This was supposed to be a simple post about bar creepers, and then I realized that I wasn’t blogging when I experienced some epic male douchery that y’all need to hear about. Seriously.
Old followers (I’m mostly lookin’ at you, scrivener) may remember my friend Steve. We met in middle school. He was cool. We got along well and had great conversations. Over the years, Steve turned into a compulsive liar, then a huge asshole. That’s the really short version.
Steve was my first kiss–late for me at 16, and I knew he’d already made moves on basically all of my other female friends. We were a close group who we talked about boys, so one night when someone said, “You guys, Steve tried to kiss me,” almost everyone had similar stories. We knew better than to trust him and that he obviously wanted ass. Steve never learned this lesson, and it was probably his downfall.
The kiss was terrible. I probably did blog about that–my brother and I went over to swim with Steve and his brother Nick, I somehow ended up in Steve’s room, he teasingly got off my clothes so I was in my bikini, then I somehow ended up against the wall in his closet being kissed. Now, I haven’t kissed very many people. I’ve kissed Steve, Stephanie’s brother Steve, and Paul, plus a few games of spin the bottle that involve some people’s ex-boyfriends, some people’s current boyfriends, and my friend Tessa. Circumstantially and skill-wise, Steve was the worst. It was a total mess. I had saliva all over my face and wasn’t exactly thrilled with the encounter or a willing participant, but I also didn’t stop him.
Some time later, we were having one of our awesome conversations when it turned to that kiss. “I could’ve gotten you to go farther,” he said. “No, you couldn’t have,” I said. But he insisted. RED FLAG. It made him sound arrogant, for one, and for another had some implications that really scared me.
He became notorious for that kind of persistence, if you want to call it that, with me and others. I heard a rumor about him in a car with a girl that very nearly escalated to rape. He always dated really young, naive girls–including one that was warned by my friend Bianca but didn’t listen, instead insisting Bianca was jealous and wanted Steve–whose parents always hated him, resulting in restraining orders more than once. He always claimed they were undeserved and the parents were crazy.
Once he was hanging out with my brother and texted me from the bathroom more or less asking me to go blow him. When I refused, he said, “Come on, you’re in college,” as if that made me willing to just suck all the dicks. For the record, I hate oral. I didn’t leave my seat in the living room until he left the bathroom, lest he hear me and think I was complying or tried to accost me (again) or something.
A year or so later, he messaged me while high and was like, “Hey, you’re single. I’m single. Why don’t we get together?” Nope.
The best of them all came the summer before my senior year of college, the same summer Paul and I met and started our romance. In fact, this happened a week before he asked me out.
Brandon was supposed to ship off to train with the military (he ended up being overweight, despite some weirdness where a bigger guy was able to go). We threw him an American-themed going-away party. I thought about telling him not to invite Steve but decided against it. It was his party, so I let him invite who he wanted. After the party, I believe I told him Steve was never to come to any of our social functions again.
Everything was awesome at first. It was one of our most successful themes, too, I suspect because it was easy–you could either just dress patriotic or come as a historical or classic figure. I was Rosie the Riveter, Brandon was Bruce Springsteen, friends came as everything from soldiers to Amelia Earheart. We played 40 Hands and called it 40 Hands Across America.
At some point–though I don’t think I found out until the next day–Steve started hitting on Terra. Right in front of then-rebound-boyfriend and old friend Shawn.
But all parties must end. Meri went almost catatonic (hilarious story about that–she lost 40 Hands, I left her on the couch with a glass of water, came back to find her waking up with a fresh 40, no one knows how it got there) and Nolan went to bed, leaving me in charge of everyone else and turning the shed lights off and everything.
Some stragglers falling asleep on couches, so Steve and I were the last ones standing. We had one of our long-lost awesome conversations. I figured we’d talk until he decided to sleep. I didn’t want to leave him out there awake and unsupervised. I guess I didn’t trust him.
At first, he was whining about our friend Rachael. I think in old blogs she was called Rachael Buddy to differentiate between her and another friend Rachael. Basically, he wanted all up on her, she wasn’t having it, and I remember him saying some things about the situation that seemed off to me and made me think, “I need to ask Rachael if this is true.” Spoiler alert: I did and it wasn’t.
At some point, he moved really close to me and was touching me a bit affectionately. I wasn’t really into it, but I figured, “It’s late and we’ve both been drinking. I’ll deal for now. He’ll probably quit and go to sleep.”
The whole time, I was thinking of not-yet-boyfriend-but-serious-crush Paul and was like, “Man, if he was the one doing this, I’d be totally down with that. Why, Lord, must you make it be Steve instead!?”
So then Steve sort of lunges at me and tries to kiss me. In a move reserved for embarrassing romance-movie moments, I turned my head and told him no just as he made the move, giving him nothing but my cheek. COCK BLOCKED.
He scooted a little closer and started slowly and gently stroking my thigh. Not much later, he lunged at me again, to the same results. This time after my refusal, he whimpered and put his head on my shoulder, like I was supposed to feel bad for him because he doesn’t accept the word “No,” or like I didn’t figure out he’d just spend the moments stroking my thigh to warm me up to kissing him. Then he went on about how hard it is to get a girl to like him. Nevermind he’d been a disrespectful, creepy, arrogant douchebag on a regular basis for four or five years.
I went inside the house shortly thereafter. I was sure that otherwise, I’d wake up pregnant with a dick in my mouth. It was one of only two or three times I’ve ever really, consciously been afraid of what a man might do to me, and here’s the saddest part about that–I’m lucky. Lucky that not only did nothing happen but lucky that I’ve only experienced it once or twice. It’s a sick world we live in when only worrying you might get raped a few times means you’re lucky.
He said some other dumb shit, too, most notably that he was pretending to be more drunk than he really was because he thought it would help his chances.
The next day, when I was fully sober and all the implications and everything fully hit me, I was furious. Completely livid. I couldn’t even have a conversation with the dude without him trying to make out with me, even after I told him I wasn’t interested–like I had many times before. On top of that, given everything I knew, including things he told me himself before he tried to kiss me, I knew he wasn’t interested in me. He was interested in what he could get from me. He was using me for sex, or for as much physical pleasure as he could get–which, as he told me when we were teenagers, was anything he wanted.
A week later, Paul and I went to the movies together with some of his friends, plus Brandon and Jacob. I was still pissed. Jacob wanted to know what happened, so as Brandon drove us all back, I told the story–while this guy I wanted to date was listening.
I was very careful not to sound like I hated all men or something, both so he wouldn’t be put off of going out again and because it wasn’t true. I didn’t hate men. I still don’t hate men. I probably never will hate men. Men aren’t the problem. Gentlemen do exist. Some lucky friends and I have managed to find some. They’re not perfect. They’ve been insensitive and harsh and clueless and have accidentally hurt feelings, made us cry. But they’ve respected us. They’ve listened when we’ve said no. They’ve respected our wishes, our boundaries, and our bodies.
This is titled to be addressing men, but the main points here aren’t lessons all men need to learn–plenty are already aware, although reinforcing them doesn’t hurt. Bottom lines: no means no, all people deserve respect, and women’s bodies aren’t your playthings that you get to have whenever you want. You’re not entitled to us, and we don’t like when you act like you are, especially if we know we as people mean nothing to you.