Friday, November 26, 2010


Rowdy, Sprite, and I have this word that gets a lot of use in our relationship. "Adorkable." It means pretty much exactly what you'd think.

For example, it was adorkable when Rowdy, after screwing me on the floor in front of all the Thanksgiving guests, pulled out and daintily crossed his legs for modesty.


Here's an issue I'm still undecided on: Rowdy has asked Sprite to safecall him (i.e., call and check in and confirm that she has not been axe-murdered) when she goes on dates with new guys.

Tonight, Rowdy has a date with a woman. He didn't even think to consider a safecall until Sprite pointed out the discrepancy.

The questions I haven't resolved is: is this sexist because it's a double standard, or practical because women are at greater risk of assault by men? (Particularly first-date assault; my knee-jerk no-research stereotype is that women may be physically abusive in relationships, but are less likely to act as predators looking for someone to assault.) Does it imply that Rowdy is somehow more "able to take care of himself" than Sprite is, or does it just reflect a sad reality in our society?


  1. Just a sad reality of our society. As much as we strive for equality, the reality is that most date-rapers and overall psychos are still hetero men and there are still certain risks to going out on a date with someone new. The reality is that most men can overpower most women on a purely upper-body strength basis, and that even if a woman carries the great equalizer in the form of a handgun she's most likely not doing so while naked. There's still dangerous people out there no matter what we do, and unfortunately most of them prefer to victimize those they think can't fight back, i.e. women.

    That being said, while I see the reasonable nature behind the rationale, he should also do a check-in. My husband does check ins whenever he's out, not because I'm afraid a non-existent date has done anything to him, but because I want to know he's not in a car accident bleeding out on the side of the road somewhere. If he does something out of the norm, like staying out later than planned, I want to know if its intentional or an emergency. I'm required to do the same check-ins as him for the same reason.

  2. It's a bit of both, I think, and Melody pretty much said everything I could have.

  3. If "I am concerned for your safety but don't really think about my own too much, but now that you mention it I suppose I could pay attention to my own safety too" is sexist, I think that's an instance of sexism I'm not too worried about.

    More elaborately: While I think this is all tied up in sexism, I also think it's analogous to the double standard of hospitality - if we're in my house[1], I offer you food/drink, etc. Saying "I want to make sure you're okay" is socially easier than "I want you to make sure I'm okay."

    Melody made some fine points, though I think your earlier comments re: sweatpants also apply.

    [1] This is a fictional me. Real me is a terrible host.

  4. Other possibilities that came to mind: perhaps he wants/needs the emotional reassurance of her safecall, whereas she is more emotionally self-assured or just doesn't care that much.

    I'm offering these strictly as hypotheticals applying more to a generic 'Rowdy figure' and a generic 'Sprite figure'/society in general -- I don't know Rowdy or Sprite enough to speculate on their personalities and how those would affect safecall beliefs.

    Another possibility: if she'd be going on dates that involves her bottoming, possibly being bound and gagged and far more helpless than her baseline of capability, and he is going on a date where that isn't in the plans. The whole Top-Bottom, Who's-More-Vulnerable issue...

  5. My main reasoning behind asking Rowdy to do a check-in call:

    You may think me naive, but I was raised to believe the universe is a safe place. I believe that people are generally good. There are a few jerks out there, but the chances that I'm going on a date with them are pretty small. I have traveled the world, and never been attacked or victimized as a tourist or a woman.

    So ultimately I see it as a chore, and why the hell shouldn't he be doing the same?!?

    Another factor: I go on dates with people I've already met in person, while he's going on dates with people he met online (and therefore more of a wild card)

  6. Sprite - Oh, bad people definitely exist. They're not the majority or nothin', but I've been nonconsensually hurt by a guy who wouldn't untie me when I safeworded, I've had a guy who wouldn't stop calling and emailing constantly after one date, I've had a guy who repeatedly "playfully" (hard!) slapped me without warning or consent and made fun of me when I complained, and I've had several who didn't do anything evil and were probably wonderful people but gave off such a "just a little off" vibe that I was afraid for my safety.

    Now, would a safecall actually have prevented these situations? Absolutely none of them. Only in the first case was it even potentially relevant and even then it still runs into the "she might be in trouble, but I don't know where or what kind, and I don't know what to do about it, and it's already happened" problems.

    Which is why I don't have a great "I am a Sexpert and this is my Sexpertise, heed it" answer to the question. I hate the idea of going off with a new person with absolutely no safety net, but I'm not sure there really is an alternative.

  7. It is sexist, and there is a double standard. Men are safer than women on dates. Even if they are guys dating guys. That's reality.

    Now, if men go into the wrong neighborhood, they can get beaten up, or look like they belong to the wrong group, that is a turf aggression trigger that women don't set off.

    Personally, I don't bother with safecalls, as I'm large, armed, and not going anywhere private on the first meeting with anyone. However, when I go out hiking in the woods, I leave an itinerary.

  8. It doesn't have to be a gendered thing at all, necessarily. If Rowdy gets worried about Sprite, but not vice versa, it may just be that Rowdy is more of a worrier. As Melody points out, car-accidents are far more common than axe-murders, and are gender neutral.

    Of course, if Sprite considers making a safe-call an unnecessary pain-in-the-ass, talk about that. And pointing out that Rowdy doesn't think about it for his dates could be something to mention.

  9. I think "both" is a plausible answer here, depending on who you're asking about. The sad reality in our society is surely rooted in some sexist things about it. (And also probably in biology; Wrangham's "Demonic Males" makes a good case that it's not just humans that have a problem with male violence.)

    That said, to me this would be more about the personal relationship than the societal issue. Worrying about one's loved ones isn't always reasonable, but it's easy enough to indulge.

  10. Ha! My partner and I use adorkable all the time too.

    Personally, I think it's a bit of column a and a bit of column b. It's a sad reality that far more women get assaulted by men than the other way round.
    It is however sexist (in general, not specifically by Rowdy) in my eyes to treat a safecall as some kind of insurance-against-rape that is solely the woman's responsibility to uphold. Like others said, Rowdy could get into a car crash, or get mugged, or, if we want to stay focused on the date he has, the woman could have a weapon, or a helper waiting in the bushes to mug or assault Rowdy.

  11. Hm. I've had an overnight rethink, and my rethought is that safecalls provide more reassurance than safety.

    I also realize that I've never safecalled in my life (for sex; I've sometimes done it for travel, especially when camping alone), and thus am in no postion to preach.

    I do, however, think there is some value in casually mentioning to your date that you're going to be making a safecall at some point in the evening.

  12. I've had reason to be thankful for having a safecall. I think part of the necessity comes from different ways of meeting people - Holly, you mentioned earlier that you meet a lot of your play partners at play parties or other settings that aren't 1-on-1.

    That avenue for meeting play partners seems a lot safer than playing with people for the first time 1-on-1; there's always the chance of meeting some insane person who deliberately disrespects limits, and in a 1-on-1 setting... it can be nice to have a safecall.

  13. eek, bring back the feminism post! it was great!

  14. "Rowdy has asked Sprite to safecall him (i.e., call and check in and confirm that she has not been axe-murdered) when she goes on dates with new guys.

    Tonight, Rowdy has a date with a woman. He didn't even think to consider a safecall until Sprite pointed out the discrepancy."

    Personally, I think the key to the whole problem is "Rowdy has asked". He specifically asks Sprite to safecall when she gets home. Did Sprite specifically ask Rowdy to safecall or did she just assume he'd do it?

    Now, if she asked and he didn't, that's kind of a jerky thing to do when you know someone is going to get worried about you. If she didn't ask, maybe it didn't even cross his mind that she's be waiting and worried.

  15. @williamthecoroner-

    Now, if men go into the wrong neighborhood, they can get beaten up, or look like they belong to the wrong group, that is a turf aggression trigger that women don't set off.

    As a woman who was jumped and assaulted by a teenage girl for no apparent reason other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time, I'd like to point out that this comment strikes me as kind of bizarre. You might want to think about the extremely broad generalization you just made there.

  16. I love safecalling in theory because it means my partner is thinking about me and wants me to be OK, but I hate it in reality because I have such A.D.D. that I *always* forget and then he is worried while I am perfectly safe.

    There are minimal-disruptiveness ways to do it, anyway, like a quick text message...

    But *please*, all you hikers, make sure someone knows where you're going! I am still not sure whether I can bring myself to watch "127 Hours" or not.


  17. Not to be late to the party. Back in the pre-marriage days I always let a roommate know who I would be with and where I would be when I was meeting guys from online, not because she'd be able to help me if anything ever went bad, but so they'd have some idea of where to start looking for my body if I didn't come home. I always set a "curfew" for myself too. So if I wasn't home by then she'd call my cell looking for me.

  18. Hershele OstropolerDecember 16, 2010 at 3:20 PM

    There's no such thing as too much safety as long as it doesn't interfere with having fun. So a safecall is a good idea even for straight men.

    And in a BDSM context I'd imagine a bottom of any gender is in at least as much danger as a top of any gender.