I Work With Sexuality, But I’m Not Immune To Sexual Harassment

Woman Before the Mirror by Frans von Mieris, circa 1670, in public domain… because looking into the Internet can feel like living in a hall of mirrors.

This is a continuation of my blog post, Information Is Not An Invitation.

Simply put, just because I work with sexuality materials as a career doesn’t mean I’m magically immune to sexual harassment. That would be cool, but it’s not the case.

As I wrote in my post about sexuality in and out of context,

I hate to be promoting sex positivity on the one hand, and then turn around and tell people “But please leave sexuality out of it in these areas.” But that’s where my damage lies, and part of the way I express my sex positivity is to take care of myself and respect my own boundaries, and hope that in doing so, I model this healthy type of behavior for others.

The “leaving sexuality out” part can mean, for me, not wanting to be hit on in a professional context, or not wanting to see graphic sexual materials when I’m not expecting it. Yes, I know this is The Internet, and you can click on a link and get a visual surprise at any moment. But there’s a difference between a “whoops!” click and someone intentionally sending you sexually explicit materials when you’ve not consented to see them.

That is called harassment. Or maybe a micro-aggression, take your pick. The point is, when I consent to see, read, hear, and work with sexual materials as part of my job, that doesn’t mean I’ve given blanket consent for my life to be inundated with sex 24/7. If you think it does, well, reread this post and reconsider how you conceptualize boundaries.

Next up – don’t send dick pics of your brain! Or, why it matters how we use our words.

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