Just One Of those Things—The Ethics Of Hope & Denial

A friend of mine that enjoys challenging me with writing topics sent me this, and I’ve been mulling it over a while.

I have a friend. When he starts dating someone, they are literally engaged to be married by the third date. Yet he has never been married, these relationships always fall apart before that happens. His friends point out that perhaps he should take things slower; he is unmoved, and says he has to be all in.

I don’t know him to be kinky, but in kink terms he has a fetish for falling in love. To make that work, clearly he has to tell himself that things will be different this time every time he starts a relationship. Basically he has to lie to himself. People lie to themselves all the time, so that in itself isn’t so shocking. The problem of course is by extension he has to lie to his partner.

My question for you is this. How many times can he have an engagement fall apart before it becomes unethical to put another person in this situation? How many times can a person get divorced before it becomes unethical to promise to be with someone forever? How many times can you cheat on someone before it becomes unethical to make commitments of monogamy?

I don’t know the answer to those questions. Believing things can be different is the definition of hope. Believing you can do the same thing and get different results is the definition of stupidity.

I had to think on this for while.

Because ethics in this case are dependent on whether the person in question (repeating patterns over and over) is self-aware enough to realize they are heading down the same path again.

Do they sincerely hope and quite possibly believe that THIS TIME will be different?

And if not, the ethics can be quite convoluted.

It’s my position that as long as this person is 100% honest (and that means honest as they can be, considering the force of their denial) with their new partners, they are being ethical.

Thing is, no matter how ethical they are, people can be hurt.

Which is why I suggest that everyone take their time and get to know people, even if it feels fuckballs amazing right from the get go.

Ask questions about previous relationships.

Not because you think your relationship will be the same. All relationships have the potential to be unique and different.

But for two reasons:

  1. To spot patterns from previous relationships when they start to happen with you.
  2. To learn how they have processed and grown from the previous relationships in how they talk about them and in how they interact with you.

And maybe one more reason:

  1. To determine whether the person who has these sorts of issues is one you want to continue building a relationship with.

That last one may get me some flak, and I’m ready for it.

EVERYONE has a right to choose who they want to engage with, and that includes people with specific past relationship issue that they may have been hurt by before, or that they just don’t feel they are compatible with.

I always think it’s a good idea to ask these questions BEFORE you have gotten in too deep.

But that’s me.

And I could be wrong.

On all of this.

What do you think?

Do you think that anyone can be ethically held accountable for things they may not even be aware of themselves? For how their relationship patterns play out (assuming no actual abuse), or the things they have denied as issues?

I bet you can come up with examples that would be “yeses.”

I bet you can also see where there are many examples where the answer is a resounding “no.”

I look forward to your thoughts.

Writing Prompt: Avoid False Friendship At All Costs

Avoid False Friends

“Avoid false friendship at all costs.”

I agree.

Motivational speaker Jim Rohn famously said that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with.

Stop and think about that for a few moments.

The people we surround ourselves with help us sort right from wrong, ethical from unethical, and desirable from undesirable.

So, surrounding ourselves with people who don’t like us (but pretend to) is also exposing ourselves to people who are duplicitous as a matter of course.

We are also exposing ourselves to a normal that may include other thought patterns beyond base deception.

So, yeah, avoid false friends.

But let’s take it a step beyond.

Continue reading “Writing Prompt: Avoid False Friendship At All Costs”

Consent: What Is Legal? What Is Right?

Consent: Legal, Illegal / Ethical, Unethical

CW: Non-consent, etc.

I got a message a while back that I thought could make a fascinating post:

There is a gap between behavior that is unkind and behavior that is unallowable (ie, illegal.) My question, is which camp does consent fall into? I have always had the understanding that saying your consent was violated was pretty much equivalent to saying you were raped. However, I see people use the term consent violation to describe behavior that doesn’t require getting consent. Initially I just assumed they were wrong, but I see it enough that I think perhaps I am wrong.

Continue reading “Consent: What Is Legal? What Is Right?”

Gaslighting, Invalidation, Or Holding Your Space?

A still from the 1944 movie, Gaslight, with Ingrid Bergman looking terrified.

A friend asked me some months ago to write a piece on gaslighting. I’ve avoided it successfully three or four times that’s come up in my writing queue.

Why?

I’m not sure.

But I’ve had a few experiences over the past months that give me inspiration on how to present it.

“Your words make me feel sad.”

Gaslighting:

I didn’t say that. (When they did say exactly that.)

You’re imagining things.

Why would I say that?

Wikipedia says: Gaslighting is a form of manipulation that seeks to sow seeds of doubt in a targeted individual or in members of a targeted group, hoping to make them question their own memory, perception, and sanity. Continue reading “Gaslighting, Invalidation, Or Holding Your Space?”

Behavior Modification: The Ethics Of Conditioning/Behavior Modification

Behavior Modification Psitive Vs. Negative.

I speak about Behavior Modification quite a bit, and I joke that the key to understand about it is that it happens whether you intend it to or not.

Read more here: Behavior Modification: It Happens (Exercise 11)

However, happening naturally, as you and your partner(s) yourselves to each other is quite different from intentional manipulation.

And when I say “manipulation,” I mean BeMod with intent, not necessarily malice. There are many GOOD reasons to manipulate a situation or a person, just as there are selfish, controlling and harmful ways.

However, no matter the good intentions, ethics say if it’s done intentionally, you MUST have consent. Continue reading “Behavior Modification: The Ethics Of Conditioning/Behavior Modification”

Why Not Judging Is Impossible (And What To Do About It)

I'm judging you.

Yesterday, I wrote about penis size and why I don’t believe it’s a factor of dominance. Jedi_K responded with this comment.

Everyone is different but people are too quick to judge, label and put in boxes.

On the surface, this is true. It’s something we say all the time. Hell, I even say that I don’t judge, and that is one reason I think people like me, despite my obvious flaws (which are legion).

But…

And this is a BIG but (like mine, LOLOL!)

Yeah, my terrible sense of humor is one of those glaring flaws, deal with it.

But…

Humans have survived through judging.

Here’s a quick synopsis of human behavior and evolution (whether you believe in darwinism, Adam & Eve, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster):

When humans, back in the day, met someone that they didn’t know, they had three choices:

1. Befriend
2. Fight
3. Run

If they chose befriend or fight, they stuck around. And they may have been right or wrong.

If they ran, of course they could be chased, but they would be removing themselves from one of the other options.

So, let’s look at this:

Befriend
Right: Make Friend +1
Wrong: Dead/Bad Things -1

Fight
Right (about winning): The Other Gets Dead/Bad Things +1
Wrong: Dead/Bad Things -1

Run
Right: No Dead/Bad Things Yourself +1
Wrong: Still No Dead/Bad Things Yourself -1

Not getting into factors such as making friend could bring more than +1 benefits, or that killing someone whether right or wrong about their intentions can bring an entire tribe down upon you and therefore lead to more than -1 benefits…

Run away and avoid different was the MOST likely to get you good results.

And even those who did not choose to run were split between befriend and fight, with fight likely winning out in the “survivors” ratio, simply because they were prepared for the worst, even if they did switch to befriend after not-killing.

Therefore, judging something as “different” and either running away (eek! Change is scary!) or fighting it is 2/3 of our potential right choices, and are hardwired into our brain.

So, we have to judge. Instantly. Immediately. So that we can survive.

It’s what we do with that judging that matters.

So, our brains sort and categorize even before we are aware. It’s what happens. That’s neither bad nor good. It is what is. I see a new person, and I immediately get a lot of information:

  • Human
  • Male
  • Tall
  • Light-skinned
  • Dark hair
  • Beard
  • Cute
  • Threatening or non-threatening body language

And so on… So, because of these observations and my experience in this world, I will make several assumptions on how to approach, which may or may not be right.

The key part is:

…which may or may not be right.

This is where many people go horribly, terribly, inhumanly wrong with judging and labeling. They make assumptions and accept them as fact, rather than continuing to create new labels and categories/sub-categories to fit the unique human being standing before them

So, let’s continue. Tall dude looks pretty damn masculine to me, so I assume he is straight or bi, and will find me attractive, and approach him that way.

No, let’s say he’s gay. Or asexual. Or just not into wicked-smart-mostly-dominant-women-with-a-tiny-waist-and-thick-hips-and sparkling-eyes. Or, just not into ME.

But I don’t change my assumptions. He is man. He is cute. Therefore, he must be attracted to me.

That is where I’m the asshole.

Not in judging the situation incorrectly to begin with, but in not accepting the change in perspective. Not treating him like the human he is, but as the human I have judged him to be.

Thoughts?

I Violated Rules Of Consent, And I Liked It

I Violated Consent

Let me state for the record: I love consent.

So much so that I don’t do “forced.” Ever. It’s just WAY too hot for me for a partner to fully own their desires, at least to me.

To have my sub say, “I want this seriously freaky thing, even though I feel like I shouldn’t,” to me, is a HUGE turn on. To be trusted. To be given that power…

Fuck.

So awesome. Continue reading “I Violated Rules Of Consent, And I Liked It”