Social Question

ShanEnri's avatar

What does it mean when a man says, "I don't want to hurt you, but I do want to play with you."?

Asked by ShanEnri (4414points) August 28th, 2015

There is a man I work with and we both like one another quite a bit. One night he texted me this message and I just really don’t know what to think of it. I would just like your opinions about it please!

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30 Answers

Kropotkin's avatar

It means he wants to play with you without hurting you.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Sounds like he wants a FWB relationship with you.

Kardamom's avatar

Sounds like a creep to me. Save the text, just in case you need to show it to your employer or the authorities later.

I’m guessing that he does not want to date you, but he may want to have sex with you. But the way the text is worded, it sounds like he may indeed want to hurt you, either intentionally or un-intentionally, to lure you in. Either way, it doesn’t sound good.

ibstubro's avatar

I would have texted back,
“S&M? lol”.

stanleybmanly's avatar

My guess is that he likes you, but he doesn’t want to get serious. Fun yes. Commitment, no thanks. @Kardamom the creeps are the ones who don’t tell you up front, and pretend otherwise.

Cruiser's avatar

It means he is a spokesman for Subway.

syz's avatar

Um, creepnoid.

Buttonstc's avatar

Honestly, the way it’s code-worded, it sounds as if he’s fishing for an S&M playmate and hoping that you’re submissively inclined.

If you want to explore that further then answer affirmatively. But my guess is you aren’t interested. So if you let him know you have no idea what he’s talking about, (or that you aren’t into D&S play) he will likely drop the pursuit.

The ball is in your court.

chyna's avatar

Run far, far away from him.

jca's avatar

If I were to guess, I’d say that you and he were exchanging some very flirty correspondence and he felt confident that you’d be receptive to his advances. He’s letting you know he wants to play around. Now it’s up to you whether you want to continue the flirtation or nip it in the bud.

talljasperman's avatar

He wants a casual fling.

wsxwh111's avatar

It means he feels if you two would ever enter a serious relationship he would end up hurting you like hell, so he doesn’t want that, and doesn’t want anything serious, but still want to have casual “fun”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

He just wants sex.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

At least he is honest.

johnpowell's avatar

If Taco Bell was honest their ads would look something like this… “Our food is delicious but just don’t eat us before a long bus trip because you will end up having a shart

He is being honest which is good, but he is a asshole and run.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

Everyone is right about him wanting casual sex from you, but nothing more. The thing that is a big, big warning flag for me is that he qualified it with “I don’t want to hurt you”, which makes me think that there’s a reason he qualified it. Like he possibly knows that you wouldn’t want casual sex or knows that you already have feelings for him. If that’s the case and you do already have feelings for him, I suggest that you be extremely cautious, because he could easily play mind games with you to get what he wants – and trust me when I say that if that’s how he is, he’ll be good at getting what he wants.

There’s someone who was very important to me at one point in my life who I’m 95% sure now is a genuine sociopath, and he said something similar to me at one point. If you’re also interested in casual sex, by all means, have fun and be responsible. But if you want more? I genuinely urge you to guard your body and your heart.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I’m beginning to wonder has romance become tougher or riskier for women? I didn’t read anything particularly threatening in that statement. It didn’t even occur to me that “play with you” meant “play with your emotions”. Were a woman to say such a thing to me, I would take it as “ok buster I’ll give you a tumble, but don’t you go falling in love”. Haven’t we all had invitations like that? Now if someone is throwing off signs of being desperately in love with you, then of course “I just want to play” is contemptible.

dammitjanetfromvegas's avatar

“I want to play with you” is fine.

“I don’t want to hurt you” is bothersome and questionable.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@stanleybmanly I think, in general, everyone has had that kind of invitation. But typically, when people are interested in casual sex, they say that and leave it at that. It’s unnecessary to qualify it with “I don’t want to hurt you”, unless there’s already a reason to qualify it.

If there is a reason to qualify it, it points to how selfish and uncaring he is to disregard her feelings, because what he wants – her body – is more important than how confused she might get if she does get involved with him. It’s manipulative, even, because he’s giving her a morsel of himself, but just enough to draw her in. Because, chances are, she’s also sexually attracted to him, so it’s almost intoxicating – and he knows it. If she does like him, it’ll give her a false hope about it growing into something more. And what better way for him to get what he wants than to point out how caring and considerate he is by saying outright that he doesn’t want to hurt her? It’s definitely the qualifier that drags it into creepy territory.

Anyway… this is all speculation on my part, of course. None of us know how the OP does feel about him, if she feels anything at all. I am very much drawing from my own experiences with a sociopath, but I figured a word of warning might be a good thing in this case. Especially because if she works with him, she’ll have to be around him all the time.

jca's avatar

I think, to answer this accurately, it would be helpful to know what the texts preceding this were. What did the OP say to him? Did she say “I don’t want to fall in love?” Did she say “I don’t want to get too attached to you?” If she said something about emotions, that is probably what he is referring to. Can the OP please provide more detail?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@stanleybmanly I’ve never said to a guy, “OK, I’ll give you a tumble, but don’t go falling in love with me.” I’ve never offered myself to guy casually, in that way, ever.
No guy has ever said that to me, either. I would have just laughed!

“Romance” is the same as it always was, I think. Men trying to get laid, doing almost anything to get laid. Women shrugging their shoulders, maybe giving in sometimes. Mostly not, though.

@jca has a good point. It would help to have some context. Did they have a casual flirtation going on?

ucme's avatar

Sounds like a confused Liam Neeson, dementia maybe.

ShanEnri's avatar

For everyone who’s interested…first off I’m married and he has a long time girlfriend. We are not sure where our relationship will or can go. He’s always making comments and references toward s&m. I just have no idea what he’s talking about most of the time. I do REALLY like him and I think he feels the same. I just don’t know.

Buttonstc's avatar

You wrote: “He’s always making comments and references toward s&m…”

Well, that explains a lot and rather confirms the assumption I made in my first post.

But I’m confused by what you’ve said. “I do REALLY like him and I think he feels the same. I just don’t know.”

Don’t know what? Whether his latest text is fishing to see if you’d be interested in “playing” with him in an s&m type of way? (in all likelihood, yes, that’s what he’s hinting at)

Don’t know whether you want to have an affair with him? Whether you’re interested in s&m and considering his offer? Don’t know if he feels the same toward you as you do toward him? What is it that you “just don’t know”?

My best guess regarding him is that even tho he is in a long term relationship, his girlfriend just isn’t into the type of play he’s looking for. He’s realistic enough to know that it’s just not everybody’s cup of tea. He doesn’t want to pressure her into something that would not be mutually consensual and enjoyable. It’s highly unlikely that they haven’t thoroughly discussed it.

Therefore, he’s looking into others who enjoy what he does and would be willing to play (either with or without his girlfriends knowledge or permission.)

If this is not something that genuinely interests you and turns you on, then just tell him that it’s not your thing.

Mutual consent is a really important thing to those who are into that lifestyle. If both people aren’t enjoying it and find it a turn on, then they don’t want to pursue it or pressure someone (totally unlike the recent guy trying to manipulate people on Fluther with his pervy questions and PMs)

This guy is dropping hints because he is being ethical. He doesn’t want to manipulate anyone into something they would not also enjoy.

So, just give him a straightforward polite answer one way or the other. If you clearly tell him that this just isn’t your thing he will likely quit and drop his little hints elsewhere with no hard feelings toward you.

Of course I don’t know this guy nor really you also so everything I’ve written could be mistaken.

But from what you’ve described and other people I’ve known, I think my read on it is as good as any other.

DrasticDreamer's avatar

@ShanEnri This guy, from everything you’re saying, reminds me of the person I referenced earlier. There is absolutely nothing wrong with S&M in and of itself, and there is nothing wrong with pursuing something with him if you’re both in open relationships, but I’m still getting massive warning signs. Just like in every area of life, there are good people and bad people. Not everyone who is interested in S&M is harmless for that very reason. Some people will fuck with your mind as much as your body and not feel bad about it, at any point, along the way – all while pretending like they have your best interest at heart, when really, it’s purely motivated by their selfishness.

I’m not saying that this guy is like that, but I still urge you to be very cautious. You said that you really like him, which implies to me that there are feelings there, and his “I don’t want to hurt you” comment may have been directly referring to the feelings he knows you have for him. May I ask how long you’ve known him and whether or not you’ve ever spent time with him outside of work?

Actually… if you want, PM me? If you’re interested, I’ll try to relate more of my story to you, and you can decide whether or not you think it’s similar enough to your story to warrant caution.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, check with your husband first, and his girlfriend. Make sure it’s OK with them.

ShanEnri's avatar

Well I thank you all but we have both decided to just be friends!!!

Buttonstc's avatar

Thanks for the update. That’s cool.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Good. I saw a train wreck coming.

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