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 How far is too far and do the boundaries change?

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~MJ~
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PostSubject: How far is too far and do the boundaries change?   Wed Jul 29, 2009 3:10 am

How far is too far and do the boundaries change?



I think the title is self-explanatory but I wanted to sort of explain why I am asking this question. I was raised ultra conservative by my missionary parents. I had very clearly defined boundaries when it came to contact with the opposite sex when I was little and as I grew up those boundaries didn’t really shift much until I was 13. as most of you know from a few of my short stories there were some things that happened with my dad that…well…it really changed my view on things. I started doubting and questioning but deep down the boundaries really didn’t change all that much. About…I’m not sure exactly how long ago there were some things posted in one of the RPGs that really got a few of us up in arms, namely myself. I really laid into someone for some conduct that I thought really poorly represented Christians. Well as it would be I am now in somewhat of a similar situation with one of my characters in an RPG and I have to ask myself why that is.

In the RPG Glenda is a rape victim who is getting ready to get married but she still has fears that memories will jump up when she tries to have sex with her new husband. She tells him of her fears the day before their wedding and then moves on to MUCH more physical contact than I think should EVER be permitted between two Christian people who are not yet married. The reason is because she wants to be sure she can give him everything on their wedding night. She wants to erase the memories as much as she can or maybe I should say replace them.

I guess my question is this, are boundaries absolute or do they shift for every person and situation? Someone touching my butt would be totally very un-cool and if they went anywhere near my chest I would probably slap them. This is of course coming from a woman who has yet to give her first kiss. So would the boundaries of a rape victim shift or should they hold the same boundaries as a absolutely total virgin would?
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PostSubject: Re: How far is too far and do the boundaries change?   Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:50 am

You've heard of the scientific distinction between umbra and penumbra in the shadows one object in space casts onto another object. The umbra is a more "complete" or "absolute" shadow, while the penumbra is the outskirts of the umbra. They can be used as an analogy here, provided we disregard the Supreme Court once having used the word "penumbra" as part of its PHONY excuse-making for abortion.

I would say that there is a solid moral umbra with sex: that God wants the actual reproductive act reserved for marriage alone. Then there is the penumbra in which erotic contact short of intercourse MAY cause various kinds of harm. For instance, if I were to kiss a married woman with the intention of rousing adulterous desire in her heart, this would be a sexual sin even though a kiss is not technically sex. On the other hand, I have been friends with some married women in such a degree that I could kiss them in the very presence of their husbands, and the husbands were at peace in the knowledge that I was NOT trying to seduce the wives.

Outside the umbra, it has a lot to do with the intent.

Much more needs to be said, but I'm close to collapsing asleep.
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PostSubject: Re: How far is too far and do the boundaries change?   Wed Jul 29, 2009 10:32 am

I think you are right about the fact that intent is instrumental but how much can we rely on intent alone? I know that sex, the act of sexual intercourse, is supposed to be for people who are married (obviously I'm still a virgin) but how close can we get to that beautiful fire that God stoked himself without getting burned with sin?

I totally understand the illustration that you gave Joe, about the intent and the example of kissing a married woman. In the Ukraine we knew a man who was like that. he as so funny and we all loved him and the way he greeted our parents, both of them, was a solid kiss on the lips. I thought it was odd as a child being raised the way I was but it wasn't odd as in, 'oh that’s a bad thing' it was odd as in, ' huh that’s just his funny way to say hello to close friends I guess.' but that wasn't really my question so maybe I should qualify.

When two people are romantically involved how far is too far before they are married. Like I said before I totally agree that intent plays a major role here but how much of it can be left up to that and how much is cut and dry? Does it start at the man penetrating the woman? is that where the rule to be sexually moral starts? So can two people who love each other and are looking at marriage be stripped down to their panties and still be cool? And if sexual arousal is the shifting boarder then hell lets not even kiss because that DOES sexually arouse God made us that way.
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PostSubject: Re: How far is too far and do the boundaries change?   Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:13 pm

Yes, there is a sort of safety in an extreme of nobody ever touching anybody else in any way remotely approaching the erotic. But it is little recognized among my fellow Christians that this "safe" extreme carries dangers of its own.

Consider the selfish, deceitful character Willoughby in Jane Austen's "Sense and Sensibility." In the whole time that he is involved with heroine Marianne, he never once even kisses her, since they live in a very inhibited society. But this does not for an instant prevent him from giving her the impression that he intends to marry her, and her disappointment still is cruel when he drops her for a rich woman.

One of the problems with legalism is that it lends false security. Relying on legalism, we become blind to any dangers and evils NOT "covered by the policy." And believe me, I do happen to know one of the unanticipated evils which sneak right in past the guard towers of "Nobody touch anybody."

I don't claim to know how often this happens, and MJ, this is not at all to say that you would be this way once married; but I do know for a fact that there are women who carry the fear and hatred of bodily intimacy INTO marriage, and are frigid to husbands who have done nothing to deserve this ongoing rejection. These women even pat themselves on the back for being "more spiritual" than their husbands--on NO other grounds than their being less loving than their husbands.
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PostSubject: Re: How far is too far and do the boundaries change?   Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:41 pm

I see what you mean, Joe, but I am ( i think. no I am sure) going to be one of those people that withing the bonds of marriag all I can say is bring it on! but thats not waht this is about. I understand legalisme, boy do I understand it, and its one thing that I want to stay away from. before marriege I have no problem with kissing, or cuddling, but again how far is too far? should a woman let a man that she is not married to touch her breasts (yes I said the abominable word, sorry, won't happen again)? shoule she allow him to know her body in that kind of touching intamacy before they can go all the wa, or maybe I say before they SHOULD go all the way? I do't know. playing hte cheracter of Glenda has given me loads to think about
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PostSubject: Re: How far is too far and do the boundaries change?   Wed Jul 29, 2009 1:15 pm

I 'm going to play the real-life card. I'm going to mention actual reality with my second wife Janalee, who is now safely home in Heaven with our Savior.

Due to a lifetime of complex events which rival the fictional Glenda's tribulations in life, Janalee had certain issues of her own as we first became involved. She and I--always with her complete consent--were closer physically before marriage than you would be comfortable with, and this helped build Janalee's confidence. But we did not have the reproductive act until we were married. And I can say truthfully before God that my having touched Janalee before the wedding did not prevent me from treating her with kindness and consideration all through our time together.
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PostSubject: Re: How far is too far and do the boundaries change?   Tue Jul 13, 2010 4:24 am

Speaking as a young woman who is fortunate enough to not be put in the situation of being raped, I have to say that the boundaries depend on the person. This is not the church's view of intimacy, this is the view that I believe. For me personally, as a 20 year old college student, I am not comfortable with sex. I don't know if I am going to wait for marriage, but I know I need to wait until I am comfortable enough in my own skin to be that vulnerable with someone. I have had boyfriends, but they have never pressured me. (I am very lucky on that front).

I honestly believe that it is up to the individual to decide what they think is too far. I am not religious and if God is going to smite me for letting a guy who I was not married to touch my chest, then I'm afraid I'll have to deal with it. But for now, I am making those decisions based on me.
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