Monday, May 7, 2012

Sexual Harassment - Did I ask for it?

Hi there.

Remember me?

I'm the girl who once threw around her sexuality so much that she ended up having an affair. At work. While married. With a married man. Whose wife worked there too.

Yep. That was me.

Over the course of time, especially since being in a relationship with my man, I've realized a lot about my sexuality and my flirtatious nature. It doesn't feel comfortable anymore. I have too much respect now... for myself, for others, for those that might be affected by my flirting with others. This is a new place for me as I never saw past my own immediate guilt-free pleasure in the reactions of my not-innocent-at-all flirting.

Don't get me wrong. I still have the mind and thoughts of a teenage boy. I still very much love sex and will continue to write about the subject. Innuendo is fun with people I know and trust. Lately, however, I've just not really enjoyed the in-your-face-ness of the subject with a certain person at work.

I wrote last month of an encounter with the CEO where I was basically told I was "too hot" for a particular job opportunity. It wasn't the first time he's said such things. We've been pretty raunchy around here for a while. They had to work with me while I was not-so-secretly being a personal porn star for a deployed soldier.

I know that wasn't that long ago. 4 years? My affair was well over 10 years ago. I've been a highly sexual person for as long as I can remember.

But still.

Does that excuse the behavior? Does that give him ample freedom to tell me that we have to figure out a way to "tone down" my "hotness" to just "merely attractive" if I'm to be considered for a job?

I've been frustrated with my job for a while now. I love the people and many other things. We're a small family who enjoys working together. CEO, however, pushed it too far with his comments last month and many more that I've not written about. He goes TOO far while I've toned down A LOT. It's uncomfortable and because I know it started with my lackadaisical attitude about it initially, I've not felt the place to call him out. Instead, I ignore or walk away when he says inappropriate things. Hey, at least he stopped slapping me on my ass when I told him to.


So out of frustration with my job and my current job search, I told someone in the office about the job opportunity and my (*ahem*) being over-qualified for it. He then shared it with another executive in the company.  And now, they're going to speak to the CEO about it.

Because I'm new to this whole self-respect thing, I feel dirty. Now I'm THAT girl who gets someone in trouble because he went too far on the whole sexual harassment thing. After all, they could have spoken to me about it years ago and didn't. Instead, they just joined in.

I know... I KNOW... if it were anyone else but me, I'd be kicking their ass for saying that. Why does it feel so strange?

Is it because I'm ashamed I didn't speak up for myself and now he has to hear it from his colleague?

Is it because I know he's going to come in and defend himself to me and I'm going to have to sit here and listen to it?

Is it because now he's going to be super edgy around me and I have to continue to work for him?

Is it because I fear some sort of retaliation and feel guilty because I know my background?

Did I ask for this? For how much of this am I responsible?

This is a complete 180 degrees from the person I've been for so long... always working with men who are sexual, flirtatious and silly. Always being part of the gang who could dish it out and take it, never offended.

And now, I am.

Lying in the bed I made.

Feeling ashamed.

I'd love if y'all could give me another perspective or experience to help me turn this around in my brain? I'm feeling rather alone.

Thank you.

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