Hips and Curves asked writers to weigh in about dating in the age of #MeToo culture. Here, writer Lillie Ramirez weighs in about #MeToo, hookups, and, uh, dick pics.
Listen up, guys–
If you have come across my Tumblr, “A Good Girl with a Dirty Mind,” you already know I’m very open about my sexuality.
I like being sexually expressive online because I grew up in a conservative household: I wasn’t allowed to have a date until I was eighteen. And even though my questions about sex and sexuality weren’t exactly frowned upon, I never really felt comfortable talking about it, so Tumblr has always been my escape and a way where I can find some sort of sexual exploration since I could not explore it in the real world.
My Tumblr blog is a persona: it is a reflection of a woman who is smart, has a weird sense of humor and feels sexually liberated.
But this is not an invitation for you to send me full-body nudes asking me what I think about your body. It’s also not okay for you to tell me what you would like to do to me, even if you think my blog implies that I have a “dirty mind.”
You think sending nudes is the new way of flirting in this day and age. Most of us who grew up with a virtual screen have found a way to find some kind of courage to flirt or talk to someone that they’re interested in because you’re afraid to do it in real life. But can I let you in on a little secret? You have made it so I dread opening messages from my social media accounts. Your morning wood isn’t something I need to see first thing in the morning. I also don’t need to spend my class breaks trying to unsee videos of men masturbating in their bedrooms, cars, or workplace bathrooms just so they can indulge their need to inform me that they’re “thinking of me.”
Because guess what? Your virtual behavior is spilling over into y(our) real world.
Storytime: I met a guy from school who asked me to “hang out.” It started off innocently enough: he picked me up and we drove to get a coffee from Starbucks. But then he told me he wanted to sit in the car for a bit. He tried to kiss me, and I dodged it. When we finally went inside, he stood behind me, rubbing my stomach, kissing my neck and ear. I’d only met him once before. I finally pulled the old trick of having a friend call me with an “emergency.” I got him back into the car, but then he told me was really turned on. He then proceeded to masturbate while I was sitting right there. When he noticed I noticed, he actually put his free hand on my leg. As if I’d enjoy it, too.
In case you haven’t figured this out yet, guys, this is assault. I removed his hand and told him to stop. He didn’t. Horrified, I quickly turned my head away. Then the guy asks me what the problem is.
Here’s what you need to know about the rest of the night: He dropped me off. I got home, but I didn’t feel safe. The flat-out facts are that I didn’t know him well enough for any of that. But the deeper truth is that no one ever knows anyone well enough to be assaulted like that, especially when I’ve made it clear I’m not interested.
I actually gave the guy a side hug when I left his car. I’m still mad at myself. And yes, I blocked his number. And yes, I promised myself that I would never be in a situation like that again.
I didn’t date for a few months after that experience, though. I mean, how am I supposed to know you can’t read the signals?
Look: I’m not opposed to the idea of hooking up with you. But flashing your dick, in a virtual space or in real life, isn’t something I get to consent to, is it? Why can’t I be open about my sexuality without someone believing they have the right to tell me how horny I make them? Why can’t I post a full body picture of myself or a selfie?
Sure, the easiest thing for me would to be ignore it and block them, just like I did when the real-life dick pic happened. But you’re all not getting the message.
If I wanted a dick pic or a nude from you, I would politely ask so that we are both comfortable with the image.
Blocking isn’t enough, is it? So let’s put it out there: If you wouldn’t do it in real life, don’t do it in the virtual sphere. And if you would do it in real life, well, maybe you need to ask yourself if making someone never want to see you again is the best way for you to be spending your time.