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!”.