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?


Skyfall Part 2

I present, another textual exchange, following the movie. P ratings are dramatically down at this week’s close.

P: Just told A how I knew you. Well not EXACTLY where we met! he thought you were very nice 🙂

me: Yeah? That’d be pretty ballsy. He seems like a cool guy. thanks for the movie, I had fun 🙂

P: He’s my best friend. Even though that makes me sound like a five year old.

me: (no reply)

It took me a bit to work out what to write. I wanted to say, “Well how do we know each other?” but that would be too overt. And it’d be too reminiscent of a high maintenance girl, something we want to most definitely avoid.

I am still angry and annoyed. Don’t call me princess. I’m not your princess. I’m not yours. After all, if you’ve only ever said, “We’re friends,” and occasionally “friends with benefits,” what am I to think?* I crushed tiny little hopes that you liked me at the start and dutifully stomped them down again months into it. I started Pristiq because I was that upset.

You’d have to be blind, deaf and dumb to not notice I was angry with you. I barely looked at you or said anything before the movie. I’m not going to refuse to enjoy the movie. Guns, explosions, action, suspense with a central British spy, I’m there. But I’m still unhappy.

It’s been more than a year since you first met me. Despite my emphatic suppression of feelings, I’ve come to really like you and think you like me. You have this implacable and unflappable demeanour which is great for keeping me calm, but it frustrates me when I want a response that isn’t so understanding, that has some more emotion to it.

If this is the first time I’m meeting one of your friends, I want them to like me. I want them to think I’m mature, not some dalliance. Telling me I can’t hold your hand and to harden up feels like a rejection of my affection for you. And calling me princess is along the same wavelength as when girls call me cute, it’s emasculating and demeaning. That’s probably why I’m still angry at you.

I want you to tell me you’re sorry. I want your cuddles and kisses. Show me that you care, that you’re not embarrassed of me.

Maybe I’ll start taking Pristiq regularly again.

*I wonder if this is what Emma Watson was referring to in her interview with Ellen Degeneres, on dating English vs. American guys:

Usually in the whole courting situation, I’m used to being, first of all, ignored for the first two months of the ritual. And then maybe they’ll acknowledge my presence, and then they’ll probably be a little mean to me.. and then maybe we’ll .. you know, whatever. Then I arrive in America, and I remember a few nights into Brown [University], this guy just being like, “I like you. You’re great. Let’s go on a date. Let’s do it.” I’m like, “I’m sorry, what just happened?”