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Cassiopeia

Consent and setting non-sexual boundaries

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Discussing and respecting each others boundaries is extremely important.

 

This sort of talk should come up sooner or later in a sexual setting to ensure mutual consent and explore each others secret desires. Its a more known concept, so your partner is more likely to ask questions like "may I touch your (insert body part)?" or "may I kiss you?" or "how do you like to be touched?".  In cases of courtship rituals or romantic gestures.... well its almost unheard of, people just take it for granted.

 

Unfortunately people just assume that the other person would totally appreciate these gestures, and surprising one's partner/love interest with them is also a common thing.

(Seriously, if you are a girl, suitors do some random romcom crap to you, out of the blue without asking. It can be quite distressing, especially if you are somewhere on the aro spectrum.)

If you have got something like romance repulsion or some sort of trauma/triggers to deal with, you better talk about these things. I guess nobody wants to freak out their QPP/friend/sex partner/other.

 

And the gender roles are also culturally defined, usually men are expected to do these things to win and keep the woman's affections. In reality that arrangement may or may not suit the people involved. In case of same sex partners, the roles may not be so obvious.

 

This is a good way to find out what the other person wants and likes or secretly wishes for.

 

The idea came from @Mark's comment on the QPP request form in the another thread. Although that has some of this, but I agree, its kinda vague.

I based the structure of it on sexual yes/no/maybe tick lists like this one (commonly used in BDSM/fetish communities). The idea is that the people involved each get a box to tick, so the preferences are easy to compare (this one is for two persons, but I'm working one a poly version). But instead of sex, I tried to gather some common types non-sexual intimacy and romance coded activities. I used various lists (1, 2) and stuff people mentioned to have issues with on this forum.

 

Anything I should add? Do you find this useful?

 

The first draft looks like this (still cooking, some parts sound really awkward):

 

Y = Yes

N = No

M =Maybe

 

 

Courting rituals:


Receiving cut flowers  □ □
    Giving cut flowers  □ □
Receiving potted flowers  □ □
    Giving potted flowers  □ □
Receiving a box of chocolates  □ □
    Giving a box of chocolates  □ □
Receiving a small present  □ □
    Giving a small present  □ □
Being invited for a drink  □ □
    Buying a drink for the other  □ □
Being invited for a meal  □ □
    Buying a meal for the other  □ □
Receiving good morning texts  □ □
    Sending good morning texts  □ □
Receiving romantic images/quotes  □ □
    Sending romantic images/quotes  □ □

Dancing closely together
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
        Preferring to lead  □ □
Sharing food □ □
Sharing drinks □ □
Being asked on a date  □ □
    Asking the other on a date (organizing the date)  □ □
Restaurant dates □ □
Cinema dates  □ □
Watching romantic movies together   □ □
Coffee shop dates  □ □
Dance dates  □ □
Ice skating dates  □ □
Camping  □ □
Stay at home dates
    as host  □ □     as guest  □ □
“Netflix and chill”
    as host  □ □     as guest  □ □
Sex dates
    as host  □ □     as guest  □ □     in a neutral location  □ □
Other types of dates  □ □
    person/a .....................................................................................................................
    person/b......................................................................................................................
Celebrating anniversaries  □ □
Celebrating Valentine’s day  □ □

 

Displays of affection, intimacy:

Holding hands
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Walking arm in arm
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Being hugged from the side
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Face to face hugging
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Being hugged from the back
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Hugging the other from the back
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Sitting on the other person's lap
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
The other person sitting on your lap
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Being kissed on the cheek
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Kissing the other person on the cheek
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Being kissed on the lips
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Kissing the other person on the lips
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Being kissed on the neck
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Kissing the other person on the neck
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Being kissed on the back of your hand
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Kissing the other person on the back of their hand
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Being kissed on the back or shoulder
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Kissing the other person on the back or shoulder
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Deep kissing (romantic kissing)
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Making out (sexual kissing)
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Cuddles
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Nuzzling the other person
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Being nuzzled
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Napping together  □ □
Sleeping in the same bed  □ □
Hugging while sleeping together  □ □
    I prefer to be the
        big spoon  □ □
        little spoon  □ □
        other  □ □
Taking a shower together  □ □
Taking a bath together  □ □
Having sex
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Playing video games together  □ □
Reading together  □ □
Talking about personal things with the other  □ □
Talking about crushes with the other  □ □
Seeing the other person naked  □ □
Being seen naked  □ □
Receiving a massage  □ □
    Giving a massage  □ □
Getting my hair styled by the other person  □ □
    Doing the other person's hair  □ □
Getting my makeup done by the other person  □ □
    Doing the other person's makeup  □ □
Being fed by the other person  □ □
    feeding the other person  □ □
Borrowing and wearing each others clothing  □ □
Lending clothing to the other  □ □

 

Verbal:

Being called on pet names, endearments
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Calling the other on pet names, endearments
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Preferred pet name(s) and endearment(s):
    person/a .....................................................................................................................
    person/b......................................................................................................................
Declaring romantic feelings (ie: I love you)  □ □
    Receiving declarations of romantic feelings  □ □
Declaring affection (ie: You are very important to me)  □ □  
    Receiving declarations of affection  □ □

 

I’d like to meet you in person/spend time with you:
    every day  □ □
    every 2-3 days  □ □
    every week  □ □
    every 2-3 weeks  □ □

once a month  □ □
    other:
    person/a .....................................................................................................................
    person/b......................................................................................................................
I’d like to stay in contact with you:
    every day  □ □
    every 2-3 days  □ □
    every week  □ □
    every 2-3 weeks  □ □
    once a month  □ □
    other:
    person/a .....................................................................................................................
    person/b......................................................................................................................
via
    person/a  email    text    skype    chat app    phone call    snail mail
            other: ...................................................
    person/b  email    text    skype    chat app    phone call    snail mail
            other: ...................................................

 

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Judging by the feedback I once got from romantic aces about such a super-detailed list, I'd advise you to make a short list of main (bullet) points first and then, if there's no major conflict over the short request, proceed to send requests-appendices with finer details of each of the bullet points, one by one. A long list will gross some people out because not everyone is ready to approach a relationship so rationally.

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This is cool, thanks for making this list :D I thought I would be able to think of something you could add as I went though it, but you've done a pretty good job of it. The only thing I can think to tell you for the time being is that these 2 sentences don't need the 'on'.

29 minutes ago, Cassiopeia said:

 

Being called on pet names, endearments
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □
Calling the other on pet names, endearments
    in public  □ □
    in semi private  □ □
    in private  □ □

I suppose it needs to be in some sort of more managable format? I don't know what that would be though.

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I have no additions, as that is such a thorough list. Agree with aroMa(n)tisse, a tl;dr version would also be great. Or I guess each person could edit their own if they wanted a short version.

 

Honestly, I think consent in platonic friendships is also an important issue that is almost never talked about. Things such as hugging and personal questions can get different reactions from different people.

 

But yeah, I think this is a really useful list for those people who are or are about to be in QPRs. Definitely good to have a tool like this if someone wants it.

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Re: pet names - I'd add an extra question about what the terms should be, with few popular terms of endearment as options - sometimes it's hardly possible for partners to agree for pet names to call each other because their favorite animals are different. I'd hate being called a puppy or especially a fishie but would tolerate being called a kitty :D

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28 minutes ago, aroMa(n)tisse said:

Judging by the feedback I once got from romantic aces about such a super-detailed list, I'd advise you to make a short list of main (bullet) points first and then

Ok, so what should go, and what should stay?

Quote

not everyone is ready to approach a relationship so rationally.

...and I'm the aro stereotype again :D:aropride:

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6 minutes ago, Cassiopeia said:

Ok, so what should go, and what should stay?

 

I need time to think about this :D

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I like these! But I think I'd probably try to add slightly different answers - perhaps a system like "I want this / I'm okay with this / not sure if I am comfortable with this / do not want".

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30 minutes ago, Lynx said:

I like these! But I think I'd probably try to add slightly different answers - perhaps a system like "I want this / I'm okay with this / not sure if I am comfortable with this / do not want".

I agree with this, maybe it'd be something more customisable for individuals, like write in options. I know one of the things I'd want if I was going into some sort of QPR is an option to say "I'm sometimes comfortable with this" (as sometimes I'm fine with hugs, other times I absolutely hate them)

 

It's very detailed but it seems like a good idea :) 

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59 minutes ago, Lynx said:

I like these! But I think I'd probably try to add slightly different answers - perhaps a system like "I want this / I'm okay with this / not sure if I am comfortable with this / do not want".

But that's why you have the boxes ( they meant to be larger, I'll fix it later), so you can write Y, N, and M into them. :D You have two at each question, so each person has one box, and they can compare the answers.

 

Y = Yes = I want this / I'm okay with this

N = No = Do not want

M = Maybe = Not sure if I am comfortable with this/Might be okay under the right circumstances/Willing to experiment with it

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On 6/8/2016 at 8:26 AM, Lynx said:

I like these! But I think I'd probably try to add slightly different answers - perhaps a system like "I want this / I'm okay with this / not sure if I am comfortable with this / do not want".

I was thinking this while reading/answering the questions. Most my answers fit better with Always/Mostly/Sometimes/Rarely/Never as the answers. There's a lot of things on there that I'd be ok with occasionally but super not ok with all the time, which doesn't really come under "Maybe" as I know the answer, it's just not "Yes" or "No"

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I am not sure whether this is a linguistic thing, but I feel unconfortable with the term "date" in the first section. I would be willing to do much of it, but never, unless ironically, under the term of "date", since that word has a romanting ringing to it. But maybe it's really because I am not a native speaker, in German, the (english) word "date" is used for romantic dates/ initiations of romantic relationships only. 

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On 10 June 2016 at 8:58 AM, Lume said:

I am not sure whether this is a linguistic thing, but I feel unconfortable with the term "date" in the first section. I would be willing to do much of it, but never, unless ironically, under the term of "date", since that word has a romanting ringing to it. But maybe it's really because I am not a native speaker, in German, the (english) word "date" is used for romantic dates/ initiations of romantic relationships only. 

Shall we add it to the list of words we need? Is there any word that would fit better? Meeting sounds too formal to me. Any other suggestions?

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40 minutes ago, Cassiopeia said:

Shall we add it to the list of words we need? Is there any word that would fit better? Meeting sounds too formal to me. Any other suggestions?

Hanging out?

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On 11.6.2016 at 10:42 AM, Cassiopeia said:

Shall we add it to the list of words we need? Is there any word that would fit better? Meeting sounds too formal to me. Any other suggestions?

Hanging out

 

Gathering? 

Or, we could re-vive "tryst", which is an old term for "date". Haha! "Trystin' the night away". xD

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Not sure how I missed this thread six months ago.

On 07/06/2016 at 8:03 PM, Cassiopeia said:

The idea came from @Mark's comment on the QPP request form in the another thread. Although that has some of this, but I agree, its kinda vague.

I based the structure of it on sexual yes/no/maybe tick lists like this one (commonly used in BDSM/fetish communities). The idea is that the people involved each get a box to tick, so the preferences are easy to compare (this one is for two persons, but I'm working one a poly version). 

Some of the BDSM questionnaires are rather more detailed than yes/maybe/no. Including such concepts as "impossible", "must have", "soft limit", "hard limit", etc.
There's also "want/will/won't" lists. Whilst the examples I could find tend to be sexual there's no reason they couldn't include these.

 

On 07/06/2016 at 8:03 PM, Cassiopeia said:

Being invited for a drink  □ □

    Buying a drink for the other  □ □
Being invited for a meal  □ □
    Buying a meal for the other  □ □

I'd separate the invite from the act of buying/paying for.

 

On 07/06/2016 at 8:03 PM, Cassiopeia said:

Being asked on a date  □ □
    Asking the other on a date (organizing the date)  □ □

Similarly I'd separate the ask/askee role from the organising.

 

On 09/06/2016 at 1:43 AM, Saaaro said:

I was thinking this while reading/answering the questions. Most my answers fit better with Always/Mostly/Sometimes/Rarely/Never as the answers. There's a lot of things on there that I'd be ok with occasionally but super not ok with all the time, which doesn't really come under "Maybe" as I know the answer, it's just not "Yes" or "No"

Some such questionnaires use things like 1-5, 1-7 or 1-9 Possibly with '0' or 'X' to indicate "never" or "hard limit".

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Was there ever a final list put together from this thread?  I think this is an awesome idea and one that I had nebulously considered a while back, but never really followed up on.  I've found myself considering the kinds of things I'd be OK with doing with someone in a QPR constantly whenever I'm around people in romantic relationships while they're doing their romance-y thing.  This is a very comprehensive list, good job.

 

As some of the others have said though, I think you might need more than just Y/N/M.  Some of these I have never done (i.e. slept in the same bed while hugging someone) so I really have no idea whether I'd be OK with it or not.  Sometimes it depends on context (i.e. sitting on someone's lap when seating is limited is fine, but doing so when there are free seats available kind of feels weird and edging into sappy, romance-y territory)....

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On 4/18/2017 at 5:37 PM, starstuff said:

Was there ever a final list put together from this thread?  I think this is an awesome idea and one that I had nebulously considered a while back, but never really followed up on.  I've found myself considering the kinds of things I'd be OK with doing with someone in a QPR constantly whenever I'm around people in romantic relationships while they're doing their romance-y thing.  This is a very comprehensive list, good job.

 

As some of the others have said though, I think you might need more than just Y/N/M.  Some of these I have never done (i.e. slept in the same bed while hugging someone) so I really have no idea whether I'd be OK with it or not.  Sometimes it depends on context (i.e. sitting on someone's lap when seating is limited is fine, but doing so when there are free seats available kind of feels weird and edging into sappy, romance-y territory)....

I agree. It can be hard to determine that with just a "yes" or "no". There are at least half of the things on the list that I have never experienced myself either with possibly the same going for the other person.

The list is good for keeping me on my toes and becoming more aware that this could happen or have already been done by those who are comfortable with these activities.

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