I had three encounters today that called upon my TAKE NO SHIT angsty, assertive and powerful lioness. So many days I am too exhausted to even deal with another ounce of annoyance thrown at me on the streets and usually let the cat calls, the absurd emails, the OKCupid fuckery and all things et cetera just go…but today I was feeling particularly vocal about expressing my disgruntlement.
My first spitfire happened as I was walking in Williamsburg talking on the phone to a dear girlfriend, listening attentively to her challenge with one of her bosses and struggles at work. As I was walking, trying to mind my own business, just being an empathic friend, I hear the infamous elongated, squeaky, drawn out sound of a kiss coming from some bros chapped lips.
Every woman knows this sound. Usually I just walk on by, but today I turned to him, looked him straight in the eye and with some attitude, sass and sternness and said, “Yeah, don’t do that.”
I didn’t wait for what his expression was, anything else he may of said, just continued down the street, talking to one of my best babes. What bothers me most about catcalling is that it feels like an interruption from the flow, from the flow of conversation, my stride, my train of thought, the fact that I need to figure out where the train is, etc.
It’s an unwanted interruption that women constantly are bombarded with. DAILY. We are just trying to keep our hustle up, keep our relationships alive, keep our vibe high—-and then that squeaky kiss, nails on a chalkboard sound comes piercing through.
Yeah, Don’t do That.
I got an email in my Naked Yoga Therapy box a few weeks ago. It was written professionally from a guy that lives in San Fransisco and owns his own “conscious business retreat” company. So he partners with bigger businesses and as a bonus, thank you or team building exercise they go on his retreats. Goddess, I’m so over men who are more business minded that try to capitalize on spirituality but have only been on a spiritual path for what…a year? COOL, dude.
Anyways, he asked me many questions about my trainings, what I see for my business in the farther future, my goals and aspirations. He asked about some of the issues and challenges people come to me with.
I answered generously, spoke with clarity and reaffirmed how deeply rewarding my work has been to me.
I asked about his business, his path, what kinds of programs he offers, etc.
It was a meeting swopping ideas candidly and quickly. I felt more inspired from the chat and it always feels interesting to explain my work upfront and honestly to a person I just met. Feels like good practice in being what and who I am regardless of if I feel “comfortable” in doing so.
Anyhow, we put on our coats and scarves and returned our teacups to the bins like good samaritans. We walked outside together, embraced for a friendly hug and a “nice to meet you” moment, when he brought me in close as if he was going to kiss me on my mouth.
I would have more compassion if this was a tea date from a Tinder or Bumble or some other random dating site, but it wasn’t. He sent me an email and inquiry about meeting to strictly discuss a few topics, or so I thought.
And this is where the world is really far behind on sexuality, consent, proper boundaries, feeling “intimacy” and really getting it.
I walked away from the meeting, thought and actually said out loud.
WHAT A WASTE OF TIME.
His actions completely obliterated the positivity of the conversation and I realized that this man was actually more a part of the problem than a vehicle for building a solution. I instinctly reached for my phone to call my best friend, America (yes, her name is America and she is my favorite thing about this country) and then quickly changed my mind.
I decided to call HIM.
He’s the one that messed up and needs to hear about it.
He answered happy to hear from me. How cute.
“So I know if I don’t get clarity on this, it’s going to bother me for one more minute of my life and I don’t have time for that, so what the hell was that? We had a meeting, it was great and then why did you try to kiss me? Was I giving off any kind of vibe or energy that I wanted you, wanted that or would have been okay with that?”
What I heard back was some excuse of “I thought you wanted to kiss me” bullshit.
Absolutely not accurate. It makes sense. When we get called out for our actions, blaming and not taking responsibility is the prime immature masculine go to response. Its easier and a lot less confronting, but that’s not the WORK.
Subculture of yoga, tantra, wellness, self care talk endlessly about the WORK. To me it equates to the simplest notion of TAKING RESPONSIBILITY. Not to even mention that women don’t have their work to be doing, myself included EVERY SINGLE DAY, but this lack of work and awareness from men isn’t acceptable anymore.
He proceeded to ask me out for a drink later that night to top off this phone conversation. Need I say more about this absurd situation? Maybe I do, because I hope he and other men read it and get it. Deep in their bones, deep in their dick, most especially deep in their heart that what happened on this encounter made me feel deeply disrespected, my time taken advantage of and shattered my view of him as a man and a man preaching about “conscious business retreats”.
What I have also been thinking about was his utter disrespect for my potential partner and relationship agreements. It’s not fair to make a move on someone without knowing what kind of lifestyle, love arrangement and status they may have. It’s not respectful to them or their partner. I noticed he was wearing a wedding ring, which is FINE if you are married and open or whatever your agreement is, but since this meeting was business WHY would we even discuss our relationships or agreements?
Nothing about this guy was conscious. How is he doing what he is doing and calling it conscious? Sounds like a potential client, not a potential business colleague.
I’m so deeply glad that I called him, called him out and freed all of these thoughts in the moment. This is my work and what I am trying everyday to get better at. Things upset me, I voice them and try not to hide them or keep them dormant from people or partners. Notice the anger, the discord, the thought and express it in real time. Not later when it’s been given time to build, fester, turn into something enormous.
All I know is that this would have bothered me for longer and I would have done the classic “girl” thing and take the burden and the responsibility on MYSELF, or would have watched my power dissolve.
“Was I dressed in a way that would made himself think that I wanted him?”
The answer is NO, I looked professional and classy AF and also this is beyond the point. No matter what I would have chosen to wear gives this man absolutely no right to try to slip a kiss on my lips. It’s laughable to think he had earned that. Or that I would have wanted that.
He mildly redeemed himself by texting the next day and apologizing again. He seemed sincere and I continued to explain how this encounter could be deeply useful to him and hopefully it was a “teachable” moment. He dug himself back into his unconscious shithole when he asked me out yet again, which now I know was his intention all along.
No, still no, definitely a no.
I told my lover about my day and the scenarios I had encountered. He had far more compassion than I did and gave me some great insight into the situation and also mentioned how grateful he was about going to men’s groups, his work with shamanic plant medicines and sifting through the challenges from the fractured world of masculinity.
We found ourselves later in the evening, candles all around us, a sexy playlist going and far too many days since I had felt him. We swam in our sweetness and swam closer towards one another. I whispered how different it felt to desire his kiss, to burn for it and how interesting it had been to have an incredibly loud encounter that showed me how deeply I didn’t want to kiss someone. I asked to kiss him. He teased me a bit, and then let me. It was magic and what made it magic was that it was consensual, honest, desired and consciously chosen.
I give the work I do another fifteen years to actually be understood.
I take it upon myself as my mission to keep explaining it, voicing it and teaching about sex, love, tantra, conscious relating, masculine and feminine energy, etc.
I will give another 15,000 coachable moments and another 15,000 (if you ask nicely) to men that simply are stuck in patterns of behavior that are so ingrained in our culture, in their definition of “masculinity” and what is “ok” behavior. I’m not perfect and don’t expect perfection, but I do expect more awareness.
By raising hell, we can raise awareness.
By not exactly raising our voice, but by speaking our voice, we can raise awareness. Delivering challenging messages with tact is one of my favorite tasks and missions of walking the earth as a tantrika. To be powerful, fierce and kind everyday and in every encounter that angers me, floors me, sends my teeth grinding and wanting to gnaw into the flesh of the unconsciousness. To do it with as much grace as possible for our words and message to be translated, readable, hearable and to really land…we need grace.
I felt something. I expressed it. It was heard. It was clear. And now the finishing business of this outlandish business meeting and the “work” I need to do is…forgiveness.
Let it go.
The third encounter I had today was when a man cut in front of me in the line at a cafe I frequent. The barista didn’t see it, turned to him and was ready to ask his order. I quickly put my body in front of the asshole cutter and explained that “Actually, I was here first.” I didn’t care to give this guy another moment of my existence, so I didn’t look back.
Thanks for the web content, fuck bois.
Thanks for having my back, lover and encouraging me to keep calling out these moments. Makes me want to continue loving it up with you.
With the most love and sass I could possibly muster,