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Thread: Inappropiate Touch Tuesdays

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array You's Avatar
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    Jun 2010

    Default Inappropiate Touch Tuesdays

    Inappropiate Touch Tuesdays
    Tags: Tosh.0 Videos,Daniel Tosh,Web Redemption

    Yesterday, in the lounge at work a co-worker walked in from his task. He sat down on the fouton between where two people. On the right was a woman, on the left was a man. Cordially, as well as humorously, the co-worker put his hand on the man's leg. This joke was readily dismissed by the man, as he quickly, shockingly, and big-eyed, pushed the co-workers hand away. As often it goes in these incedence of tension, I laughed, as did others. The "toucher" proceeded, lightly harassing the person, until the young man had his arms crossed on the couch, his eyes wide, staring at the ground as we proceeded into a conversation. Eventually, he got up and left - likely to cool off.

    After he was trolled into leaving, one of the other interns said it was possible that he'd been "messed with as a child", implying that such a strong reaction to a familial, but mainly jesting, touch was out of sorts. Also, this comment was to suggest that the toucher should not have tested the man's boundaries. From the tension off-set by turning the relationship tactile, it was evident that there may be a more violent reaction - seeing as the man pushed the hand away so quickly.

    I was a bit unsure if the interaction might turn violent. Yet, it got me thinking. What is inappropiate? Lets say we change the context. Or we change the relationship - not in degree of familarity - but I assume the response would change. Lets say it was a girl who touched this man on his knee. Would he had responded so angrily? Would that be true if the female was a stranger? A lot of questions that I could only answer myself. I'm more interested on gathering data on daily "feely-touchy" boundaries people may have. Not so much interested in catching a case about sexual harassment. So I ask...

    How do you define inappropiate touching for yourself? What are your boundaries? Who can and can not touch you? Oh yeah, and where can they touch you? Hmm...

    Is this too much?

    Oh, its

  2. #2
    Iron Maiden Array fidelia's Avatar
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    May 2009
    1w2 so/sx


    It's funny - it doesn't necessary depend on how well I know someone. I think I look at their motivations for touching (are they being skeevy, or is it a natural outgrowth of how they interact with everyone), their sensitivity to my comfort level and the context in which they touch me. I also look at how they relate to others and also what kind of a relationship we have/intend to have.

    Culture is also a part of it. When I was in Quebec, I was surprised to find how much more touchy French Canadians were generally, compared to English Canada, which is a lot more reserved. In my culture, I would take a man touching my knee as showing some kind of sexual intent, as that is not something people would accept outside of that context. However, when I was in Quebec, I was surprised that some fo the men I knew would touch your arm or leg for emphasis without it coming across as lecherous or sexual at all. If they were sensitive to my comfort level, it really didn't bother me.

    I don't tend to initiate touch a lot, even though I'm generally okay with being touched. I don't like excessive displays of touchiness or affection unless it's someone that I do genuinely feel close to though, even when it's same sex.

    A fellow grad student that I knew on a formal friend basis (eg wouldn't hang out at each other's houses but might go for lunch with a group of mutual friends) stunned me once by playfully whacking my butt with a stack of papers he had. I didn't appreciate that but was so surprised I said nothing at the time. After, I wished I had.

    Generally, I don't want people I'm not close to touching my head, or roughly neck to knees unless there is a reason to be doing so (eg doctor, dentist, hairdresser). I had a dentist hit on me once while I was in the chair and there was a nurse standing right there. He had a gloved hand on one side of my face as he was talking to me (he had just been looking at my teeth) and started stroking my face with his thumb as he commented on not having ever met me before even though we both lived in a fairly small community and that he would have remembered me if he had. Again, I was so stunned that I didn't figure out what to say until after the fact.

  3. #3


    Quote Originally Posted by Idris View Post
    How do you define inappropiate touching for yourself? What are your boundaries? Who can and can not touch you? Oh yeah, and where can they touch you? Hmm...
    People can touch me anywhere except my naughty bits.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Lark's Avatar
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    Jun 2009


    I can understand the guys reaction, it doesnt need to necessarily imply they've been a victim of abuse either but it could be a greater indicator of whether or not they were bullied at school or primary school or pre-school. You'd be surprised the impact that can have, from becoming edgy in social settings like bars, lounges, pubs or even shopping centres to appearing to have an aversion to physical contact even in relationships with sexual partners, where you'd expect there to be less boundaries or "flinching".

    I dont like physical contact at all, especially from taller people and particularly taller women, which I think could be a reflection of bad experiences I had in primary and secondary school. I was also bullied at school and in the community growing up. So far as being threatened by groups of strangers, small groups of three or more, if I went out on my bike. I also had some big female cousins, who lived next door and had us terrified myself and my brother and would bully us telling us that their drive which was our own access to the street couldnt be used by us when we went to take out bikes out.

    All that could be contributory factors but culturally its never been the case that we where very tactile in our family or among friends or any other social settings, my primary school had a lot of people who I know now were subject to extremely hostile parenting or home environments, they'd interact violently with peers or others and some of their relationships since could be described as being scarred by domestic violence. The UK in the seventies and NI during the troubles were marked by a culture of being "hard", not letting your feelings show, not being tactile unless you were being aggressive, at least among the working classes. That's changed even in the space of my life time.

    I generally let people know right away when the opportunity arises that I appreciate my personal space, even that I've got issues with people about height, and remind them as necessary.

  5. #5
    Let me count the ways Array HelenOfTroy's Avatar
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    Jan 2010
    7W6 sp/sx


    Some people are touchy feely other are not. It is never ok to invade someone's personel space if they do not wish it.
    It is situation dependant, i do not see why the guy mentioned needs to have any type of excuse other than he did'nt want this other person to touch him. I call harassment.
    "We knew he was someone who had a tragic flaw, that's where his greatness came from"

  6. #6
    i love Array skylights's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
    6w7 so/sx
    EII Ne


    ^ yeah i agree, that was kind of ridiculous. it'd be funny if the guy responded in kind - it would have been a total win if the guy had grabbed his upper thigh or his hand or something - but that was pushing it pretty far i think.

    to me totally depends on the overall feeling i get from the person. if someone's warm and friendly and gestures a lot - you can tell they are a very kinesthetic person - then it's no big deal when they put a hand on my leg, or wrap an arm around my shoulder. but if they're hesitant and suddenly launch forward, or if they're overall very grabby, nuh uh. but then people who are close get different allowances - i know personally i am touchy-feely but only with very close friends and family.

    rofl @ thread title btw

  7. #7


    You especially don't do that sh!t at work.

  8. #8
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    Aug 2010


    People who I like can touch me. People who I dislike can try to touch me, at the risk of losing appendages.

  9. #9
    Klingon Warrior Princess Array Patches's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    6w5 sp/sx


    I'm not a touchy person. I am certainly not ok with strangers touching me. Not ok with acquaintances and most friends touching me either.

    Actually when I first moved into this apartment, I was living with 3 other girls. Because of this, I ended up engaged in some social circle of people outside of our door. The guard was there chatting. At one point one of the guys noticed I hadn't said a word, and walked over to me to put his arm around me and ask me questions. As soon as his arm went up, I did this fast duck-and-weave move away from him. The kid was all offended and was like, "what, don't you like me or something?". The guard, (who is very good at reading people) just went, "Naw dude. She has like a 2 foot personal bubble around her. Watch this." and he stood right next to me. He wasn't touching me, but he was definitely TOO CLOSE. *slowly backs away*
    “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside
    them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe.” -Neil Gaiman


  10. #10


    Quote Originally Posted by Patches View Post
    "Naw dude. She has like a 2 foot personal bubble around her. Watch this." and he stood right next to me. He wasn't touching me, but he was definitely TOO CLOSE. *slowly backs away*
    MC Hammer is apparently like that.

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