
More...
Posted by A. Towne on August 29, 2013 at 9:27 PM · Report this
279
@Lorlohone: I just caught that it was Mrs. Obama, not Mr. Obama, you were referring to--sorry about that. In that case, I'd say you are correct to use Mrs., in that it seems to be what she, herself, prefers.
Posted by A. Towne on August 29, 2013 at 9:33 PM · Report this
lolorhone 280
@278, 279: My family's from Louisiana, so Southern Hospitality- including the proper deployment of Ms. and Mrs.- has been thoroughly drummed into me. The English nerd comment was more referencing the dictionary definitions of particular honorifics.

By the way, it's lolorhone.
Posted by lolorhone on August 29, 2013 at 10:24 PM · Report this
sissoucat 281
Wow, epic debate this week !

I'm not going to restart it, but the proponents of "females who want respect from males who just have abused them should be able to find a way to get it without ever crossing any sort of legal line" do not live in the reality of human interactions.

We're not logical thinking machines always in line with the law. With stress, shit happens. The laws are there to prevent the more serious kind of shit from ever crossing our minds (like rape), and thus from happening, they're not to erase all and every human mistakes and misbehaviors.

I love the nut grabbing, I'll use it when in need. Some males have had that stupid tendency to grab my ass in front of their friends, and I've taken the stern talking to road, but grabbing their nuts instead could be a lot funnier for everyone involved, bar the culprit.

@278 Quite right about the use of "madame" in French - I only allow very senior males to ever call me "mademoiselle", because it's obvious it's only flirtatious in name. I hate it when males closer to my age patronize me by calling me "mademoiselle". My years and experience deserve all the respect of a full-blown "madame".
Posted by sissoucat on August 30, 2013 at 6:23 AM · Report this
282
Siss,

The question is not "[Should] females who want respect from males who just have abused them be able to find a way to get it without ever crossing any sort of legal line?"

The question is "Is pulling a knife on your bf of 3 months who publicly grabbed your ass and threatening to shank him generally advisable?" Even Lolo would say no, but in this particular case it worked out wonderfully, even perhaps curing his drinking problem. Not a typical response-- more likely it would poison/end the relationship.

Posted by Hunter78 on August 30, 2013 at 7:30 AM · Report this
283
Someone please explain to me why it's always a PYT for men, gay or straight? It's depressing as hell.
Posted by Marrena on August 30, 2013 at 7:56 AM · Report this
284
If she finds the random boob grab merely annoying, as opposed to finding it to be sexual assault, I suggest that she gets herself a squirt gun and spends the next few days subjecting him to drive-by squirtings.

If she manages to have it on hand when a boob grab occurs, retaliate immediately. (Hey, it works on cats.) But even if not, he needs a direct lesson in what it means to be the target of an annoying behavior, and as long as he persists in his, she will persist in hers.

I don't suggest the ball grab, at least not around the house. He will probably like it, thereby totally missing the point. Save that one for out in public. The point there is to embarrass him in front of his friends in exactly the way he embarrassed you.

If, on the other hand, she feels assaulted, she should break up with him. You don't stay in a relationship with someone who has to be taught not to assault you.
Posted by avast2006 on August 30, 2013 at 10:01 AM · Report this
femwanderluster 285
@lolorhone

Wow, this comment thread. Fist bump. Thanks for being the voice of reason and sense.

I think everyone else missed the info you stated about your friend having narrowly avoided being attacked herself one night, before this incident at the party.

The statistics show this out; chances are, the majority of the women you know and/or are dating have experienced some degree or form of sexual harassment or even sexual assault.

She has a right to defend her bodily autonomy.

Men should assume the women they are with have been infringed upon before and to proceed with respect, deferring to their partner's enthusiastic, unmistakable consent.

In the event of lolorhone's friend pulling a knife to emphasize just how seriously her boundary transgressing boyfriend was NOT taking her repeatedly, clearly-stated dissent to his groping, especially because she had been scared into hyper-vigilance from her previous encounter; though, that shouldn't matter, but it goes to context; she defended herself with what I see as a level-playing field tactic.

That this thread shows just how seriously gendered violence isn't taken doesn't surprise me in the least.

Fist bump, lolorhone. Your friend is badass; I would that more women and girls didn't have to break through our socially instilled fear of offending others who transgress our boundaries. Maybe then guys wouldn't have to assume some other guy has already harassed the women they interact with.
Posted by femwanderluster on August 30, 2013 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Alanmt 286
Knife threatening was not cool. It was a criminal assault. The fact that it may - may - have worked out for that couple under whatever unique circumstances are present in that case does not excuse it. Not even in that case.

I know a person who later became best friends with their rapist. That doesn't make rape in general or that rape in particular okay.

As for dirt, declining to date someone hiv+ does not make one a jerk. Everyone gets to pick for themselves what risks they are comfortable with.

Dirt does irritate me, though, given my distaste for people who wouldn't date themselves, because they are too old, not attractive enough or whatever. This desire for a pyt is generally not a fetish, this is a refusal to accept one's place in the dating world sometimes coupled with a wrongful sense of entitlement.

Posted by Alanmt on August 30, 2013 at 4:10 PM · Report this
lolorhone 287
Thank you, femwanderluster.
Posted by lolorhone on August 30, 2013 at 5:30 PM · Report this
288
Re FEM, a different idea. Slow it down. You may find that the more you start doing Bolero instead of Flight of the Bumblebee, he will get harder and harder. He will be just as insistent, but it will be in a more mindful, intent mode.

He will also be busily manufacturing and storing more and more of the delightful fluids needed, starting with Cowper's and why the hell did I never even know this existed until I was in my mid-forties and in an affair with the very goddess of fuck who actually pulled me out at one point to slow down so I could build up the right sort of tension over two CDs instead of one jingle.

That way, by the time it's time, it's time. Go ahead and have as many orgasms as you like on the way but hang in there and he will eventually give you one he never know he had in him until you gave him the time and patience.
Posted by Token Straight Old dude on August 30, 2013 at 5:50 PM · Report this
mydriasis 289
Men should assume the women they are with have been infringed upon before and to proceed with respect, deferring to their partner's enthusiastic, unmistakable consent.

Exactly why I'm not down with feminism. This idea that all men should always look at women as rape victims, and all sex should be framed in the context of rape.

Fun fact, what a woman considers respectful might vary. Some women might prefer that you assume she's capable of handling herself and don't require you to wait for a very narrowly defined concept of consent. Some women don't consider being infantalized "respectful". Some of those women have even been "infringed" upon themselves, or instead of sugar coating it - some of us have been raped. And yet we'd still rather not be treated in the way you prescribe that men should treat us.

So how about also abstaining from speaking on behalf of an entire gender? How about abstaining from telling an entire gender how they "should" act?
Posted by mydriasis on August 30, 2013 at 7:02 PM · Report this
lolorhone 290
@289:

"Fun fact, what a woman considers respectful might vary"

"Men should assume the women they are with have been infringed upon before and to proceed with respect, deferring to their partner's enthusiastic, unmistakable consent." (285)

Acknowledging that what a woman may consider respectful might vary and deferring to a woman's unmistakable consent are THE SAME DAMN THING. The assumption of past trauma is good way to avoid creating present trauma. It does not mean treat every woman like a victim; it means be extremely mindful of every woman's boundaries. You're both saying the same damn thing. Feminism is only a problem for you in name, not content.
Posted by lolorhone on August 30, 2013 at 8:46 PM · Report this
291
@mydriasis:
"what a woman considers respectful might vary. Some women might prefer that you assume she's capable of handling herself and don't require you to wait for a very narrowly defined concept of consent. Some women don't consider being infantalized "respectful". "

Couldn't agree more!

I just disagree that the problem is feminism. Feminism aims for women to be treated as adults like men, not children.

@lolorhone and Fernwanderluster:
"Men should assume the women they are with have been infringed upon before and to proceed with respect,..."

No, men should not by default assume that women are broken victims, just as women shouldn't assume by default that men are rapists.

Yes, men should treat women with respect- as should women treat men. Everyone should be treated with respect. That has nothing to do with victim-status, age or gender.
Posted by migrationist on August 30, 2013 at 10:33 PM · Report this
misssmartypants 292
Ahh. Here I am! DIRT... hang in there. You are probably a lovely person, and someone, somehow, will open their eyes and heart and find you. Good luck!
Posted by misssmartypants on August 30, 2013 at 11:11 PM · Report this
lolorhone 293
@291: I specifically said that I do not think women should be treated like victims; I said that men should be extremely mindful of every woman's boundaries, as they will differ. The concept isn't kid gloves, it's the utmost consideration and respect for the individual woman. Of course, the same is true for men but that's not the discussion we're having.
Posted by lolorhone on August 31, 2013 at 12:13 AM · Report this
ghostfox14 294
"I know a person who later became best friends with their rapist. That doesn't make rape in general or that rape in particular okay."

@286 Luke and Laura from General Hospital do not count as people you know.
Posted by ghostfox14 http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1534990027 on August 31, 2013 at 2:23 AM · Report this
295
Regarding boundaries/respecting women; UGHHH. I'm so sick of this fighting, but here I go. Sometimes great sex happens when those boundaries that you cling to so hard get put aside in the heat of the moment. I'm not saying that this is true in EVERY sexual encounter, but I'm sure more women than myself have been taken further than we intentional planned to go somewhere along the line. Like I said, this isn't some recipe for success. There's plenty of letters archived on here that demonstrate the danger/harm of opening Pandora's box. And even more material available about "grey sex", date rape & everything else in between, Plus, it's better to be realistic about your versus your partner's personality. But all warning label material aside I have to say, I'm glad my partners persisted and helped me question some of my sillier boundaries. And no, I'm not suggesting that eventually all boundaries just disappear. Everyone has their absolute taboos. There's just no point in treating an annoyance like a travesty.
Posted by Really Now... on August 31, 2013 at 2:26 AM · Report this
mydriasis 296
@lolorhone

"Acknowledging that what a woman may consider respectful might vary and deferring to a woman's unmistakable consent are THE SAME DAMN THING. "

No. They aren't. That was my point.
Posted by mydriasis on August 31, 2013 at 5:09 AM · Report this
297
I think that if I were GTFO, I'd be disappointed right now. First there's the great feeling of finding that one's letter has been printed and answered by Dan. Then there's the let-down of discovering that the commenters are all talking about someone in a situation that doesn't bear much resemblance to her own-- and yet they seem to think they're answering her. It's not like she has a right to expect that everyone should pay attention to her and the question she asked, but I'd understand if she were frustrated. It's like the difference between simply not being invited to a party-- that's okay-- and being invited and then everyone ignoring and being rude to you once you're there.
Posted by Crinoline on August 31, 2013 at 8:04 AM · Report this
Alanmt 298
I was a bit harsh with dirt. Sorry, man. Here's my take, for what it's worth: some young guys who are attracted to older guys may just like the look of a mature man; and find that look what they are naturally attracted to. If you happen across one of these rare guys, yay for you. :)

But in my experience, another reason for such an attraction is due to the younger guy wanting something else that the older man can provide: stability, security, social status, the lifestyle that a greater income can provide.

If you cannot provide any of these, then what you have to offer is your experience and self-confidence, as a lover and as a person. Unfortunately, your letter suggests that you are lacking these. Maybe you should try a touch of counseling to see if you can get some help building some self-esteem. And maybe you should start by casually dating some guys who aren't your ideal archetype. Once you get back in the game and learn that people can like you for you and want to be with you, then be more ambitious, if you still feel that what you want is a pyt. But you might find that the reality of finding someone flawed but compatible is better than the daydream of your Antinous.
Posted by Alanmt on August 31, 2013 at 8:19 AM · Report this
299
@295, it's reasonable to treat a boundary violation as a minor annoyance if that's how it felt to you. And it's reasonable to let body language indicate that you've changed your mind, rather than having to say that out loud. But your post comes close to telling guys that violating boundaries can be a great idea. Can't they "help you question" your boundaries by teasing along the edges and waiting for approval indicated in body language & moans?

@297, it's rather like being the bride at a wedding, only to find everyone is focusing instead on your drunken, aggressive sister-in-law. Still, since most LWs who make it to the comment-section have to read tons of invective directed at them, it's also possible to think of this LW as getting off easy.
Posted by EricaP on August 31, 2013 at 9:17 AM · Report this
lolorhone 300
@296: What am I missing then? Acknowledging that women have differing opinions of what constitutes respectful and so, taking each woman on an individual basis, the man is mindful of getting her specific, individual consent before he proceeds. This does not necessarily mean some mechanical question full of base-covering legalese nor does it necessarily mean an assumption of consent based upon body language. It means taking each woman on an individual basis. What am I missing?
Posted by lolorhone on August 31, 2013 at 9:19 AM · Report this
301
Wow, you guys.
Posted by Dan Savage on August 31, 2013 at 10:46 AM · Report this
lolorhone 302
@301: No shit.
Posted by lolorhone on August 31, 2013 at 11:05 AM · Report this
303
@299 I'm not saying it's a great idea for fuck's sake. In fact I even insisted it was a risky one, especially if you aren't familiar with your partner. For an example of what I mean read the very first damn comment on this thread. And yes, they could tell from my responses I had changed my mind- when they BEGAN doing said thing. I'm not suggesting that every male rush into a sex act in some kind of weird race to avoid rejection/over ride consent. I'm saying we all start with a pretty heavy set of boundaries that change with experience, age, and partners. The first guy who touched my breasts didn't stop making out with me and ask "Hey, can I touch your breasts?", he casually introduced it and I ALLOWED it to continue. (I had given him my sex history -nadda- before we had a sexual relationship)

Another example would be my friend. In high school she had lead on another mutual friend for over a year before telling him that God had other plans for her and dropping him. About six months or more go by and he approaches her again admitting he still has feelings before leaning in and kissing her, briefly placing his tongue in her mouth. She flipped out. She ran around school looking for me, told me what happened, and I carried her sobbing across a school campus to our other friends so I could talk to the kisser. I had known and fooled around with him for awhile so I knew in his mind that that kiss was meant to be something like out of a movie meant to convey all his undying passion & etc. Not assault. And yes, my female friend actually wanted to press sexual assault charges, but thankfully one of our other friends talked her out of it as soon as I handed her over to the pack.
Posted by Really Now... on August 31, 2013 at 11:33 AM · Report this
304
@301 Dan Savage & @302 lolorhone: I second that, upon reading everyone's comments and suddenly not knowing exactly what to say.
Wow is right.
Posted by auntie grizelda on August 31, 2013 at 12:13 PM · Report this
305
@304: But I will add just one last comment: We're ALL deserving of mutually exchanged respect.
Posted by auntie grizelda on August 31, 2013 at 3:21 PM · Report this
306
@303, so your point is that boys/men should go slow and girls/women should accept some minor boundary crossing as the two people figure out what they do or don't want to do together? That seems reasonable to me, given our culture.
Posted by EricaP on August 31, 2013 at 4:49 PM · Report this
307
@306 (apologies for the heterosexism; I tried to rewrite it as "the initiators should go slow" but I couldn't figure out a non-controversial word to represent the, um, target.)
Posted by EricaP on August 31, 2013 at 4:52 PM · Report this
308
@306 Basically, yeah. Just to be clear if someone crosses a boundary and you don't feel cool with it, just speak up in a collected, respectful, but firm manner.
Posted by Really Now... on August 31, 2013 at 11:17 PM · Report this
310
Respect goes both ways.
XO
Griz
Posted by auntie grizelda on September 1, 2013 at 12:47 AM · Report this
309
@EricaP;
Apart from the heterosexism: straight men have boundaries as well.
Posted by migrationist on September 1, 2013 at 12:47 AM · Report this
311
@310 apologies for the sexism as well as the heterosexism. I did mean to phrase it such that any person could initiate and any person receive those advances.
Posted by EricaP on September 1, 2013 at 2:28 AM · Report this
312
my Aunty Sophia just got cream Volvo S80 just by some part-time working online with a computer... websites -~~ www.Bay35.cℴm
Posted by LukeMMcHale on September 1, 2013 at 4:30 AM · Report this
313
Lolo [301],

Your response to Dan-- you are not an innocent and equally aggrieved bystander here. Your repeated revalidations of one particular bad behavior and defenses against other posters has swollen into a Savagely notable war over an anecdote.
Posted by Hunter78 on September 1, 2013 at 6:12 AM · Report this
314 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
lolorhone 315
@313: You know, Hunter78, we disagree and it's fine that we disagree. It's fine that people debate topics passionately- well, not personally and ad hominem like many did here, but passion is fine, good even. However, it's not fine when you start telling people what they can and cannot say to others simply BECAUSE you disagree with them. I think Dan (who no one seems pissed at for suggesting the LW pepper-spray her boyfriend twice ["whatever it takes"]- his suggestion of actual physical retaliation is what triggered the memory of my friend's threat, BTW) is just commenting on the enormity/ferocity of the thread. I concurred, and I don't need to be "innocent" or "aggrieved" to do so. Have a pleasant and productive Sunday.
Posted by lolorhone on September 1, 2013 at 10:26 AM · Report this
lolorhone 316
For the record, I have no desire to reenter this debate. This is strictly about your comment @313 (and sorry for the two posts but the internet eat the other half of the first one).

Dan twice suggested pepper spray as a means of conflict resolution between the LW and her boyfriend. He advocated this means of recourse in a somewhat humorous manner while maintaining the need for efficacy in the matter of the LW not getting groped again ("whatever it takes"). Basically, many of things I got lambasted for Dan said as well and before I did. So, in light of this, does Dan not get to comment on the thread as well, despite being the catalyst for it? Just wondering.
Posted by lolorhone on September 1, 2013 at 11:08 AM · Report this
317 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
nocutename 318
@314, 317: My cousin's sister-in-law's neighbor's friend's daughter makes $6.70 an hour in a convenience shop.
Posted by nocutename on September 1, 2013 at 4:18 PM · Report this
319
DIRT could try being the PYT himself. Ya know, date some older men who might find him winsome, even if poz. After all, they've been around for the holocaust from the beginning, and know it can hit anyone.
Posted by imho on September 1, 2013 at 5:32 PM · Report this
320
EricaP @244 - i think i only said "I said NO". given there was barely space for the knife between us, and these were entitled (and sheltered) middle-class white boys.... it seemed enough. they didn't seem to view the word 'no' as having any particular meaning. i didn't think of it as a threat in any way, simply an illustration of cause and effect. if you violate my physical space, i will defend myself. not talk about it, or make a fuss. i don't see how that is particularly note-worthy, just common-sense.
having said that, i'm with mydriasis, i can't imagine being intimate or in a relationship with someone i couldn't trust with my body. i expect relationship violence to be pre-negotiated :-)
Posted by sappho on September 1, 2013 at 8:02 PM · Report this
321
I didn't expect this thread to completely get taken over by the boob grabber article. Though I can't help but think that the knife wielding anecdote is to blame as most of the comments seem to relate to that. My 2 cents? Context. We don't know the couple to know what she is like and how she made the "threat", we also don't know how rough or showy the boy was getting. Without these details the best we can say is, "That probably could have been handled better." With the right circumstances and inflections that could have been the perfect response, we'll never know.
Posted by D-Dasher on September 2, 2013 at 8:26 AM · Report this
322
Dan, regarding your response to FEM. There are women who have a sort of a stream-of-conscious directing thing while having sex, not sure if any men do so you might not have experienced it. It goes beyond the squeeze, here rub there lines. It is a constant barrage of directions: pump three times then turn now pump harder squeeze this while pumping now turn and bark now arch your back....It's like having sex with your boss. That many directions while trying to give pleasure is so incredibly exhausting that it could give the sturdiest of erections cause for limpness. If FEM thinks she might be bordering on this (from her description I think this is exactly what is going on) then she should just scale back. Give some more general directions and then do some wiggling and shimmying yourself to make the general moves work for you. Then move on to advance direction as the relationship progresses. Women should be prioritized in the sack but just don't make it feel like work for the guy or there may not be any repeat action.
Posted by D-Dasher on September 2, 2013 at 8:36 AM · Report this
323
What's this a "ladies go first" crap? I thought chivalry was sexist and outdated? Why not switch back and forth?
Posted by idaho on September 2, 2013 at 10:58 AM · Report this
mydriasis 324
@idaho

Anatomy.

When "ladies go" the party isn't over.

*cue everyone complaining about how PIV-centric my comment was like I give a fuck*
Posted by mydriasis on September 2, 2013 at 11:13 AM · Report this
325
sappho, @231 you wrote:
>> they thought i was crazy, and my response unjustified...they had hand-cuffed me without consent, and were refusing to release me >>

@320 you wote:
>> i think i only said "I said NO". given there was barely space for the knife between us, and these were entitled (and sheltered) middle-class white boys.... it seemed enough. >>

So they handcuffed you after you said no, and maybe they pulled a knife on you? (Or were you the one holding the knife? I can't tell from "the knife between us.") At that point, you said "I said NO," and they let you go, but they indicated that they thought you were crazy and your response unjustified.

Do you figure they didn't understand why you would take a serious tone in response to what they intended as harmless playfulness? And what happened after that? Had they been your friends? And if so did those friendships change after the incident?
Posted by EricaP on September 2, 2013 at 11:15 AM · Report this
326
EricaP @325 - i had the knife. they were friends of my friend, it was at a house party, but i don't think i'd met them before that day. what happened next: they took the handcuffs off, very quickly. i think they got a real fright. they went around telling people i was psycho, but when people asked i told them i said 'no' already, but the boys weren't listening. and no-one could really argue with that, even though it was obvious that in their corner of the world females were expected to put up with it....
one of them is still in my life, not my personal friend, but still friends with our household - he treats me a bit like one of the boys, not like other females. the other one is still scared of me, last i saw, and not connected with our family directly.
i think they saw it as 'harmless fun', i also think that the sexual intimidation and discomfort of the girl in question was explicitly part of the 'fun'. they certainly intended to hold me against my will, and they certainly had a social construction that this was 'ok'. it was not ok with me, and wouldn't be for(i'm going out on a limb here)most females, and someone has to make that clear.
it was a long time ago now, i'd probably do things differently now, partly because i'm living in a different world. i probably would never find myself in that situation these days. but i still think that it was the most direct and simple response to the situation at the time.

Posted by sappho on September 2, 2013 at 1:31 PM · Report this
327
Oh, okay, thanks for explaining!
Posted by EricaP on September 2, 2013 at 2:51 PM · Report this
328
All right, after like 60 comments, I just skipped to the end.

@Lolo: I'm sorry so many commenters are douche bags. I'm sorry for us women that defending ourselves against assault is considered the real threat against society. Again, douche bags.
Posted by tito on September 3, 2013 at 12:15 AM · Report this
329
" I'm sorry for us women that defending ourselves against assault is considered the real threat against society."

Look, since I can't say this really slow because I'm using a written medium to communicate with you feel free to reread it as many times as you need.

Women absolutely have a right to defend themselves, but it should NEVER be done in such a manner that it infringes on the rights, safety or health of their partners or anyone else for that matter unless we're talking about a life or death struggle. Somehow getting groped/ass slapped in front of one's co-workers just doesn't measure up to that standard.

I have no interest in remaining a feminist if every single one I meet online thinks women should all have the same violent knee jerk reaction to men. It's almost as embarrassing as some things you hear the more popular, crazy conservatives say about minorities.
Posted by Really Now... on September 3, 2013 at 2:16 AM · Report this
lolorhone 330
Thank you, tito. I'm actually a guy, but I did my best : )
Posted by lolorhone on September 3, 2013 at 12:07 PM · Report this
331
These days the PYTs in most places in the U.S. are not looking to meet people in bars and clubs and gyms any more, so in my experience people who still try to do that are going to be frustrated. Public flirting has died out completely in the U.S. DIRT may have better luck online or on apps like Grindr and Scruff, which can go a long way towards streamlining things for the shy type of guy.

Or move to a country with a culture where the PYTs are friendlier and will still approach you in places like the above-mentioned. Canada and South Africa come to mind.
Posted by cockyballsup on September 3, 2013 at 12:37 PM · Report this
332
@lolorhone
I'm a straight dude, but I'm pretty embarrassed by a lot of the straight dudes in this thread. The guy's behavior was clearly some sort of sexual harassment or assault. Defending against that with a threat of stabbing may be somewhat disproportionate, but the people claiming it is "YEARS IN PRISON" horrible are insane. I have difficulty imagining that any first offense of that sort would get anything other than probation.

To someone who is not inclined to take complaints of violating boundaries seriously, pulling a knife might the most unambiguous way to drive home the point that "THIS IS NOT OK". It's not a great solution, and I doubt it would work for the most part, but I think the more extreme comments against you are unwarranted. I'm also appalled by people who think that being threatened with violence for repeatedly violating sexual boundaries is in any way similar to people who threaten violence for not cooking well enough, or keeping a messy house. It's not apples and oranges, it's apples and jet planes.
Posted by DrVanNostrand on September 3, 2013 at 12:53 PM · Report this
333
@sappho
Your situation was similar in nature, though probably more severe than the friend of lolorhone. It's just terrible that so many people feel like they can assault people like that and then hide behind the "It was all in fun!" excuse. Your situation was worse though, because of the restraints. If they hadn't released you, you would have been completely justified in stabbing them (may not have been wise because you were still restrained, but definitely justified). I'm glad it didn't come to that.
Posted by DrVanNostrand on September 3, 2013 at 1:05 PM · Report this
lolorhone 334
@332: Thank you, DrVanNostrand, much appreciated.
Posted by lolorhone on September 3, 2013 at 1:32 PM · Report this
persimmon 335
Huh. I must just have a grabby marriage. My husband and I are always giving each other little squeezes and spanks at random, unprovoked intervals throughout the day. We both know better (and respect each other enough) to not do it in public, and especially not around family or professional settings (unless it's the discreet and naughty sort of fondle). But to each his own, I suppose.
Posted by persimmon on September 3, 2013 at 3:30 PM · Report this
336
@328 & @330: tito and lolorhone: I think you guys rock!!
@332 DrVanNostrand: I agree.
Posted by auntie grizelda on September 3, 2013 at 7:44 PM · Report this
337
um, FEM, there's an easy fix for that. learn to give a good blow job. suck him off. he'll perk right up again in no time. generally, it seems to work that way. (how could you miss that obvious bit dan?)
Posted by sm!l* on September 3, 2013 at 10:42 PM · Report this
338
As a lawyer, I find one of the funniest things on the internet to be how everybody suddenly acquires a law degree while they're arguing over anecdotes on the internet.
Posted by forego on September 5, 2013 at 1:03 AM · Report this
339
Those are MINE!

Now I understand the divorce rate. MUCH more important to demonstrate your power- with or without the switchblade- than to keep a civil, happy relationship. Men are fascinated by boobs. How pathetic is it to be offended that your boyfriend is fascinated by YOUR boobs. He is already in a world of hurt but God help him if SHE upgrades that "boyfriend" title. Run, my son. Run like the wind.

Have women really became such byatches since my dating days?
Posted by Professor on September 5, 2013 at 10:27 PM · Report this
lolorhone 340
@339: I'm sorry your wife lied to you about loving to give head, man (Savage Love, September 24, 2012, comment @233). I truly am. But repeatedly condemning and insulting all modern women for the actions of one (pretty much every other comment you've ever posted on The Stranger) is a perfect example of the fallacy of division. I mean, just logically insupportable. And you don't want to be all irrational like a woman, right?
Posted by lolorhone on September 6, 2013 at 12:35 AM · Report this
341
@332: that's exactly the point I was going to make. There's a huge difference between using violence or threat of violence to keep someone from doing something *to you*, and using violence or threat of violence to make someone do something, or not do something that doesn't directly involve your own person.

You can use the "would you do it to a stranger" metric as a litmus test. If you said to a stranger "touch my body again and I will stab you", you would be viewed as someone who was tough and in charge. If you said to a stranger "do my laundry or I will stab you", you would rightly and justifiably be viewed as a dangerous psycho.
Posted by Melissa Trible on September 7, 2013 at 2:25 PM · Report this
342
@FEM,

Another aspect to this to consider is that guys like figuring things out. For many of us, each woman's sexual stimulation is kind of like a puzzle, and most of us take GREAT pride in making the big O happen all by ourselves. Now, that being said, it's ridiculous NOT to tell someone EXACTLY what does it for you. You're really doing your partners a HUGE favor by explaining things. However, in the heat of the moment, it could make a guy feel incompetent. Consider talking about what does it for you before the clothes come off. That is a very sexy way to start things out. As odd as it sounds, your timing may be a factor. Also, you explaining exactly how things are going to go down takes some of the spontaneity out of the event, which can be a little disappointing for some.
Posted by Buttfinger on September 10, 2013 at 11:54 AM · Report this
343
To GTFO, I only check out this site every couple of months so excuse me for excavating a buried post. Your body, your boundaries, if the BF can't be taught to respect them DTMFA.

On the comment thread regarding a lady pulling a knife to make her point.
If you've reached a place where a credible threat of great bodily harm is a rational response, you need to be somewhere else. Get whatever help you need to get there.
Posted by Lizard69 on October 17, 2013 at 12:42 PM · Report this
344
To GTFO, I only check out this site every couple of months so excuse me for excavating a buried post. Your body, your boundaries, if the BF can't be taught to respect them DTMFA.

On the comment thread regarding a lady pulling a knife to make her point.
If you've reached a place where a credible threat of great bodily harm is a rational response, you need to be somewhere else. Get whatever help you need to get there.
Posted by Lizard69 on October 17, 2013 at 12:46 PM · Report this
345
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Posted by joan222 on April 26, 2014 at 9:03 PM · Report this

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