For those who do not know me, I am a mature gentleman, rather large in stature. I am 6′ 7″ tall and definitely a WASP. I live within the white male prerogative and like a fish in water, it has been a slow education for me to understand what that actually means. Each lesson is, at the very least, an interesting moment in my life.
At one of the booths at Exxxotica there was a young woman who joyfully wielded a crop. Since she seemed familiar with it, I introduced myself and recommended that she come and visit us at the dungeon. Nothing much came of it. I am sure that most people in her situation had to keep to their jobs.
The next day, Saturday, I was wandering by her station, and as I walked by, she reached out and cracked me on the ass with her crop. It was not massively painful, not even a bother, really, but I took the opportunity to put my arm around her and speak quietly into her ear. “If you had much experience in the lifestyle, you would know that it is not appropriate to do that without getting consent.” I fear I embarrassed her, due to the defensive banter she passed on as I left.
But it was a lesson to me as I passed one of the dancers I had befriended and saw her anger as some passing man patted her ass with no request or warning. I realized that I truly had little conception of the level of unwanted and uninvited familiarities that women in entertainment, women in any form of erotic employment, and in fact, the vast majority of women in all walks of life experience on a daily basis.
Being a mature white male, I do not even see what most women live with every day. I am often surprised at the anger and frustration I see expressed when I overstep what seems to be a small boundary. But if those bounds, those protections that I accept as a given, are even gently pushed, scratched at, and slightly crossed thousands of times in your life by people you do not know, do not trust, and possibly fear, I am surprised that the anger is not expressed in a far more intense form.
I continue to learn, and pledge to demand a continued “Yes” from my partner, so that she does not even have to rely on my understanding that “no” means NO.