Constructive Use Of The Situation
And Other Ways To Act Respectful In Digital Spaces
I just find it funny how…
When you hear a woman start off a conversation with the above, she most certainly doesn’t find what she’s about to say at all funny. This actually isn’t exclusive to females; however, the proliferation of memes and reels across social media platforms may lead one to assume otherwise.
In light of these observations…
I just find it funny how someone who doesn’t know you would believe a random, vulgar message is an expression of allure or charm. The recent encounters with two people who felt compelled to convey their desire to "slip inside" and have me assume the role of their "virtual sexy GF" serve as prime examples.
I will admit it was, perhaps, somewhat naive on my part to anticipate an exemption from such comments, given my role as a writer on Substack. It is crucial to clarify that this issue does not stem from the platform itself; rather, it is a reflection of the behavior exhibited by certain individuals despite the context. Regrettably, this is far from the first time I have encountered such unwelcome advances.
From adolescence into adulthood, a vast number of women find themselves grappling with an array of unwelcome sexual attention and, in particular, sexual harassment. To generalize, sexual harassment encompasses advances that persistently continue despite being explicitly communicated as offensive or unwelcome. For instance, a woman declining a drink at a bar, only to be subjected to relentless attempts at persuasion, serves as a poignant example. It would be wrong to claim that this issue predominantly affects women, as it is not exclusive to one gender—men also experience similar situations.
My objective is to discuss a specific strain of unwelcome sexual attention, manifesting as sexually suggestive comments in the realm of social media or direct messages. Some might argue that when you choose to establish an online presence, in any capacity, enduring such behavior is an inevitable part of the experience. However, I firmly reject such an excuse for this type of behavior.
Another perspective on this situation dawned on me, prompting an alternative viewpoint.
It's worth considering that sexual rejection can, in certain contexts, serve as an unexpected source of attraction. Some individuals who send these tasteless messages may, in fact, desire a response from the recipient—preferring that it be one of indignation. The heightened interaction, in their eyes, fuels a particular sexual fascination.
Within this framework, Sex Demystified is dedicated to the exploration of all facets of human sexuality, unburdened by societal shame. This is what I write about—embracing one's erotic self and fostering a deeper understanding of one's sexual identity.
However, it is crucial to address the number-one rule when diving into the exploration of sexual kinks and fetishes with others—it must always be consensual. In my case, there was no prior discussion regarding my willingness to engage in what can essentially be described—in their mind—as a form of role-play.
Perhaps, in dealing with these individuals, one must consider various motivations at play. It is plausible that some are driven by an unmet sexual need, while others may struggle with social development. It's also conceivable that, in light of the subject matter I explore in my writing, there has been a gross misinterpretation of my own sexual interests, leading to these inappropriate advances. Alternatively, these individuals could simply be narcissists, craving attention and failing to connect with others due to their lack of empathy and an inflated sense of self-importance.
The larger issue is that this happens far too often. These individuals seem intent on achieving intimidation, humiliation, domination, and degradation. Let me just say—to lighten the mood—any form of BDSM still requires consent.
My response to both of them was to offer no response whatsoever. I promptly reported and blocked them. However, I must admit that my emotions briefly got the better of me, leading to a period of self-questioning. Deep down, I knew that these unwelcome advances were in no way a reflection of my actions; but it was important for me to consider all possibilities before arriving at this resolute conclusion.
There persists a troubling and moralistic notion that a woman's attire, makeup, or even her choice to write about sexuality somehow implies she is "asking for it."
I assure you, women are not asking for it.
Initially, I was disheartened by the fact that this experience troubled me enough to write about it. I reluctantly granted it space in my thoughts, and in truth, I have no room to spare for such nonsense.
Yet, the emotions of anger and insult I felt in this instance surpassed any prior encounters on social media. Putting everything down in the form of a “shitty first draft” proved to be cathartic. It allowed me to grasp that my anger didn’t stem solely from the content of the messages; it was provoked by the audacity of the two individuals who sent them.
Many of us possess the capacity to regulate our emotions and mitigate feelings of sadness, anger, or other negative emotions. This requires a shift in focus, a reframing of the situation by diverting our attention away from the source of negativity. For instance, when someone we care about passes away, the approach is to concentrate on the cherished moments shared, rather than succumbing to grief. Granted, it is easier said than done, but the underlying idea is to alter our perception of things that impact our emotional well-being.
Emotions are conscious mental reactions subjectively experienced as strong feelings usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body.
The pivotal term here is "conscious." Synonyms for consciousness include being aware, mindful, and cognizant. When one lacks the ability to effectively manage their emotions, it can significantly influence their interactions with themselves, others, and the world at large. Maintaining a sense of equilibrium and mastery over one's emotional responses is instrumental in handling stress and maintaining composure during challenging situations. This, in turn, facilitates the expression of one's needs in a constructive manner, reducing the tendency to take things personally.
Writing helps me reframe my emotions and maintain some semblance of balance. I felt this article makes constructive use of the situation. This is solely based on my specific experiences and viewpoint; however, they should be part of a larger conversation about online etiquette, boundaries, and respectful interaction. The goal in sharing my perspective is to contribute to an ongoing discussion about online behavior and the need for respectful and consensual interactions in digital spaces.
What are your thoughts?
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