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Stranger Grabs Boob Out of Nowhere

November 29, 2009

I stopped over at a friend’s house last night on my way home from my local pub. It was late and although I was stone cold sober the three guys I was with were drunk as hell. I didn’t really know the other two guys, but it never even crossed my mind that I might be entering a precarious situation. 

Turns out, one of the guys is a huge fan of my blog, which kind of made me a little uncomfortable in the sense that I was suddenly aware that this person knew a lot of private information about me and that besides the fact that he’s my friend’s roommate’s best friend, I knew absolutely nothing about him. 

He was in one of those drunken states where you lose certain basic social skills and start invading other people’s personal spaces much too easily and much too often. Frankly, even if one of my very good friend’s does that, I feel uncomfortable. I like my space dammit and some people just don’t get to enter it, and if you are allowed to you should view that as a privilege. 

Let’s just say that despite his slightly inappropriate behavior up until the point where he just reached out and straight on grabbed my right tit, it still came as a little bit of a shock. He wasn’t even looking at me, and then his arm just reached out and palmed my boob. I stepped back and pulled his hand away. My friend stepped in and tried to stand between us, and the plan of action became trying to put him to bed. Something he kept resisting, since he would always come back. It seemed his mission to apologize and tell me that he was in love with a girl whose name I can’t remember, but even his sense of apologizing was to aggressive. 

I knew that accepting his apology would probably go a long way in making a bad situation worse, but I really couldn’t bring myself to do that. I wasn’t angry, I was calm, but the last thing I wanted to do was be in a position where I had to accept his apology. I’m sure that he’s a nice guy, and he was very drunk at the time, but I don’t feel like I should have to explain his actions away. My friend told me to hide in the bathroom. The guy who grabbed my tit followed and I was happy I had enough time to lock the door. I wasn’t afraid, but I did suddenly feel trapped when he tried to turn the doorknob. 

The other two guys then put him in one of the bedrooms and then ushered me out of the building. It was around 4:30am at this point and although I only had to walk home for about one block, I was much too aware of being alone on a dark street at night. I almost wished to myself that I had asked my friend to walk me home, but then I felt bad about thinking that in the first place… as if it was a silly thought to have had in the first place. It annoyed me that as a girl, I would feel vulnerable enough to want to ask for some form of protection. 

On my short walk home, I wondered about these things and questioned my own reaction to the entire situation. Should I have been more upset? Should I have been more vocal about the fact that what he did wasn’t right? Was I overreacting and should I just let it go and smooth things over? I really couldn’t figure out which was which and I felt stuck between two extremes. It was not a pleasant feeling. 

When I got home, my friend had sent me an email apologizing for what just happened and I told him not to feel bad, because it certainly wasn’t his fault. Today, I got an email from the person who grabbed my boob in which he apologized and told me he couldn’t remember what had happened and that his friends told him what he did and that he felt really bad about it. Getting that second email felt like another invasion of privacy and even though I’m sure he really did feel bad about it and was sincerely apologizing, I did not feel like responding and assuaging his guilt. Besides, I’ve never felt comfortable around people who use being drunk as an excuse for bad behavior. 

I’m not writing this to villainize this person, I derive no pleasure from that. I considered not writing about it since he does read this blog and I do not want to reinforce any bad feelings, but I didn’t like the idea that I would censor myself on this particular topic. That would just go against what all of this is about. I did, however, wonder if this blog played a role in what happened. Perhaps the fact that he had read so many intimate things about me somehow broke down a barrier where he felt like he knew me, while on my part, I considered him to be a complete stranger. The implication of that line of thought  leaves me troubled. 

13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 29, 2009 8:19 pm

    Ugh, sorry that happened to you. Those moments when we become aware of our vulnerability can really take a toll on us. I’m not sure why he felt it was ok for him to grab your breast – perhaps you’re right about him being privy to your intimate self via this blog made him feel like you knew each other even when you didn’t. But then, I feel this rant bursting up about how patriarchy lets men feel that they can access women’s bodies whenever they want.

    But then, I stop short thinking about the times I’ve grabbed a man’s penis (that I didn’t really know) when too drunk…for reasons, I cannot exactly say.

    It could be combination of these things. But once again, you have every right to feel upset about this. I hope he reads this and realizes that actions even when you have drank too much can have serious implications.

  2. November 29, 2009 8:26 pm

    I did think of the whole situation is terms of “hey, I’ve definitely grabbed a guy’s ass without permission” and “a friend of mine whose female and gay grabbed my breast once totally out of the blue once and that really didn’t upset me”, but then again I KNEW her and I didn’t feel put upon sexually or otherwise.

  3. Liz permalink
    November 30, 2009 7:34 am

    The thing about drunk people is they are unpredictable. They’re sloppy. And if you’re sober, you have to deal with it. Believe me. I know. It is so NOT okay in any sort of way. Being drunk is absolutely no excuse for any behaviour. Apologies, depending how they are done, can be very invasive and almost selfish. Sometimes it’s about assuaging guilt, like you said, and that can be unfair. I think the ideal way to apologize in this situation would be to have a middleman say it for you. It sounds weird but if the in-between friend said, hey, my friend is so sorry about what happened, if you’d like to talk about it, here’s his e-mail, contact him if you want but if you don’t he understands. That leaves you in control to decide if this person can at all come back into your life.

    Personally, writing about it and knowing he might (hell he probably will) read it, is a bit awkward in my opinion. I probably wouldn’t have said anything if I were you. But, one thing about you Olgie if you have fucking guts and candor and that rocks.

    Girls remember when they are grabbed. I remember every instance. I’ve felt obliged to laugh it off or ignore it or chalk it up to inebriated misbheaviour but I remember every single one. What does that say?

  4. Naturegirl permalink
    November 30, 2009 3:55 pm

    Whichever way you cut it, that was totally unacceptable behaviour. I too have been on the receiving end of unsolicited & unwanted behaviour, I sometimes think it must be a cross we girls have to bear! But the fact is, any advance, no matter how shitfaced the offender is, could be interpreted as sexual harassment & he (or she) could end up facing a criminal charge.
    I think you were very tolerant in your reaction, I think I may have been tempted to slap the arsehole!

  5. November 30, 2009 4:35 pm

    The “do not cross line” is hard to determine sometimes…I was starting to feel bad about the whole thing (which is precisely the feeling I wanted to avoid) after one of my friend’s reaction was pretty mellow indicating that I might have overreacted. Certainly writing about it in a public forum is definitely awkward, as you said, but I think it’s a good thing to encourage people to think about this sort of thing. As it’s been mentioned, girls are grabbers too, but for some reason people don’t react the same way if a girl does it or at least it doesn’t have the same ramifications, which is obviously a double standard.

  6. November 30, 2009 4:42 pm

    Well, I wouldn’t go as far as thinking of this incident in terms of criminal charges. I do sincerely believe that this was out of character for this particular person.

    But in terms of speaking of aggressive or persistent unwanted advances in general, I save my more hardcore reactions for those moments where I warned the other person to leave me alone and then if they don’t…I think a little violence might be warranted.

  7. blackdove permalink
    December 4, 2009 6:19 pm

    Man, I always wish stuff like that would happen to me so I would have a reason to slap the shit out of them.

    This girl at a bar stuck her finger in my cleavage once, and the look I gave her made her instantly sit down, lower her head and say, “I’m so sorry.”

    “Since you apologized, I’ll let it slide.”

    I admit, I only let it slide because she’s a woman, and women have that “thing,” where we can say really private stuff to each other (“Omg, you have amazing tits!”), and get away with occassional ass grabs and spontaneous bouts of kissing.

    Please don’t excuse him because he reads your blog. I’ve only known your blog one day, and I already know I wouldn’t fuck with you in real life.

  8. elissaF permalink
    December 10, 2009 9:04 am

    > Getting that second email felt like another invasion of privacy

    Sure, but it probably felt that way because it was a reminder of the invasion, rather than an invasion in its own right.

    Apologizing was the only decent thing he could have done. You’re not required to accept his apology, of course. It’s also quite fair of you to post about.

    I was in a situation years ago where I crossed a boundary. I would not have realized I had done so, until it was made very clear to me. It took me a long time to work it through in my psyche and lose the sense of entitlement that allowed the breach in the first place. I can only hope that the fellow in question makes the choice to deeply analyze the situation and change his whole way of seeing women.

  9. December 16, 2009 2:38 pm

    Welcome to the blog! Sorry it took me so long to respond. I’m usually much more on top of these things, but you came upon here right when I decided to take a break. Hehe, it’s kind of funny/cool to be considered a person not to mess with. It’s true though, I’ve let girls and gay men get away with much more invasion of space than I would ever let strange straight guys ever occupy. Also, it depends on how well you know the person. At one point, I think you just reach a point where you’ve let too many things slide and the next person will just not get away with anything. I was just talking about this with a friend last night and she was telling me about when she was in living in another country for a while, and the second time someone flashed her in the street while masturbating, she flipped out and started running after him, yelling, and calling him a bad man in broken Mandarin. Maybe she had just had enough, and maybe the fact that this time it happened in broad daylight with lots of other people around made it possible for her to react in a way that would let the guy know “hey this isn’t fucking cool”, but there are definitely situation where it’s probably safer to not say anything and to just let it slide as to not escalate the situation. And for me those are the times I remember most and that have affected me the most, the times I said nothing, and the times when I was apologetic to the person who somehow aggressed me, because I was afraid that otherwise something worse would happen. What makes it worse, is that those are the people who really need to hear it.

  10. December 16, 2009 2:52 pm

    True, and I actually feel bad for not accepting his apology, maybe because it’s in my nature to want to make everyone feel good and to smooth things over. I really didn’t want to make him feel worse by writing about it, but I just wanted to write about something that happened in my life and what and how I reacted. I guess, that’s the choice you have to make when it comes to writing (or any other kind of art).

    Sometimes, you find yourself in situations, myself included, where you just don’t realize the boundaries that you have crossed or how your actions were spurred on by some sense of entitlement. I can definitely think of times where this has happened to me. Although, I don’t know the details of the situation you have mentioned, I’m happy to hear that you did work through it and were able to move beyond it.

  11. Mathomstore permalink
    December 20, 2009 12:11 pm

    No matter if you accept his excuses or not. I live in a wine region, and being fond of good wines myself, I’ve been a little drunk a quite some times and nonetheless never behaved like this, nor did my friends. That kind of behavior is unacceptable and show a very dark side of this man.

    Alcohol is an depressor of the central nervous system. It suppresses all the locks you’ve put in place during your life. That guy show aggressive, if not predatory, sexual pulsions, and should -really- consult a specialist before crossing the line, or ban all and any alcohol from his life for safety. I’m not over-stressing it, check the statistics, speak with any social worker, you’ll see how many times a rape assault come from the circle of friends.

    That guy is a timebomb. And he’s ticking.

  12. Wayne permalink
    January 2, 2010 12:23 am

    Dang all of you for pointing out that some women have been known to grab the ass or crotch of a guy they may not even know. Here I was prepared to be all indignant and say how you should have popped him, lol. Unfortunately, this also points out MY double standard, beccause I have had my ass or crotch fondled on occaision by women I was not involved with, and other than the one time it was done by a woman who I was in the process of evicting from my place of business for some OTHER drunken behavior, I never took offense. Either way, I guess we all need to be aware of personal apce issues, and especially as it relates to touching another persons body. I do agree with the stance that drunkeness is not an excuse for any type of behavior. The motivation or inclination is there to begin with, being drunk just lowers our inhibitions.

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