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Drunken Mistake?

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The story:

So last night my roommate went out of town for his brothers birthday party and was going to be gone overnight. I had just finished a project and was about to just relax alone for the night, when a girl I know came to my room to visit. We ended up watching a movie (American Wedding), and about halfway through it my friend next door is yelling about how he won $500 and has a bunch of cheap alcohol and says we can have as much as we like. Well, the girl decides she wants some cheap wine so we bring it into my room and have a few glasses as we are watching the movie and light conversation.

By the end of the movie, she is sitting on my lap and we are getting a little touchy-feely. She tells me I should give her a massage, so we move to my bed and basically, it develops into heavy making out and for those familiar with the language, second base. She ends up sleeping in my bed until about 6AM, then wakes up and says she has to go (she lives down the hall).

This morning she leaves me a message saying she's sorry about last night, she didn't mean for it to happen. I don't talk to her at all until about 9PM and just stop in her room to make sure we are still on good terms and everything, which we are.

Anyway, I am talking to my friend about it later, and he tells me about how she makes out with guys all the time, and with one particular guy goes even further. Basically, she does stuff like this a lot.

The question(s):

I enjoyed it all while it was taking place, but after thinking about it I am wondering about a few things. What things did I do that were immoral? Were some of the things that I did which were not immoral, only okay because of my ignorance to some of the things she does/has done? How should I have acted in the situation, and if I should have stopped, where do I draw the line? Now, since I know these things about her, would it be immoral to to it again?

I would appreciate any input you guys are willing to offer, I'm not really sure about the situation.

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I enjoyed it all while it was taking place, but after thinking about it I am wondering about a few things. What things did I do that were immoral? Were some of the things that I did which were not immoral, only okay because of my ignorance to some of the things she does/has done? How should I have acted in the situation, and if I should have stopped, where do I draw the line? Now, since I know these things about her, would it be immoral to to it again?

Why are you looking to other people to tell you how to live your life?

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Why are you looking to other people to tell you how to live your life?

He said: "I'm not really sure about the situation." When one finds oneself confronted with a situation about which one is unsure, there are two basic possibilities: (1) think and evaluate to the best one is able, (a) and if one is unsure about an answer, ask others who may be able to assist; or (2) do not think. Are you suggesting he should do the latter? Do you have answers to every problem you face? What purpose does this board serve if it is improper to ask questions about the application of philosophical principles TO ONE'S LIFE?

Your question assumes that he is looking for edicts to follow rather than aid in answering a question. How do you distinguish between the two? I see nothing in his post supporting your assumption over the other. What evidence do you have in support of your assumption? Or, if you have none, why do you think it proper to presume that asking questions equals looking for commands rather than help with answers?

In my capacity as Matt the guy (not Matt the moderator), I say that's a pretty lame response.

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Why are you looking to other people to tell you how to live your life?

One possible motivation for asking questions in such situations can be to gain from trade in a society of cognitive division of labor.

If tnunamak and I were having a face-to-face conversation, I would ask him about his hierarchy of values. In other words, in the area of gains he expects to make from socializing with others -- including romantic partners -- where does this episode fit in?

Tnunamak, what are your long-term goals in the area of romantic relationships in particular and friendships in general? Have you formulated such goals? If not, you may be floundering because you have no value structure, no context, in which to evaluate your actions and experiences.

Edited by BurgessLau
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I enjoyed it all while it was taking place, but after thinking about it I am wondering about a few things. What things did I do that were immoral?
As far as the long-term goal is concerned (like I have a clue what your goal is), I don't think it's the wisest way to live the rest of your life. To the extent that you yourself don't know that goal, it's unreasonable for you to crawl into a box and not live until you get the ultimate clue. You raised this point about how this is apparently how she makes out; the question is, why does that make any difference to you one way or the other? (Or, does it?) The question you should ask yourself is, what have you done to betray your principles? Don't confuse morality with religious dictates such as "sex is only allowed when blessed by the church". If you think you have betrayed some of your principles, then either reexamine your principles, or reexamine your behavior.
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That being said, tnuamak, I don't think you did anything immoral (keeping in mind the context, that we don't know your long-term goals). I mean, what are the possible long-term injurious consequences, here? Maybe some unpleasant rumors? You didn't HURT her, did you? Are you concerned that you possibly took advantage of her? Well, that's sweet of you if it is so. If she wants to drink and possibly behave in a manner she wouldn't choose without the alcohol, that's her fault, not yours.

I'd say, if you think you perhaps went too far knowing she was intoxicated, you should make restitution. Perhaps spend time with her to find out more about her as a person, something you might have wanted to do before this situation came about.

In fact, by going to check and see that she was all right, you already did a good thing, so I wouldn't worry too much more about it. Just remember how you felt about it this time in case you're tempted to act so again in the future.

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Only one thing bothers me and that is this:

Anyway, I am talking to my friend about it later, and he tells me about how she makes out with guys all the time, and with one particular guy goes even further. Basically, she does stuff like this a lot

If it is your wish to remain this person's friend, then I don't think that discussing the event with others the following day was the best way of going about that.

Also, I would look at rumours relating to the young lady's alleged promiscuity with some skepticism. They may not be true and you may be looking at her in a way that she does not deserve and that you may regret.

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Why are you looking to other people to tell you how to live your life?

Am I looking to them to ask how I should live my life? My intention is to get different perspectives on the situation, and hopefully find a clear one that makes sense to me and that I can evaluate myself.

If tnunamak and I were having a face-to-face conversation, I would ask him about his hierarchy of values. In other words, in the area of gains he expects to make from socializing with others -- including romantic partners -- where does this episode fit in?

Tnunamak, what are your long-term goals in the area of romantic relationships in particular and friendships in general? Have you formulated such goals? If not, you may be floundering because you have no value structure, no context, in which to evaluate your actions and experiences.

I think this is a key part of the issue... I have very firm idea about my own standards, as long as it doesn't have to do with my evaluation of other people. What gains do I expect to make from socializing with others? To be honest, I can't say I really know the complete answer to that. I supose that I interact with my close friends because it makes certain activities more enjoyable, conversation included (you need two or more people for conversation). Romantically, where does this episode fit in? Perhaps it falls more along the lines of learning where I stand. I will be the first to admit that I haven't had a lot of experience with the opposite gender, mainly because I have never felt like putting too much effort into pursuing something/someone that I didn't feel was at a pretty high standard. If in the past things like this had happened, where I didn't have to do much to initiate it myself, I probably couldn't say that. Whether that is good or bad, I honestly don't have a strong opinion about...

As far as the long-term goal is concerned (like I have a clue what your goal is), I don't think it's the wisest way to live the rest of your life. To the extent that you yourself don't know that goal, it's unreasonable for you to crawl into a box and not live until you get the ultimate clue. You raised this point about how this is apparently how she makes out; the question is, why does that make any difference to you one way or the other? (Or, does it?) The question you should ask yourself is, what have you done to betray your principles? Don't confuse morality with religious dictates such as "sex is only allowed when blessed by the church". If you think you have betrayed some of your principles, then either reexamine your principles, or reexamine your behavior.

Why does it make any difference to me about what she does with other guys? I have thought about that, and I'm not whether it does or doesn't. Have I betrayed my principles? I suppose that is what I am really asking, but I don't know where to start in answering it. If you were to ask me something like, 'Did you betray your principles by cheating on a test,' or 'Did you betray your principles by doing a lazy job on a project,' I could give you a very definitive, logical answer. When it comes to whether I betray my principles because of the nature of my interactions with other people, the question becomes a little harder to answer.

One thing I can say is that I have always held myself to high standards, but have never expected any sort of standards from anyone else. For example, if I decide to team up with someone to work on an assignment, and they do a bad job, then I try not to blame them. Next time I pick a different partner or work by myself. Whether this principle applies to the situation... maybe you can help me answer that.

That being said, tnuamak, I don't think you did anything immoral (keeping in mind the context, that we don't know your long-term goals). I mean, what are the possible long-term injurious consequences, here? Maybe some unpleasant rumors? You didn't HURT her, did you? Are you concerned that you possibly took advantage of her? Well, that's sweet of you if it is so. If she wants to drink and possibly behave in a manner she wouldn't choose without the alcohol, that's her fault, not yours.

I'd say, if you think you perhaps went too far knowing she was intoxicated, you should make restitution. Perhaps spend time with her to find out more about her as a person, something you might have wanted to do before this situation came about.

In fact, by going to check and see that she was all right, you already did a good thing, so I wouldn't worry too much more about it. Just remember how you felt about it this time in case you're tempted to act so again in the future.

In regard to possible long-term consequences on my part, I don't see too many practicle problems arising. Rumors? Oh well, I don't have any expectations about how people should regard me. If they are the kind of people to judge me, then I have little reason to consider their thoughts about me, unless of course they were connected to me in some way, like if they were my parents, but the chances of something like that happening are too negligible to consider.

As far as consequences on her part go, I am sure that she was fully aware of what she was doing, and I definitely didn't rush her into it or neglect to give her a chance to slow down or stop. As far as I know, I didn't hurt her. Did I take advantage of her? Only as much as one intoxicated individual can take advantage of another. Despite my intoxication, I did make the conscious effort to tell myself where I would draw the line as far as how far I would go with her, and I think considering the situation it was reasonable.

Okay, one quick follow up. If you offer restitution, be very careful how you do so. Don't start the conversation with "How much for last night?".

I think the general 'vibe' is, "it was fun but we don't need to talk about it." This doesn't seem to make things akward between us.

Only one thing bothers me and that is this:

If it is your wish to remain this person's friend, then I don't think that discussing the event with others the following day was the best way of going about that.

Also, I would look at rumours relating to the young lady's alleged promiscuity with some skepticism. They may not be true and you may be looking at her in a way that she does not deserve and that you may regret.

The friend I really talked to about it is one of my good friends from this school who transferred from here (Texas) to Atlanta. I have been pretty careful not to say too much to too many people.

As far as the rumors go, I am a little skeptical but at the same time I wouldn't be shocked to know they were true. They are all from the same string of sources (a certain person who told another certain person who told my friend), so obviously they aren't 100% reliable, but I'm trying to look at things in the context of a worst-case scenario.

Thanks for all the feedback guys

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Lets end this real quick:

Is hanging about a girl who will get drunk, get at least half naked with a random male, and then tell you it was all an "accident" the next morning something you value?

If so, why?

(by the way, that was rhetorical. If you honestly would value a woman with such deficiencies, may I suggest an alternative that would probably be best in the long haul?)

Edited by Pancho Villa
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Lets end this real quick:

Is hanging about a girl who will get drunk, get at least half naked with a random male, and then tell you it was all an "accident" the next morning something you value?

If so, why?

Firstly, I wouldn't exactly call myself a "random male." I have known her for a few months, we just don't see eachother that frequently. We have had a fair share of conversation, in fact, ironically enough she is one of the few people to have recognized Atlas Shrugged in my room, and says it's her favorite book... Also, she knows my roommate and some of my other close friends well enough that I wouldn't consider her a random girl.

Secondly, is hanging out with a girl like that something I value? Well, let's start from the context of the situation as it happened. I didn't know anything about how she supposedly does stuff like this all of the time with different guys, so my estimations of her motive were not the same as they are now that I have learned about those things. Now, would I hold against her the fact that she would be so quick to do with me the things she did? Honestly, before I learned more about her, in comparison to other girls I know, she seemed to have some pretty attractive intellectual qualities. I would have liked to think that what happened with us happened because we liked certain qualities about eachother that were not as easy to find as looking to some random guy or girl. I don't mean that to too great an extent, because obviously I didn't know terribly well, but at least to the extent that it was a factor in why the whole thing happened.

I think what might be bothering me is that under what I thought were the circumstances, I wouldn't (and didn't) see a problem with doing what I did, but now it isn't comforting to know that the situation wasn't really what I thought it was. My follow-up question to that would be whether it wouldn't bother me if I had known the reality of the situation up front, which would have changed the nature of the experience from my perspective. That is a difficult question for me to answer directly.

Edited by tnunamak
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You still failed to answer how exactly a woman who would drink to the point of bad decision making, go to 'second base' with you and then act like nothing happened/tell you it was a 'mistake' the next morning can be of any value to you.

Am I saying you should have known beforehand? I think so, but I am a shrewd judge of character and you might be deficient in that area, so I can allow for that.

But now, how can she be worth considering at all?

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What I didn't know beforehand is that she would act as if nothing happened and call it a mistake. Looking at it in the context of what I knew at the time, any judgements about her character that I would deduce from her actions, would be judgements that would apply to my own character as well (possibly moreso, I kind of initiated most of what happened), considering that I was just as willing to do what we did. So working at it backwards, did I hold myself to standards that I value? I think I would safely say yes to that. So in that context I would almost feel as if I didn't have anything against what she did. Now that I have reason to believe that her motives were different from what I thought they were, however, I can say that I can't get the same value from her again. Does she have any other value to offer? Entertainment value perhaps? That's something I'll have to think about a little.

Edited by tnunamak
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Okay, one quick follow up. If you offer restitution, be very careful how you do so. Don't start the conversation with "How much for last night?".

I think this is exactly what he should say, followed by... for the wine. :wub: I'm half kidding here, but it seems that there is too much analysis here of your value structure, your goals, your reasons for hanging out with people, and no thought as to what needs to be really needs to be judged: HER. So you talk with her and you made out with her one night. GOOD. if you talk to her on frequently you obvioiusly don't think she is annoying and stupid. As far as her being permiscious, judge her for yourself. If you want to pursue her, you should find this info out from her. This only works if she's honest of course, but I doubt as an objectivist you care to associate with dishonest people.

BTW pancho reminds me of the old lady in the boardroom scence of tommy boy "and that's when the whores show up." and her husband saying "I slept with a prosititue in 1954 and she still won't let me forget about it." :P

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I guess you make a fair comparison there (EDIT: directed to Pancho). I am still in the process of reading Atlas Shrugged, and one thing that struck me was when Rearden is about to sign away the rights to his metal, and he talks about how he damned himself for what was actually one of his greater qualities, the fact that his body was able to naturally act in accordance with his mind, like when he got excited at the first sight of Dagny. When I read this I kind of thought of it as the end result of years of sticking to principles, and it seems like an ideal goal to strive for. I suppose trying to derive entertainment value from women in that manner is kind of going against that idea.

I am really just trying to clearly understand where I consider my boundaries to be and why... I think I have learned a lot about myself in the last 2 days...

Edited by tnunamak
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Its not just going 'against that idea,' it is working towards the destruction of the principle behind it.

Men work by principles. If you act on such a whim, you are acting in accordance with the principle that such is what you should pursue - which is obviously not in your best interests.

But, moreover, why bother with such a girl? Your time is best spent elsewhere. Masturbation is certainly far more rewarding a use of your time, and doesn't involve all the wonderful things that screwing around with an irrational woman gets to.

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Tnunamak,

Tell me first, if I am reading you correctly:

You got involved with this girl under the influence of alcohol. You were feeling okay about it, that you liked being that involved with her because you liked her. But then you find out that she doesn't feel the same way, so you regret that you let the alcohol take you farther than you would have gotten in a more rational state of mind.

Further, you find out that it is rumored that she often becomes physically involved with people that she doesn't really love. You, not knowing this, assumed that her affections were genuine and now you are feeling a bit let down. In fact, you're wondering where you went wrong, how to feel about it, and how to act in the future.

Is the above accurate? I'd like to confirm before replying.

Edited by Inspector
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One thing I can say is that I have always held myself to high standards, but have never expected any sort of standards from anyone else. For example, if I decide to team up with someone to work on an assignment, and they do a bad job, then I try not to blame them. Next time I pick a different partner or work by myself. Whether this principle applies to the situation... maybe you can help me answer that.

[...]

In regard to possible long-term consequences on my part, I don't see too many practicle problems arising. Rumors? Oh well, I don't have any expectations about how people should regard me. If they are the kind of people to judge me, then I have little reason to consider their thoughts about me, unless of course they were connected to me in some way, like if they were my parents, but the chances of something like that happening are too negligible to consider.

You understand the principle, but seem unsure of yourself.

Maybe add "friends and rational acquaintances" to "parents" in the above quote for enhanced understanding.

Yes, the principle applies. In general, give people the benefit of the doubt until they prove you wrong. Judge them according to your values.

"Judge, and prepare to be judged."

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Inspector

Yes, after giving it a bit of thought, I think I agree with that. The only thing I might say is that I don't know that I would say that the alcohol made me act completely irrationally. I really did like her, and although I probably went further than I would have otherwise, I don't think I would have prevented something from happening if the alcohol was not a factor.

Edited by tnunamak
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Inspector

Yes, after giving it a bit of thought, I think I agree with that. The only thing I might say is that I don't know that I would say that the alcohol made me act completely irrationally. I really did like her, and although I probably went further than I would have otherwise, I don't think I would have prevented something from happening if the alcohol was not a factor.

Nobody said it made you act "completely irrationally," just... a bit hasty. And even then you had set limits and stuck to them. You could be feeling a lot worse!

Okay, so it seems that if my assesment was accurate, then your task right now is to find out where you went wrong and how to prevent it in the future. As for how you're feeling right now, it's perfectly natural. Emotionally speaking, you went out on a limb and this girl didn't return your affections.

What you are looking for, then, is caution. You don't want to end up with a "whoops" situation like this again. What you need to do in the future is, in my opinion:

1) Know your limits with alcohol; don't get "drunk" or even "buzzed," especially around other people.

2) Get to know a partner better before you build them up in your head to be something they may or may not be.

3) If you do take an interest in a person romantically, become a sleuth: learn everything there is to learn about them. Listen to them: find out about their life, their sense of life, their motivations, and their methods of operation. Only as you get to know them well should you attempt to engage in romance and... romantic acts. :)

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Would this be a concise and slightly less concrete summary of the question being asked in this thread:

Two college friends, alone one night, experiment with sex and regret it the next morning. Does this make them evil?

Or is it more about a college girl who is confused about sex?

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1) Know your limits with alcohol; don't get "drunk" or even "buzzed," especially around other people.

2) Get to know a partner better before you build them up in your head to be something they may or may not be.

3) If you do take an interest in a person romantically, become a sleuth: learn everything there is to learn about them. Listen to them: find out about their life, their sense of life, their motivations, and their methods of operation. Only as you get to know them well should you attempt to engage in romance and... romantic acts. :P

I think those are all good ideas.

Would this be a concise and slightly less concrete summary of the question being asked in this thread:

Two college friends, alone one night, experiment with sex and regret it the next morning. Does this make them evil?

Or is it more about a college girl who is confused about sex?

It takes a lot for me to regret something. I think that I could have learned the same lesson at a much greater price, and I'm almost glad that it happened because now I know how to approach a similar situation in the future.

Now, whether it is moral or not, that is something that I don't think has been explained as well as I had hoped. Obviously, however, it correlates with the fact that I could have been more careful than I was.

A side note--I found out that what usually happens is that she goes to a certain guy's room, who is the kind of guy that can manipulate people into doing what he wants, gets drunk, and does things with him. Then apparently she regrets it the next morning, but will do it again a few days later. I would be sympathetic... but she does it to herself so I'm not.

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Now, whether it is moral or not, that is something that I don't think has been explained as well as I had hoped. Obviously, however, it correlates with the fact that I could have been more careful than I was.

I don't see anything necessarily immoral about what you did, but I'm not willing to say it was entirely moral, either. In this situation, I don't think anyone but you or your very close friends have the kind of context to say for sure; context is key in making any sort of moral judgment.

I will help give you some guidelines in deciding for yourself whether your actions were moral or immoral, however. If you had previously recognized any facts which clued you in as to the character of this girl, but ignored them, then it was immoral, although probably not horribly so. If you really had no clue that she was "that kind of girl," then it's ridiculous to hold yourself morally responsible for honest ignorance.

In any event, if you decide that you behaved immorally, there's not really much that can be done about it at this point; what's done is done. The best you can to is examine where you went wrong, do what you can to make it up to whomever has been hurt (this includes yourself), and move forward, using this experience as a guide to action in the future. By doing that (and this goes for most minor breaches of morality, and even a few major ones), you can make good on your evasion. Successfully making good on a moral transgression is very moral, and very courageous as well.

All in all, you sound like a pretty good guy. The fact that you recognize you may have done something wrong, and are seriously examining your actions to determine what your errors were (if any), says a great deal about your character. Keep that up, and you'll do just fine. :P

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Successfully making good on a moral transgression is very moral, and very courageous as well.

What exactly do you mean by "moral transgression?" Dictionary.com defines transgression as, "A violation of a law, command, or duty." http://www.answers.com/transgression&r=67

Thanks for all the feedback and help though, to everyone. I have learned quite a bit about myself and I'm sure I have learned things about myself that will be good to know in the future.

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