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21 January 2010 @ 04:26 pm
 
Today's poll about toothbrushing and walking around came out of a conversation also about levels of "intimacy" of certain actvities, and how differently people can draw those lines. So, for example, I'm always a little amazed when I see someone putting on makeup in public (not a restroom), because it's such a mismatch with my individual, "Hey! That's personal..." scale. I feel similarly about clipping or filing nails: these things are okay to do with friends, but not strangers. On the other hand, I'm happy to brush my hair in public (or my equivalent, anyway, which doesn't involve a brush or comb.)

Then, there are more intimate things, like peeing with someone else in the room (no stalls), or being in the room while someone else is peeing -- I feel fine about doing either with a reasonably close friend or lover, but it's a definite mark of a more "inner circle" relationship. And crying is a VERY inner circle activity for me.

What are some of your relative markers of social intimacy?
 
 
I'm feeling: curiouscurious
 
 
 
Statistical Outlier in All  Studies: blue eyeschaiya on January 21st, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
Heh. I just realized I have a list of these, too, and I'm not comfortable posting them on a public post! I am amused. ;)
unintentional baitredheadedmuse on January 21st, 2010 10:09 pm (UTC)
I was struck the other day about how deeply private people generally are about our body functions: using the toilet, sleeping, having sex, crying, vomiting, even things like coughing and farting and sneezing (and now that you mention it, grooming)...that very physical stuff is almost always kept behind a wall of privacy that few if any other people are admitted to.

But we eat in public all the time - with our families, with strangers, with coworkers. Why is eating so socially different from every other biological function?
existential hot showerveek on January 21st, 2010 10:47 pm (UTC)
I'm guessing, because the provision of food is (historically) much much easier when done collectively. That makes it social glue. Or something to that effect.
Scheherazade is my patron saint.: Gas maska_kosmos on January 21st, 2010 10:14 pm (UTC)
I've been with my Bear since 1998, and there are still things that I don't do in front of him, and they include but aren't limited to: peeing, any sort of hair removal, exfoliating my feet, flossing my teeth.....

For other people, the list extends to taking medications in a public, non-healthcare related situation, filing nails, having long or seriously personal phone conversations conversations.....
tickles, the angry lemurclara_girl on January 21st, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
wandering into the bathroom while someone else is showering, without knocking, AND maintain a conversation with said person.

it's pretty specific, but there it is. any part of this is ALSO somewhat intimate, but the conversation and not-door-knocking seems key as well.

peeing in front of someone is another example.
Ellen: at workkeyne on January 21st, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
Then, there are more intimate things, like peeing with someone else in the room (no stalls), or being in the room while someone else is peeing -- I feel fine about doing either with a reasonably close friend or lover, but it's a definite mark of a more "inner circle" relationship. And crying is a VERY inner circle activity for me.

Wow. Peeing, to me, is something done only in front of immediate family and partners. Crying, on the other hand, can be done with any friend (or near equivalent -- clergy, f'rinstance) willing to listen.
Haptotropehaptotrope on January 21st, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC)
I don't think I have a problem with peeing -- maybe taking a dump... but mostly because the process is so involved.

But public make up doesn't bother me as it seems impractical - aside from lipstick.

clipping nails, or other hygenish tasks don't bother me as long as they aren't being used as "shills" for attention. If you need to put on lotion, clip the hangnail.. do it, but if we are having a conversation, that better be one wicked hangnail.

But you can see me cry if we are good friends, but we are reeeeeaallly good friends or lovers if I cry on your shoulder.

wild, predictable abandoncontessagrrl on January 21st, 2010 10:40 pm (UTC)
OMG you would pee in front of someone?! I'm mortified! What next, announcing it?!

;)
Sapere Aude: deathprimal_pastry on January 21st, 2010 11:48 pm (UTC)
I am absolutely mortified to cry in front of people. Not, you know, tear up... that's fine. But to actually *cry* I need to have known someone a very, very long time. I can give pleasure (just about any way) to pretty much anyone I have positive feelings towards but I can only receive it from people I trust on the level of very-good-friends or better. I can be in the same room with someone using the toilet as long as there's a sight barrier with no problem but I find talking during the process extremely distasteful regardless of the level of intimacy. Showering with someone in the room isn't a problem at all. I've shared communal showers with strangers and that wasn't an issue. I have to know someone very well or not well at all to read in front of them unless we're in a large enough group setting that it isn't noticable that I'm doing it.
Kcatkcatalyst on January 22nd, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
Being silent (over a long-ish period of time) with someone is an intimate activity for me. Relatedly, being in the same room and doing separate things. The list of people I can do that with without feeling exposed is pretty similar to the list of people I could really cry in front of.
Jadiajadia on January 22nd, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
Recently I was peeing in a stall in the bathroom at work when my coworker decided to strike up a conversation with me about something random.

It was...weird, but I went with it. Still. Weird. Especially with the whole coworker thing.
sarahshevettsarahshevett on January 22nd, 2010 05:39 pm (UTC)
Having almost nothing whatsoever to do with this post
but putting makeup on at all is bizarre to me. I just don't get it.
Facepainting really sets me off.
Boring Nerd: cthulhu eyebrowssignsoflife on January 22nd, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
The women's room nearest our lab has a couch in it. Nothing fancy, just a regular bathroom. . . with a random couch in it. There is often a student sleeping on it. I feel extremely peculiar peeing/etc. in a room someone is sleeping (or just hanging out texting their friends) in.