April 23rd, 2008

hobbies need fewer stigmas

(no subject)

theferrett recently made a post entitled the Open-Source Boob Project, which detailed a lovely dynamic among good friends which would absolutely not scale to larger (or less mutually known) groups. It's acquired a lot of commentary, both good and bad. In discussing casual sexual touch, it manages to anger a vast number of people. That's not all that surprising. In one of its many echoed replies, springheel_jack writes that male geeks have a tendency to be socially immature and repeat the mistakes of society at large by having not learned the basics in their youth. He suggests that this explains the sci-fi con as a setting for the Open Source Boob Project, and talks about the factors in male, heterosexual geeks that he thinks explain the problems. Since he claims only to speak for male, heterosexual geeks, there are some excellent replies from female geeks on their own reactions:

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Powerful things both. And sparkymonster finally nails what has bothered *me* most about the backlash to all of this, and what I think is getting lost in the shuffle:

I do believe that learning how to give and receive different kinds of touch is important and can be healing. I think more people should get massages (professional and otherwise). I also think before you can give and receive touch, you need to learn how to set boundaries. Part of setting physical boundaries includes having a solid sense of self.

Giving and receiving touch in a place where people's boundaries are respected, where consent is asked for, where declining touch is acceptable (and not taken as a personal slight), and where there are a variety of different bodies is amazing. It's really fantastic. It's also difficult to set up, is not something everyone is ever going to want (which is totally fine), and is prone to abuse. Also, unless you do it in a private closed space, it is going to anger/upset/disturb people. And my right to get multi person massage or have an orgy, does not trump someone else's right to not have to deal with it.

Bingo. Just utterly right. And yes, it's angering/upsetting/disturbing people, which doesn't make it a bad thing. *That* is what I haven't been able to articulate about all this.