Where’s the Line?

I think western society (very generally speaking) pushes a lot of boundaries. Sometimes that’s a good thing, like when it’s to challenge certain inequalities. Sometimes, certain boundaries are better left in place. Normally, I have a healthy respect for existing boundaries, particularly personal ones.

5 or 6 years ago, I had my boundaries pushed quite far. K was the second person I’d ever fooled around with, and certainly possessed a sharp tongue. K would say some truly appalling things, smirk at me and give me an appraising look to see if I’d rise to the bait. And I mean along the lines of, “those stupid fags” and regularly mocking the Asian accent. Interestingly, K never wanted to try full penetrative sex. Rather vehemently, K said, “I’ve been fucked over and I don’t want to do that to anyone else.” Oook…

If you asked me then if I’d ever push someone’s boundaries for the sake of it, I’d immediately answer with a horrified, “No!” But here we are.

Today in lab, we were doing a few different activities. M, who has given a flirty vibe since Day 1, immediately sat next to me and said, “Partners?” (Note: this is a different M to the one who sends unwelcome texts. This M is Australian, not North American.) The activities included testing the ability to discriminate distinct touch, temperatures, taste and proprioception. All very touchy-feely. I thought to myself, “Stuff it.” and went for it. I made sure M kept the blindfold on for the entire 2 hours. I subtly stroked M’s wrist with one hand while using the compass. I intermittently brushed my inner forearm against M’s leg when testing styluses against the skin with different temperatures. I grazed M’s cheek and jaw with my left hand when I held it still and put the different solutions on the tongue. I blatantly flirted by pouring a solution of quinine all over M’s tongue, ducking out of the way, laughing teasingly and rubbing M’s back.

Do I feel guilty? Not really. It was a low-budget lab.

But was that cheating? (vis-a-vis my last post)

Good question. Well… M is cute, there’s no denying that.

  1. What was my motivation for doing what I did? To see how far I could push the boundaries and see the results.
  2. Should I have done it? Probably not, but it was pretty fun. Particularly when I saw a certain someone else get a bit jealous and engage in a bit of physical flirting too. J does have a boyfriend, though he’s in Melbourne.
  3. Have I led M on to think that this could be something? I don’t think so, M knew what was going on and played along just the same.

Can bantering that ever so slightly verges on flirting (ok, not at all in this case) be considered crossing the line? In this case, M is happy to give mixed signals and knows the game. I’m never going to get involved beyond lighthearted fun. If both parties have full knowledge of the situation and there are virtually no consequences… is that so bad?

What do you think?

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