Sociosexually, what is “safe”?

Are you a “safe guy”? Or do you know someone who (you or he or some else thinks) is?

Stephanie Zvan has written about this at Quiche Moraine, and I think I might have been living in a different world than Stephanie’s because my experience has always been that the attribute of “safeness” is a negotiated one, and it has not always been about “safe guys” but also “gals.”

Perhaps this is an East Coast vs. Midwestern/Plains thing, or, perhaps the difference is that we field scientists can spend months at a time (rather than hours now and then) dealing with this issue. There is a difference between a “safe guy” tagging along with the gal to which he is safe while she shops for panties at Victoria’s Secret, and being thrown into a situation where the custom is that everyone bathes (for safety reasons) at the same spot daily and clothing is not an option. Or you share a tent for a week with someone of the opposite sex. Or you are arrested and tossed in a jail together for 24 hours. For instance.

Anyway, go read the post and see if your experiences are more like hers or more like mine, and don’t forget to leave a comment!

Comments

  1. #1 Chad
    July 29, 2010

    Obviously this is a very culturally determined thing. This discussion could not happen in every culture, or even every subculture in the USA.

  2. #2 quietmarc
    July 29, 2010

    Haven’t read it yet, but this sort of thing is almost always context-related. I’m a safe guy to people who know me, but since I’m kinda big, have a beard, walk quickly and glare, I definitely -don’t- appear safe to a stranger on a dark night in a questionable part of town.

    And of course, what something appears to be is not always related to what is.

    Off to read the article now!

  3. #3 personbot
    July 29, 2010

    It would be easier to decide whose opinions mine were more like if you had actually contributed some significant explication, rather than a few somewhat vague examples.

    But clearly she is talking about a more conventional urban/suburban situation where men and women can retreat to their (actually) safe homes. Thus, the designation of “safe” is clearly contextual. If you have to share close quarters with someone for an extended period of time, particularly in the name of an otherwise important experience, there is a real obligation to be considerate and not create awkward sexual tension if the feelings are not reciprocated.

  4. #4 borealis
    July 29, 2010

    Don’t women have friends who are men anymore? I’ve always called guys like that ‘friends’. Sometimes they have been interested in me a sexual way at one time, or may be in the future, or might be interested if it was a known option, but generally they are just guys I have known well for a long time, through various relationships of theirs and mine. We are friends, and might go to a gallery or camping or share a bottle of wine and dinner, and talk about stuff. As far as ‘safe’ is concerned, they are trusted friends, same as my female friends. I trust my friends to not do something that might upset me or make our friendship awkward, and I hope they trust me the same way.