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  • Writer's pictureOpine

Stop touching me

Clubbing in the UK

By Samira Rauner

Trigger warning: sexual harassment.

Photo courtesy Mac Vincente via Flickr

You know how they say ‘love is all around’? If you replace ‘love’ with ‘sexism’, you’ve got it right.

‘Boyfriend or nah?’, he shouted. I nodded, and he walked away without another word, without having given his name or having asked mine. Yet, without any insult chucked at me, after not being interested and not having been touched without consent, this was actually one of the nicer interactions I had had going clubbing in the UK.

As if it wasn’t enough for one night to be approached by a guy who didn’t even bother asking my name and immediately replacing me with what he clearly perceived to be merely another potential subject for sex rather than an individual with what some might actually consider a personality, about ten minutes later, some other guy I had never even seen the face of, suddenly grabbed my waist from behind and started rubbing *something* against my butt.

(Un)surprisingly, I wasn’t feeling it. And, (un)surprisingly, it wasn’t just because of the rubbing.

Who would have thought...

But then again, I suppose that there really are some people who enjoy feeling a strangers’ hands on their waist, hands belonging to a person who didn’t consider it necessary to introduce themselves to you, who didn’t consider it necessary to say ‘hello’ first, ask your name, or even just let you see their face first.

Because after all, where would the mystery be in that?

And if hands aren’t doing it for you, surely you’d enjoy feeling someone’s genitals pressing into your butt, or – for those true connoisseurs – a wild combination of the genitals still persistently attached to your butt, and the hands not only grabbing your waist, but holding on to it, guiding it, and moving it in a way to please those infamous genitals belonging to … ah well, who cares.

At least that is what that guy must have thought. Well, him and every other guy who has ever placed his hands on me without asking. Or maybe, maybe they just don’t think at all.

So, with his hands still grabbing on to me, I turned around, seeing the face belonging to those hands for the first time, and, across the techno, I shouted ‘You need to ask first’. He looked at me, his hands still on my waist, bewilderment and confusion stamped across his face. I repeated my line, the one line I’d repeated so many times in the past year I’ve lost count, and pushed his hands away.

Contrary to expectation, he neither started insulting me nor walked away; instead, he actually seemed considerate: ‘Can I dance with you?’, he asked.

‘No’, I said.


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