Hi, Dr. NerdLove;
Thanks for the wonderful column.
I… have a problem with disappearing and I think I need the Chair Leg of Truth. I keep having to deal with other people’s very, very inconvenient crushes on me.
Example #1: I gave up my the forums of my beloved hobby when Married Sad Boner Dude “fell in love” with me. He refused to stop talking about how in love with me he was, or work on his relationship with his wife, so I faded. Not before he threatened to kill himself and implied that I, his True Love could save him by encouraging him to make an intercontinental move to court me.
Example #2: I moved away from my hometown when College Experiment with Heterosexuality Sad Boner Dude was “uncomfortable” with the fact that I insisted upon living near him (which is to say: living with my mother, two hours away). I’m not attending reunions and I donate anonymously to my college, because OMG what if the poor dear gets triggered by seeing my name the way he was when he saw me from the train that one day? (To be fair, we did have a serious case of the zombie relationship, and I don’t blame him for being relieved to see my toxic-to-him ass retreating.) I gave up all my college friends that had any association with him, too. That hurts to this day.
Example #3: I started working remotely when Sad Boner Co-Worker got a crush on me and started acting in a frightening and quasi-stalkery manner. Good luck advancing in my career without being allowed to come into the office more than once a month!
Example #4: I faded from a local con and skipped the workshop I’d paid for last year when Sad Boner Dance Dude decided that I was The One and refused to let me talk to my friends and tried to follow me to my hotel at 3 a.m. I am going back to that con this year. Maybe. I dunno.
Example #5: I just f-locked the archives and all entries for the foreseeable future on my blog, which was middling popular, because another Married Sad Boner dude kept defiantly trampling my boundaries, getting angry when I refused to chat with him while I was busy at work or at dinner with my daughter, trying to sexually dominate me and requesting to see my ass on video chat.
Doctor Nerdlove, I don’t know what to do.
I am RIGHT UPFRONT about being lesbian, about not being even remotely interested in romantic relationships and kind of disgusted by sex with anyone but myself. By PUA standards, I’m a Midwest two when I make the effort, and I never, ever make the effort. I guess I’m kind and friendly and a little funny, and I try to appreciate how awesome every individual is in their own right, but I mention that I’m not available or interested in romance in any way, shape or form. I’ve even tried not bringing it up. That makes it worse. Not saying “not interested” at the beginning and end of every sentence to a Sad Boner Dude feels like he’s going to pounce and say, “Aha! You didn’t say ‘Simon Says,’ NOW YOU HAVE TO MARRY ME. Or at least let me call you my fiancée until I lose interest and wander off.”
The worst thing is, these are good men. They’d be horrified if they read this letter. They’d write me eight-page SAD PANTSFEELS LETTERS about how it wasn’t like that! If you publish this letter, readers of yours will be curling up like they’ve been nutkicked because they’ve done something that remotely resembles this and they feel personally attacked.
But for me, it is like that. Suicide threats. Being followed at night. Getting cornered at the office by a nightmarish 6’3″ ex-cop who keeps telling everyone about how women make shit about abuse up, who then turns up in your parking lot at one in the morning blaring Barry White because he “finds you attractive.” Getting badgered because I’m hanging out with my family instead of worshiping the boner, even though a boner, for me, is a Lovecraftian Elder God with whom I want no truck. Eight-page SAD PANTSFEELS letters.
How do I prevent guys getting crushes on me and mistaking them for an excuse to ignore clearly stated boundaries? Look, I’m sure women do this too, but it’s not a problem I’ve run into with women. And for that matter, what do I do with these Sad Boner Men? When guys do get crushes on me, is there a more constructive response than “three strikes, and I run screaming, because it’s super-mean to exist and not want to be someone’s prize, even though I’ve skipped to the end of that particular book and, spoiler, horrific ruins for everyone and no-one has any fun getting there and the car chases suck”? It feels like I’m cruel to keep visibly existing, but it’s almost always in my own space. Also, I feel like this is one of the reasons you don’t see women in male-dominated fields: there’s this thing where guys fixate on women and the women leave. I really hate the thought of contributing to that. I want to grow a spine, but dang. It’s mean to them and sometimes feels dangerous to me to hang around. I want my blog back. I want my forums back. My mom wants me to visit her.
Is there something I’m missing here? I already carry a taser. Or am I being unreasonable? You’d tell me if I was being unreasonable, right?
The (Vanishing) Villain in the Rom Com