Leaving Societal Norms Behind

How to Damage a Friendship

How to Damage a Friendship

A close friend of mine (we’ll call Laura) had a man share a sex dream with her without her asking for it. He crossed a boundary she had not asked him to do. The guy said he was sorry, but does that really matter? I personally don’t believe in apologies, as they get used as place holders for future actions. It’s an I Owe You to be a better person someday and rarely gets cashed in in most cases. Still, I’d like to think this guy was different. This guy was me. I crossed the line, and I’ve regretted it ever since.

I’d like to talk about being friends with women as a heterosexual(ish) male, and, also, what NOT to do. I’m not going to use my platform to simply criticize other men. I’m going to talk about how I accidentally did exactly what I thought I would never do, cross someone I care abouts boundaries without permission. 

I try to be well informed and conscious of how my actions may affect those around me. I know that I don’t always wear my emotions on my face, so that it might come off as spacey or unsettling. As a guy with broad shoulders and wide chest, I generally hold my body language regarding who I’m talking to in the front of my mind, making sure people don’t feel blocked by my presence. Despite all this I still fucked up. I realize in retrospect why, though it doesn’t change that I did it and whether or not she reads this article doesn’t change it. I hold myself accountable for my actions. To date, she’s been far kinder than she ever had to be.

In case someone reading this isn’t aware, I am a fulltime student, which I think will come into play later. Laura is someone I have always held in high regard. She’s witty and intelligent but hides behind a disarming sort of stoner-esque vibe. Woe to anyone who mistakes her for dumb though.  She goes above and beyond for her friends to a near Saintly level. We share quite a few intellectual similarities. We have a mutual belief that nudity is as natural as art, and that people should move towards not sexualizing it. So when a picture she posted reminded me of a sex dream I had, I asked if she wanted to hear it. I did not share right up front that it was a  sex dream. At that moment, I didn’t think it mattered.  To me, it was a little steamy but shouldn’t change anything.  Being exhausted from staying up all night doing homework, all of that sounded like logic, and that overstepped her boundaries.   There’s a lot from that situation I should have done differently. I always assumed her sort of asexual, though that doesn’t make me any less of a dumbass.

So, here’s the ultimate lesson I want to impart. I believe platonic friendship is something you should embrace and do what you can to protect. It’s important to have people you trust who can see you from a different light than yourself. Unless she explicitly asks for a dick pic, for you to relay a fantasy, or tells you she wants to hear about a sex dream, she doesn’t want it. If you aren’t already in a sexual relationship, don’t share them.  Since Polyamory has a lot of overlap with the kink communities, What is and isn’t acceptable to share may have some overlap too, depending on the people involved. But unless you are keenly aware of that person’s comforts, it’s better not to risk it. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle, as much as you might wish you could.

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Fulltime Human

I'm an over 40 cisgendered heterosexual guy that runs as solo poly while I go back to school to become a licensed therapist. I also work as a Crisis Counselor for a text line. If you are in crisis, text "Home" to 741741 and someone will help you out.

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