Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rethinking Creep

Creep, creeper, heebby-geebies, you just know when you feel it. What makes a creep? Why is it so hard to define? Clarisse Thorn writes "Why Do We Demonize Men Who Are Honest About Their Sexual Needs?" asking women to think how the term creep.

How does a guy express sexual interest without coming off as a creep? Our dominant culture that makes talking about sex taboo. Coupled that with pressure on guys to be the initiators, what's a caring guy to do? Charlie Glickman Suggests 5 tips for men.

I use 'creep' to refer to a situation where a person unconsentually puts their sexual desires in the social, emotional, or physical space of someone(s) else. A creep does not respect boundaries. When boundaries are unstated, creeps don't ask for clarification. Creeps often come off as awkward or shifty.

Although, as Thorn points out, women can generalize any open and honest communication about sexuality as creepy. Open and honest communication about sex, desire is uncommon in our society, so it would make sense for it to feel odd or uncomfortable at first (especially amidst all the sex negative message we receive daily). If sex positivity is the goal then we all need to get used to talking about sex in appropriate consentual situations. Of course, being mindful about context is important. Having a loud conversation about masturbation sleeves in line at the zoo with young kids and families around you might make your date or fellow zoo-goers uncomfortable. I think we should be open about bodies, sex, sexuality, but there are cultural expectations for public spaces. You wouldn't poop on the sidewalk or get on the city bus naked (not to mention, those two acts are illegal).

Moral of the story, is consent. Be considerate and communicative, not creepy.

No comments: