How to navigate the #metoo era

Maxim Magazine July 2018 edition – Print column by Maxim sex columnist — Vanessa de Largie

Vanessa de Largie | Maxim Magazine | July 30, 2018

The explosive #MeToo Movement has changed the way men and women interact forever. As sexual assault and sexual harassment allegations continue to snowball across the globe, men and women find themselves traipsing new terrain. In 2018, how do men go about making the first move in a way which is self-assured yet mindful of a woman’s boundaries? Read on…

DON’T APPROACH WOMEN WHEN DRIVING A CAR

Approaching female pedestrians while driving your car is totally inappropriate and causes women great personal stress and anxiety. In 2017, I set off for a brisk walk through Wimbledon, London.

I was happily listening to Lily Allen on my iPod when suddenly a guy in a Porsche started driving slowly beside me. He parked his car further up the road and wound down his window. My heart started to pound as I approached his vehicle. This had happened to me numerous times in my life and I found it agitating, to say the least.

I walked past his Porsche and chose to ignore him. I left my headphones in and pretended he didn’t exist. This didn’t make him very happy — he reacted childishly by accelerating up the road. I mean, what did he hope to achieve? Did he think that because he drove a Porsche I was going to hop into his vehicle and spread my legs? It doesn’t matter if YOUR DICK responds to a woman you see walking on the footpath — it’s NEVER OK to approach a woman in this way. Would you like your mother, sister, daughter or niece to be approached in this manner? I would certainly hope not. It’s outright sexual harassment and it’s not on. It’s also f—king CREEPY!

A WOMAN’S SOLITUDE ISN’T AN INVITATION FOR YOUR SEXUAL ADVANCES

Many men seem to believe that a woman’s solitude is an invitation for their sexual advances. Just because a woman is at a pub by herself (or anywhere for that matter) doesn’t mean that she’s looking for “action”. Chances are, she’s just going about her day. I have a MASSIVE issue with men who intrude on my solitude. I’ll give you an example.

It’s a Sunday. I find a book I’ve wanted to read for years in a Carlton bookshop in Melbourne. I head to a pub where I know they have outside seating. I find a table in the sunshine, order a drink and begin my new book. I’m barely three pages in when a bunch of guys sit at the table next to me start talking to me. I’m not a rude person by nature, so I converse with them for a short time out of politeness. I then make it clear that I want to read my book and be left alone. However, they aren’t having it. The three of them move themselves to MY table. I now have three men who I don’t know sitting next to me. I get shitty and ask them to move. They tell me to stop being a “stuck-up bitch” and won’t budge. So guess who moves? I do. Can you imagine this happening to a bloke?

EXCHANGING NUMBERS THE ‘RIGHT’ WAY

Is there a right way to get a girl’s digits? Should you ask for her number or give her yours and wait for her to message or call? You cannot bulldoze your way into a woman’s life or vagina. Politely ask her if you can give her your number. Whether she does or doesn’t contact you is irrelevant. You can part ways knowing that you’ve done the honourable thing.

BODY LANGUAGE

I must say, this is an area I feel a lot of men fail in. Ask yourself honestly after approaching her, “Does she really want to speak to me or is she just being polite?” In social situations (pub and club scenarios, etc…) guys just don’t seem to get the hint. Approaching women in the #MeToo era is easy. You just have to make a habit of being mindful.