Recently I went to an event where I was representing my blog. When I was there, I met the husband of one of the hosts, who managed to make me angry, upset and uncomfortable in the very short time we spent together. This is guide to how to replicate his effective method to make me want to get out of his presence as soon as possible in three easy steps:
1. Act like the word ‘lesbian’ was the only thing that came out of my mouth
As is natural when introducing myself when I represent The Lingerie Lesbian, I said both my name and the name of this blog. What I did not expect was this response: “Oh, what a coincidence! I was just talking about lesbian things.” He explained that he had a sales rep who wanted to know if her being gay would be a problem on the job. I stood there, confused– was speaking to another lesbian in the same day really a coincidence? Was I supposed to take this example of how he almost never consciously interacted with lesbians as an amusing anecdote? All I felt was bewilderment that my sexuality was the only thing he got from our conversation.
2. Imply that you’re cool with lesbians because you think lesbian sex is hot
He went on to say, “Lesbians? Of course, I’m totally down with that,” with a half smile that suggested I was supposed to think what he was saying was funny. As a punchline of a joke, that only makes sense if you think that we have some common bond over the fact that we both think lesbians are hot. This is not something I ever want to bond with a straight guy about; my sexual identity and you getting off have nothing to do with each other and the implication that you get some pleasure from it is gross, inappropriate and bordering on harassment.
3. Remind me that I am literally on your turf
After reminding me that he thought of me as a sex object, this charming gentleman wrapped his arm around his wife, who had been party to this entire interaction, and grandly gestured around to show me what was going on. This gesture alone would feel welcoming– following our previous interaction, all I could think was how powerless I felt to say anything to him, or even to know what to say. For some reason, “Everything you have done since we first met has insulted me,” is hard to say when standing is a room where he is not just a welcome member but a host.
Why did I share this with you? Because I was upset and frustrated and wanted to give you a glimpse of how the actions of someone who I’m sure was well-meaning made me feel like a punchline more than a person. I know MANY of you know what I’m talking about, but if you don’t: this is how words hurt.