Gina de Vries

Sluts Still Get to Say No

Filed By Gina de Vries | October 14, 2008 5:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Media, The Movement
Tags: cruising for sex, feminism, sluts, web 2.0

I got another one of those gross MySpace messages this morning. You know, the "hey baby, nice tits, I want u 2 suck my dick" kind?

I get sexually harassed on the internet -- and on the street -- a fair amount. I've developed a thick skin about it, because if I got seriously traumatized every time someone made an uncomfortable comment about my sexuality, gender, or body, I'd never go online or leave the goddamn house. Sexual harassment is pretty par for the course for women (both cis and trans) in general, but I've participated in a lot of discussion recently about sexual weirdness towards women in online communities - everything from gross MySpace messages like the one I just received, to outright stalking. A disturbingly high percentage of men on Teh Interwebs see "woman" and "internet" in the same sentence and just assume "sexually available." The same way that a disturbingly high percentage of men see a girl walking down the street and think "Hey, she's A WOMAN, therefore she is sexually available to me and I am fully entitled to say whatever I want to her."

I know that, in my case, a lot of the web harassment has to do with the fact that I talk about sex, I openly cruise on the web, and I've got sexually suggestive photos of myself online. I'm aware that that makes me an easy target. But I'm wary of people who tell me that if I didn't post such sexy photos or talk about cocksucking, I wouldn't get harassed. That's disturbingly close to "Well, you wouldn't have been raped if you hadn't worn that dress!"

Posting a photo of yourself on Flickr where you show some cleavage is not asking for harassment. The same way that wearing a low-cut top walking down the street doesn't mean you suddenly want everyone you pass to comment on your breast size. Having a profile on a personals site is not the same thing as asking for harassment. The same way that being sexually open and exhibitionist doesn't mean you're immediately consenting to sex with every person you meet.

It's possible to be slutty and not want everyone's attention all the time. It's possible to invite people to cruise you, to welcome desire, and to still say no sometimes. Saying yes a lot doesn't make a slut's "no's" any less valid.

I also think it's important to distinguish between flirtation and obnoxiousness, because I'm sadly certain that some of the dudes writing those "baby, I want 2 hit it!!!1!" messages really do think they're being flirty and not creepy.

Flirtatious and cordial cruising done with some style is a hot and excellent thing. I once had a woman flirt with me online by emailing me that she loved my writing, my curls, and my vintage dresses, and that I was exactly the kind of girl she wanted to... well, that's between us. It was nice and sexy without being sleazy. She obviously respected me (and for the record, she got dates out of it).

I think the key to internet flirting is also the key to in-person flirting: a balance of confidence, humility, and grace. Don't presume the other person is going to say yes. Don't act all entitled to their attention and/or ass. Just be your sweet, sexy, and charming self, and hope for the best.

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I have to say from the standpoint of a male that we get it too. I have run across numerous females that think that just because I am male I am fine with them walking up and touching me or sending me constant advertisements for their nude pictures on line. I can't count the times I have experienced women walking up and just starting to touch my hair without asking.
I'm noy trying to minimize the fact that this happens to women but I did find the characterization that men think that it is ok to say anything to you a bit general. Not all men feel this way and act this way. Many women also act this way toward men they just are less likely to do from across the street and more likely to wakk up to you and just assume that you are ok with being touched.

This is why I don't hang out with many straights. Every, and I do mean every, straight 'friend' I've ever had has been misogynistic and homophobic. They all think that women are flirting with THEM constantly. More than that "Oh dude, she was totally into me" comment after passing a group. Like every woman on the street is just itching to jump their bones. Their female bosses are hitting one them, they take classes because the teacher is hot, it goes on and on.

I would fight with them constantly because of their misogyny and they would defend themselves by telling me that I was a feminist because I thought it would get me in the woman's pants. Then when I came out it was because I didn't understand 'how a woman works'.

I'm starting to hate straight men.

After having to live with it for most of my life, I understand the pull and "insanity" that testosterone inflicts on males. The happiest day of my life was finally getting rid of those little "T" facotries down between my legs.

Add into the mix the cultural expectations and imperitives that are put on them, and I am surprised men can still function with any degree of "normalcy" sometimes.

I have run into the "you just haven't met the right guy/you will turn straight if I f**k you" mentality of some guys, and it really just makes me laugh, after I get over being disgusted. I have noticed that, no matter how many times you say "No men" in however many different ways you put it, some guy is going to answer. they seem to have this never ending optimism that they will be able to change a woman's mind if they are persistent enough.

Yeah, I get those too - especially since the blog took off. I get the gay guy solicitations where they advertise their "good qualities" like being able to suck a bowling ball through a garden hose. It's stupid and I delete them.

But in person I tend to get the crude, "I'm straight, but I'd like to fuck you just once." I think I've been hit on by more "straight" men in my life than gay men.

Forgot to add, I LOVED this post! :)