One time, I was out dancing at a local club with my partner. He left my side to go help a friend at the entrance and a few minutes after he left, I had a guy bump into me. At first I thought it was a mistake, but my non-reaction must have encouraged this guy to try again. The guy came up behind me on my right side and rubbed his body up against me while dancing. My usual instinct to whip around and push was not online but I turned around slowly – purposefully, stopped and stared at him with a condescending look of “are you serious?” The look must have been uncomfortable for him as he evaded eye contact and danced away. He wasn’t large or menacing or threatening in any way and could have been a techie from Silicon Valley who didn’t know any better. I know there isn’t good education on How To Behave In A Club so I felt a little pity. I thought about pulling him aside and educating him as to why that’s not a good thing to do but I let the moment pass.
My partner came back and I told him about it and pointed the guy out. He must have been thinking for a while about it bc he came back to me and asked if he should go up to the guy and do to him what he did to me. I thought it was BRILLIANT. He said he remembered one of my friends writing about a similar situation on the BART. My partner didn’t end up doing it because we didn’t see the guy again. But what a experiential lesson this guy would have gotten! Direct exposure to the same feeling women get when someone unwanted rubs up against them and how to make a person feel unsafe in public spaces.
My partner’s inspiration was my friend Chris Brecheen. Chris wrote about his experience on BART from 2013 and I recommend you read this and share it. http://www.chrisbrecheen.com/2013/07/changing-creepy-guy-narrative.html?m=1
Today, I don’t have any answers on how to fix this problem in Dating in America 2017 but I’d like to suggest to think about a few things:
Where do we learn about How To Pick Up Others (in a dating context)? Is this a sufficient source?
What do we do if it’s not working?
How do we help others know what is okay and what is creepy?
How do we help the “Creeps” to learn to respect others’ space?
How can we get more men to be allies in these situations?
Just some food for thought.
(C) 2017 The MamaSutra
These stories come from my real-life adventures. I’d love to hear about your experiences, so if it’s comfortable for you, feel free to share your story in the comment section below.
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