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I’m a gay male who’s on the rather… chubby side, and I’d always wanted somewhere reasonable enough that made me feel comfortable and not like i wad being judged, and thought I found that with a 24 hour gym. Perfect, I’m up late anyways and there won’t be as many people there at night! Little did I know, I’d be made uncomfortable by a completely different situation.
The first time it happened, a guy was staring at me while I was rinsing my face in a sink. I could see in the reflection of the mirror that he was literally staring at me and smiling. Then what does he do next? He pulls down the front of his gym shorts and flashes me! I went out and told the person at the front desk and lo and behold, “they can’t do anything about it unless there are witnesses.”
Flash forward a month or so, I go to the gym around midnight and stay til 3 am. At the end of my workout, which included a swim, I decided that since it was late enough I could probably shower without feeling embarrassed or having anyone see me. I go into the locker room and there was an older guy, probably in his late 30′s, early 40′s who had clearly just showered and was wrapping up to go home. No big deal. I went into a desperate part of the locker room and put some stuff in my locker and grabbed a towel, undressed, and wrapped it around my waist. I head over towards the showers and as I do, I pass the little section of lockers where he’s at. He makes eye contact and smiles at me and I kinda quickly smile at him and keep walking, when I hear him say, “damn!”
I ignored it, not really believing he was talking to me (my self confidence was pretty low at the time, I had no idea anybody would ever say anything like that to me, let alone a creepy gym locker room dude,) and went over to the little offshoot area where the shower stalls are.
I’m standing there with the shower running, washing the chlorine water from my hair when I hear another nozzle turn on. I was a little disappointed cause I thought I was going to avoid the embarrassment of anyone seeing me naked, but when I glanced over, it was the creeper dude, he had gotten BACK in the shower, straight across from my stall, and worse of all, he was JACKING OFF!!!! I was pretty damn shocked by that point and I turned to face away from him and rinse the shampoo out of my hair (I rushed so it shouldn’t have taken more than a few seconds,) and I heard him say something. HE WAS RIGHT OUTSIDE MY STILL MASTURBATING!!! I didn’t know what to do or say so I kinda backed up into my stall a little more to move away from him and he kept stroking and started reaching for me. I finally got myself together and realize what was going on and said “dude, if you fucking touch me I’ll punch you the fuck out.” He backed off enough to get past him and I grabbed my towel, threw on my gym shorts and shirt still soaking wet, and carried my shoes and took off out of that locker room so quick. I’d never been more afraid or shaken up in my life. I didn’t even want to stop to talk to the guy at the front desk.
I went back a few days later to report the incident and of course was told once again that they couldn’t do anything about it. It was sick and creepy and I don’t understand why because a man can “tell I’m gay” he thinks he’s entitled to invade my personal space and make me feel disgusting.
While shopping at TJ Maxx in Sherman Oaks, CA, a man was following me around the aisles. I didn’t think anything of it other than he was simply looking at the same things I was. I stopped at the edge of an aisle and he was looking at sheets near me. He was squatted and pulling sheets out of the bins. When I looked down at him, his erect penis was sticking out of his pants and he was facing my direction. He was pretending to look at a set of sheets while his penis just stuck out. I ran to a store employee and she had the manager approach him. He bolted out of the store when the manager got close enough. I couldn’t stop shaking. I’ve never felt so violated and disgusted. The store manager called the police and took my number. I never heard back from anyone.
Maybe he didn’t touch me or physically assault me. That doesn’t mean he didn’t scar me. I just thank God it was me who went through this rather than the little girl at the other side of the store. I can handle this more than that little girl could.
About 10 years ago (~2001) while I was living in Alexandria, VA, a friend and I decided to hit the Target store. I drove, and after parking we walked through the parking lot towards the store. As we neared the store, a car coming from our right slowed and stopped as we approached it I thought, “how nice, he’s stopping to let us pass in front of him.” How wrong I was. As we stepped in front of his car, I looked over to see the male driver with his penis out, masturbating madly with a huge grin on his face. I was still holding my keys in my hand, and I was so angry I acted without thinking. I jammed my keys into his car hood as we walked past, leaving a huge gouge in the paint all the way across. He didn’t do a thing…didn’t yell, didn’t honk, didn’t say a word, and we continued into a store. I still have fantasies about what I could have done with a can of pepper spray, given that his window was open!
So over the years I must have hundreds of stories of sexual harassment, catcalling, stalking ect. However I only have one story that truly haunts me, probably because it’s the most disgusting I’ve ever experienced.
When I was in 6th grade, my friend and I went to the library to do a school project. We didn’t have to do it at the library but I guess we just enjoyed the thrill of feeling old and cool being somewhere without our parents. Anyways, my friend and I were wondering around the library browsing through the shelves and giggling when we see an boy much older than us (I’m assuming he was 19-20..we were only like 12) We noticed him following us but brushed it off, thinking we were imagining it. However when we kept seeing him all over, we both started getting panicky. At one point he was right next to us, mouthing sexual comments. We still were in shock and had no idea what to do. We told the librarian but she was totally clueless and brushed it off. After seeing us go to the librarian, he backed off, which gave us time to run back up to the chidren’s section and call my mother. She called us when she was outside but we were too petrified to come outside (we’d have to walk down two fights of stairs alone.) Seconds later, she came running up. We explained what had happened and she calmly escorted us out of the building. Once we get outside.. who do we see? The creep from earlier. What shocked me the most was how it didn’t even phase him my mother was with us. He continued to stare us down and then he lifted up his baggy shirt and exposed himself. I believe his penis was out the whole time but had managed to concealed it. This guy honestly exposed himself to two 12 year olds and a parent right in front of a public library! Absolutely disgusted and petrified my mother called the police and we filed a report. We never heard of anything happening with the creep and the police didn’t seem to think there was anything they could do since it was “he said she said”, so he got off the hook. Needless to say, I never returned to that library. I still wonder if I was the only girl that happened to..
This morning, I took the L train. I had just come from having a wonderful cup of coffee at cute bakery near my boyfriend’s apartment. I was happy when I headed home, though I was mildly annoyed by the ever-jarring automated voice that narrates subway travel.
I was almost home when we stopped at the Lorimer stop and the train doors opened. I saw a man standing on the platform turn around and pull his penis out. He smiled at me and waved it in my direction.
The ever-jarring voice then became my savior. “Stand clear of the closing doors, please,” it said it in it’s non-change human-esque manner.
The man put his “personals” back in and stepped back quickly and creepily smiled at me.
He was lucky that time.
This is the second time I’ve been flashed this year. I’ve been licked by strangers, verbally assualted, holla’ed at, and groped by countless people.
When my son moved out of the Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio Texas, he decided to adopt a cat from the local Humane Society. The entire time we are there, this fat white guy wearing a woman’s wig and clothing, follows us from place to place. When my son wheels (he was in a wheelchair at the time) into one of the glass booths to see if he and one of his kitty choices gets along, this creep, goes into the booth directly in front of my son. smiles at him, then bends his fat ass towards my sons face where this enormous blood spot is right in the crack of his ass! After we get an eye full and pull our mouths up from the ground, this freak stands upright, looks at us with a big grin on his face then leaves. I don’t know what it meant, but it was very vulgar. This person is clearly a pervert!
I was headed home to Brooklyn for the day at about 2:30 p.m. after finishing a final exam at school in Manhattan. I was listening to a podcast and briefly closed my eyes between Rector and Whitehall. When I opened my eyes, there was a man sitting directly across from me (no other passengers were seated in this section of the train) masturbating with his genitals completely outside of his pants. His eyes were nearly closed. I got up and got loud, shouting, “What the are you doing jerking off in front of me?! That’s disgusting!” He got up and headed to the door at the other end of the car. I was so glad that a large, middle-aged man near where I had walked to in the car looked at me and said he had seen what happened. I told the man I didn’t want to let the guy get away, and he offered to help me. We walked to where the perpetrator was standing and stood right behind him. As soon as the doors opened at Whitehall, the perp bolted, and the fellow commuter and I flew after him.
I reached the perp first and grabbed the sleeve of his sweatshirt, bringing him down on the stairs. Three men helped me detain him on the stairs until the transit cop FINALLY came 10 minutes later. During that 10 minutes, the perp pleaded with me to let him go and to think of his family, he also kept trying to get away, but he knew he was too outnumbered to really make a run for it. Once the cop came, the other men departed. After a few minutes, the perp tried to get away from the cop by jumping the turnstile. I ran after him and grabbed him from behind by the belt, bringing him down to the ground. He resisted arrest, but the cop was finally able to handcuff him and he was arrested and taken into custody for public drunkenness and lewdness and I gave a formal statement to the police at the nearest substation.
I felt so good about not just keeping my mouth shut and letting this pervert get away with it. Even if nothing much happens to him, I feel happy with my decision to take action. On a side note, it was completely ridiculous to have to wait for 10 minutes for the transit cop to arrive. I also had to clearly state to the cops that I wanted to press charges against the guy, rather than them just giving him a warning.
Is flashing and chasing a form of ‘stalking’? I’m not sure, but this happened many years ago in Glen Burnie when I used to walk and jog around in my neighborhood between Southgate and Old Mill. It is three separate instances, not sure if they are related but they all happened within months of each other. This was also pre-cell phones – in the early 80′s. The first incident was at the baseball fields in Old Mill/Southgate park – my friend and I were walking by and a man was apparently sunbathing naked – with a full erection – on one of the benches. We were 15 years old and looked at each other and giggled, and quickly walked away. The man never acknowledged us or moved. The second incident was a man emerging from a wooded area that bordered Shetlands Lane, near the Old Mill football field. He had his pants down and some kind of long jacket that he actually flashed open as I was walking by – he was about 20 yards away, so I turned around and pointed at his ‘display’ and started laughing as hard as I could. He closed his jacket and turned back into the woods. The third incident was somewhat scarier. I used to jog along the path next to the football stadium as it was right next to where I lived. The path was wooded on one side opposite the stadium and dipped down into a gulley at one point. While jogging on this path – and right at the point where it dipped down, I heard footsteps behind me and turned my head to see a man, with his pants down around his knees, running behind me. I outran him and was fortunately close to home and immediately told my Dad. He grabbed a sledge hammer from the shed and went looking for the guy, but fortunately I suppose, didn’t find him. These were not the only times I was flashed or approached by a man with an erection on display. After the first time, walking home from school and a young man came up to me on the wooded path to ask what time it was – with his pants down – I punched him in the face, ran home and called the police. They could do nothing and actually asked me to describe his penis – I was 13 or 14 years old. After that – I never reported these incidents to the police again. There was obviously a serious problem in that area with sex offenders and I don’t know if anyone (though I’m sure it did happen to someone) was ever actually assaulted. I was lucky, very lucky and wasn’t afraid to embarrass the perpetrator or even defend myself physically. Now that we have electronic media in everyone’s hands, though, and stricter laws regarding sex offenders – hopefully these types of incidents will be ‘exposed’ and girls (or boys, either) won’t be preyed upon.
I was studying in Cairo for the summer, trying to improve my not-so-great Arabic. A few weeks into our time there, my roommate and I decided to go for a shop in the marketplace in the middle of the day.
Both of us had been making a conscious effort while in Egypt to dress conservatively – loose trousers, baggy shirts, nothing “provocative” by Egyptian standards. (Something that quite a few Western tourists never bother doing). In our naivety, we assumed that by dressing in a culturally respectful way, we would be treated respectfully.
Anyways, we were walking through the marketplace when this man began following us, muttering sexually suggestive phrases in Arabic at us (never imagining, I’m sure, that both of us understood full well what he was saying). We ignored him, darting in and out of shops to try and shake him off. He just hung around outside them, waiting for us to come out.
Eventually, he came up behind me and began rubbing his pelvis against me, and groping my butt. I managed to shake free of him, and then he did the same to my roommate. Unbelievably, he came up behind me AGAIN to try for another feel, at which point I elbowed him as hard as I could in the stomach. As I turned around, I saw him looking at me with this expression of mingled fury and hurt – as though somehow, he’d been doing me a tremendous favour, and I was the one behaving outrageously.
Another time, early in the morning, I had a guy follow me for about an hour. He followed me all the way to my classes, leering, catcalling, calling me a whore in Arabic – all at 8 o’clock in the morning. All I had done was hold a door open for him as I went out of a coffee shop.
I’m sure everyone now is aware of just how bad the sexual harassment problem in Egypt is, but I just want to go on record as having said the following: it doesn’t matter what you wear, it doesn’t matter if you speak any Arabic, it doesn’t matter how many people you’re with, and it doesn’t matter what time of day it is. If you’re a woman in Cairo (particularly a Western woman), men will follow you, make comments, and call you a whore – and it has to stop.
I was walking along Greenwich High Road a couple of days ago, it was the hottest day of the year so far but I wasn’t wearing anything particularly revealing (jeans, t shirt and cardigan) when a guy stopped in front of me and said “Hey, sweet tits!” I ignored him and walked past. A couple of minutes later a different man, who was riding a bike on the other side of the road, cycled over to where I was, got his penis out and waved it at me, then cycled off (with it still flapping out!) I didn’t really know how on earth to react to that, quite honestly I was wondering how he managed to do that while cycling and imagined what what happen if he fell onto the crossbar which quite frankly I think he would deserve.