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bear by san

February 2017



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criminal minds fate

This is just to say:

To everybody who has opined recently that sexual harassment policies at conventions mean an end to flirtation, dating, and romance at cons--

I'm involved in a relationship with somebody I met, befriended, and grew to love largely at conventions. He never once felt the need to grope me, make an inappropriate comment on my body or dress, or ask if anything I was wearing was meant as a coded sexual message before the moment when we figured out that we were each interested in one another in a romantic sense.

Neither flirting nor building emotional connection is harassment, folks--and harassment is not flirting.

It's not actually all that complicated.


harassment is not flirting

"Email is dead" is a running joke in the email industry. "Chivalry is dead" is a trope with the MRAs. I'm a firm believer that trolling is a lost art- a good troll, like "It's a little-known fact that Starfleet Captain James T. Kirk's middle name was actually 'Timmy'" is now lost in the noise from people who think "STFU HOMOFAG LOL" is a comment worth posting.

But if nitwits are genuinely concerned that flirting is under threat by anti-harassment policies, then I'm calling it: flirting is dead.

And years from now, I will make a killing, giving expensive seminars where I instruct people to repeat these words: "That's very interesting. I have to go now, but I'd love to continue this conversation later. Some friends of mine are meeting in the bar at six, if you're free, love to see you there". And perhaps add useful tips like 'have friends, and also have them in the bar at 6' and 'no touching' and "don't be creepy" and 'showering is good' and stuff. Oh, and "don't open with 'I like to have sex while dressed up as a leopard', because that's kinda something you want to ease into, maybe a third- or fourth-date topic".

...y'know, if we do this right, we can be a positive force in shaping the dating habits of the knuckleheads AND eliminate some harassment. Ugol's law! There's somebody out there for you! And not being creepy INCREASES YOUR CHANCES!

It's so crazy, it just might work.
That's all good advice exc that 'don't be creepy' isn't really specific. It would be useful (esp as I suspect guys don't actually _want_ to be creepy) to know what behaviour came across as creepy. The 'have friends...' bit is good.
I swear there are Flirting 101 panels at Arisia that go pretty much exactly like your proposed seminar. They haven't patented them or anything, though. so go right ahead and rake in the bucks!
Hey, thanks!

'Flirting 101' is a much more friendly-sounding name than my idea, which was "How To Not Be A Creepy-Ass Bastard".

flirting is dead.

'I like to have sex while dressed up as a leopard' -- perfectly normal behavior at Further Confusion, FWIW ]:-)

"Don't be creepy." is actually quite tricky. Being a person who gets interested in people and decides to approach them (with no goal in mind beyond conversation usually), I often face that "you've got 2 seconds to prove you're not a creep" glare. I usually get past that point fairly easily, but I haven't thought much about how to teach others. I think I would suggest "Have a topic to discuss" and "Break it off and GO AWAY fairly quickly." Say something appreciative or interesting to the person, enjoy a small interaction (without any suggestion of touching) and then go away. If you were at least vaguely interesting, you have built a bridge to perhaps have another conversation later. But if it's clear that you're interested in the other person more than the topic, then you're conveying that they are a target == creepy.

Obviously this will be harder if you're more interested in them than the topic, but I can't offer any suggestions there. I don't tend to find myself interested in people until long after we've discussed several interesting topics :)