Earlier this week, a video surfaced (apparently posted on IG Live) of 23-year-old singer Summer Walker being held by the throat by her boyfriend, 28-year-old producer London on da Track. In the video, Summer is pleading with London to stop, repeatedly saying “Ow!” and “It hurts!”. London tells her to “Say you love me,” and she acquiesced. He pulls her in for a kiss before finally letting her go.
While some may consider this “cute” or “play-fighting”, or like Summer said in the video “This is supposed to be sexy”-- I contend that this is actually dangerous.
Rock with me for a minute.
Certain things should not be considered cute or sexy, especially when someone is doing something to your body that causes harm, like pinching or slapping or choking. Every time you allow someone to violate your body in that way, even as “ a joke”, you are telling them that it is okay to treat your body this way. The next time, when it’s not a joke, they won’t hesitate to hurt you. And they will feel justified when doing it.
This is why boundaries are so important. When you set boundaries (and enforce them), you let people know what is acceptable and what is not. If you don’t want a partner who feels like it’s okay to lay hands on you, then you make it clear from the beginning that this behavior is unacceptable.
And this doesn’t absolve the person who is testing your boundaries or hurting you. People are going to try you, and they will be in the wrong. Don’t be afraid to tell them that. You deserve better than to be pushed around and hurt, even in the name of “fun and games”. No more excusing bad behavior.