I'm flashed, yet somehow it's my fault

Yesterday, my friend and I were sitting on my apartment’s balcony eating dinner when something happened. My building overlooks another apartment building that is across the street. One of the neighbors in this building was sitting with his chair beside his open porch window, turned sideways. My friend remarked, “That guy keeps staring at us.”

I looked, and saw a pink cock in a rocking hand. My first instinct was to yell at him, publicly call him on what he was doing. But then I thought what if he comes over here? He knows where I live. “[Friend],” I said. “He’s masturbating. Let’s go inside.”

We lost our appetites, and were no longer comfortable sitting outside. Our mobility was limited by our fear of this man.

When relaying the story to friends, I had a few laughs with friends. But I was asked innocently, “Guess no more wearing skimpy outfits!” (We weren’t–not that I owe anyone that explanation–but so what if we were?) I was teased, “Were you wearing skirts?” And I was told, “That’s what you get for looking in someone’s window.”

My friend and I are involved in someone’s fetish against our wills, and we’re the ones questioned by people who are generally supportive. Hell, the first thing I do is defend that I wasn’t doing anything wrong. But so when would the wrong have started? If my friend and I had been egging the guy on? By being physically affectionate towards each other? Sunbathing in our bikinis?

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10 thoughts on “I'm flashed, yet somehow it's my fault

  1. That’s awful… I probably would have called the cops, personally. They woudln’t have done anything, but what he’s doing technically is illegal.

    As for your ‘friends’… Well, you know how I feel about people making you feel bad ._.

  2. It’s hard to know what on earth it would have been to start that guy up. If it’s as you said a fetish, it could have started over nothing at all. Sadly calling the cops probably wouldn’t do much good, since he’d get a slap on the wrist and that’s about it.

    And that’s pretty bad by your friends. It’s the guy who is doing the bad thing, not you.

  3. Egging him on? I prefer egging him. With rotten eggs — no sense in wasting good ones.

    Lately I’ve just been less and less likely to take crap like this. I almost wish someone would do something just plain vomitously stupid to me so I have an excuse to beat the crap out of someone who desperately deserves it.

  4. I should have yelled at him. But I’ve been really fearful lately. Usually I feel empowered and confident in my abilities to defend myself when I am, say, out for a walk by myself at night (and realize I’m at more of a risk when I’m alone with men I actually know). But lately I’ve been staying in or taking my bike (I feel like I own the world when I’m on my bike and can take on anyone who’d mess with me). I’m not really sure why this is.

    tekanji, I’ve weeded out most of those “friends” but sometimes the good ones disappoint me.

  5. I’ve been in a somewhat similar situation, and I had nearly the exact reactions you did – anger, but then fear at what I might trigger if I retaliated. And then, of course, the absurd need to defend my own actions, as if the man’s behavior wasn’t entirely under his own control.

    My guess is that a lot of women had/would have these same reactions, so I think they might find this post valuable. Thanks for sharing your experience.

  6. I think a good response if there is a next time is: <stare> <point and laugh hysterically> “Look! Look! It’s like a penis, but in miniature!”

  7. I’m sorry you had that experience. 🙁

    This *might* be of interest: an article by Kirsten Anderberg. She advocates a different approach when faced with that kind of situation.

    (I wouldn’t recommend reading the comments, though…)

  8. “(I wouldn’t recommend reading the comments, though…)”

    Sorry, I meant to say: I find the some of the ignorant and hostile comments a downer, though others may find the reactions to her piece it interesting.

  9. Ariel, I’m so sorry! You should HOLLA!

    Pick a holla (mine is Boston):


    There are more and more all the time!

Comments are closed.