Savage Love

Best Wishes

Comments

1

WORK's intuition might be incorrect, but they're not unreasonable. It's a little bit ambiguous what the work relationship is, but if that's not problematic (ie, you're not higher up the food chain among a few other things) than you'd be within your rights to take no for an answer. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

2

CREEP - Next time try to get a phone number if the sex was great or you may want a repeat ever. OKCupid?

WORKS - She said she was not interested in dating coworkers, to disbelieve her is disrespectful. oKCupid or therapist.

DURR - My Little One? But yes asking is much more awesome!

3

I don't know about the advice to DURR. On the surface, it seems like the best path forward, until the person responds with something DURR doesn't want to call him, such as the aforementioned baby or son...

5

LW3- Yes of course asking the men themselves is the best approach here if he is willing to call them 'boy' if they want it and just wishes to clarify that they do want it. His question was what do they want to be called. Dan is right that the answer is to ask them, not Dan. But I think first the LW needs to reflect on how he feels about it. Because he also says: And I absolutely refuse to call a black guy "boy." So first he needs to sort that out. Does he refuse to do that even if they want it? If so, then it's probably not a good idea to ask them what they want in the heat of the moment and then refuse to do it.

LW1 & LW2- Dan's advice is perfect. LW1, on the off-chance that she hasn't thought to do so, she probably ought to remove filters, search spam and all that. If he had always emailed her with his CL account in the past and then emails her now from a different new one, it's possible it could get hidden. I'm sure she's thought of this, but I just thought I'd throw it out there since she's not thinking super clearly. But yea for sure DO NOT contact him at work. The fact that he always used his CL account and not a real one indicates that he wants some degree of anonymity and separation from his real life.

@1 Except that the woman point blank told him that she was not interested in dating coworkers. This alone should be enough to prevent him from asking her out or thinking she is interested. Put in context, it's how she let him know she's not interested in him specifically. She probably picked up that he was wondering about how to interpret their friendly work relationship or she picked up on his interest in her. The kindest (and probably most professional) way possible to handle that- if she suspected his interest- would be a blanket statement about "I don't date coworkers". But regardless of the motivation behind her words (since this is speculation), she was perfectly clear and non ambiguous. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" is shit advice here.

6

Don't email this guy! If he teaches at a public university his emails may be subject to the freedom of information act. Even if he teaches at a private institution administrators could have access to them. Although it is unlikely someone would go looking for it, you should not communicate anything via a university email address that could be compromising or embarrassing for the parties involved. This is probably why the guy had a burner email and if he deleted it, that's a pretty good indication he's not interested in carrying on communication. Don't be creepy.

7

Daddy you're giving terrible advice there. CL was often used as an anonymous hookup site. It appears to be how these two people used it. They hooked up four times, and each time it was NSA sex- just he came over, they fucked, he left. He intentionally only used his anonymous CL email despite having her personal one. He did not tell her where he worked or what his position was. He simply said he worked at a local college. She knows what he looks like, she knows his name apparently (or at least his first name) and so she was able to find him- it's not too hard to search public info to find staff at a local college. It's insane to interpret this in anyway that it's alright for her to contact him at work when he hasn't even given her his personal email or phone number. He very obviously wishes to be somewhat anonymous.

For all this woman knows, he's married. For all this woman knows, his TA sees his professional emails or some grad student. She knows nothing at all about him and since he knows very little about her, the chances are high enough that he could be totally freaked out by her contacting him. Aside from the fact that if he wanted to contact her, he could since HE HAS HER EMAIL so all this reaching out is absolutely unnecessary and obviously not desired.

8

crossposted with clevernickname, sorry.

9

Not only does CREEP's old fuckbuddy have her email, but he also knows where she lives and could send her a postcard if he wanted to reconnect. Don't reach out.

EmmaLiz @5 you're right that DURR shouldn't ask them what they want to be called if he knows that he won't say "Baby" (for anyone) or "Boy" for some.

Maybe he could propose something, like their first name, or "Lil Cocksucker", or "Cute Thing" or "Peanut" or "Sweet Cheeks" and see if that works.

11

New daddy:

Lord you SJWs. I’m quite certain that young horny black men know very little about a slur from their grandparents time. I have a couple black boys that even say “breed me and make me your real boy”... so... I

12

While I agree that CREEP’s fuckbuddy probably has her contact info, one CAREFULLY worded email really should do no harm. MAKE NO MENTION of Craigslist, but say something like this: “Hello! Just a note to my friends and acquaintances to let you know my contact information has changed! You may now reach me at this email address.” Now he knows you’re still thinking about him and the ball is in his court. If he still doesn’t respond, drop it.

WORK, this girl thinks you’re a “genius”... put that big brain to work and leave her the hell alone. To me you sound like just another idiot who thinks his dick is a divining rod that unerringly points to women half his age who just have to have him.

13

Never, ever, ev-er contact a NSA fuck at his/her place of work.
CREEP, 3 points:
1. You don't know anything about him. He could be married.
2. He has your contact info and can find you if he wants to. He seems not to want to. That hurts and it sucks, but that is what this is.
3. If he works for a university, someone is reading any emails he gets at his work address. Don't put him in a vulnerable position.

This is NOT a "nothing ventured, nothing gained" situation; this would be creepy and upsetting and wouldn't end well.

14

CREEP, your fuck-buddy either entered into a relationship, which ended his NSA adventures, or he has not stopped having NSA sex. If it is the latter case, then he is using another online tool to find sex partners, whether OkCupid, Tinder, FetLife, etc. While it is very tempting to reach out to him at work, a better course might be to go on those sites and look for him, and while you're at it, you might find some other sex partners too.

WORK, while you may have thought you have had a close, professional working relationship with this young woman, you have actually been broadcasting sexual interest in her, and done so clearly enough that this woman quite directly let you know she would not be interested in a dating relationship with you. Moreover, you also know that she has discussed your apparent sexual interest with at least one other coworker, who may have independently seen your evident interest in this woman. Given that, I would advise you to think about your interactions with this woman. Are you hanging around her desk? Do you look to spend time with her at lunch? Do you ask her to join you for coffee? Have you asked her to spend time together outside of the office? Were I in your shoes, I would start some new routines at work that limit your contact with this woman. Getting to work a bit earlier and leaving earlier; going your own way during lunch; no unnecessary trips her desk or office space; and if you are in an open office plan environment and sit near her, train yourself to ignore her presence. Importantly, you should invest the time finding a romantic partner outside of work, as nothing is going to get your mind off this woman faster than a woman who is actually interested in you.

DURR, @Dan's approach is right way to go, if you have not already discussed a Daddy/boy (Daddy/girl or similar) dynamic prior to sex, which I think is the best option. While its great that you're aware of the cultural baggage of some words, a Daddy/boy relationship is already one predicated on a power exchange, and by calling you Daddy, your sex partners are asking you to engage in a certain power exchange, whatever else those words might mean in another context.

15

It's mostly clear to me that CREEP has some sense of boundaries otherwise she would not have sought out some external advice about her own sense that contacting the guy might be problematic. At the same time, she might be assuming some bad info that the guy still has her email address. For a variety of reasons, that might not be true. For example, he might have been using an address strictly for hookups and no longer remembers the PWD and has no way to re-set it because he didn't link the address to his phone.

I agree 100% with others who say she should not email him. The email monitoring combined with the general freakout of being cyberstalked could be problematic. But, and I know 99.9% of the people here are going to disagree with me: I would resort to some old school stalking. Find out where his office is located and find out where that office would let out to some public street (provided he's not on a closed campus in some small town). And then "accidentally" run into him. Don't be creepy about it CREEP. Then start some idle chit chat. See how he responds. Ask if he still has your email address. If not, ask if he wants it. If he doesn't or he acts weird then move on. I can say that if I was him, I would not be creeped out provided the woman was acting as anyone would when running into a friend/FWB. As long as she didn't tell me that it was a planned accidental encounter, I would be none the wiser and all would be good. If she acted creepy then that would be a different story.

16

Clever @6: As someone who has actually used Craigslist, this man did not "have a burner e-mail and then deleted it." CL had its own system where you could reply to ads and communicate with people who reply without ever using your own e-mail address, phone number, etc. That's what made it so great for hookups and sex workers. This guy never had a need to give CREEP any other contact details, and it was Craigslist itself that shut down its personals section. For that reason I thought the advice would go the other way: send a single e-mail -- with no incriminating details -- then shut up forever. Does CL, or does his university for that matter, have any sort of "missed connections" notice board anywhere? That might be a better option for a "John, lost your contact details, would really like to see you again -- Samantha" message. But yeah, she should also join Tinder.

WORK, firstly, don't shit where you eat. Secondly, yeah, classic example of dickful thinking. Thirdly, given that she's both a colleague and young enough to be your daughter, if there's a move to be made, SHE needs to be the one who makes it. The most you should do here is drop a hint that you love women who are modern enough to ask men out. "Older men" to a 30-year-old may mean 35. You're 58 years old and not good looking. The odds are overwhelming that she's being nice to you because she is nice.

Re DURR, can anyone explain what is meant by "I've taken good care of myself (sexual frustration + gym)"?

Donny @12, great suggestion!

Surfrat @15, terrible suggestion!

DURR, I've had lots of sex with lots of people without calling them anything. What about "bitch" if you really need something with which to suffix "take it"?

17

WORK is a good friend to the 30yo woman--and should content himself with being nothing more. He has given her an outlet for her lightly sexualized playfulness and self-confidence while she's going through difficulties in her personal life. It would seem she's genuinely fond of him on this basis--but realized she was giving out the wrong message and made a special point of going up to him and making clear their friendship was Platonic. And why should they not go on being good colleagues and friends?

Maybe WORK, too, has discovered he likes 30yos? Don't be embarrassed by this. Don't dwell on being (in your mind) old and unattractive. You have a confident walk! Find a way of being round and hooking up with just the sort of person you want!

18

For CREEP--yes, don't do it. This guy could reach you if he wants. And what he wanted was a very short-term fuckbuddy. That was what you wanted, too ... unless you now want something else? Whether you do or not, this isn't the guy. There is no shame in wanting to date when you said you just wanted sex--there would be no shame, for instance, in going back on a statement of intent. You could graduate from sex to dating, just as you did from sexlessness to sex ... but you don't have to--there's no higher morality either way.

19

Harriet @17: Who DOESN'T like 30-year-olds? ;) Sadly, the half your age plus seven rule means that at some point we all need to resign 30-year-olds to the look but don't touch files. WORK is well past this point. And indeed, she's explicitly told him she doesn't date colleagues, that her kindness is just that. Sublime @14 has nailed it, he should quell this crush and look for other women to distract him.

20

DURR has a good problem to have. He's no longer sexually frustrated. One solution would be to have his own, wittily personal moniker--something like 'Jack Me Lad' if he can pull off a Scottish accent--that goes with the rest of his personality as he presents it. The guys he's fucking could be tickled by this.

21

@19. Bi. Of course he should look for other women to distract him.

He happens to know about this woman's love-life--but what does she know about his? The ordinary assumption would be that a 58yo has his romantic or sexual arrangements sorted. Sorted, that is, for the haul into old age. A 'hoot' is what you call an unthreatening older person you think is gay--that you find camp or diverting. She's not giving him the come-on. He does not want to be 'let go' off at work--easier because of his age, because he's created an atmosphere of sexual tension or the presumption of entitlement....

There are 30yo women who would date 58yo men. Even outside of D/g or otherwise kinky scenes or headsets, they exist.... Perhaps WORK will never find them. But either way, I think he needs to believe in himself more....

22

Man, Dan's advice was spot-on today! Don't hunt down your NSA partners - if they wanted you to have their contact info, you'd have it. Don't get all Malvolio on your co-worker just because you overheard half of something that might mean something - even Shakespeare knew that sort of thing ends bad. Also, if you don't know what your sex partners want to be called - ask.

To expand on that last one, there's quite a difference between calling someone "my boy" and "boy." You could try "my boy" if "boy" feels weird and uncomfortable. It's a little old-fashioned, but it could work. Or maybe "my little boy."

EmmaLiz@7: Dadddy always gives terrible advice. It's kinda his thing.

BDF @16: No no no nooooo, do not call someone a bitch unless you've previously established that they're into it. A lot of people really don't like that.

23

@4. Dadddy. Things aren't 'left hanging' between them by the 'craigslist crackdown'. He has her Gmail. He just likes hookups. The sex between them was good because he came back four times. Take the compliment and move on.

@6. clevernickname. Exactly. A university email contact is not 'public' in the sense of being a sign that someone is willing to be contacted for reasons unconnected with work.

@10. Dadddy. How about instead or also listening to how women say no without courting violence or personal or professional unpleasantness?

It isn't always to say, 'I'm not interested in you'--when there's been flirting, crossed wires but no declaration. It’s often to say 'I only want Platonic relationships with coworkers'. While I agree with your broad analysis of what's going on, this would seem the far readier read.

24

WORK. She can mean all of what she has said, it doesn’t have to be either/or. She is kind and she clearly set her boundaries. She won’t date co workers.
I’m guessing she sussed you were getting the wrong impression about her words, and told you straight she’s not interested.

25

@11, come ON.

It’s not “SJW” to want to...not be an asshole to the person you’re fucking. Avoiding racial slurs (and I promise you younger folks have heard that one too) isn’t some massive imposition on DURR’s sex life. And it doesn’t matter what someone who you fucked said to call him, what matters is what the individual DURR happens to be fucking that day thinks.

Dan’s response is good. So are some of the others here. “Good lad” is another possibility. All of them are simple and not-assholish.

26

Traffic @22: "Dadddy always gives terrible advice. It's kinda his thing." Amen! See his post @10. "Don't listen to actual words women say with their actual mouths. Ask the experts -- men!" Bwahaha. Lava @24 has nailed things, as usual, concisely and bang on. They met at work when she was just 25. No doubt she has an avuncular view of him and probably never suspected he would take her compliments as come-ons, hence stating clearly that she doesn't date co-workers. As gentle code for, "I don't want to date you."

27

As a side comment, it’s super-disheartening to read yet another letter (including those to other advice columnists) where the (man) writing has to be set down with, no, her being kind and paying attention to you does NOT mean she’s sexually interested in you. Especially in a workplace situation.

No, the barista isn’t flirting with you if she smiles at you. No, the sales clerk doesn’t want your body when she’s helping you find shoes that fit. No, the woman who makes a solid point that she’s not interested in dating her coworkers is not interested in dating you. Dickful thinking is some of it, but some has to be that these people genuinely do not understand what actual female attraction looks like, or that certain industries require very friendly behaviour.

I’m curious if gay men have the same sort of issues (no, that cute barista is not flirting with you).

28

Philo @2: Bang on, three for three as well. Credit where due!

29

@27. slinky. As a pronounced bottom, I may be flirting with the barista ;)

The guy here is a bad case of wishful dickfulness--a sadder cade the more I think about it. 'You're a genius'. He's done something like fix her printer. So he's hanging round her desk, being solicitous. Back off. Don't make your colleague uncomfortable.

30

M?? Harriet - Almost the only usage of the word that springs to mind was how Ms Welchel's character Blair Warner would call things "a hoot and a half" on The Facts of Life. I can't recall ever encountering the word's carrying an assumption of homosexuality. One might speculate that most 30-year-olds likely assume that 58 is too old for sex (shades of Marianne Dashwood's proclamation that 35 is too old for matrimony, amended by Eleanor to the milder suggestion that perhaps 35 and 17 ought not to have to do with matrimony together), in which case someone of that age "might as well be" of the contrary orientation.

Ms Fan - Were you thinking specifically of 30-year-old women? In the case of 30-year-old men, I'd have thought that, your male type being what you've reported, you might have noticed a certain feature that, while it has not affected everyone who has crossed the divide (Hr Lambiel springing to mind as happily intact), has claimed by that age at least two prominent victims who'd ranked fairly high on attraction lists - your potential William V and Sr Nadal. To avoid mentioning the distressing word outright, I'll just say that it rhymes with "scalding".

31

Ms Slinky - Are there many female shoe fitters, or were you just referring to sales clerks in shoe stores in general? Scanning past decades for memories of stores where someone actually fitted one's shoes (another dying profession, alas, like the more recently deceasing cafeteria attendant in large corporations), I'm not sure I can recall any women in that post, and perhaps I'd rather not speculate why.

M?? Harriet - I shall avoid the temptation to remind you that you are not in the target group mentioned in favour of the more interesting inquiry into whether there exists such a person as a baristo, and, if not, whether there ought to be (and even "baristum", for that matter). While there is a point to, "Why gender someone unnecessarily?" there is also, "Why not be as economically informative as possible?" That also leads into the realm of whether acting awards should either be combined instead of gendered, or considered by role instead of performer (although there I speak as a former portrayer of Sister Mary Ignatius).

32

@BDF- did you miss the part where the man has her email? Yes you are correct about how CL works. That affects her ability to contact him, not his ability to contact her. The point is that he chose to never give her a real email address or phone number even though she used a real email address (and physical address).

I'm really surprised at the number of people who think it's ok to contact him at work. If he did not have a way to contact her, and they were both cut off from one another by situations beyond their control, then I'd probably agree that something carefully worded (like the emial described by Donny above) might be a good idea. But this man has full ability to contact this woman. He chooses not to. Just like he had full ability to give her his contact info and chose not to.

I think a simple cost/benefit analysis is necessary. What is the best case scenario? Very unlikely- he will realize she's eager for his dick and resume NSA hookups even though that has somehow not been his interest lately. OK. Now let's look at other possibilities. Let's say he does not want to contact her (WHICH IS WHAT ALL SIGNS POINT TO SINCE HE ISNT CONTACTING HER). He gets this innocent email himself and no one else sees it. Now he has to figure out how to respond. He is now aware that she knows where he works, etc. Will he take that as a risk? Awkward? He doesn't know her. If he ignores her, will she escalate? If he sends a polite email saying they had fun but declining future contact, will she retaliate? If his wife (or TA or someone in the university) reads the email, will they ask him who she is? Google her name? Reply to her themselves? I think the majority of these latter scenarios are highly unlikely, but it is ALSO highly unlike that this man will suddenly want to contact her again even after he has chosen not to all this time. So what's the point of even taking a chance? This was random NSA dick, not some long lost friend. Find other random NSA dick and leave this man alone.

33

@4 That's a work email. Employers go through their employees emails. While a University is more likely to be tolerant of anonymous sex, no one wants their boss to know what they've been up to. Hard pass on contacting them. He's just not that into you.

34

WORK she has given you the clearest possible indicator of her feelings- she does not date co-workers, you included. Chances are he was starting to act a bit forward and she felt the need to make her feelings clear. WORK now needs to just get over whatever he thought she meant and recognise how she actually feels.

35

Venn @30: I was thinking of 30-year-olds of all genders, as I frequently am. ;) Thirtyish seems to be the sweet spot between young enough to still be hot, and old enough to be LTR material. People of all ages between 18 to 60 can fancy 30-year-olds without being considered perverts. It is true that some people are unfortunate enough to manifest some (to me in particular) unfortunate signs of ageing younger than others. But the vast majority of 30-year-old men still have plenty of hair on their heads, even if they have started to make unwelcome appearances elsewhere.

Emma @32: No, I did not miss that. Yes, he has her e-mail address. No, he has not contacted her. Who knows why not? If it's because he isn't interested, he can simply elect to not answer her one, non-pushy, e-mail. His level of interest may lie somewhere between saying yes to a booty call and taking the initiative to seek one out. Good point, however, about the worst case scenario -- he thinks she's a bunny boiler because she went to the trouble of tracking him down. So he ignores her and she goes away, or he tells her he's not interested and she goes away. Problem solved. (I agree that seeking a new fuck-buddy is probably a better approach, but good sex is hard to find.)

36

CREEP, I admit, is a rare example of my advice indeed being different than it would be if the genders were reversed. The reason being that women do not routinely attack men. Mr CREEP may feel unsettled or annoyed by being contacted at an e-mail address he didn't give her, but he is unlikely to feel threatened, unless she repeats the contact. As I said in my initial post, a "missed connections" attempt at contact would be preferable to intruding into his work e-mail.

37

... or the sign she put out could be a sign that says "I do not want romantic relationships with co-workers." (And might translate to "I sense or have been told you have a crush on me, I want to be nice to you but please don't make things awkward by interpreting that as romantic.")

Even the assumption that the comment meant she was putting out a sign for someone to come retrieve her romantically reveals a little bit about the point of view here.

39

Ms Fan - I'm not sure whether to think you short-sighted or clever to suggest substituting a gendered slur for a racial one. I'd never advise another gay man to give ammunition to those who are only too eager to call us misogynists.

More seriously, I could refer the assembled company to a couple of people who discovered to their presumable chagrin that calling me something female-gendered was one of the best ways to Spoil the Moment.

40

One thing people seem to be glossing over with CREEP: this guy never gave her his name! She found him by searching pictures on the university website. Even if this is a small college, that is no small undertaking. This goes well beyond googling someone or facebook stalking. This guy didn't want her to know who he is and, besides his slip up about where he works, took every precaution to protect his identity. Even if he did lose her email and would have been interested in hooking up again, he would probably be freaked out (as any reasonable person would) if she contacts him. There is no situation in which emailing him yields positive results.

41

@27 I don't think dickful thinking precludes asking someoneon a date. A woman may have dozens of reasons to be flirty aside from sexual or romantic interest, but that's neither here nor there. A guy can ask the barista out without being a creep. A guy can ask a woman out who actively finds him unattractive without stepping over a line. Obviously work status is a thing, teacher/student should be avoided, etc, but beyond that, what precisely is the issue? Omg a guy misinterpreted someone friendliness? Womp Womp. A vast majority of men have been rejected dozens and dozens of times and take it graciously. Of course someone could react poorly/dangerously but it's not like we're gonna stop swimming over a few sharks.

30 year old women don't bit think of 35 year old men as older. Older starts around early/mid 40s if the guy has kids, late 40s otherwise.

42

I don't know why Dan and the commenters find it so inconceivable that CREEP's pal might have lost or forgotten her g-mail address. It happens. It seems to me that a "Haven't heard from you in a while, here's my e-mail in case you lost it" e-mail would be perfectly appropriate in the situation.

43

Venn @39: Okay, two votes against "bitch," guess that's just something we female Doms can call our subs because then it becomes gender subversive. So we are back to ask what he'd like to be called.

Clever @40: How do you figure that? She probably had his first name and then searched for all the photos of men named John. I can't imagine fucking someone four times and not knowing his name.

Bama @42: I don't find that inconceivable at all, hence my reluctance to conclude from the available evidence that this guy is deliberately hiding. He could have lost her e-mail address; he could have forgotten she gave it to him; it could have been in a message thread that was lost when Craigslist pulled the plug. He certainly never used it to e-mail her, because otherwise she'd have had his e-mail address. He could be searching new pastures but open to a booty call from someone established. Or he could be done with her. Only one way to know for sure.

44

My first foray into bdsm was with a woman who told me she wanted to be "used" as roughly as I could manage, liked to be hit, slapped in the face, called demeaning names, enjoyed being "summoned" for sex at inconvenient hours... But "bitch" was off the table, a no go. Diff'rent Strokes.

45

@BDF (and others)- He has consistently chosen to remain anonymous with her. He has never given her contact info. She's had to search for it with random info she had- looking through the publicly available images and contact details on a university website. If a man did this, we would find it stalkerish. Even though most men in this situation would not actually be stalkers and would probably also send one carefully worded email and then accept a non response, we would advise them not to do it because of the concern that they could be perceived as stalkerish (especially since the behavior IS kinda stalkerish). I agree that the concern that she could become abusive (from his pov) is less an issue- statistically anyway- due to genders. But the concern that he could be distressed by her actions is not. Men are in fact at risk of having their careers disrupted by stuff like this. Again, it's unlikely, but enough of a risk that the benefit is not worth it. She knows she will not escalate beyond one carefully worded email. But since this is already crossing a line and they do not know each other, he does not know what she will/won't do after that. Why put someone in that position?

Seriously the number of people here who are justifying contacting a person AT WORK who has repeatedly chosen to remain anonymous and who has chosen not to contact her again despite having a few options to do so- it has unsettled me a bit regarding my own semi-anonymous hookups in the past. I assumed it's just standard common sense to let NSA casual anon hookups be what they are and that searching for ways to contact someone that they did not give you is crossing a line and invading their personal/professional life. This is so fucking common sense to me that I never thought someone else would justify doing such a thing unless they were in fact stalkerish. If we do return to open relationships, I will take this lesson to heart and be much more clear about boundaries. Common sense isn't common after all.

46

The whole point of casual CL hookups (where someone comes over, fucks, then leaves) is that it's a NSA hookup. There is no such thing as "ghosting" someone when there was no expectation of contact afterwards in the first place. The LW very well might've known his first name. She might not have. The fact that some of you would not fuck someone four times without knowing their name has no bearing on how common this is in the CL casual encounter world. It's clear she did not know his full name, however, or she wouldn't have had to search photos on the staff listing. And yes, a random email, even carefully worded, could raise curiosity in the wrong readers. I think this is highly unlikely, but why take the chance given that he has chosen to remain anon and chosen not to contact her? The risk (however small) of causing distress in his career (or relationship) is greater to him than the benefit to her justifies, especially since the benefit to him (having sex with her again) is obviously not something he wants or else he would simply contact her. But what is more likely is that the fact that she searched for him this way and contacted him would distress him and make him worry about what else she might do and put him in a situaiton of having to respond. If he ignores her, then he has to worry if she will continue to write him AT WORK. Because he does not know if she will desist or not and all evidence indicates that she will pursue or else she wouldn't have gone to the trouble in the first place. It puts him in the position of having to respond somehow, and considering that most people do not use their work email to arrange hookups, he will have to respond with personal email (or text)- something he has up to know chosen not to do.

It's shitty all the way around. Let NSA be what it is and call it a day.

47

BiDanFan @44 -- they met four times at her house. He knows how to find her and is choosing not to. She should respect that.

48

That should be BiDanFan @43.

49

BDF: "He certainly never used it to e-mail her, because otherwise she'd have had his e-mail address."

This is absolutely not how CL worked. It would depend on who posted the ad. He could have been emailing her to her own email through a CL generated address.

Sure it's possible that he has lost her email address. I don't see how this would justify her contacting him at work w/o permission.

50

@31. Venn. I don't think an older person finds a younger person 'a hoot' or a more powerful person a less powerful person one. I don't think WORK is her boss at work--he would surely have said--and I hope he isn't more powerful in context.

52

@31. Venn. Well, the feature of awards whereby Tom Hanks or Felicity Huffman is lauded for--so amazingly, so resonantly, so emotionally--passing or trans-ing (but not passing as a writer or Presidential candidate or the 'desperate' parent of a do-nothing teen) is hopefully past its sell-by. Maybe they should have the same number of awards but multiply the categories e.g. 'best lead performance in a drama', 'best lead performance in a comedy' or even hand out gongs for groups e.g. 'most polished ensemble'. One possible upshot is that classier comedies, e.g., would get made.

53

Daddy@38 - I work at a university and I would be very creeped out if someone contacted me out of the blue for personal reasons. Yes, my photo, name, office, phone number, and email are in the staff directory, but that doesn't mean it should be regarded as "publicly available contact information." It wasn't my choice to have all that information listed, it was a professional requirement so people can contact me for work-related reasons. It's not the same thing as my voluntarily putting that info on social media and inviting people to contact me.

If CREEP found his Facebook or Instagram account or something, it might make sense to drop him a line. That's kind of what social media is FOR, after all. But contacting him on his work email would be almost as invasive as one going to Starbucks so the cute barista has to be nice and put up with one's flirting, and I for one would wonder what else someone who was willing to put in that much work to find me would do (to be fair, I have been aggressively Internet-stalked before, so I worry about things like that).

55

@40. clevernickname. Exactly right again. She has trawled through goodness knows how many pics and bios to find her guy. He didn't say (unless there has been an excision in editing), 'oh, I teach geology at the U.'--only that he teaches there indeterminately. She has made a far more determined search than her letter lets on. This is why I wondered whether this is only about hot NSA sex or her being ready for something more. Plus the fact that he's educated and employed doing something relatively prestigious and well-remunerated.... If this is what it is (she wants something more than casual), well, then, the episode has served its purpose in telling her she can look for what's next. But only she can know. This guy, however, was a good lover but has ruled himself out of anything more.

There are Christian universities that would fire or discipline a married instructor for NSA sex; just because we never attended anything of the kind doesn't mean they don't exist. She should not send anything to a work email that is not indubitably 'for his eyes only'.

@41. Sportlandia. You're right--but not speaking to the point. WORK carefully trod around anything that might indicate relative seniority, or relations of power, at his work re him and his crush. Either he was embarrassed that he was the guy who fixed the printers or abashed that he was asking about someone he line-managed (or other possibilities falling in that range). Taking a punt and hitting on someone you like--sure. (A common but regrettable story, though, is taking a punt and not taking 'no' for an answer).

56

Daddy, she's literally looking on a work listing to find his work email, and I'm the one exaggerating when I say this is contacting him at work?

I said the risk of causing distress in his personal or professional life, however slim, is not worth the benefit of her contacting him, especially when he could simply contact her and does not choose to do so. Yes other people have access to college emails. I suspect most would not find anything weird about an email worded the way Donny suggests, but there is a risk that they will question it. Likewise, it puts him in the uncomfortable situation of having to respond since he does not know how she will react to being ignored. All evidence indicates that she will pursue him if he does not respond to her. Putting him in that siutation is in fact an intrusion into his personal/professional life.

There are several people above who say they work at colleges and would find this behavior inappropriate for all these reasons. Listen to them.

59

"Plus the fact that he's educated and employed doing something relatively prestigious and well-remunerated.... "

This is a big reach, Harriet. As I've said to you before, the vast majority of people who work in colleges are in fact poorly compensated adjuncts and aides who face extremely precarious employment. And most community college professors, though far more secure in their employment, make middle management wages, not at all "well-remunderated". There is no indication that he's a tenured professor at an even relatively prestigious university. There's a lot of elitism around this sort of assumption. If he were a long haul truck driver or a plumber or a pipefitter or a mechanic we'd have far more stable grounds to build the assumption that he's well-remunerated, and this is before we even get into your implication that she's not really looking for that good sex but rather wants some sort of security?

63

Funny how I seem to have been pushed into defending a position I don't really feel strongly about one way or the other, just because I explained how Craigslist works!

Sporty @41: No, one cannot hit on the barista without being a creep. They are literally trapped behind a counter and bound by professional standards to be polite. It is not fair to put them in the position of having to turn down an inappropriate request for a date. Also, as I explained to a young acquaintance who was wondering whether to hit on an attractive barmaid: If you think she's attractive, every man who comes in here thinks she's attractive, and imagine how much of her work day would be spent fending off advances if every guy who thought "she's cute" hit on her. My pal was 18 and he got it.

EricaP @47: If I lost someone's e-mail address, no way would I show up to their home unannounced, regardless of how much I wanted to see them again. But I defer to EmmaLiz, Dan and others. "Missed connections" message board or nothing, don't e-mail the guy. Keep him in the wank bank and get thee to Tinder.

Dadddy @54: How is she not contacting him "AT WORK"? It's his work e-mail address. I'm convinced by EmmaLiz: the most likely explanation for her not contacting him is that he's not bothered about seeing her again, and if the only way she has of getting in touch is intruding into his professional space, she shouldn't do it. Courtesy isn't "coddling and wallowing." There are other dicks in the sea.

64

What about this: She now knows his full name, so she could search for him on social media, and contact him that way if she gets a hit?

65

CREEP herself knows how she would react if the situation were reversed:
"I know how to reach him—but that's a spectacularly bad idea, right? Unless you think it isn't? If a dude I'd fucked a few times tracked me down at my job, I would freak out. But I keep thinking: Would it really be SUCH a bad idea to send him ONE e-mail? Should I just accept that it was great while it lasted? Or should I e-mail him and run the risk of pissing off/freaking out a nice guy?"

When people have anonymous, NSA sex, when they meet up repeatedly and still don't share basic contact information, there is a reason that they're behaving that way. They don't want to have this relationship leak out into the world, into their "real"lives. This guy went to great lengths to keep himself anonymous and un-reachable. He didn't give her his email address or any other contact info; he didn't seem to give her his last name. He always came to her house (this could have been simple convenience or logistics, but it could also have been that he couldn't invite her to his house, as he's got a wife and family there, or he didn't want her to know where he lives so she wouldn't just show up one day). He intentionally set things up so that he was in control of how many interactions they had. He does not want to be found.

In fact, it's possible that even if craigslist didn't take down its personals, he might have chosen not to contact her again. For all kinds of reasons, including, if he's married, that he's afraid of his wife finding out, or his wife has found out about his extra-marital fun.
He could get in touch with her in at least two ways if he wanted to continue having sex: he knows where she lives, and he has her email address (unless you rigorously delete every email, you can always go back through the history and find someone's address again). If he wants to see her again, he knows how to arrange it. He apparently does not want to see her again.

How do those of you who say "go for it" imagine it will unspool if this guy gets an email at his place of employment, which he realizes she found because she searched the school's website to find his photo and contact info (and hear, hear, Jina @53), which says the equivalent of "hey, you up?"
I mean, "I just wanted to make sure you had my email, in case you lost it"--come on! Would he say, "Hey, thanks! I've been wanting to fuck you again, but couldn't figure out how to get ahold of you! I'm coming over tonight!"? That's utterly delusional thinking. Not merely dickful/clitful thinking, but seriously irrational thinking, and it's coming not only from the person with the wishful clit, who on some level realizes this is a terrible idea, but from advice-givers here, whose dicks/clits aren't involved!

More likely, he'd be panicked: if she has done this level of snooping/stalking, what more might she have done or might still do? Is she going to show up at his house? Show up at his office hour? Convince an administrative assistant to give her his home phone number and start calling him at home? Find his parents' address and send a message to them asking them to pass it along to him, wherein she suggests he give her a call? Does she know where his wife works, too? He might not be worried for his physical safety, but this likely wouldn't make him horny. More like angry, once the panic subsides. IF it subsides. He might forever be waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It was fun while it lasted. There are other people in the world to have NSA sex with and she can still find them on dating/hookup sites.

And Harriet @55: I've never met anyone who just makes up stories out of whole cloth as much as you do. I realize that we all project a little of our own past experiences or feelings onto letters, but your whole theory that she wants a serious relationship with this man because knowing he teaches at a university, she thinks he might be wealthy is so absurd and so far-flung. Why is it impossible for you to not stick to the letters as written?

66

@63 can too

67

DURR: just be safe and call them Whippersnapper.

68

Not sure what LW1 wants in this case. The guy knows her whereabouts and could have contacted her on his own if he really wanted to.
She may have some boundary issues as others mentioned, as it seems like she invited him directly to her place when they first met.

Well short of a non-committal public place and legal id’s exchange, a procedure I used to follow while meeting other CL kinksters despite risking being labled as “ballless” by daddy @ 60. This also helped defining the relationship as well as weeding out time wasters.

In other news: I often suspected some of our articulate, prolific writers are indeed academia folks.

69

Dicktionary- wide array of derogatory terms alluding to a human penis while describing a foul/stupid act and/or an asshole of a person, usually a penis haver.

70

WORK - The fact that she specifically told you she only wants platonic relationships with co-workers makes it pretty clear! She is not interested in dating you. She's been kind to you because she's a kind person, you're her coworker and she may like you in a PLATONIC sense. Just be polite and professional, and don't go out of your way to hang around her desk or anything. Treat her like you would any other coworker. You don't want her to go from being nice to thinking she can't be nice to you at all because you'll misinterpret her niceness as a come-on.

71

I swear it was unintentional and will donate my 69 award to charity.

72

Congratulations CMD, you can claim the prize for yourself.
Mr D @38, you mean men have no agency, and they can’t decide from their own side not to be monsters? When women are murdered by ex or current male partners, every week, women are wise to check men out very very well.
CREEP is no different to WORK, both are refusing to see that the other person is not interested. They had sex four times, he knows her contact no and as Erica said, I think it was she, he knows where she lives and if he also found the sex to be super good, he’d have found her again. Take the hint CREEP before you embarrass yourself, he’s not wanting to continue NSA sex with you.

73

@Creep: I think Dan is giving some overly sensitive advice, based mainly on the recent trend to assume that anyone who approaches anyone outside of very specific parameters in a way that even HINTS at romantic interest or attraction is nothing but a creep. It's a thinking that's disconnected from reality and from human behavior and human nature. Long before the internet, people hit on other people in public spaces and generally it was fine, as long as the "not interested" was respected. Obviously it often wasn't respected, but just because it's a "safe place" (OK Cupid, CL, personals, etc) doesn't mean a no is going to be respected in those cases, either. My wife told me she never had any problem with guys talking her up on the subway, and met more than one date/hook-up that way. She herself even approached the occasional guy while shopping or in a coffee shop. In fact, the only people I've ever heard clutching their pearls over this and acting like we live in the Victorian age are ultra wokes spreading the woke message via twitter or on Jezebel (or comments sections here.) And I'm pretty sure Dan would have agreed with my opinion on this even just a few years ago, based on what I remember from his past responses. And as for the idea that using his university email to contact him, there is virtually no risk, especially if you keep it vague. But obviously if he hasn't contacted YOU by now, then maybe he's not interested, but there's no way any reasonable person could think that you sending a short note to him via an email address that is publicly available would result in any kind of risk on his end. For all the "authorities" (who are not monitoring this guy, I promise) know, you're some weird rando that he's never heard of. And that's all he'd have to say. And besides, he's a guy. And most guys would be flattered, even if they weren't interested and had to respond with a "no thanks" (or by ghosting.)

74

@63 bidanfan: There's no way to hit on a barista? Are you kidding? I promise you that there are plenty, PLENTY, of baristas of both genders who are more than happy to get hit on by the right person. They are not delicate little china dolls who are going to break the moment some person they're not interested in strikes up a conversation. Yeah, occasionally it will get annoying or unpleasant, but...well...welcome to being a human existing in public.

The liberal sphere as created these obnoxiously prudish regulations and are convinced they're speaking for the majority of the people (usually women and POCs).

75

Mikara, it’s not only a friendly email, it’s the knowledge she went looking for him on however many Uni sites there are in their town. This guy offered her nothing bar sex, four times. That she did a search to find him is creepy, and has nothing to do with someone hitting on someone else in public.

76

Dadddy@60 - "I just believe we all suffer when we allow our laws and norms to be dictated by the most sensitive, anxious, easily offended, or paranoid people among us. What's more, all of the evidence from clinical psych shows that the most effective therapy programs for anxiety, depression, trauma, etc. are those that promote resilience. Coddling and wallowing, on the other hand, are associated with very poor mental health outcomes."

Haha, that's cute that you think that I lack resilience, suffer from anxiety, depression, trauma, etc. Thanks for the concern, it's rather touching that you're so worried about my mental health that you missed my point completely. :)

77

M?? Harriet - Praising the banal and wooden Mr Hanks? I have no idea whether to give that LMB or FTWL.

There are a number of interesting experiments one might try, but I don't see many of them ending well, unless one wants consideration of talent to be graded on the woke curve.

78

Re hitting on a barista, sure men try it on with women all the time. Isn’t that what women complain about? Total strangers thinking any woman they fancy will automatically fancy them. Hopefully most baristas have got the withering look down pat, you know the one, where by a look she says.. you’ve got to be kidding: as if.

79

Ms Fan - At least you can take it as a compliment that I thought you clever enough to recommend the word to gays so that your sisters could use it against us. There are already more than enough complaints that gay porn degrades women.

80

When did craigslist stop the personal column, wasnt that ages ago? More reason for CREEP to take the truth on board.

81

@75 Lavagirl: really? It’s creepy that she sought out a guy she’d already had sex with because CL took away the means of communication? Sought him out via publicly available resources no less? I’ve sought out old friends and past girlfriends, and been sought out myself by both. It was never creepy. It’s only creepy in the minds of those indoctrinated into this recent doctrine of woke propriety.

83

I can only give personal experience, but I worked years in the service industry. I was asked out many times, hit on many more times. A very few minority of times, I did in fact go out with the guy who asked me out. IMO, (speaking strictly about customers hitting on me while at work in the service industry) a guy who politely asked me out was far less annoying than a guy who flirts with me or makes personal comments. If someone flirts or says something suggestive, there is nothing I can do but put up with it and be somewhat polite back until he crossed a line. The majority of the time, it was extremely off-putting and annoying and made me feel like I had to put up with it. Sometimes it was creepy. On the other hand, when a guy went straight to asking me out, skipping all the cheesy and inappropriate and flirty stuff, it was easier to respond with a yes or no without being rude. So long as the guy dropped it at that, no problem. But I almost always said no, and always said no if it were a stranger (and it usually was) or if he had been flirty first. The very few guys I went out with were the ones with whom I'd had an actual conversation, however small. Generally speaking, I'd say it's better to err on the side of not doing it- the rules are really the same everywhere. If the other person isn't showing signs that they are interested or if they aren't in a position to easily decline, then just let it go.

84

Mikara, he did not lose the ability to communicate with her. He is choosing not to.

Cocky, we don't know if he told her where he works. She says he told her he works in a university in their area. It's possible he was more specific and she is being vague. It's also possible that he said exactly what she says he said. If someone were to tell me they were a teacher in a university in my area, that would narrow it down to half a dozen campuses, maybe more.

85

@lavagirl (again) and anyway so what if a barista doesn’t feel attraction to a guy too stupid to know his place in the hierarchy? She can politely decline. And then he can gracefully withdraw. (Obviously if he doesn’t, then bring on the withering looks or worse), but an expression of interest is fine, (surprise) is how many, many relationships have started. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard women say “I was impressed by how he just WENT for it. He was so confident”).

86

@84 emmaliz- oh I admit it’s a fool’s errand. And I even stated that he’s likely not interested because he hasn’t communicated with her. But a quick email does not make her a creep.

87

It’s not the email which makes her behaviour creepy, it’s that she went looking to find his contact details. NSA has a meaning and she has overstepped it.

89

Sure Mikara, a woman can find sexual assertiveness attractive, IF she indicated first her interest in him. Some poor sod who has no ability to read non verbal clues and the woman has no interest in, him going for it will be unwelcome.

90

I've said this a million times before, Cocky, but honestly I believe that if everyone were to desist right now in cold approaches (hitting on or asking out someone outside a social context or a dating forum), then it would have very little affect on how many people manage to date. At least for het relationships and hookups. I'm not saying this approach is never successful, but it's far less likely to be successful than other approaches and far more likely to be annoying. When you talk to people about how they met, it's very rarely a situation in which one approached the other cold, outside of a social situation or a conversation. So I really hate the response of "how will anyone ever meet anybody" as a response in conversations that are about hitting on service industry workers or people walking down the street/ riding the bus or otherwise minding their own business.

91

cbu, if you were an attractive female barista and got hit on multiple times a day, by rude and intrusive men, a withering look would become a very quick and easy way to say fuck off. Nothing to do with looking like Brad Pitt or not.
This is her work place, leave her alone.

92

Also the Brad Pitt thing is bullshit unless you literally mean some famous rich celeb. Obviously celebrities get away with all sorts of things others don't. But if you simply mean extremely good looking men, then yes I'm sure they have an easier time hitting on random strangers, but in my experience, their attractiveness is not what makes their cold approaches at work annoying or not. It's the flirtatiousness with me, when I'm serving them. I can't respond in any genuine way and am forced to put up with certain attitudes and comments that I would otherwise shut down. It's gross when a gorgeous guy does it. It's gross when an ugly guy does it. It was grosser to me when old men did it. As I said, what made a difference was if we actually had a conversation about something over the course of the service. Then at the end, if they guy was like "it was nice to meet you... want to get coffee sometime" or something along those lines, this was not creepy- even though I usually declined. But the sort of guy that just hits on you or flirts with you or says cheesy shit while you are waiting on him so that you feel trapped and forced to smile? Nope, I always just wanted to pour beer down their pants.

93

@CREEP, yes it's possible he lost your email and would love to get back in contact with you, but in all likelihood he's no longer interested in NSA sex and the disappearance of CraigsList casual sex ads is simply a coincidence in timing.
But if you really want to find a non-creepy way of contacting him, my recommendation, check out other dating / hookup services. Tinder is the obvious place to start, OKC allows you to search locally and filter for people just wanting casual sex, FetLife allows you to similarly look for people within an area, and since you're a woman you'll get a deal on Adult Friend Finder. If you find this guy on one of those sites its a perfect opportunity to reconnect, just don't tell him you did all this searching to find him. If you don't find him, you'll be well positioned to find another guy who can do the same.

94

BTW I've never been a barista, but I'd assume they'd get hit on less not more since the exchange is faster? I've been a cashier and rarely got hit on because it was too fast and we were too busy during the interaction. I was hit on as a waitress and a bartender but with very few exceptions the dudes that hit on me were not nearly as rude or vulgar as men doing the same in the streets. I'm sure there are women who like all sorts of attention and men who have all sorts of experiences, but for the most part, the more you increase the ability to have genuine and natural interactions with someone (and the freer they are to respond genuinely and naturally) the more likely the situation is to be accurate.

That's why I didn't jump Daddy's shit above despite his obnoxious and misogynistic bullshit about not listening to what women actually say. We all know he's got some of these misogynistic opinions, but his posts over time demonstrate that he actually does date women and has experiences with them (unlike some people who mostly do not but have opinions about het dating anyway). And his list of ways to tell if a person is interested is not bad, worth a second read, especially for the men that seem to see signs that aren't there. I think we'd all do better to learn to read signals and body languages though I'd add that we should never interpret any of that against THE ACTUAL WORDS that people use. Even in the off-chance situation that a person is confused and not saying what they genuinely feel, it's always better to listen to the words than try to interpret someone's mixed signals to your own interests. If you want to ask someone out in public or at work, therefore, I'd say step one is to smile with eye contact and see if they respond with the same. If not, stop right there. If so, then try to start a conversation that is NOT intrusive and does not put them on the spot. If they linger and chat with you, then sure ask them out politely. If they do not, or if they do not have time, then leave them the fuck alone. The human race will continue to exist- there are a million other better ways to meet people.

95

@83 you were being flirted with by those guys you said yes to - it just didn't look like the form you were looking for.

96

Many years ago, when I was 20, I worked a retail job in the local mall. A cute guy came into the store, flirted with me, asked if he could take me out. I said yes. We got together that night. He was boring and fairly stupid, but I had sex with him anyway. The sex was bad.
So: cute, but boring, stupid, and bad in bed: a no-repeat kind of situation for me.

He didn't know my last name and I hadn't given him a phone number. This was in the days before social media, the internet, cell phones. I was living with my parents over summer vacation and the family phone number was unlisted. He had given me his number, which I pocketed, not intending to call him. But I knew how to get ahold of him if I wanted to and I didn't want to.

Imagine my surprise, therefore, when the family phone rang and it was he. He'd gone to the store where I worked, and when I wasn't working that day, he'd convinced a coworker to give him my phone number. Was I scared? No. But I was annoyed. I didn't want to have to talk to him again; I'd taken steps to try to ensure that I didn't talk to him again; and yet there he was, on the phone. It may not have been a terrible thing to do, but it sure wasn't appreciated. And it didn't make me re-think my non-interest.

This is a far less extreme example, but the basic message holds: if someone has a way to get in touch with you and they don't get in touch with you, the thing to assume is that they don't want to be in touch with you. And you showing up uninvited, in person or via email or any other way, is extremely unlikely to make them decide that they want to be in touch with you, after all.

This isn't political correctness, or pearl-clutching, or whatever else people who think that we're being too sensitive is. It's called respecting the other person's signals.

As for Dadddy saying, @60: "I just believe we all suffer when we allow our laws and norms to be dictated by the most sensitive, anxious, easily offended, or paranoid people among us. What's more, all of the evidence from clinical psych shows that the most effective therapy programs for anxiety, depression, trauma, etc. are those that promote resilience. Coddling and wallowing, on the other hand, are associated with very poor mental health outcomes."
Please. We should justify harassing people because you think that it helps them to build resilience? Give me a break. And norms, if not laws, should ABSOLUTELY be put in place to protect the non-obnoxious who want their wishes regarding their privacy respected. As we can see, the obnoxious and entitled amongst us will just ignore those norms and barge ahead, anyway. It's not like all y'all who are insisting that there's no reason she shouldn't follow through with her stalking would respect his obvious desire to be left alone.

I'm rather surprised that Sportlandia isn't crowing with delight that most of the women here aren't supporting the female lw and trashing the man in her letter. It kind of reminds me of the total radio silence from the White House when a killer of Muslims or Jews or people of color turns out to be a white, "Christian (not really)" man.

97

How do you know I haven’t been on the asking side of the equation cbu? You don’t and I have.
Gay men follow different rules of engagement, hasn’t this already been established.

98

BiDanFan @63 “Courtesy isn’t wallowing or coddling.”

THIS THIS THIS THIS THIS

In other words, don’t be an asshole.

LW1 has her answer and the answer is NO. He’s been to her house, he has her email, he hasn’t tried to contact her = no. It’s not coddling anyone for her to say to herself, okay, he said no, ah well, off to Tinder! Disappointing? Maybe. But hard or wallowing or a huge imposition on her sex life? Absolutely not.

All the discussion about universities and work emails and “would I be creeped out” and SJWs and partridges in pear trees is a lot of irrelevant noise, because this dude could contact her if he wanted and he hasn’t He didn’t even tell her his name! That’s generally a sign that someone wants privacy, not to have a former fuck hunt him down.

Seriously, why is this hard? It’s bare-minimum grown-ass adult stuff. Don’t be an asshole to people you want to fuck, or in DURR’s case are fucking, take 30 seconds of your time to think and be considerate before doing something, and be good to the people who are doing/have done something very nice for you.

99

Harriet, I do go to stores and get actual shoe fittings, either for the athletic or therapeutic variety (soccer on rock-hard ground is hard on the ol’ Tendons). Thanks to a combination of unusually large (for a cis woman) and unusually shaped feet, I have to get dress shoes in higher-end stores, which means also means a real live human is doing the fitting.

Having travelled outside North America to places where bespoke is affordable, I’ve had people running both hands and tape measures and straight pins and tailor’s chalk all over me, another form of personal service that would get damn awkward and creepy if the person being took the touching as a signal that the tailor/seamstress wanted sex.

100

cockyballsup @82 "sending something to or dropping something off at her home address is possibly creepier than her sending him a short discreet note via email. (He might not know her full name, for example, or the exact apartment number, or whether she has a partner who would intercept it.)"

That's a good point. So I'll agree with Jina @53 and BiDanFan @64 that CREEP might as well look on Facebook and other social media for him and try to reach out there (still with a discreet message, not "wanna fuck again?")

101

Obviously, Sporty. That's my point. Most of the time, when someone flirts with you at work, they say obnoxious and annoying shit like commenting on your appearance or telling you to smile or giving some backhanded compliment or just generally being forward without bothering at all to establish some kind of a rapport or investigate if you are interested. I feel like you spend a lot of time agreeing with the reality of situations and just arguing about what label to give it, just to argue I guess? I mean I can pedant with the best of them, but it's just boring if you have nothing to actually say. Do you really think that I don't know that men who ask me out after initiating a pleasant conversation with me were being flirtatious in that pleasant conversation? Or just that I can't tell the difference between this and a customer that won't stop calling me over just so he can glare at me with a creepy smile and say obnoxious pick up lines with complete disregard for my own interest or discomfort?

102

Something that got mentioned farther up but was then kind of lost: if his university is a public one, there’s a good bet any emails sent to his university address are a matter of public record and subject to the Freedom of Information Act. That means ANYONE can ask for a copy of a particular email, and the university is required by law to provide it in a timely manner. They are also required to retain copies of all emails for a set period (it’s different from state to state), so even if he deletes it, his employer will still have a copy. If CREEP does decide to email him, she needs to make sure she doesn’t put anything in there that she would regret her mother, minister, boss, and/or some random dude off the street reading.

Personally, I’d err on the side of “nope!” to having my emails with an NSA hookup be subject to FOIA requests for the next decade or two (or longer), but that may just be me.

103

@Emmaliz and Lavagirl: I don't think anyone here is talking about rude and outright creepy guys who flirt and don't take no for an answer, and anyway that sort of behavior not limited to flirting in public spaces/neutral ground. Plenty of guys on dating sites are just as bad if not worse. In any case, when this issue is being discussed online or on podcasts or just in the media in general, I don't think the distinction is really made between legit creeps/harassers and polite guys who take the cold approach. Both are lumped together; they are equal sinners in the eyes of many. This has been the message from progressive types with media influence (or large twitter followings) for the past few years when it suddenly became a sin because they decided it was. I remember noticing how Dan maneuvered his opinion to fit this. Believe it or not, civilization existed before dating websites. People used to meet in singles bars, but this was considered the last ditch effort, and not the most ideal place. People generally did meet at either social functions or just, you know, out in public. It's how my parents met (Jesus, my dad approached my mom when she was sitting in her car stopped at a stop sign: they'd talked at the church event they'd attended but he didn't have the courage to actually ask her out; she loves to tell that story; I can only imagine your reactions to this scenario). And the idea that the guy MUST wait until the woman signals her interest before doing anything? What? Maybe some are too shy?

Regardless, the message is definitely clear: do not cold approach, ever. But this is scoldy and unrealistic. I'm confident that the vast majority of women do not find polite requests for a date or "to hang out" to be creepy, even if they guy does take the cold approach. I can't tell you how often I've heard women say they liked the boldness of such an approach. It was what I was told endlessly when I was a teen and then in college when I would ask for advice from both guys and girls on how to get dates: "Just go up and ASK!" Talk about mixed signals.

Good Christ, the sensitivity and eagerness to be outraged and offended over every goddamn thing is astounding.

104

@103: Mikara, not one thing you've said pertains to this letter. This isn't about a man approaching a woman "cold." This is someone who has been ghosted sleuthing and stalking the man who obviously wants nothing more to do with her and proposing sending him an (innocuous) email at work. This would indeed be "creepy."

105

@103, actually I agree. It doesn't overtly connect with the LW. But it does seem to be how the conversation morphed. The overall issue being that cold approaching or initiating contact when it seems unlikely to work is creepy. And it's not creepy. That kind of policing of natural human behavior is absurd, scoldy, and unwarranted. Not to mention arrogant. Who, in her shoes, wouldn't kinda hope that he was still into her? And what kind of person would he be if he was shocked (SHOCKED!) that she would be such an anti-social creep as to email him to kind see if they could rekindle/restart (or whatever)? This outrage/offended routine is getting old. Fast.

In any case, in an earlier comment I made directed at the LW herself, I stated that it's unlikely to work. If he was into her, he probably would have contacted her by now. Or maybe not. Maybe by contacting him he'll re-think it and say "ah, what the hell." No fucking harm done. Jesus.

107

Dadddy @106, the general responses have been:

Listen to what people say to you IN ADDITION TO unspoken communication. Even if a woman’s body language screams I WANT YOU, if her words from her mouth say, platonic only at work, listen to the words.
When in doubt, ask nicely and be considerate.
When you get an unambiguous NO, abide by it.
Don’t hit on people in their place of business, by electronic or other means. Especially if that person is being paid to be nice to you and telling you bluntly to fuck right off will literally impact their continued ability to live indoors and eat hot food.
Women and people of colour are individuals, not monoliths, so what works for one cannot be generalized to all. That includes cold-approaches for dating. So use your judgment and use your words.
Het men in particular will do well to listen to het womens’ safety concerns and again, take 30 seconds to think and be considerate.

How on god’s green earth are any of the above NOT norms promoting resilience?

Especially for straight cis men, who are socialized that they can wear the girl down and never give up and the princess who is at the end of the level is their prize, learning how to exercise kindness and empathy and respecting a no and appropriate times and places for things IS promoting resilience. As in, you will survive rejection, you will be able to cope with disappointment, and by being considerate you’re way more likely to be treated decently in return. Positive feedback loops, yay!

Instead, you’ve written about SJWs, referenced the PUA crowd (good examples of how NOT to treat another human you claim to respect!), and muttered about making an effort to be considerate as coddling and wallowing.

What is your idea of resilience, really? Because it doesn’t seem to match anything anyone else is saying.

109

@107 slinky - apparently the only group it IS ok to generalize are het cis men, right?

110

Mikara, I don't see what your mom and dad have to do with anything we discussed either in reference to the letter nor in reference to the conversation about hitting on people in public. They had an existing social connection. The fact that he actually approached her while she was driving is relevant to what? This is not an example of hookup protocol nor cold approaches to a stranger nor hitting on someone at work. I don't know why you'd make assumptions about what 'we' would think of how your dad approached your mom nor why you'd think I'd think of it all. There are always individual outliers to everything- there are women who respond positively to being cat called. When we talk about norms we don't talk about extreme outliers. As for your parents, I literally said that meeting in social situations is the opposite of being hit on cold in public when you are either at work or minding your own business. YES if you are going to approach a woman cold in public (one who is minding her own business, walking down the street/riding the bus/having dinner any number of things) or at work (she's pouring your coffee, etc) you should wait until she signals interest. Make eye contact and smile first. If she does not respond, leave her the fuck alone. If everyone did this, yes it absolutely would cut down on the number of people who get hit on in public. Would this actually have any effect on dating or relationships or hook ups between het people in general? I doubt it since it only ever worked for a small minority of outliers in the first place and the vast majority of us find it annoying if not harassing. If you insist on doing it anyway (and there's no law against it nor even such prudishness as you seem to believe since it still happens every single fucking day), then at least be polite and brief about it and respect people's boundaries, responses and the fact that they are at work and therefore your captured audience.

111

captive, not captured, unless you are a pirate, aaarrggh.

112

@109 that’s not what I meant and you know it. Don’t be disingenuous.

If I said that het cis men in particular would do well to make a point of getting a physical every year to keep them from developing problems that could be stopped if they’d been caught early, would you say the same thing? Because het cis men not going to the doctor on a timely basis is enough of a problem that insurance companies are now requiring annual physicals as a condition of keeping insurance, and they started doing that because men as an aggregate wouldn’t go to the doctor routinely? I mean, obviously not all het cis men, but the people who needed to be prodded to doing this were het cis men.

Medical and social research found that the reason het cis men weren’t going to the doctor on a routine basis or for problems was in no small part them trying to tough out problems. Be tough, be The Man, all that stuff men and boys are socialized to do. In the case of doctor visits and health care, it could literally contribute to them dying younger. My insurance at work started doing this, and the stated reason was what I said. Actuarial tables don’t care about Not All Men.

It’s not because they’re het men, it’s because of what they do that was contributing to men getting sicker younger. And yes, Not All Men, but that doesn’t change the fact that the people doing this specific set of behaviours are predominantly men.

Replace doctor visits with learning to listen to their potential partners, and how is that different? It’s not who you are, it’s what you do. Learning to take the safety concerns of potential partners safety isn’t something intrinsic (gay, bi, and trans men are men and they can do it, whether they’re competing on Drag Race or in the NFL), so it’s not because they’re men. It’s a learned behaviour that can be unlearned.

113

@110 Emmaliz: You don't see what the example I gave of my dad approaching a woman while she was at a stop sign after a brief encounter at a church service has to do with this discussion? OK. I'm not even gonna try to connect the dots for you on that one.

In any case, I think you have very simplistic notions of how humans interact. First the man must smile and make eye contact (never mind that this itself could be seen as flirty and creepy.) Then the woman is supposed to do..what? Most will smile back because it's expected. So how is that a safe go ahead? Is the onus then on the woman to initiate a conversation? What if she's too shy? If the guy then speaks without a clear signal...is he then a creep? For talking to her? Are we in medieval China maybe? Or does Queen Victoria still reign?

So what is it, then? Please, provide a fool-proof blue print for the ever reviled monolithic cis/het male to initiate communication with a woman he doesn't know. What's the appropriate decorum here?

Clearly you are not drawing a distinction between the creepy "hey babe you're hot heheheh" and "hi, how's it going? how's your day" (or however it is people flirt.) It's all the same to you. Somehow, in your world, the guy is supposed to have picked up on some overt and unmistakable signal giving the full go ahead for communication beyond a smile. But that is not how humans interact, and certainly not how the vast majority of people embark on romantic relationships, or even friendships. It's awkward, it's sometimes inadvertently creepy, and it's far from foolproof. But none of that means it's always sinister. I agree with dadddy: the fairly recent trend to further and further expand the taboos of interactions between het males and females is absurd. It doesn't get at the root cause of male violence against females, but only serves to increase social isolation and paranoia.

114

BTW Mikara, from the pov of most waitresses, polite guys who take the cold approach are another daily hassle. No absolutely they are not the same thing as cat callers or creeps. But they are yet another tedious customer service interaction 99% of the time. This could be avoided altogether by simply looking for signs that she's ACTUALLY interested in you. Unfortunately, some men will take any female attention as a sign that she is into him- even if she's literally saying "I do not want to date you" as is the case with LW2. Therefore, it's a pretty good rule of thumb to simply not hit on your waitress/ barista. Rule of Thumb is not Law of The Universe, and if you want more nuance in the world, then you have to be willing to accept it. The nuance I'm offering is to look for signs that she's interested first which you've dismissed, apparently because shy people exist. So I just don't know where to go from there...