My Experience With Sexual Harassment
Up until now, I’ve only ever told this story to my roommate and my boyfriend. However, I decided I wanted to share it with a larger audience because I want anyone and everyone who winds up in a situation like this to pay attention the little red flags sooner than I did, and to understand the importance of taking charge, and getting out of the situation.
For the sake of the story, the subject’s alias will be Jayce since I know no one with this name.
It was my freshman year of college, during the beginning of the second semester when I noticed him staring at me in class. From the comments he made, you could tell Jayce was smart, and despite the “I’m a college guy now, I refuse to get a haircut” “look” he was sporting, Jayce was pretty attractive. So, I didn’t really mind him looking at me. Not to mention, it just felt nice to receive a little attention.
Not long after that, though, I began to notice that Jayce was giving me a little more than just a little attention. He was staring at me constantly, and even when I’d catch him doing it, he wouldn’t stop. I should have been uncomfortable about it, but instead I decided to give him my number when he walked into class one day. Later on when Jayce texted me, I asked him why he always stared at me. He told me that it was because I was really cute, and super smart, and because he was interested in me.
Jayce’s response seemed sweet to me, but I was still curious. So, I then asked him why, if he was interested in me, did he ever not come over to talk to me. To that he replied that he thought I had a boyfriend. Now, that creeped me out a little, because if he thought I had a boyfriend, wouldn’t he also rationalize that it might be inappropriate to stare at me incessantly? However, despite this and many other questions floating around in my mind, we kept talking, and we agreed to go out on a little date.
Our date took place on either a Friday or Saturday night. We had decided to keep it simple and just go bowling because he had some family coming into town later that night for a visit. While we were bowling, Jayce took every opportunity to make some sort of physical contact with me, whether it was quickly touching my knee or arm, high fiving me, or giving me a hug. It didn’t really seem like a red flag to me… but the fact that he was being so touchy combined with the fact that he was late to pick me up, only wanted to stay for about an hour, and the fact that going out for ice cream after meant grabbing a pint from the gas station and eating it alone in his car, made me feel a bit odd.
While we were sitting in his car sharing the pint of ice cream, Jayce explained to me how extensive his stalking of my Facebook profile had been. He also told me that it had taken him three weeks to find my Instagram account because my username had nothing to do with my name. He knew right away that he had creeped me out by the look on my face. Stupid me for always wearing my emotions on my sleeve… but as soon as he realized this, he made quick use of his grade A manipulation skills, saying things like “you can’t possibly tell me that you’ve never stalked anyone” and “curiosity is part of human nature,” oh and of course the ole “I’m sorry, it’s just that you’re so beautiful, and I just wanted to know more about you” line. And because I was naïve, and because I give everyone the benefit of the doubt, every last word he said worked on me like a charm. He knew it too.
After that, he just dropped me off at my dorm, and said that he would text me later. He drove off quickly, and I slowly walked inside feeling unsatisfied, and kind of like he just wasn’t that interested in me. Stupid me… I should have just realized that he wasn’t worth my time, but I didn’t. And that’s exactly why when he texted me at 1:00 am saying that he was just chilling, I asked him to come over and watch “Friends” with me.
See, this is where I get really stupid, because FYI, when a college guy gets invited over to “watch ‘Friends’” he doesn’t think it means you’re gonna watch “Friends” even though you really mean that you just want to watch “Friends.”… and maybe kiss a little. But watch out, because once you start to kiss a little, he’ll think that that means he’s got the green light to go where he wants to go… but no, it doesn’t.
When I realized my ignorance, and that he was trying to do more with me than just kiss, I quickly put a stop to it. I pushed him away lightly, and moved closer to the other side of the sofa, and told him that I really did just want to watch TV, and that I did enjoy kissing him, but that I did not want to go any further. Jayce simply said ok, and I moved back over next to him, and we continued watching. After a while though, he wanted to kiss me again. I was fine with it because I thought the he had understood what I had said earlier. However, then he started pushing me down onto the couch again, so I pushed him away and stood up. I was feeling upset at this point, and I told him that if he tried that again with me, that I was going to make him leave. He laughed at me, and said ok. I should have taken that as a sign… but of course I didn’t.
It wasn’t long after that moment that Jayce told me he was going to get going. We both stood up, and with my back to the door, he leaned in to kiss me. It was very soft at first, and then abruptly he pushed me up against the door. Immediately, I pushed back on him, pushing him THE HELL away from me. Then I opened the door and told him to get out.
So, as you can see, I was one of the lucky ones because although he is major creep who still stares at me whenever he sees me to this day, he is mostly just a horny college jerk. As I mentioned before, I have always been the type of person to hope for the best, and give everybody I meet the benefit of the doubt. That’s a great quality to have, but don’t be like me. Possess that quality in a safe, public setting only until you feel certain you understand their true intentions because odds are, if any of you are as ignorant as I was, you won’t get as lucky as I did.