When I moved my site over at the beginning of the year, I told my readers and followers that I would make an earnest effort to bring them articles that were not just about my adventures and travels, my experiences or the events I attend, but also about me. About the bad days where my anxiety hits me hard or the realities of being an entrepreneur in this day and age, come to the surface. I said we would talk about sexuality and relationships, and that we were opening up space.
I often have these conversations on Twitter. My readers and followers engage with me, who are based all over the world, we wish each other well, discuss the latest topics, share our adventures and events and of course engage with many of the brands I work with and have relationships with. Between the blog and the communications business I spend a lot of my time online, and on the daily, I have my favorite radio station on in the background.
So on the 10th July 2018 when my favorite drive-time show started, I made the effort to turn up the radio. The three main radio personalities work well together, they engage and discuss very real and very relevant topics. Sometimes the topics are humorous and sometimes they are sensitive.
The topic on the 10th and subsequently the 11th hit me like a ton of bricks. I was so angry and upset. I had to stop working and ended up in tears, within a few minutes of listening to some of the callers, who were voicing their opinions on the said topic.
There is a lot that my readers and followers don’t know about some aspects of my life. And I am not perfect, I have my own issues, always have and most likely always will, that’s life. I’m not 100% quiet, but I tend to share what I choose to share with whom I share it. Working in media, not every aspect of my life is actually up for discussion, despite the popular notion.
Having said that, the emotions of anger, frustration, sadness, disappointment and even some disgust in some aspects, hearing the topic being discussed were strong. One of the radio presenters brought the following discussion to his fellow colleagues.
The presenter had been at a nationally attended horse racing event in Durban over the past weekend. During the event, he had heard a group of woman, discussing how they sometimes say NO, when they really mean YES. In a sexual connotation.
From what I gathered from the radio presenter’s explanation and the subsequent discussions, was that there is this general understanding, of this “game” as it was noted a few times, that women are playing with men. The initial context was during an event and the context seemed to be in regards to when a woman is out in a social setting or on a date with a guy. When things start getting to the point where the idea or offer of sex comes up, or when they are in the physical motions of getting together, she then says NO, but she really means YES!
As if the idea of this wasn’t bad enough, then callers started phoning into the radio station. Mainly women, in fact, I think there were only 2 male callers but I cannot be sure. However, the women calling in is what had made me nauseous with anger and frustration. Many of the callers, taking the discussion lightly, giggling at their answers, and justifying the “game” when asked questions by the on-air team.
One woman, shockingly mentioned how she ENJOYS making and watching the guy push for more. The power play was the foreplay, I guess. Another caller commented on how she expects and that it is a given that the men must WORK HARDER – basically to get into her pants – when she says NO.
Let me make this clear, we are not talking about 2 individuals who have both consented to sex, and are playing roles. No. This is quite literally, a woman saying NO to sex and sexual advances, but apparently, that now translates into YES and TRY AGAIN and GO FURTHER!!!!!
So let me just lay this out for those of you reading this.
Let’s say I go out for the evening with my friends. We are in a social setting. A guy makes conversation or joins our table with his friends. We get to talking and we get on and its a great atmosphere. And then things start going in the direction where the idea or offer of sex is raised. I clearly say NO, I am not interested.
Instead of moving on and possibly even exchanging numbers and getting to know each other at a later point. The guy instead gets more forceful with his advances. He starts getting too friendly physically, his conversation starts getting heavily sexual, and everyone around me doesn’t do anything to assist because, who the fuck knows, I could be playing a GAME!!!
I have been through this. Many, many, many times. Where guys just laugh and joke and continue with their advances and things get very scary. And their friends encourage them on! “C’mon bra! Just keep going, she obviously wants it”…….
I have been a rape victim ( I am now a survivor), I have been through even worse physically, and then I hear that there are women out there who think this is a f#^&@! game. And that playing with something like this is entertaining! That it is fun. That is harmless.
As I sat and listened to the callers, I went through so many emotions, but the biggest one was anger.
Anger for me, anger for others who have been through sexual harm, anger for the MEN who are being played like toys.
Anger for the boys that are yet to become men, because there are games like this being played, where their entire futures could be wiped out because one moment, she can say “Oh I was playing” and another she could say “He wasn’t listening to my “tone” when I said no”.
Angry for the men and woman that will get away with rape and sexual abuse because of this practice. Then individuals that will get away with multiple attacks because of this.
Anger for all the women’s rights groups who have spent years, trying to get the message across, that when she says NO, she means NO.
Anger for all the women, who have been in these situations and didn’t ask for it and anger for those who will still go through it. If this is the current status.
Since when did the words NO mean anything but NO.
I actually cannot wrap my head around this concept, this culture, this whatever. It is sickening to know. It is infuriating to believe because every time I have been sexually harassed, and every time I have said NO, do these guys just think I want them to try harder? Is that what they have been taught?
Can I get angry for them, for trying harder, now that it is apparently expected?
What other word do I use going forward to make it very clear, when I do NOT want to have sex, or do anything sexual or be touched in any way.
Do I need to get physically aggressive from the moment someone even winks in my direction?
Do I need to start worrying that the next person I flirt or hit it off with won’t stop or won’t believe me when I say stop?
Where does this leave us a society? In a country with one of the highest sexual crime rates?
What game is this, and who wins in the end?
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And As Always
Images all sourced from Unsplash.com – Besides my logo.