July 4th, 2004

Postbox Fairy

Modesty

Is modesty a virtue? Why or why not? (I'm talking here about what could broadly be described as sexual modesty - modesty in dress and behaviour rather than modesty in regard to one's talents and abilities).

There are certain friends around whom I'll behave in a tactile, flirtatious manner; and there are others I won't, and when the two groups meet I start to feel awkward and somewhat ashamed of such behaviour because I assume the latter group will disapprove or at any rate look somewhat askance at it. I don't have any hard evidence for that, but I sort of feel I'm letting myself down. And it's not just a 'different behaviour for different situations' thing - I feel bad that the disapproving ones know I ever behave like this, rather than bad that I'm behaving like this in front of them. Even though, when I'm amongst the flirtatious group, I honestly don't feel I'm doing anything the slightest bit wrong.

The thing is, if I am letting myself down, how am I? Is it about a sort of insincerity, or an inappropriate use of power? Is it about me seeking approval for the wrong things? Is there something wrong about seeking to make others sexually attracted to me, and expressing my attraction towards them when I have no intention of acting on those feelings? If there is something wrong with that, does that mean I should never wear clothes that draw attention to my figure and secondary sexual characteristics? Or is it okay to do that so as long as I engage in some sort of doublethink - generating that attention, but acting as if I am unaware of its effect? Is that not even more insincere?

On another issue, I think I am, at least some of the time, flirting back not because I am attracted but merely to be polite and is that a bad thing to do? Is it, in fact, safer to flirt with those to whom you are not, or are only mildly, attracted, rather than with those where flirtation could cause an attraction to grow larger than you want? Or does flirtation act as a safety valve - a way of acknowledging attraction that actually helps prevent it going further than either of you wants it to?

What do the rest of you all think?
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