unwanted touch

On not opening a discussion

I would probably do this: The first time, just pull away. That should give them a message. If they keep doing it just as often, the next time, say something low-key like “Please don’t touch my leg” or “I’d rather not hold hands” or “I prefer not to be touched” or just “Sorry, no” while pulling away. That should give them a message. If they keep doing it just as often, the next time give a firmer message like “It bothers me when you touch me like that.” That should open a discussion.
realsocialskills said:
I mostly agree with you. I think that you’ve described a good progression of ways to assert a boundary.
The point I disagree with you on is that you’ve described this as a way to open a discussion. I don’t think this is about opening discussion; I think it’s about asserting a boundary. The OP does not have to negotiate with her friend. She doesn’t have to convince her that she has good reasons not to want to be touch. OP can have this as a unilateral boundary.
“Don’t touch me” means “don’t touch me”. It doesn’t mean “let’s have an extended emotionally fraught conversation about your desire to touch me.”
If the OP wants to have that conversation with her friend, it’s ok to do that - but it really sounded to me like she just wanted her to stop. And that’s ok too.

after a recent serious incident in my social circle I’ve gotten more proactive abt calling out minor consent issues b4 they escalate. I’ve noticed treating it like something rly obvious is quite effective - ppl take “u broke a social code” much better than “ur a predator”. but the more out-there the touch is, the easier that is. eg I recently had cause to go “you know it’s rude to lick people without asking, right?” which worked cos most ppl, y'know, don’t randomly lick ppl. still working onthis
realsocialskills said:
Have you found that this works better than saying “I don’t like being licked?”

Anonymous asked realsocialskills:

Anonymous asked:

Your most recent post about physical boundaries really hits home with me because I’m a butch lesbian and I’ve noticed that, the more I stand out as “different,” the more often straight / bi / curious women seem to feel entitled to touch me in exactly the ways you described. They freak out if I reciprocate the touch, and if I tell them to back off, they tell me I’m making things up or projecting my insecurities onto them or, worst of all, over-estimating my attractiveness.

It seems like this boundary violation is a kind of microaggression aimed at me under the assumption that my gender presentation is evidence that I’m a pervert with infinitely huge sexual appetites and couldn’t possibly have boundaries to violate in the first place. Most hurtful of all is the way more gender-conforming lesbians point to this attention as evidence that I’m “highly prized and sought after” and therefore “privileged” in some way.

 Not really sure what I’m trying to say, no idea how to deal with this, just wanted to get it off my chest and see if other butch lesbians have the same problem. It really bothers me. So far the only way I’ve found to deal with this without huge fallout is to passively allow these women to touch me and not say anything about it, but I really hate doing that.

realsocialskills said:

I’m sorry that people treat you that way.

I think this is a step above microaggression. Microagression is when someone does something that wouldn’t be a big deal if it happened occasionally, but which becomes a big deal when it happens routinely as part of a context of dehumanizing discrimination. What you’re talking about is a bigger deal.

You are dealing with people who touch you with no regard to your consent, and then insult you in sexualized ways when you tell them to stop. That is beyond microaggression. This is predatory sexual behavior.

It’s a big deal each time someone does that; it’s not just the context of anti-lesbian hate that makes it a big deal. It’s both the individual action and the context.

It’s also a serious problem that people who should have your back are treating you like you’re the problem. You deserve better. No one should be touching you invasively, no one should be responding to your boundaries with sexualized insults - and no one should be blaming you or making excuses for any of this.

I don’t have any good answers here about how to handle this, so I’m going to ask the rest of y'all. Are any of y'all butch women who have been treated this way? Have you found any responses that help?