For starters, if any of you haven’t read my post about how I sexted a guy (“V”) who lived out of town, changed my mind, and then spent 2 months dealing with his unalterable expectations, regardless of my sledge-hammer techniques to try convince him that I really and truly had changed my mind, which culminated in his visiting Montreal, and a very awkward date, I suggest y’all do. Its rather amusing, and necessary context for what follows.
I wrote how Coach and Nene, to my surprise, seemed unfazed by V’s behaviour, “Vanilla, you wouldn’t understand, you’re not a guy. You sexting him, changing your mind and being a tease… that was playing hard to get. Of course he wouldn’t listen to anything you say after that point!”
Approximately 50% of the responses I’ve received (mostly guys, ranging in age from 25-50, and some women too) have repeated variations of Coach and Nene’s statements.
- “That’s just how guys are, they might hear you but they won’t believe you – you were interested once, and changed your mind, why wouldn’t you change it again?” OR;
- “You shouldn’t have opened that door if you didn’t want him to come a’knocking” OR;
- “Lesson learned, next time you won’t be a tease” OR my personal favorite, from my recently affianced straight-as-an-arrow accountant friend Brown Socks;
- “Well you texted a guy for two days saying you were going to lick his balls and bang him like a snare drum… you could see why he might question your inclinations.”
You guys. NO. NO NO NO NO NO NO. I was so taken aback by these responses that I went on a rant about this sextaster at the cafeteria at work… while a VP was present at the lunch table. She did not look impressed, nor did she participate in that conversation. #careerboostingmoves
Here is my issue with all of these responses – they place the responsibility for V’s unacceptable behaviour squarely on my shoulders. They imply (subtly or explicitly) that the wrong I did (sext + flip-flop into being a tease) is the justification for his wrong (being tone-deaf and pursuing his agenda regardless of the number of times I told him I was no longer down for any hookup/romantic quasi-relationship activity).
Y’all. Two wrongs do not make a right. This is not the same thing as telling me that I should have known better than to skip wearing sunscreen, and that I should’ve therefore expected to get burned. In the sunscreen scenario, there is one human capable of perceptiveness, intuition and rational thought (me), and one inanimate object (the sun). The sun’s behaviour is a constant, and the only person capable of altering the outcome of the situation is myself, by applying sunscreen or not. There is a direct correlation between my behaviour and the outcome. Unless everyone responding to my sextaster is implying that V is no more evolved than an inanimate object, and is incapable of discerning when he is inflicting discomfort, the sunscreen analogy falls short.
I hate to go there, but these responses are worryingly close to the whole “she should’ve known better than to wear provoking clothing” argument. My poor decision in sexting V is NOT JUSTIFICATION for his subsequent blithe disregard for 2 months’ worth of my statements assuring him that I had changed my mind and was 100% not willing to pursue that road.
One of my friends, a woman, came up with the following analogy.
Let’s say I had promised V to bake him a cake (not an apple pie, y’all let’s stay focussed on the discussion at hand): the best banana-chocolate cake ever, with Nutella frosting. If I’d spent 2 days boasting about how this cake would be the cake to end all cakes, and how much I’d enjoy baking it, V would be pretty pumped. I think we can all agree that if, soon after my promise, I changed my mind and told him that I wasn’t going to bake the cake, he would pretty sad, and even a little upset that I had wasted his time, and broken my promise. All of which he would be entitled to do since breaking my promise is an uncool thing to do. Possibly, he might spend a little bit of time assessing why I had changed my mind, and if there was anything he could do to change my mind. Eventually, however, we would all expect V to accept that no cake was coming his way, and either go look elsewhere for some cake, or accept this unintended dietary restriction.
What we would not deem to be appropriate behaviour on V’s behalf is if he listened to my repeal of the cake offer, said he understood, but then responded, “Imma still show up at your place with birthday candles and matches, it’s ok if you don’t have any cake though, the candles will be enough, I sure do love cake though, but don’t feel bad.” If he then continued to plan and discuss obliquely his interest in eating cake with me, for two months, despite my frequent reminders that I was not only refusing to provide cake, but I didn’t want anything to do with cake, we can agree that at the very least he is an annoying potential guest, and at the worst, some kind of passive-aggressive manipulator.
Cake, sex, buttons, guacamole, back-rubs… it doesn’t matter what I teased V about.
Here is a comic strip you might like explaining quite succinctly your cake analogy: http://www.boredpanda.com/consent-rape-comics-alli-kerkham/
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Pretty much. I get uncomfortable linking what happened to me to something as extreme as the rape culture… But at the same time, I strongly believe that attitudes exhibited about “harmless” stories like the one that happened to me are the foundation for rape culture.
Understandable. The link I provided is more of an extreme example but it illustrated the point. Pun intended 🙂
As for my response to the previous email chain. I feel I should clarify my statement. I never condoned “V’s” behaviour but rather try to explain what might be going through his mind from a male’s perspective. I’ve heard several stories from friends of mine along these lines. I’ve also once been on the receiving end of being “lead on” where the woman was teasing constantly but had no intention of pursuing anything more than platonic with me. However, she never made it clear until I confronted her about it.
The whole tone of this seems very black and white to me, which as a square, brown-socked accountant I guess I’m stereotypically supposed to like.
It does seem to me though that things aren’t so black and white. Maybe the above would be a pretty clearly valid position if, for example, you’d wound up on the wrong end of a CSI rape case.
In the end though, as much as your setting friend shouldn’t have had much expectation, I. E. Not nearly enough to drive five hours, the point was he wouldn’t have had ANY if not for you.
Also, you STILL went out with him. That was your choice too.
Maybe the guy has uber blue balls and dreamt about your setting daily. So then maybe the 10% chance of you changing your mind made at least hanging out with you not seem so bad.
“Setting”… don`t be such an accountant. Use the real word and monitor your phone’s autocorrect! 🙂
You haven`t really said anything that is different from my cake analogy. I promised him a cake and then for 2 months explained and repeated that there would be no cake. Just like someone holding out in the hopes of cake for 2 months is a bit unfortunate, so is V’s behaviour. The only thing that makes this “understandable” is that instead of describing Nutella banana-chocolate cake, I was describing sexual acts, which apparently take complete and utter hold over a dude’s brain.
Incidentally, sexting is NOT the same thing as promising sex. So that makes his behaviour even less acceptable.
Good manners apply, EVEN WHEN SEX IS INVOLVED, Y’ALL!
My choice to go out with him should not be deemed to be an encouragement or a validation of his behaviour. My choice to not retaliate to his behaviour by further assholery on my part is exactly that: a CHOICE.
Well, wouldn’t the description of sex acts be towards his direction (and vice-versa), thus implying a certain level of intimacy? Indeed, it’s not a promise of sex but it’s not necessarily a big leap for him to JUMP to that conclusion (stress on the word jump). However, he should have reigned himself in after you made your position explicitly and abundantly clear.
In my interpretation of this whole situation, context and subtext appears to have been the issue. Using your example, I could describe a cake in a very clinical manner: It’s made with nutella. It’s circular in shape, etc. On the other hand, I can focus on describing it on the sensations one might experience while eating it. I would describe how delicious and moist it is; how it’s almost as good as sex. We all associate sensations, emotions and thoughts to certain words. These connotations will alter how each person’s interpretation while reading both descriptions. If you dislike nutella, you might lose interest in wanting to eat the cake. If you adore the stuff, then you might try to imagine the taste in your mouth. The clinical description might sound boring while the other is enticing.
As Brown Socks stated, the guy likely thought the prior interactions did leave a window of opportunity for actual sex to happen because to him, sexting is a step towards actual intimate interaction. I’ll add most guys I know would interpret this to be the same manner but it could be for different reasons. One man might see this as a precursor to casual sex as you didn’t shy away from sexting at first. While another might associate strong feelings of intimacy out of the exchange and feel a deeper connection. Thus, pursuing a relationship with you is very desirable because he felt that connection. I don’t know “V” nor his motives. If he was willing to go to the lengths he did, I would tend to lean towards the latter.
In the end, it’s up to both of you to reach your own conclusions from the experience. He could learn sexting =/= promise of sex. However, there are many guys who will just reduce their opinion of you to be a “tease” as a way to rationalize their behaviour. Some guys are insecure and can’t fathom why a woman might reject their sexual advances and will instead project these negative feelings on those who spurned their advances.
A “tease”? Really? If the situation was reversed and YOU had been the one after a guy for two months who made it clear he didn’t want anything beyond sexting, I rather doubt he would be called a tease–you’d just be called crazy. Funny how that works, huh.
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I know. It is driving me nuts!!!
I’m 100% with you on this Anxious Mum. No way you wouldn’t have been labelled a nutjob if roles had been reversed.
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YES YES YES YES YES. So with you on this.
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I think you are right that this type of response is a worrying indication of attitudes to women & sex. The prick who raped me used the fact I’d hooked up with a couple of the other boys in his friendship as a justification for why what he did was OK. I’d actively repelled all his sleazy advances that takes the ‘any indiction of interest in sex = practically a guarantee of sex’ mentality to a whole new level. Sorry, don’t mean to make this all depressive here, but I think you raise important issues.
PS. And this is important because otherwise I’m going to feel bad for commenting at all. Other readers please don’t feel you can’t disagree with me or with the original point in the post now that I’ve mentioned the ‘r’ word. I’m not a fragile flower. I was a mess but I’m OK now and it’s not going to upset me having an intellectual debate about an important issue.
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