I read your column about women getting unsolicited advice from men at the gym (7/18/08), and I agree with the previous respondent, Threw in the Towel (8/1/08): These guys are hitting on the women. Yes, things are ambiguous, as you described. The whole gentlemanly thing can be very ambiguous to women, like "Is he hitting on me or not?" And it can get pretty creepy sometimes, especially if you really can't tell at all.
When guys don't notice that women are hitting on them, it's because they're blinded by the fact that they already have a girlfriend or they're engaged or married or just too dense to notice. They don't know how to play the social game. But for women it's different. We go through this all the time, and it's pretty grueling, whether at the workplace, the bus stop, the library or the gym. (The list goes on.) You seemed to make excuses for these guys, brush it all aside. But this is what it's about: They're hitting on you MOST OF THE TIME. Anyway, that's enough from me. I'll keep reading your column, since I do enjoy it. Take care.
Object to Being an Object
Object: You know what, I'm just going to swallow my pride and admit that, in dealing with Threw in the Towel, I didn't take enough into account how it feels to get hit on by guys virtually everywhere you go. I was too busy trying to convince her that not all guys are like that. And they aren't. But what difference does that make to a woman if there's always some guy there who is like that? And let's face it, there's usually some guy there who's like that, often more than one.
I don't know what to tell you, Object. Not to leave the house? To carry pepper spray with you everywhere you go? To become a genetic engineer and discover a cure for the Y chromosome? What I wish for you is that, one way or another, you develop a little thicker skin, learn how to let it all roll off of you a little more. I can pretty much guarantee that these guys aren't going to change, so you'll have to make some adjustments of your own. I wish you the best of luck with that.
You mentioned in a recent column that guys often don't know when they're being hit on. In my experience, they know exactly when they're being hit on. They just choose to ignore it sometimes. And that's fine. There are plenty more where those came from.
Incorrigible Flirt: Are you hitting on me?
Just read the column about laughing during sex (8/8/08). I tend to giggle during certain acts, and I've ticked off some men because of it. I have certain sensitive body parts, and when they are sucked or licked or pinched they tickle! I mean, come on!! What am I supposed to do? Not make any noise and just lie there like a blow-up doll? For me, laughter is an expression of joy, and when I'm having wonderful intimacy with someone I'm in a joyful mood. Hence, the giggling and smiling and...well, I don't need to go into great detail here. When I've tried to explain this to certain insecure men, they just don't get it and tell me not to laugh. Those men don't make it into my bedroom again.
Tickled Silly: You're hitting on me, right?
To hit on me, write to: Mr. Right, Isthmus, 101 King St., Madison, WI 53703. Or call 251-1206, ext. 152. Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.