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8 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 2:53AM #1
Posts: 719

Hatman made a comment on another thread that got me thinking. The discussion focused much on the unacceptability of physical abuse by one's partner, and Hatman mentioned that even "playful" hitting or kicking was completely unacceptable to him. 

I totally respect his right to feel that way and be treated accordingly, but it struck me because I'm on the other end. My boyfriend and I play-fight all the time. We've joked often about the probable reactions of others at how often we "beat" each other. BUT, it is all playful and mutual, and no serious injuries have ever resulted. 

We met through a group that involved amateur sword fighting, so much of our early interactions revolved around putting on armor and hitting one another quite hard with wooden swords. I grew up wrestling with my brother and sister for much of my childhood. For us, playful fighting seems both natural and fun. 

So I thought I would ask what others think of such a thing: (1) Are you personally interested? Do you think you would ever partake of such a thing with a willing partner? (2) Regardless of your first answer, do you think this is an acceptable thing between two people who both consent, or do you think it just makes them both abusers with mental problems?

(For the record, no one's opinions here will change my mind about the topic, but I am curious how others see it). 


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8 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 7:57AM #2
Posts: 5,277

As long as you never strike in anger I see nothing wrong with it.

Playing around sometimes involves physical contact, and as long as both parties consent, it's ok to me.

James Thurber - "It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers."
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8 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 8:40AM #3
Posts: 16,577

My sister in law used to hit my brother in the shoulder--not playfully.  She was basically brain injured from cancer treatment, so we let it slide.  Now my niece hits my brother in the shoulder.  I think next time I see it, I will call her on it.  She will be 17 in 2 weeks and that is not the behavior of a sane woman.

Playing around where it is truly a controlled "bout" is a different story. 

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize what you heard was not what I meant...
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8 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 8:53AM #4
Posts: 9,954
i find even "playful" hitting to be unacceptable; what often happens(and you see this in siblings, as well) is that one feels they were hit "too hard" or "on purpose," and the "playfulness" escalates by degrees into unthinking rage.

Now, if you both mutually agree---say w/self-defense training, sparring, fencing, or what-have-you---then more power to ya.

It ain't fer me.  I love peace, and practice it---until someone else commits an injustice or outrage upon the body of myself or anyone else in my sight.

When you've been exposed to out-of-control rage, you don't relish the prospect of seeing it again...and the only way it usually ends is when it exhausts itself or the rager is put down/rendered helpless, either by sheer weight, weight of numbers, superior strength in restraint, or worst-case scenario...death.

Warmest regards-

"History records that the moneychangers have used every form of abuse, deceit, intrigue, and violent means possible to maintain their control over governments by controlling money and it's issuance."
-- James Madison(1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
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8 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 8:55AM #5
Posts: 10,165

When the intent is not abuse (no anger involved), and there are no harmful consequences and both parties agree it is play, then I don't see a problem with it.  It certainly would not be a mental issue.  I had brothers growing up and while we were not allowed to hit in anger, I did get wrestled with and tackled in football and occasionally play hit at.  None of it ever offended me on any level or made me feel put down or bothered in any way.  Some people are more sensitive and are not accustomed to rough housing and should not be subjected to it. 

The most important thing is that the one hit should NEVER be told how  to feel about it.  Their instincts are good enough. If they don't like it, they have a right not to like it and to object to it and most of all have it stopped. It if it doesn't bother them, then it doesn't bother them.

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8 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 9:05AM #6
Posts: 10,165

I also have to add that my brothers and I knew the lines and kept to them.  Play hitting never resulted in anger or escalation.  It was just a joke and it never became anything else.  I can't stand my brothers today but I look back on those days with fondness.  We were fond of one another then.

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8 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 9:34AM #7
Tolerant Sis
Posts: 4,201

I am assuming you are not talking about power-based relationships (S&M, etc.) but rather just fooling around that ends with wrestling or some such thing.  In the case of power-based stuff, I think those involved should make it very clear what the parameters are (I am not going to condemn consensual sexuality involving adults of any kind).  But otherwise I think everyone needs to be very careful.  Parents should forbid such things between children of different ages, and yea, sexes.  As 'foreplay', the practice can get out of hand among couples.

On the other hand, slapping someone's hand when they say something nasty in fun is a different animal, I think.

First amendment fan since 1793.
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8 years ago  ::  Jan 13, 2010 - 10:02AM #8
Posts: 5,740

For me personally, I don't like the idea of playful rough housing.  I mean, if it works for a couple, fine, but it wouldn't work for me.  I would just get irritated.

I try to discourage it with my kids just for the simple fact that someone always seems to get hurt.  They might go into the wrestling & rough housing with good intentions & all for fun, but inevitably, someone doesn't know their own strength and the other ends up getting hurt, and then it's not fun anymore, and I get to deal with it.  No thanks.

Our need to learn should always outweigh our need to be right

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.

More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren't so busy denying them.
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