I get hit on by dudes, a lot.
I do not make this statement to brag like I’m some super-hot chick. Quite the opposite. I don’t understand it at all, but outside of that, I find getting hit on by men uncomfortable and often very annoying.
I remember sharing a ride with a musician friend a couple of years ago and me telling him the exact same thing.
‘Ooooo, there, there’ he responded in a patronising tone, patting me gently on the shoulder, ‘how awful for you!’. He them slumped back in his seat and said ‘it’s *always* fun getting hit on. Something must be wrong with you’.
Is it fun though?
I mean, here’s the thing. I’m gay, right?
That means I have to deal with unwanted attention from men who I don’t wish to interact with in that way, and there’s not an awful lot I can do about it.
If you’re a straight person, imagine if you will, venturing outside your home, doing menial tasks such as grocery or book shopping, and people of the same sex blatantly staring at you and then coming over to chat you up, and even when you make it crystal clear that you’re not interested, they still keep going, and when you eventually get mad and tell them to kindly bugger off, they make out like YOU’RE the a-hole! 😮
Don’t get me wrong, there have been a couple of guys who have approached me and been incredibly sweet and kind, but most of the time, it’s really icky.
I know you’re probably reading this thinking:
‘Blimey, KM is a right man-hater!’.
How very dare you! I am no such thing.
FACT: Most of my friends are straight dudes.
I love hanging out with a group of guys, because we have so much in common 🙂 but my male friends accept me for who I am and know that nothing is ever going to happen between us, other than in-depth conversations about cars, or sports, or action movies, or video games, or probably a combination of all these things.
I was super proud of the fact that back when I lived in the UK I was invited to my friend’s Stag-do (Batchelor Party) before he got married. It really meant a lot to me ❤ We all went bowling, they drank a shit-ton of beer. I made sure no-one went off with anyone strange. We hit a club, danced to crappy music, got some fast food and went home. It was a fun night.
When it comes to strangers, like so many women, I have had more situations than I care to remember where I had incredibly uncomfortable interactions with guys.
I no longer use Lyft as I had 2 back-to-back incidents of male drivers who were total creepers and were acting in an inappropriate way. One guy spent the entire ride saying he’d like to be my new boyfriend and how we have time to hit a bar before my flight, the other tried to reach over and grab my leg.
Why didn’t you report this to Lyft?
I did. You know what happened? A-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y nothing. Except now I no longer feel safe being driven to wherever it is that I need to go, which is a bloody shame, as there are so many awesome Lyft drivers out there, one of which I wrote a blog post about.
The thing is, I want to make choices about what clothes to wear each day, but if I’m venturing out into the big wide world, I get very insecure that I will in fact draw *more* attention from the opposite sex with my clothing choice.
And btw, I’m not talking about dressing up like I’m about to go and work for a few hours down the clocktower (aka turning tricks). I’m just talking clothes that make me feel good. That’s all. Trousers, shirt, shoes, that sort of thing.
I was disappointed to learn recently that while wearing one of my trouser / shirt / shoes clothing combos that a simple, seemingly inoffensive interaction with a guy has cost me a regular gig that was going really well. I did absolutely nothing wrong except decline someone’s advances, something they clearly took offence to. More on that in a bit.
It reminded me of a situation that happened about 10 years ago, back when I was doing more of my ‘KM Singer-Songwriter’ thing. I was asked by a popular music magazine to do an interview, something I was super excited about.
My interviewer turned out to be the editor for the magazine. He seemed a little quirky but nice enough. We met up at a local cafe and chatted for around an hour. Towards the end of the interview, he told me that he had 2 free tickets for a concert to see one of my all-time favorite artists (someone we had talked about in my interview). He told me the second ticket was going spare and I was welcome to have it. I thanked him for the very kind gesture and said that would be amazing.
About a week later I had a solo gig. Shortly after arriving, I noticed Mr.Magazine-Dude was already in attendance, fancy DSLR camera at the ready. He greeted me with a big hug as I walked in, and during the gig took literally hundreds of photos of me playing.
Yeah. It was awkward and weird.
The more Magazine-Dude was interacting with me during my show, the more I realised that he was thinking of the free-ticket offering as some sort of date, which was not how I interpreted it at all.
The following day I sent him an email, which I had spent considerable time writing to make sure I was being courteous, polite and above all else, kind. I explained that as much as I appreciated the ticket offer, I would no longer be able to accept it.
I hit the send button.
The response I received a few hours later was staggering.
It consisted of paragraph after paragraph of angry ranting, calling me this and that (and the other).
I did what I usually do when someone decides to drop one of these delightful messages in my inbox.
I rang him up.
It’s amazing how much smaller people’s balls are when you’re talking to them on the end of a telephone vs a computer screen.
Even though I was upset by what I had just read, I explained in a calm and concise way that I did not appreciate his email and I had done absolutely nothing wrong.
He childishly responded with:
“Well, you need to be careful who you piss of in this business”.
I took it as an empty threat, coming from someone who was clearly pissed off, but unfortunately for me, that wasn’t the end of it. Mr.Magazine-Dude was involved in multiple events and a large festival I used to play in London every year, and he made sure I was never booked at any of these ever again.
Fast forward to present day and it seems that once again, a similar situation has happened to me.
For the past 8 months I’ve been playing regularly at a venue I liked a whole lot. The bar staff are awesome, I get on well with the manager, and as far as I knew, everything was fine.
The first time I played there, someone from upper management came to greet me and seemed very friendly and helpful. I mistook this for being, well, friendly and helpful.
Whenever I was playing, he was always around and made a point of interacting with me and saying nice things about my music.
Again, I mistook this for complements about my musicianship. Darn fool.
The last time I interacted with him, he said something to me that seemed a little off and made me think that perhaps he viewed me in a way that I wasn’t comfortable with.
The following day he randomly messaged me through my website, asking me a rather vague question about my shows. It felt very much as if he was fishing for a response, and as I would be playing at his gaff the following week and would see him in-person, I didn’t respond.
I went to play my show, and not only did he completely and utterly blank me for most of the evening, when I did interact with him, he acted like a stroppy child. I ignored it, but inside I was so irritated by his behavior.
The agency that books my gigs has told me numerous times that I was this venue’s favorite act, and along with booking me multiple times a month, they would always ask me to do special events before anyone else.
It’s been over 2 months since I’ve played there.
I checked in with my agent to ask why I hadn’t been booked there for a while when everything seemed to be going so well. Their response was:
They said they’re fully booked with artists and don’t have the slots available for you to come and play
U-huh. Ok. And I sailed down the river Clyde on a banana boat this morning.
It sucks on so many levels. It sucks because I literally didn’t do anything wrong, and yet it’s now ME who has lost a regular gig.
My thoughts are this.
It’s ok to be attracted to someone, but it’s a whole other thing to punish them for not wanting to interact with you in an intimate way, because I have every right to say NO, and in a work environment, I am a professional musician of 25 years and expect to be treated as such. Penis or no penis.
But that’s just my thoughts. What are yours? I’d love to hear what you think.
Btw, I came across this guy’s Video on Youtube advising girls how to stop getting hit on by guys, it’s absolutely hilarious. It includes gems like:
If a guy offers to buy you a drink say, “Yes! I would love that! It will give us a chance to discuss our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!”.
12 thoughts on “Me Too. Again.”
Another outstanding piece of writing, thankyou for sharing. You say you are interested to hear (read) the thoughts of others. Here goes: in 1999 my partner (feminine) and i (male) separated after 22 years, and with a sweet beautiful daughter. My partner had found another partner (also feminine). This crushed my world and i suffered quite a lot, lost my relationship with my daughter and job. ended up homeless angry and mentally fucked up.
So, it took a bit but i went full celibate, no relationship of a physical manner since then. No loss, in fact i have now a capacity for love of and empathy towards all people. To be able to forgive and to love has perhaps saved me from suicide, although to be true, it has always been an option. However, it is interesting that i do see such beauty in people now, whereas once i held prejudice and ‘normal’ responses. It is also worth noting that prejudice and ‘normal’ responses still come back at me from others… That even if i am simply responding to another person out of unconditional love, it seems i wear the brand of having a dick. Perhaps this is just a reflection on the fact that as human beings we are all so unevolved, that if some are ignorant then all are ignorant. Because in my experience the enlightened people that have existed so far, live in stories and songs that collect dust in humanities library of collective experience, to be consumed but not digested. Again, i am fortunate to have the pleasure of your perspicacity, how i wish i could sit in an audience and listen. Be safe and well. Peace and love from Oz.
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Waw. Thank you SO much for sharing that, Gary, I appreciate it a whole lot and glad you’re doing ok after such a traumatic series of events ❤ How interesting that you now see and love people in a whole new way. I guess when I think back over the years, the 2 guys who were incredibly sweet and kind were more seeking a connection over getting laid lol which made me feel a little less weird! Thank you for taking the time to read my post and for being so honest and sharing your story. Greets from Austin to Oz 🙂
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Yeesh, I’m SO sorry to hear that you’ve had these weird, creepy and career-damaging experiences. Contrary to what your musician friend said, it’s NEVER fun getting hit on by someone who hits on you in a persistent and won’t-take-no-for-an-answer way, regardless of your gender or preference or theirs. For whatever reason, women do seem to be on the receiving end of it more often, but I had a long chat once with a male musician who was completely freaked out and even contemplating quitting performing because he had a female fan — a stalker, basically — who was turning up to all his gigs and hitting on him persistently. When he told her he was married, she said “Well, that doesn’t bother me.” He was terrified that she’d somehow find out sometime what hotel he was staying at and turn up there. Anyway it’s rotten that any of us have to deal with this, and particularly rotten when it comes from people in the industry. Thank you for sharing your experiences and thank you for that hilarious closing line as well, I love it!
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Thanks so much for reading this Sarah, and for sharing your thoughts ❤ You're so right, no matter what your gender or preferences are having someone hit on you constantly and not take no for an answer is extremely uncomfortable. Sorry to hear about the musician you were chatting to who had a crazy stalker woman, yuck.
Hope you're all doing ok after the storm, love and hugs! xoxo
so sorry, closes door backs out of private space.
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Awww! 🙂 ❤
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The emoji above the title could not be more perfect. The situations you described are absolutely ridiculous. Clearly these dudes have incredibly large fragile egos. Sorry you have to contend with this jackassery. 🙄
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Thanks so much Spring ❤ It is frustrating for sure!
Katie! I am so grateful for you. Your writing and insight on this issue are enlightening and it’s interesting to read your perspective. I’m sorry you’ve had to contend with people whose advances are unwanted. It’s appalling to read about the regular gig guy pulling your music from the lineup! I’m not sure if I would’ve been as nice as you are. You may think I’m a kind and gentle older woman who’s always nice and genteel but I’m a mean-ass bitch when I’m pissed off. Ask my husband if 42 years! This kind of thing really sticks in my craw!! I’d like to tell you stick to gigs where people are keeping outta your personal space but I’m not sure that’s even possible these days. (Wear a mask and back the F up!)
My MO would totally be to mess up his gig but then, my personal Lord and Savior JC might not like it. 😂 i want to punch his lights out. Perhaps binge watching Ozark recently has affected my judgement. (I’m still working on being GENTLE. it’s a struggle.)
In my younger days I was often chasing men so everyone may have thought that I was loose. I was. Thank God I found Mr Right. 👀 So here’s a not-so-funny story. Many years ago, in a land not so far from here, I lived in a crappy little unairconditioned house with a screen door from my room to the backyard. One night a male acquaintance showed up drunk at my door and woke me up. I stupidly let him in, thinking he would sit in my chair and we’d talk. Oh no. He climbed into my tiny bed and proceeded to exclaim how he wanted sex! Everyone knows diks don’t work when drunk. I laughed in his face but he persisted. I persisted and he couldn’t believe that I turned him down. After I insisted that he leave several times, he finally did. How pathetic. Sad fact: If he had approached me while sober I might’ve slept with him bc that was my MO then. He later turned out to be a heavy drug user and died. Glad I didn’t hang out with him, even if he was dreamy in a weird way. Men. Can’t live with em, can’t live without them. ROCK ON, WOMAN!
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Waw, thanks so much for sharing all that Nicki ❤ really appreciate it. Love and hugs to you both, miss you guys! xo
Well said Katie, the blaming the victim goes deep in our culture. Men suck a lot at good communication and understanding where the lines are. It’s a shame you can’t be friendly without the interpretation that the interaction is going somewhere. I feel a lot of coldness from women, when I try and just be pleasant, and I don’t blame them a bit. Carry on, and be awesome.
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Thank you so much Marty, appreciate you reading this and for sharing your thoughts. Hope you’re well 🙂 Love and hugs! ❤