There’s been a lot of talk of sexual harassment and sexual assault recently. I get and understand that. It’s a huge issue, and it needs to stop and not be taken lightly. People need to be respected.
Now you know there is going to be a but….
And I don’t mean a but those things are OK….
I mean a but I feel we’ve lost something…..
Here’s my anecdote. I remember meeting a boy who I liked very much. I was 18. I met him through some friends. We went on a first date. Through both those things he was totally respectful of me and my personal space. I wanted him to kiss me. I wanted him to kiss me so badly. When he finally did, it was magic and perfect and probably the kiss I want to think about on my deathbed. It was everything.
Here’s the thing: would that penultimate moment have been ruined if he said “I’m going to put my arms around you and pull you into me. Is that acceptable?” “Ok good. Now I’m going to lean in and kiss you passionately. Am I breaking any boundaries by doing this?”
Honestly, I don’t know if the kiss would mean the same thing to me.
My city bestie and I disagree with this. She thinks every move between two people should be verbally documented. I think this takes the fun out of it.
To what level do we need to consent to being touched by another person?
I understand personal space- I like my boundaries. I try to be respectful of the invisible wall people put around themselves (which is SO hard in New York where I am more intimately acquainted with a stranger on the subway than I am in bed with my Husband)
Have we inadvertently gone back 200 years when men and women needed to be chaperoned? Do people need to be chaperoned in order to not be accused of sexual impropriety? Do we need someone in the room so that we can be sure that every touch is wanted?
Does a first kiss between two people need to be contractual?
What do you all think? What’s the line on this? What is and is not acceptable?
All various forms of thought are welcome- I’m still thinking this one out.