Savage Love Letter of the Day: Tinder Date Slapped My Face After I Agreed to "Rough" Sex

Comments

1
I don't quite understand why this would be humiliating? You tried something new and weren't into it. That's OK.

Also, I wonder what other answer you were hoping from when you asked the guy about it later? You'd better HOPE he thought you'd like it, otherwise that'd be a red flag. It's not too abnormal to think someone would like someone and be wrong, especially once you're already rough-sexing. Assuming you otherwise like the guy, and he's willing to abide by your limits going forward (and pull his weight in creating the space to communicate those limits beforehand), then you don't need to assume this was all part of some diabolical plot to woo you so he could later get an "over" on you / strike a win for the patriarchy by slapping you. I'm sure he was absolutely hoping you'd love it. Absent other bad behavior, I'd advise benefit of the doubt.
2
Why on earth wait until 'afterward' to feel humiliated or upset? Didn't want to be rude and mess up his orgasm?? LW should have slapped him right back twice as hard and it made it immediately clear that she was pissed about it. It's as if once she consented to sex she feels compelled to keep on consenting, as if she cannot take it back. Sheesh. ADVOCATE FOR YOURSELF, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT IS ONLY YOURSELF.
3
When I'm being assaulted by an intimate partner, it's incredibly tough to advocate for myself in that moment. My mind goes entirely to survival mode. I'll do whatever I need to in order to appease the asshole and get myself out safely.

First I blamed myself for this. Then I decided it was a legitimate survival strategy and I have a right to use what tools I have to keep myself intact. But now I don't give a shit about why. It's just the way I am. I'm not going to confront in the moment and anyone who wants to victim-blame because of that can stick it up their ass.

I don't know how other people are wired, or what the letter writer is capable of. I want her to know that it might not be within her ability to follow Dan's advice. That's okay. It doesn't mean there's something wrong with her, or that she can't revisit the situation after sex is over, or decline to see again a partner she can't safely discuss it with.
4
Well, while i see Dan's point and yadda-yadda preapproved practices blah blah consent...

But what do these people expect to happen when they ask for rough sex? Why is the guy who tried to accommodate her wishes to the best of his ability suddenly an asshole?
I'd say slapping is a standard menu item in the rough sex thing. I would certainly assume that it was what was expected of me if i were asked for rough sex. I would decline because of that assumption, actually.
If one were to say there is no such thing as standard rough sex, i would wonder why do we even have the word "rough sex" if it does not signify anything.

oh, and *Obligatory 50 shades rant-mention*, everyone and their mom is a super kinkster now, that is until they actually get slapped in the face. ugh.
5
Gamebird @ 3
"I'm not going to confront in the moment"
I got the impression that the main advice was to discuss things in advance, in order to avoid "survival mode" later on.
Assholes are also likely to show their assholism outside of the bedroom, so it may be a good idea to get to know someone a little better before the clothes come off.
6
@yasunori She didn't ask for rough sex. He suggested it and she went along, without setting any parameters, probably because she didn't know what to say she liked or didn't. And according to the LW, he mentioned other aspects of his style of rough sex play beforehand, but not face-slapping. I wouldn't dump him automatically as Dan suggested, but I would consider it a reason to have a conversation that leads to the LW feeling that er need to for safety and pleasure going forward has been agreed-to.
7
I got into a lot of consensual fights as a kid, and was used to punching, kicking, etc. The one time someone slapped me in the face, I felt humiliated. It hurt my soul. You feel what you feel, it's not rational.
8
@1 I can't help but agree that to some "rough sex" includes slapping by default...if I agreed to rough sex with no stated boundaries, I wouldn't be surprised to be slapped (and I'd be delighted!) Like you said, if he did it in bad faith (like he could tell she wouldn't want it and did it any way) then that's a problem but if he was truly surprised and then respected her boundaries, that's different and doesn't make him a bad guy necessarily.
9
@ 6

I don't really see a difference between "ask" and "suggest" in a context of a ongoing sexual relationship, or, more accurately, it looks like splitting hairs to relieve her from blame.
I don't really say she is to blame (i would say no one is, this is a nothingburger), but it looks awfully close to a garden-variety "i tried a thing i didn't like, am i some kind of traumatized victim yet".

Also, snark aside, Christopher Ryan mentioned a study on one of his recent podcasts, it suggests that people freaking out about an incident might cause more trauma than the incident itself, in a way a person is "told how to feel".
I think it kind of applies to this situation. If there wasn't a society ready and willing to call LWs partner names and telling her she was horribly abused, maybe she would get the fuck over a minor sex thing she didn't like.
10
For what it's worth, I think face-slapping is enough it its own box that it deserves a specific ask, if you want to do it: "Are you up for some rough sex? ... How about face-slapping?" I wouldn't assume that rough sex automatically includes face slapping. Ass slapping, yes. Use of physical strength to move someone around, adjust their body, yes. Holding them down, yes. But name-calling and face-slapping are slightly different in tone, and may be received differently,c and whether or not someone is into them should be confirmed explicitly first.
11
@yasunori @9: Despite my post @10, I do agree that sometimes freaking out over something has a larger negative effect than the thing itself. So Dan's advice is good here: don't feel too bad, just use this moment as a chance to decide to be clear next time something happens, when it happens (and you can use your partner's response to gauge their suitability).
12
Fuck that poster "Sportlandia" up there at the top. Pity his is the first, and therefore to likely be the most-read comment, because he's advocating for people to suddenly spring varsity-level BDSM on a non-consenting partner.

And yes, suddenly slapping a sex partner withot first asking is non-consensual BDSM. And that is a flag that's absolutely *dripping* in red.

Every *responsible* kinkster who *cares* about their sex partner and *wants to ensure their safety and well-being* knows you have to get consent for something as shocking and painful as face slapping. It may be less painful than whipping, and may seem less severe than practices like choking, but face-slapping causes a heavy duty emotional response and requires having a lot of trust in your partner, which you won't have after just a few dates.

Obviously this guy either knew that and didn't care, or didn't know and wasn't caring or responsible enough to find out before springing it on her.

Nope. Nope, nope, nope - DTMFA, yesterday.

This also has nothing to do with feminism or the patriarchy, considering that face slapping is a practice popular with kinksters of all genders. So fuck that poster's bullshit MRA self-serving justifications while we're at it.
13
Is the Tinder dude experienced in negotiating this kind of thing? He might have made the dumb assumption that slapping is part of the menu for rough sex. The fact that he casually included choking as a menu item does seem to indicate that he isn't too well versed in safety.

Sounds like a strike against him, but not necessarily a dumpable offense... Provided that it doesn't happen again and that he is better about negotiating going forward.

What I really want to know if how a nail ended up in Dan's head.
14
@yasunori, the thing is, whether there is a "standard" definition of rough sex or not, LW clearly didn't know it. The guy suggested rough sex, she asked what that meant, he told her spanking, name calling, and choking. It seems absolutely unfair to say that there's a standard definition of rough sex that she should have known and that he didn't have to tell her when she asked. I also definitely don't read this as, "Am I a traumatized victim?" but rather, "I am traumatized (at least somewhat), am I justified or being overdramatic?"

Finally, as someone who is into both sides of rough sex and has had rough sex with multiple partners, some of whom I didn't know that well, I definitely wouldn't slap anyone in the face without explicit permission and would be pissed if someone slapped me in the face without explicit permission. It may not be super painful, but there's something intensely humiliating about it on an emotional level anyway.
15
My god people are stupid and naive.
16
We’ve all been there.

There’s a difference between blaming yourself, and learning from an experience. You’re hooking up on Tinder—time to build some A-level communication and self-advocacy skills. Not to save this relationship, which is dead, but to save yourself and other relationships in the future.
17
I was puzzled by some of the comments and their aggressive defense of the slapper ("this isn't abuse!" "this isn't about the patriarchy!") so I went back and re-read the letter. She says nothing about abuse or the patriarchy, so why the intense need to defend the poor helpless man who slaps randos from Tinder without asking? I don't see her saying anything negative about him beyond her discomfort with the interaction.

The comments implying that the problem is level of BDSM experience / ability to receive pain are the actual worst. A person's level of comfort with non-consensual painful events is completely unrelated to whether they're a good bottom and implying that comfort with non-consensual pain is some sort of valuable badge of experience is pretty creepy
18
Here’s my two cents, you shouldn’t be having rough sex. It doesn’t sound you’re cut out for it, especially since you have to go into “survival mode”. If you had it in you for rough sex, you would have restrained him. Just go back to being vanilla.
19
@17 she responded in the comments.
20
I thought number 3 was the LW. My bad.
21
I’m curious what kind of slap it was. Was it a light kind-of-thumping slap? Was it a knock-your-teeth-loose slap? Was it a slap that makes a nice sound and may leaves a red mark but didn’t actually hurt all that much?

When I hear Rough Sex, I sometimes think it should include hair pulling and light to medium face slapping. As these comments show, everybody has a different definition of rough sex. This, Dan’s advice is good: use your damn words.

BTW, apologists, it’s not the slapping that makes this guy unfuckable. It’s the “Don’t be upset, I don’t know why you’re freaking out. I thought you liked it” response. Somebody reasonable and repeat fuckable would say “I’m sorry. That was my fault. That was in my definition of rough sex and I should have mentioned it. I won’t do it again.” And, if they do it again after the apology, stop fucking them.
22
xaotica @ 17
We often get into genitalia wars in here regardless of the subject. Power plays make a fertile ground for such skirmishes.
23
I definitely do not consider face slapping to be a sin qua non of rough sex, which I see as a level of physicality and more akin to rough body play, than the incorporation of impact play. In that, I have to agree with those who place choking and face slapping in their own categories, requiring separate consent.

As someone who has face slapped a number of female partners, I would note it would never occur to me to do that without express consent. Indeed, it almost always occurred by their invitation. Even then, as with an form of impact play with a new partner, I start light and slowly build intensity.

I would also note that there is a proper technique to slap a partner so that their head does not whip around, and I doubt this guy knows that either.

It seems fair to say an inexperienced kinky guy, asked a new partner without any kink experience to incorporate kink activities into their sex. As the person asking to add kink, this guy bears responsibility for knowing what he’s doing and exercising good judgment. He failed on both counts. At that point, he needed to apologize, and the fact that he didn’t in the moment or at the latest when the sex ended is wrong, and certainly a reason not to engage in kink activities with this guy.

LW, I hope that as you process your thoughts about these kink experiences you can, if you found them enjoyable or intriguing, that you will give yourself permission to try them again, including consensual face slapping.
24
I am not the letter writer.
25
@17 yeah there's some longstanding culture-warring that goes on from certain folks. The profile gets head-shakingly clear over time.
26
Misanthrope@21 nailed it. Guy said, "Rough sex?" She said, "OK" and was then was surprised that she got rough sex (and though I'm no expert, a face slap is probably low enough on the rough sexometer to be assumed to be fair game by those who travel with the cattle prods and whips crowd). But as @21 said, the guy's response was the asshole move, not the slap itself. And a, "Whoa! That's a little too rough!" from the LW should have solved the problem as soon as the first slap happened. File it under, "Lesson Learned."
27
No, face-slapping is not standard in 'rough sex'. Every time I've mentioned rough sex, and'or slapping in particular, my partners who have agreed have almost all said, 'Not the face'. As others have said here before me, face slapping is its own category, requiring explicit permission beforehand.

Dude gave three examples of what rough sex meant to him. She okayed them. Then he did something else, beyond what she'd agreed to and beyond what's common in kink play. And then he sucked at aftercare. You're done with this dude, LW.
28
@4 100% agreed. Signed, A Broad.
29
WTF is wrong with people???
Are they so fucking dead inside that they think physical abuse is normal during sex???
Sorry, but it is an assault.
In different circumstances, he would have been arrested.
Don't be a tool for any demented sick rape/porn fantasy!! Shit, why do that????
30
You did not lead him on. He is the one who led YOU on. He intrigued you -- someone with zero experience -- with some vague handwaving, described one or two very lightweight pieces of Let's Pretend in order to sucker you in, played a few semi-gentle appetizers, and then once you were in the middle of it, he unloaded a varsity-level physical attack. Then, having put you badly off balance, he proceeds to make it your fault that it made you feel shitty to be lied to, tricked, and battered for real.

At absolute best, he's a clueless dipshit who thinks consent to one thing is consent to all things, and that if you like it a little rough then you'll love it a lot rough. At worst, he knew exactly what he was doing, and orchestrated the whole thing to take advantage of someone inexperienced good and hard. In either case, dumping him swiftly and mercilessly is the correct response to him. Whether he's evil or just a moron he needs to learn that shit is completely unacceptable.
31
For fucks' sake, people, there's no such thing as "standard menu item, what the hell did you expect?" to someone who has never done it before. If you don't know what you are doing, then you don't know what you are doing.

I tend to be Captain Obvious around here, but I'm pretty disgusted to have to explain something that self-evident.
32
Ok, face-slapping is absolutely not something you do without explicit consent! Hitting people in the face is always something you get the ok for first. Seriously, go onto fetlife.com or any "kinky" online community and ask - even the hardcore enthusiasts agree that's a specific "ask first" thing.

That being said, there's a lot that can be excused with "wow, I'm sorry, I definitely won't do that again," and a lot that shouldn't be excused if it comes with a "well, it's your fault you didn't like it." This guy has "creep" painted all over him. Not only does he specifically *not* mention slapping when asking about what's ok, but he then tries to deflect after he does it. Dump him (by text - fucker doesn't deserve an in-person breakup) and be straight about it. "You hit me in the face without permission and then refused to apologize for it - wtf did you really think I'd stay with you after that?"
33
I’m right on board with @21 and @31. The man started with slapping hard, and it sounds like three in a row—no build-up, no checking in after the first one. I’d like to tell him to do a little painless play slap with dirty talk (“did you like that? Do I need to punish you more?”) first, to sort of broach the subject, if he can’t bring himself to use words in the moment (though he managed to use words to get her to put hands on his throat...). Also, it has never occurred to me that face-slapping would be standard. In fact, I took an intro to BDSM class and that was never mentioned as far as I recall, unless suggested as a bony place that novices should not spank.

LW—I’ve been there, and it sucks. My best advice is to try to own your sexuality—“heck yes I had rough sex! Heck yes I kicked an uncommunicative/harmfully naive/rude guy to the curb! I know what I want, next time I’m gonna lay sexy ground rules, and I’m awesome, so watch out world!”
34
No, face-slapping does not come standard.

If you want to have rough sex, you need to learn to negotiate and to stick with your agreements (different skills, you need them both). This guy has not yet learned these necessary skills and doesn’t seem to be aware that not having them is a problem.

If you want to have risky sex, you need to be prepared to deal with failure. You need to check in regularly, you need to be aware of the range of possible ways ‘I’m not having a good time’ can present, and you need to be able to provide appropriate aftercare. This guy doesn’t seem prepared for failure at all.

This isn’t about smashing the patriarchy. This is about having the skills to do something difficult and risky.

If the LW is interested in exploring rough sex, which it sounds like she is, she should definitely join FetLife. Read rants by bottoms who’ve had bad experiences with asshole tops. Behold pictures of asses blackened from impact play posted by delighted bottoms and the squeals of envy posted in the comments. Study detailed explanations of how to face-slap safely and recognize that it was a big deal. Maybe even go to some workshops.
35
Sporty @1: She was humiliated because he did something she didn't like, and she kept going, thereby suppressing her own pleasure for the sake of his. What answer was she expecting? I dunno, probably something along the lines of "I'm really sorry, I got carried away, I'll never do that again"? In other words, an answer like Dan's ex gave him, not a blow-off. It's not whether he expected that she'd like it -- I think it's a given that he did expect that -- it's how he reacted when she told him she didn't that makes him an asshole.

Popelick @2: Thank you for describing to Sportlandia why UGH felt humiliated afterwards. She had exactly these thoughts in her head, shaming her for her own reaction to an unexpected and unpleasant experience. Well done for making her feel even worse.

Yasu @4: You contradict yourself when you say that face slapping is a standard "rough sex" item, and also that "everyone and their mother" rules it out of kinky play. Obviously, it's far from "standard" in the minds of most, and therefore should be explicitly discussed before you pull it on someone, even someone who's agreed to "rough sex."

Ciods @10: I agree, I would not expect face slapping to be an integral component of "rough sex."

Kitsch @13: I also agree that this guy sounds inexperienced. Sounds like the sort of thing he explored with a previous partner and made the mistake of assuming everyone is into, or potentially into. This can and should be a learning experience for both of them.

Donny @26: I for one draw a big distinction between "rough sex" and "BDSM," which is the term I'd use for anything involving cattle prods or other accessories.

Cami @29: Again, why is someone as sex-negative as you reading Savage Love? It's obviously not "to learn."
36
From a FetLife post on face slapping:
https://fetlife.com/users/3519409/posts/…

This activity has the potential to be seriously dangerous and/or runs the risk of leaving marks that almost no one consents to, for really fucking good reasons.

But that’s why it’s so fucking sexy, right? You know what i’m talkin’ about. The whole reason it’s so good is that numbing, sharp stinging that sends your mind and all your senses reeling. Get it right and it feels fucking amazing.

1. THE (VERY REAL) RISKS

You need to miss/spread the force around a lot of extremely delicate and fragile organs. Get your ranges wrong, fuck up connecting the strike or underestimate your strength, and you can seriously injure or maim someone, potentially permanently. Let me elaborate.

• You need to miss “clapping” over an ear, forcing air into the ear canal by accidentally sealing it as you connect. You could burst ear drums, cause hearing loss or worse.

• You need to miss eyeballs. Don’t blind your play partners please.

• You NEED to miss teeth. As a receiver, try to press your tongue against the upper palate of your mouth and keep your mouth firmly closed. Even use a mouthguard if necessary, this is not a wimp move if you want to take some decent force.

• You also need to avoid any kind of hanging jaw, moving tongue, mid-sentence strikes or strikes only on the jaw.

• You can easily break a nose with a glancing blow.

• And don’t forget about that big ol grey thing. The brain. You want to reduce the force that gets absorbed by the brain as much as you possibly can. Yes, you will lose brain cells. Accidentally knocking out your play partner is not sexy.

• Serious whiplash risk.

• Black eyes are also really not sexy to explain at work on Monday.


+++ +++ +++

The post — remember, it’s by someone into face-slapping — goes on to explain how to face-slap. She also says “This activity is about as RACK as it gets,” meaning that it’s high-risk even if you’re doing it right.

Because our faces are such high-risk targets, we react very strongly when we are hit there. It hurts physically and emotionally. That’s why people who are into intense sensations like it. That’s why people who are into this kind of play recognize that face-slapping is special and does not come standard.

Commenters who are blaming the LW for reacting badly to something risky, painful and non-consensual are demonstrating their ignorance.
37
Agreed with Alison Cummins @36 - this ain't some tee-hee fluffy handcuffs and victoria secret flogger stuff. Also, note how he specifically gets her consent for "spanking and name calling and choking" and then Surprise! hits her in the face. I'm not even gonna give this guy the benefit of the doubt. I think he knew she wouldn't like it and that's why he did it - he gets off on being able to nonconsensually hit his sex partners. He asked about the other stuff to give himself plausible deniability after, but he very intentionally left out the slapping.
38
Thank you, Alison.
39
Several here have said lots of good things. Alison's comments @ 34 and 36 are very useful (btw, it's really good to see you here again, Alison. I hope you go back to being a more regular commenter).

I, too, don't think of face-slapping as standard, and I have had a bit of rough sex in my life. I agree that this dude was wrong in multiple aspects: not obtaining permission beforehand (especially considering that he was careful to negotiate other acts), and not apologizing afterwards and hearing the lw's concerns. He could be a rookie making rookie mistakes---I once dated a man who had never had any kind of rough sex but always wanted to, and the first time we tried he was terrible at it: no preamble, no psychological aspect, no warm-up or build-up--he just began wailing on me with all his might, striking wildly. It hurt like hell and not in a sexy way. I made sure to tell him that that wasn't the way I like to play; that there were ways to spank that achieve maximum reddening, if that's what he wanted to see, with maximum impact-sound, if that's what he wanted to hear; that aim and precision were important; that I prefer a rising level of pain, rather than going from zero to ninety in ten seconds; that most people like some sort of pre-contact contract; and that he should read some books about it first. He apologized, listened and did not repeat the behavior---But this guy didn't appear willing to listen, tried to deflect the blame, and didn't apologize. So rookie mistake or not, his follow through is lacking enough that I'm on the DTMFA train.

I like the explanations that have been given about why a slap on the face is humiliating, especially BiDanFan's @35, and I want to offer my own, additional one. Culturally, a slap across the face is a gesture of contempt, meant to humiliate more than punish. We've seen it in movies, read it in books. In fights with each other, men don't slap, they punch. An open-handed slap can hurt, and it can do some damage, but it's more about signaling disgust than trying to land a blow. The trope is that the insulted woman slaps the man who is too forward across the face. When parents discipline their children using corporal punishment, they typically spank a bottom, rather than slap a face. I think of the cliché of a teenager saying something really offensive about the parent and the parent slapping that child across the face: it comes with a stated or unstated but clear message: how dare you?!

I once had a partner who was really into BDSM. He was very, very dommy. We were having sex involving bondage and spankings and some other pain-inducing, mark-producing stuff, when he told me to stop doing something. I was deep in the psychological aspect of it all, and I thought, "ooh, he doesn't really want me to stop; he wants me to misbehave so he can punish me." So I didn't stop. He told me to stop again. Again, I didn't stop, thinking this was part of some game we were mutually playing and enjoying. And he slapped me--hard--across the face, and said with great irritation, "I told you to stop. I didn't want you to do that." And then he prepared to end the scene. I was absolutely shocked by the fact that I had so misread the situation and by his anger, but I was also shocked and hurt (emotionally) by having been slapped across the face, though he'd done far more painful things to me. A slap across the face carries great cultural significance. It's a humiliating gesture. The only gesture more humiliating is being spit on. I understand absolutely why the lw felt humiliated.
40
Holy fuck. Simply Grateful to the universe that I'm no longer "dating" and subjecting myself to being polite no matter what egregious bullshit and abuse is dished out - just because, "he might be the One Right Guy, better not scare him off by being too picky!"
41
"I really feel like shit about myself".

Why, why, why why do women tie themselves into knots about not liking a particular something about sex?
Why, why, why are we afraid to speak up?

I consent to sex. I've certainly consented to allowing him to touch my clitoris. But he does it wrong, sort of the wrong pressure and not quite in the right place. One time a guy had the idea he'd touch me until I gasped and then back off to touch me elsewhere only to return again. He thought he was getting me more turned on. I just realized I was getting frustrated and disappointed-- as well as turned on. It was difficult to speak up in the moment, but I drew myself out of the moment long enough to tell him I knew what he was doing and to cut it out.

All that has nothing to do with rough sex or agreements beforehand. It was just sex, and he was just doing it wrong so I told him. I didn't blame myself for not liking something he clearly liked.
43
Haven't read through the whole thread so probably other people have touched on this .... but did anybody read the part where she said this is only her third partner EVER? I'm going to assume she didn't tell the guy that, so he gets a pass in treating her as sexually experienced (but NOT a pass on sudden slapping), but as for us readers, who know this, we need to be WAY more understanding of her naïveté, both around what "rough sex" might include and around how she reacted in the moment and afterwards. Personally when I think of rough sex (and I'm in my forties and have had a lot of sex with a lot of people) I think of spanking, hair pulling, head grabbing, and just generally using a hard touch on sensitive parts rather than a soft touch. Face slapping wouldn't even occur to me. I wholly agree with the more exoerienced kinksters who are saying that face slapping is extremely emotionally volatile, and I know if someone slapped me hard across the face, out of blue, that sexual encounter would be over because I'd be bursting into uncontrollable sobs. I think face slapping is usually part of humiliation-play, which is far different from "regular rough sex" and needs explicit consent. Hope this girl manages to grow from this encounter and learn more about how to negotiate for what she likes. I'm glad Dan told her that this guy was being an ass.
44
I think it's plausible that the tinder date is as clueless as the letter writer when it comes to BDSM and rough sex.

What's more likely: The guy saw she was into spanking, biting, and choking and thought a face slap would be well received, or the guy slapped her because he likes being mean?

The fact is they did discuss some stuff beforehand, but neither party laid out explicit rules about what they DON'T want. That part is often overlooked and it doesn't mean he is some sexist monster for going a little too far.

In short: stop projecting all of society's problems with women and sexuality onto one dude.
45
@43: The writing is ambiguous. Either the lw has slept with only 3 men or has had sex only 3 times, or this was the 3rd time she'd had sex with this particular man. She says, "Recently I slept with a man for the third time (we met on Tinder). We had had great sex previous times but this time before he came over for dinner he asked if I liked it rough." I interpreted the "We had had great sex previous times" to mean that that this was the third time she'd had sex with this particular man.

I agree with you that to me, "rough sex" suggests using a rougher touch on the ordinary places, and not face-slapping, but I really don't think that the failure to communicate his intention to slap is on the lw.
46
Gueralinda @43: I agree with NoCute's interpretation of "Recently I slept with a man for the third time" as "Recently I slept with this particular man for the third time."
Credit, I suppose, for at least waiting until the third date to ask for rough stuff...
47
@BiDanFan it wasn't clear to me that LW was pissed or upset. In the moment she reported feeling Shocked and Confused - not angry, as @2 concludes. It's not abnormal for feelings to change over time as one considers things with more perspective (for eg, our childhoods). But I still don't see where the humiliation comes in. He didn't disregard her wishes in the moment (although, IMO, he should have asked about slapping beforehand, he didnt; he assumed it had been consented to); it seems the crime is simply giving an insufficient apology. There is, perhaps, some shame in not liking oral sex, or doggy style, or other generally standard things - but in something as not-mainstream as slapping? What's the shame in that?
48
@Sportlandia: Here is what the lw said: "But when I was on top out of the blue he slapped me across the face, hard, three times. I was shocked by this and confused but kept going. Afterwards I felt humiliated and upset and mentioned this to him but he tried to deflect blame and said he thought I liked it. Is this behaviour normal? I feel really shit about myself but wonder if I did something to lead him to believe I wanted to be slapped in the face."

In reading your comments @1 and 47, it seems to me that your attitude could be summed up by saying, "I wouldn't be upset or humiliated by having my face slapped during sex, so I don't understand why the LW was."

That's not the point. The point is that the LW feels bad and is wondering whether she did something to lead the man to believe she would want be slapped by agreeing to try rough sex, which he defined to her as meaning "spanking and name calling and choking."

You are hung up on wondering why the LW feels humiliated, and you have designated yourself the arbiter of who gets to feel what about which act, but this isn't your job ("But I still don't see where the humiliation comes in. . . . There is, perhaps, some shame in not liking oral sex, or doggy style, or other generally standard things - but in something as not-mainstream as slapping? What's the shame in that?") For that matter, where's the shame in not liking oral sex? People like what they like and they have a right to like or not like what they want. What right do you have to decide what's appropriate for someone else to feel humiliated about?*

I find it sad and telling that rather than coming to the conclusion that the guy was in the wrong, she is questioning her own behavior. I find it sadder and more telling the guy didn't seem to feel any remorse, but tried to make her feel that she was in the wrong for feeling the way that she did. As you are also trying to do.

*Note that humiliation--the LW's word--is different than shame--your word--or remorse--the feeling the guy in this letter seems to be lacking.

49
@ dirtygerty What's more likely: The guy saw she was into spanking, biting, and choking and thought a face slap would be well received, or the guy slapped her because he likes being mean?

The latter. The latter is far more likely. Also, "but neither party laid out explicit rules about what they DON'T want?" WTF is wrong with you? If you're going to hurt or attack someone (especially sexually) you get consent first! You don't just assume that all the things you don't have permission for are ok because there isn't an inifinite list of every single thing that's not ok.
50
44-Gerty-- I read your question "What's more likely: The guy saw she was into spanking, biting, and choking and thought a face slap would be well received, or the guy slapped her because he likes being mean?" and concluded that it was a rhetorical one with the obvious answer that of course he was being mean. It's when I read the rest of your comment that I realized you thought the possibility that he thought it would be well received was the obvious one.

Mind you that I'm normally Pollyanna-ish in my willingness to believe that everyone's a good guy and every bad outcome is a product of misunderstanding, not planned malice. I say "men are scum" ironically because I believe in my heart that most of them aren't.

Now following up my own statement in 41. My point is that women need to be told that ALL objections are valid-- not all accusations, but it's important to enter into a sexual relationship with the conviction that anything having to do with comfort and feelings deserve to be listened to and believed. I gave the example that it's okay to say that I didn't like the pressure and timing in which I was being touched, and that's nothing compared to having blame deflected after being slapped.
51
Dirtygerty @44: To your question, I would answer: Does it matter? The fact is that he did something that she did not consent to, and, as Sportlandia @47 notes, wasn't even sorry he hurt her -- both physically and emotionally in this particular case.
That's not a projection of "society's problems," it's one guy who acted like an asshole. (Gender-neutral epithet intended.) You're the one who's making this about sexism.
52
clashfan @27 "Every time I've mentioned rough sex, and'or slapping in particular, my partners who have agreed have almost all said, 'Not the face'."

One benefit of this SLLOTD is to encourage more people to say "not the face" when a new(ish) sex partner asks if they like rough sex. Face slaps should be negotiated, but it's good to realize that a random Tinder date may not know that.

BiDanFan @46 "Credit, I suppose, for at least waiting until the third date to ask for rough stuff"

Maybe? Some assholes also act nice on the first couple of dates so that the woman has a harder time being taken seriously if she accuses him of assault after several dates of consensual sex.

FWIW, a guy once broke my tooth slapping my face the wrong way. Face slapping is not just potentially humiliating but also dangerous if you aren't careful.

Thanks, Alison @36 for the useful discussion of safety considerations.
53
@45 okay, I see it's probably more likely she meant 3rd date with this guy than 3rd sexual partner. My bad.

@49 Thank you. I agree, it's way more likely that he's a jerk who gets off on the shock and fear a woman shows when she's just been unexpectedly HIT IN THE FACE than that he's such an idiot he actually thinks an okay to spank her means an okay to HIT HER IN THE FACE. He gave himself plausible deniability by getting a consent to "rough sex" and deceived her as to what he was going to do. Then he gaslighted her afterwards.

I think those commenters who are maintaining that being slapped hard three times in the face with no warning during a sex act with a person you don't really know all that well are crazy. I'd be terrified - yes terrified - if I consented to one level of "roughness" and it suddenly escalated mid-deed to whole other level of violence. Maybe my history of sexual assault is showing here, but I'd be scared I was about to be hurt, bad.

54
@53: Yup.
55
My automatic response to unprovoked violence tends to be more violence. So if someone up and slaps me without warning mid-fuck, I would most likely break their nose. Especially having the upper hand by being on top. Fight-or-flight is a thing, and adrenaline is a hell of a drug.
56
@4: “But what do these people expect to happen when they ask for rough sex”

Communication, you asshole. Negotiation. Trust built and not being a piece of shit right out the gate.
57
@49: “The latter.”

Yup.
58
@44: “I think it's plausible that the tinder date is as clueless as the letter writer when it comes to BDSM and rough sex.”

This is where he outs himself as terrible:

“he tried to deflect blame”

Any decent person, independent of experience would be apologetic and not blame her.
59
Am I reading these comments right? Slapping is more violent than choking? What? Really. How many serial killers murdered victims by slapping them?

The Hillside Slapper? The Boston Slapper? Yeah. They don’t exist.

But you can sure as fuck kill someone with a choke. Easily.

So this naive person agrees to choking as part of “rough sex.” On the hierarchy of “dangerous violent shit to do to a human being” slapping sure as fuck falls on the less severe side of slapping. Considering literally millions of people have been strangled to death through the ages.

So, when this creeper gets his thumbs-up for choking of course he could easily assume it’s a go for slapping. First off he’sa Freak out of the gate second she gave him permission to risk her god damn life - and may she would check Ken him, too. Whatever stupid shit these people do.

Frankly, it’s all fucked in the head. But I’m sorry. You have to be pretty god damned stupid to agree to an arrangement with a virtual stranger that’s: “yeah, sure, cut off the blood supply to my brain for an indeterminate amount of time while we fuck.”

She should feel dumb. But she should also put this guys name out there as a potential psycho.
60
“less severe side of slapping.” = less severe side of choking
61
@Dr. Zaius @59:
> Am I reading these comments right? Slapping is more violent than choking?

No, you're not reading them right. Rough sex is not exclusively about violence--if it were, people would just beat their partners, which isn't (usually) what's done. The fact that slapping is "less violent" has nothing to do with it; as nocute points out clearly @39, the salient point is that culturally, face-slapping has a huge emotional association, one which is more in line with humiliation than anything else. Therefore it should be considered a separate act from your everyday rough sex when obtaining consent.
62
Dr. Zaius @59:
> Am I reading these comments right? Slapping is more violent than choking?

Two things.

First, kinky shit isn’t on a continuum. Liking one kind of intense sensation in one part of your body does not map to liking another kind in another place. Arguably, tickling is ‘less violent’ than fucking, but there are a hell of a lot of people who like being fucked who dislike being tickled. If you get consent for one thing, you get consent for that thing, not for “that thing + anything else I have decided should be less of a big deal to you.”

In the most strictly limited repertoire of vanilla sex, we understand the menu and we do rank things to some extent. If someone wants to fuck us we expect they’re down for kissing and it’s up to them to tell us if they aren’t. With the extremely diverse menu of BDSM/kink a single-axis ranking like that is just not possible.

Second, she didn’t get choked. He slapped her on the ass (yay!) and she choked him (yay!). Then he slapped her on the face (FUCK NO).

> I enjoyed the spanking on the bottom and played along by biting his lip and putting my hands on his throat as he had asked me to do.
63
@59: Dr. Zaius, this was at least a third date (they might have gone on some dates before having sex); so although they might not know each other well, they're not complete strangers. And as Alison pointed out, he wasn't choking her, she was pretending to choke him. Pretend choking is not the same as really cutting off the oxygen supply: it's just placing your hands around the other person's throat. The thrill is in the idea.
Not to mention that the LW didn't say that the slapping was more violent than anything else they did--it was more upsetting to her.

So no, you were not reading the original letter right, and you're not reading the comments right, either.
64
@44: "The fact is they did discuss some stuff beforehand, but neither party laid out explicit rules about what they DON'T want."

I'm calling bullshit. "Well, you never actually SAID specifically that I wasn't supposed to break your nose. You also didn't rule out bamboo under the fingernails, or deciding to ignore the safeword. You should have been more specific."
65
There is the one loose thread that he's likely to keep trying it on unsuspecting marks.

I think she should get two or three of her biggest male friends to dress up in tank tops, neoprene aprons, and hockey masks, and hide in her closet with a baseball bat and a big honking jar of Vaseline. Invite Tinder Asshole over one more time and let things heat up just a little, before singing out, "Oh, boyyyyyssss...."

Don't touch him, just let him believe it for about a minute. After he's done shitting himself, tell him, "Now, next time you even think about springing something painful and not expressly pre-negotiated on your sex partner, I want you to remember this moment, because that's what it feels like to be on the receiving end of your bullshit. It's NOT sexy, it's fucking traumatizing. Now get the hell out, and go re-think your life."
66
Gueralinda @53: 'I'd be terrified - yes terrified - if I consented to one level of "roughness" and it suddenly escalated mid-deed to whole other level of violence. Maybe my history of sexual assault is showing here, but I'd be scared I was about to be hurt, bad.'

Thanks for pointing out another aspect of this. Yes, being slapped like that could absolutely be a trigger for sexual assault survivors. And many, MANY, of us are sexual assault survivors. And that's probably not something one would have discussed with someone up to the third date. So the odds that you're going to subject a partner to reliving past traumas are far too high to not discuss whether they are OK with certain violent sex acts. I hope Sportlandia, Dirtygerty and Yasunori are still reading.

Undead @56: Also, this letter writer did not ask for rough sex. Her partner did. It can't be interpreted as "she got what she asked for," no matter how callous a jerk you are.

Zaius @59: What Alison @62 and Nocute @63 said, plus the additional point that she specifically consented to "choking" as one of the "rough sex" activities Mr Tinder proposed. She never consented to being slapped.
67
Ahhh, magic number. You're so close and yet so far...
68
@66: “I hope Sportlandia, Dirtygerty and Yasunori are still reading.”

Considering how long some have been posting and are still more than dumb to malicious about these topics, I doubt it.
69
And sadly “It can't be interpreted as "she got what she asked for," no matter how callous a jerk you are.”

Not if they care about her as a person even less than you think.
70
@44's question ("which is more likely") - to me the obvious answer is "the former" - it's at the gist of my response @1.

That @49, @50, @51, @53, @54, and @57 (etc) think it's the opposite is completely bewildering to me. All we *actually* know is that 1) they agreed to rough sex, and 2) afterwards he said "I thought you'd like it" when LW expressed her objections (We also know he 'tried to deflect blame' but that's ambiguous as to how it really looked). That take together certainly does not add up to "it's way more likely that he's a jerk who gets off on the shock and fear a woman shows" - That's projection of Limbaughian proportions.

To @51 "Does it matter?" - IT ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY MATTERS - it's the only thing that matters. If you want to predict future behavior, look at the processes that led to his actions. Surely, intentionally hurting someone is vastly different that accidentally hurting someone. The better person inside of us should forgive people who accidentally harm us; but not those who choose to harm us. It all comes down to what you think this guys intentions were. I don't see anything that leads me to believe he intended to offend LW (extra to @50, I'd be curious how you can reconcile that you are "typically a Pollyanna" but aren't in this case with no particular evidence of malice. Or is this like one of those "I'm 100% against the death penalty - except for So-and-so" stances?)

@48 You are hung up on wondering why the LW feels humiliated LW's fundamental question is "[I] wonder if I did something to lead him to believe I wanted to be slapped in the face". To me, questioning why she feels humiliated goes directly to that question (~"there is nothing to feel humiliated over").

@66 I think we can agree that the communication up front was insufficient - but it wasn't zero. They discussed having this rough sex beforehand. If LW has sexual violence trauma, that would have been the appropriate time to bring it up. I can't imagine that she has a trauma so specific that it includes face slapping, but no other elements of rough sex, and that she wouldn't think to say anything in their protracted lead up to the agreed-upon rough sex or mention it in her SLLOTD. Maybe she does, but that's some pretty nifty threading of the needle.

@68 Go fucking die, you're worthless.
71
@68: Your disinterest towards empathy is a running theme in all these “gosh, I can’t see what the fuss is” problems that you encounter regularly here.
72
She felt humiliated because he didn’t give a fuck about her feelings and there was no line of responsible healthy communication.

You pose this as if it’s fine and normal, but it’s not either. Perhaps it’s common among shitty wannabe Doms, but it’s a terrible thing to normalize. Consent and communication is what makes kink not abuse.
73
Sporty @70: The better person inside us should forgive people if they are truly sorry. It is not clear at all that Mr Tinder is truly sorry. Even if, and it's a big if, he really did just make a mental leap from "she liked being spanked on the ass, I bet she'll like being slapped across the face," or more likely if he simply didn't think in the heat of the moment about whether she'd like it or not, he was wrong to slap her without getting consent. Don't you see that? If he doesn't see that, then he hasn't earned her forgiveness. The answer to whether he just made a miscalculation versus whether he really intended to do something she wasn't okay with is just a difference of degree of how big an asshole he is, not whether he's an asshole.

That so many people think it's obvious the guy is a jerk who just wanted to hurt her shouldn't bewilder you. It's the same reason it's so obvious to you that he meant no harm: projection. You can easily put yourself in the place of a man who got carried away during rough sex. The rest of us can easily put ourselves in the place of women who were assaulted by men who meant us harm.

LW's fundamental question is not "why do I feel humiliated." It's "did I do anything to give him the impression I wanted this." Not so that she can understand her feelings, but so she can avoid situations like this in the future.

And you're making the incorrect assumption that no assault survivor would ever consent to "rough sex." As has been discussed here, people have wildly different ideas of "rough sex." This LW certainly never anticipated that it would involve face slapping, so she wouldn't have thought to warn her date that face slapping is a trigger for whatever reason. See Dan's story for some more "nifty threading of the needle."

Tl;dr -- please read all these comments; they're likely to help you avoid hurting someone unintentionally, if you actually care about not hurting someone unintentionally. I hope you do.
74
@73
I don't need to project. The guy is a blank canvas with only the traits assigned to him by LW. Perhaps I'm naive to assume the "default model" guy doesn't get off on seeing the surprise on a woman's face when they're slapped without consent - does that fairly represent most guys you've ever been with? Other Sloggers? Y'all think a random guy plucked out of a crowd is more likely to enjoy that than not?

But it's interesting that you directly equated "getting carried away with rough sex" with "likes being mean". That's essentially saying that intent doesn't matter and only the impacts matter. On it's own, that's a fair way to analyze the world - I disagree. I'll remember this later.

LW's ultimate question is informed primarily by her humiliation. She's not asking "did I do anything to give the impression that I wanted [my ass slapped/my lips kissed/called a bad name]". They're inseparable. If the foundation doesn't exist (or, in this case, is potentially refuted, as I don't think she's done anything to feel humiliated over) then surely everything atop it will likewise crumble.

And you're making the incorrect assumption that no assault survivor would ever consent to "rough sex." Explicitly, no I did not make the assumption. What I said was that their pre-sex talk would have been the appropriate time to bring it up. I made nothing resembling a comment about what trauma survivors might like or dislike.
75
See, Sporty, you have an opportunity here. You can choose to take MULTIPLE comments on board and say "huh, I didn't think face slapping was that big a deal, I guess I was wrong," and proceed to do better in future, in order to avoid causing your partners the humiliation this LW is feeling. Or you can choose to not care about their feelings, so long as your motives weren't malicious. Your choice.
76
Entirely in bad faith, but that’s nothing new.
77
Sporty @74 (comments crossed): Did you read Dan's example? Even he didn't think to say "no face slapping" to his partner because it had never occurred to him that his partner might slap his face. Same with this LW. I agree that the pre-sex talk would have been the appropriate time to bring it up -- for Mr Tinder to bring it up. He's the one who had the intention of including slapping in the rough sex. He's the one who's at fault for not discussing it.
78
70-Sportlandia-- Here's my evidence of malice: "Afterwards I felt humiliated and upset and mentioned this to him but he tried to deflect blame and said he thought I liked it."

Here's what he didn't say: "Oh, my god, I am SO sorry! Sex is supposed to be about pleasure, your pleasure. I got it wrong. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want anything more to do with me, but if you do, I promise to do better." And then he keeps the promise. (Like the boyfriend in Dan's example.)

This guy is acting like humiliation in the bedroom gives him license for humiliation outside it. It doesn't work that way.

But here's the thing. UGH asked if this was normal and asked if she did anything wrong. She didn't ask but it's implied what she should do from here. Dan's answer is that she didn't do anything wrong and that she should move on. Her question wasn't "Which one of us is to blame?"
79
@78: “Here's what he didn't say: "Oh, my god, I am SO sorry! Sex is supposed to be about pleasure, your pleasure. I got it wrong. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't want anything more to do with me, but if you do, I promise to do better." And then he keeps the promise”

Exactly. That’s what a decent man would do when faced with his explicit mistake.

80
@78 I find your dividing line between malice and not malice to be a bit too far. Would it have been better had he apologized as you wrote? Sure. But "I thought you'd like it" is not evidence of malice.

Bi... did you really suggest that my opinion should be informed because enough other people think a certain way? Shame on you. That's never been an appropriate way to form an opinion; but hey, history is rife with reactionary movements so I'm sure you'll find a home in one of them eventually. Try not to burn any witches on your way, just sayin'. Nonetheless, you're mixing up things (I suspect purposefully, but whatever): I'm not making an argument about if face-slapping is a big deal or not. Additionally, I was speaking to "any history of trauma that might give LW pause to participate in rough sex", not the face-slapping question. Dan didn't think to consider face slapping, but he also didn't have a history of sexual trauma, so his case isn't illustrative to your hypothetical (it's also unclear if he asked about rough sex at all beforehand, just that he was into it and surprise-slapped him). In any case, Dan didn't assume his partner did it because he "liked being mean" and "got off on seeing the reaction" as posters here have alleged, so even were his case similar, Dan exhibited my stance, which is, he didn't assume his partner was acting maliciously. Is this guy as gracious in apologizing as Dan's BF? No. But that's about the only difference given what we're told. The Coda on that story isn't given, but "I dumped him because he has hatefucking me" probably would have been included were that the case? I dunno maybe Dan will fill us in on that one.

Laaaastly. I've slapped a face or three. I'm "curious" about it, but as Allison pointed out, there's too many ways for it to go wrong for it to be a fun part of sex for me, a non-sadist. Therefore I'm not particularly concerned about making this particular mistake. I have in the past done things that my partners haven't liked, but I'm pretty clear when I'm having sex that we're both here to enjoy ourselves; ultimately the core of my gratification is that my partners enjoys what I'm doing, so there's no joy in "sneaking one in", whatever [one] means. it works out alright, sexually.
81
My bf flogged me in the face by accident once and it was awf. He’d been flogging my chest (great!) and accidentally extended too far up and - face flog. I didn’t realize that was a hard limit until it happened- no face hitting for me. I started sobbing when it happened. Scene ended, no more sexy time that night.
And in the years since that incident we've taken to calling unintended moment ruining events like that “face flogging” and it’s just become part of our shared language.
82
Sporty @80: "But 'I thought you'd like it' is not evidence of malice."

No. It's evidence of selfishness, thoughtlessness, not giving a crap about how his non-negotiated violence toward his partner made his partner feel. It's that all-important difference (in your mind) between being a self-centered asshole and an abusive asshole. Can I just kick you in the balls with impunity if I claim to have "thought you'd like it"? Would that make your balls, or your pride, hurt any less?

Shame on me? For thinking you might actually be a human being who might be willing to learn something? Fool me twice, shame on me indeed.

"I've slapped a face or three." Gee, spoiler alert. But you're not projecting, oh no...

Look dude. If I had the occasion to learn that something I was doing without giving much thought to it might actually be highly unpleasant, even humiliating for the other person involved, I'd immediately rethink my actions, apologise to anyone whose feelings I'd disregarded, and resolve to be a better Dom/lover/human being going forward.

If you're so sure you've behaved respectfully and consensually in all situations, then why are you so adamantly defending this man who clearly didn't? Hmm.
83
"I've slapped a face or three."

Aaaand, there we have it! Dude, don't hit your girlfriends in the face unless they've specifically ok'd it. Yeah, you probably really hurt someone and they think you're a bit of a shit for it, and arguing about it's no big deal to slap someone in the face won't change that. Just accept you did something shitty and don't do it again.
84
@82 I must have erased the part where I mentioned I've always asked/had it asked of me. Sloppy editing on my part. @83 I didn't do anything shitty or hurt anyone, sorry to ruin your righteous boner.

You speak as if you've never once thought "I thought you'd like it" when challenged. Just imagine you were the anonymous person in someone's Savage Love letter and the entirety of your thoughts and actions were parsed from a single sentence.

Actually, I am projecting: I was the default kid to blame in school growing up. I was the only non-white/asian kid. I was more than a year younger than my classmates - I was 5 in first grade. My mom had me when she was 20, a single mother on welfare; my classmates to a person had two well-off parents. They had houses in Wallingford, we lived in a small apartment off Aurora - I was the only person in my class bussed in. I was small. I talked differently. I had shabby clothes. I couldn't play during recess because I'd get the shit beat out of me. I was an easy target. Something broke? Must have been me. Something went missing? Everyone "knew" I stole it. Did well on an assignment? Must have cheated. I had a toy? "Don't bring a toy unless you plan to share it!". Anyone else? "Don't be greedy!". That was the way it went. What I've learned as an adult is that this behavior doesn't actually change when people get older - someone gets cast as below the rest, and it's free game, today's villains are basically subhumans in the discourse.

So yes, when I see all the upright-people piling on someone based on a scintilla of evidence, treating them with the maximum amount of bad faith, for failing to be absolutely perfect, ascribing motives out of thin air, I'm triggered and defensive.
85
Sporty @84: Ah, but I have been the person who slapped a face or fingered an arse without asking. Because I thought they'd like it, or because I didn't give enough thought in the moment to whether they'd like it. And that makes me a bit of a douche. And I know better today; those, among other things, are things I would specifically ask about, now that I have a better concept of consent. But more important than whether I slapped a face or fingered an arse because I thought the person would, or might, like it, was how I reacted when they told me they didn't. I am pleased to report that I did not escalate my douchery to abuse by disregarding how THEY felt about what I had done to THEM, but rather apologised and said I'd never do it again, and learned from the experience that maybe I should proceed with a bit more caution.

Thank you for sharing why it's so difficult for you to admit you're in the wrong here. You're right, this defensiveness is not useful when YOU have hurt SOMEONE ELSE'S feelings. In these cases, you need to adult up, move past your childhood traumas, and take responsibility for your own adult behaviour. (General you as well as Mr Tinder you; you've conflated yourselves into one Bad Guy here.) Even applying the maximum amount of GOOD faith, this guy screwed up. That's what you refuse to see.
86
I think we just don't really have enough information here.

I can imagine in my head a scenario where a clueless but truly well-meaning guy was taken aback when he found out he'd upset his partner, and came out with "I thought you'd like it!" and was defensive, from a bit of freaking out on his own end. I would like to hope that person would later come around with an apology, but I can see how one might not happen at the time. I imagine that a picture like that is what Sportlandia is imagining.

I can also imagine a situation where a guy who's kinda a douche slaps his partner without asking, knowing she probably would have said no, and then pretends he thought that was okay when confronted. I imagine that's what many others here are imagining.

We don't know. That's the joy of advice columns, you can't sum up a situation in two paragraphs. We can each give advice based on the version of the situation we're imagining, and the LW has to use all the extra info they possess to make a call.
87
@83: If only he spent the same time considering his actions as he does trying to impress the peanut gallery.
88
@85: "you've conflated yourselves into one Bad Guy here"

And that's the dumb thing here, instead of trying to figure out how onesself and others can be better, the crippling fear of "being the bad guy" leads guy A to make excuses for guy B who does things they supposedly wouldn't dream of doing. Because guy A doesn't want to be called "a bad guy" and guy B does something "bad", guy B's actions must be minimized so that "bad" is called into question to begin with.

It makes no fucking sense. People don't always make the right decision at the time, and it may not reflect on them as a whole if they care, but we talk here about the idealized scenarios that should be and how people should act here. Why not argue for the best that we can do now and going forward?

Maybe it's just the kneejerk internet devils advocates at work, where they feel compulsed to take a contrary position because it makes them feel special?
89
"So yes, when I see all the upright-people piling on someone based on a scintilla of evidence, treating them with the maximum amount of bad faith, for failing to be absolutely perfect, ascribing motives out of thin air, I'm triggered and defensive."

None of this is bad faith, attacking someone for "failing to be perfect" or ascribing motives out of thin air.

At what point in your adult life will you be able to set aside your thin skin and accept some manner of responsibility for your actions and aim for better?

Nobody here can see any of why you claim you were harassed in your early life, only how you choose to present yourself today. And that is someone who consistently goes out of his way to minimize harmful behavior no matter how unacceptable.
90
Doing a dick move is not even the important part here.

Self-realization and the ability to handle when you've fucked up and account for it going forward to yourself and others is the important part. You get far too obsessed with which party fucked up more versus what can be done about this by the aggrieving party, and how they could have handled it better.
91
Apologies to CMD, pulling a jerk/douchebag move.
92
@85 hold the muthaphucking phone: You've actually done that stuff without permission - and I must assume, that you did that on purpose in order to be mean and to get off on the reaction of your partner? Otherwise, how is it possible that you can't identify with someone who is in the exact same position as you?? This is what I'm talking about when I say that you desire to hold others to a standard you wouldn't dare hold yourself to. Ah, I see, you can brush it off with "I was a bit of douche", I guess that's better than zero.
93
@92: She learned to communicate and express herself in a more active, healthy manner and that's exactly why she's not making excuses for the LW's partner's poor handling of his actions and the continued bad feelings she's taking from the encounter.
94
If only you worried about how persons should act versus these silly attempts to catch someone in a hypocrisy they never implied.
95
@93 unless she learned all that in the 5 seconds after when she fingered/slapped someone without permission. But whatever. Make as many excuses for your friends as you like, you're still a hypocrite.
96
Undead @88: Exactly. People make mistakes. Whatever Mr Tinder's motives may have been, he at minimum made the mistake of assuming something instead of asking, and his assumption turned out to be wrong. When you make a wrong assumption, you need to deal with the consequences -- in this case, that she felt hurt and humiliated. His actions caused this, advertently or in-, now what's he going to do about them? Getting defensive about his motives is not the answer she wants, and is not going to reassure her that he's a good person. Owning that he screwed up, attempting to empathise, apologising, and changing his behaviour is.

Sporty @92: I can identify, that's the point. He made a mistake. I too have made mistakes. As have you. We are all human. The important thing is to own your mistakes, which this guy did not do, and which you are consistently arguing that he has no need to do. And learn from your mistakes, which you will never do if you keep defending them. So, no. Read the rest of my post. One of my partners said he didn't like his bum fingered. I did NOT make him responsible for my misjudgment by claiming "I thought you'd like it, therefore I'm blameless for not asking first." I accepted that I was in the wrong, apologised, and didn't do that again. Which is exactly what I've been arguing Mr Tinder needs to do to redeem himself here. If he doesn't accept he was wrong, he'll do it again, to other unsuspecting women. And THAT is the most important thing here: not whether he fucked up (yes), not why he fucked up, not the extent to which he fucked up, but understanding that he fucked up and doing better in future. Which he will never do if he keeps excusing himself with an "I thought you'd like it."
97
Sporty, you keep wondering why other commenters are assuming the worst about Mr Tinder, instead of giving him the benefit of the doubt. The reason is because of the way he reacted when called out. A good person with good intentions would have apologised, not blamed the victim. This guy blamed the victim. Therefore, he's obviously not a good person with good intentions.
98
This high-tension obsession with perfection (which we do not share, more looking for an idealized self to strive towards) is again something to work out with a licensed professional, because discussing flawed people online seems to be triggering all sorts of unresolved pain points that have little to do with the actual topic.

Of course we all see ourselves in the LWs to an extent, empathizing with aspects of both parties is necessary, but one should never advocate for bad decisions and bad handling of the bad decisions because we received a bad outcome and it made us feel bad. In many cases, if we hurt a person, we need to understand how much worse off the other person is versus nursing wounds and proclaiming “good guy status” like some sort of magickal charm.

Self-ascription is irrelevant and I’d rather do better as a person and encourage others to not do ill than focus (counterproductively) on any self-image. Of course the past can bother, but we have some measure of control over the present and the future, we’re not entirely tethered to our past fuckups. Bound to the already made decisions but not to those same choices or steps that could lead towards those choices in the future.

I mean, it’s not as if retconning the decisions as “okay” somehow is improving how one feels about making bad ones, the attacks on anyone who feels the wrong party is wrong is evidence that it’s not leaving you at peace either.

Ultimately, some to many of us could have an article written about us from the other side in the past. That’d hurt! But it wouldn’t necessarily be wrong, at the time. I’d like to think we’re interested here because we are curious about how persons work through problems. It’s often too late to fix them by the time the letters are written, but I’m interested in figuring out how they occur in the first place, before the series of compounding errors makes the LW to me objectively bad for the pairing. Their true soul is irrelevant for the scope of the topic.
99
And also, downplaying the victim’s feelings (wrt any lasting humiliation over the encounter) because you feel that the other party is “a good dude” (because you’ve fucked up in the past) is likely not portraying what you feel as you think it may.
100
@96 No, no, no, no, no, ten zillion times no.

You are so stuck to one particular conclusion that you're twisting everything to fit that conclusion.

Firstly, does the BF "Blame the victim"? No. He "deflects blame". He says "I thought you'd like it". That's everything we know about his post-action actions. Neither of those indicate any ("a scintilla") victim blaming or any of the victims feelings whatsoever. The coda "therefore I am blameless" was entirely invented by you and does not follow. When you stuck your finger in someone's ass, you "thought they'd like it" but somehow in your case, that doesn't round up to "and therefore I am blameless" aznd therefore you were not a victim blamer - so upright of you! But it does for this character. I'd be interested to hear how you can differentiate between him and you, since we have no idea of this gentlemen adapted and changed or not. You wrote "he keeps excusing himself" as part of your evidence that he's not, but he doesn't "keep" excusing himself - he excused himself once, you just read the sentence thirty or forty times as you've checked in with this thread, like it's some sort of weird riff on Dorian Gray but instead we think George Washington is still crossing the Hudson because the picture never moves.

Secondly, I am explicitly, stated repeatedly, not "consistently arguing that he has no need to [own his mistakes]". I've been arguing that the assignations and assumptions "he likes to be mean", "He gets off on the reaction" are simply invented and non-logical. Unless of course your default model for "man" is that of a incipient sex criminal. You might even nod your head in agreement here, which is fine: Just don't ever tell anyone shit about how not everyone fits some stereotype (as you have on numerous occasions, because of course you have because not everyone fits the stereotype)

@99 I haven't fucked up in the past, at least not in this way. The only thing I've ever done without asking (other than some negotiated non-consent play) is kiss and hold hands.

Afew posters have written (@32 etc) something to the effect of "here's an ideal response - but this guy didn't give the ideal response, so he's [deserving of an intentionally cruel dumping]". That line between acceptable and unacceptable is all the way over to one side: The ideal response, or fuck. That's not "my obsessions with perfection"

Lastly @Undead, I've heard the menopause has a pretty extreme impact on cognitive function and memory, so perhaps you might be more served by therapy and medication yourself than suggesting it to strangers on the internet, just a thought.
101
Sporty @100: "You are so stuck to one particular conclusion that you're twisting everything to fit that conclusion."

Um... that's what YOU'RE doing, dude.

"Firstly, does the BF "Blame the victim"? No. He "deflects blame"."

Such a huge difference! Dude, really. "Deflecting blame" is the opposite of "accepting blame," which is what grownups should do WHEN THEY ARE IN THE WRONG.

When you stuck your finger in someone's ass, you "thought they'd like it" but somehow in your case, that doesn't round up to "and therefore I am blameless" aznd therefore you were not a victim blamer - so upright of you! But it does for this character. I'd be interested to hear how you can differentiate between him and you.

Like I said, repeatedly, I DIDN'T DEFLECT BLAME. I accepted the blame. I said I was sorry, I actually was sorry, and I learned from my mistake. You're right, we have no evidence that Mr Tinder did any of this. I strongly suspect that if he did, we wouldn't have a letter; UGH would have accepted the apology, and either decided she liked him enough to forgive him or not, but either way, would not have written Dan asking if it was her fault, because he'd have assured her that it was his.

You wrote "he keeps excusing himself" as part of your evidence that he's not, but he doesn't "keep" excusing himself"

Fair. YOU keep excusing him. You've conflated yourself with him, because, having "slapped a face or three," you can identify with this guy, but you're completely incapable of identifying with UGH, which is exactly the point. You can't see beyond your own excuses for his unacceptable behaviour to consider the effect it had on someone who is, in fact, BLAMELESS. (Actually, not fair. I said "IF he keeps excusing himself." He has an opportunity to learn here. As do you, but you've chosen to squander it.)

If someone wrote to Dan saying "This person did something and I felt humiliated," and I'd done the thing, my reaction would be "oh shit, I didn't realise that my actions could have that effect, I will think more carefully before I do that thing." Not, "Well I didn't mean any harm so their feelings aren't valid." You've done nothing this entire time but invalidate the feelings of someone who was subjected to sudden, unexpected pain and humiliation. And you know what, fuck your triggering childhood, because you are supposedly an adult and you still refuse to listen to somebody else's side here.

I'm not arguing that Mr Tinder slapped UGH because he wanted to be a dick. I'm saying, let's just give him the benefit of the doubt and accept that he actually DID think she'd like it. WHAT HE DID WAS STILL WRONG!

"Intentionally cruel dumping"?
Dumping someone because they slapped your face without asking is "cruel"?

I'm done here. I honestly thought you might actually be listening. Fool me twice, shame on me indeed.