One of my pet peeves in life, and a consequence of being a woman, is unwanted attention from men. Just in case that sentence becomes misconstrued, let me clarify. I do want and love attention from men. Just not all men. I want attention from men who I find attractive. Not random idiots off the street who, unfortunately, are the largest group of admirers I seem to have.

The first type of offender is the random cat-caller on the street. The construction workers, the smarmy guys driving by in their cars, and the leering strangers walking by on the street. I’m am not impressed or turned on by some leering stranger saying, “Mmmm, mmmm, mmmmmmm. Hey baby.” Last night on my way home from work, some stranger, a delivery guy, walked past me on the street and did the whole, “Hello, baby. Can I help you carry that package?” while looking me up and down. “No, you cannot help me carry this f*cking package. Leave me the f*ck alone!” In fact, on my way to and from work, there are entire blocks I will avoid if I know there is construction going on. It’s just disgusting to have to deal with that kind of verbal assault, and no matter how good looking these guys are, their approach is a deal-breaker.

The second type of offender that is even worse is “the regular.” These are the men who live or work in your neighborhood or who work in your office, or because of some situation you are forced to deal with them on a regular basis. It’s impossible to escape them and in spite of the fact that you will give them no encouragement, they will repeatedly hit on you and ask you out indirectly. A few highlights from my life:

  • A guy at work who insists on hanging out around my cubicle and never directly asks me out, but hints at reasons I should go to his place, or reasons that we should get together, etc.
  • A guy who lives in my neighborhood who I see walking his dog. He never directly asks me out either, but he calls me names like “cutie” and “sexy” and always wants to stop and talk and hints that we should walk our dogs together.
  • My personal trainer who is always trying to conjure some reason that I should meet him outside of the gym, and especially at his apartment.

Because none of these men officially ask me out, and because I need to keep a professional tone to some of the situations, the way I handle it is to just evade the issue. I change the subject, or make a snarky remark. You’d think that they’d get the hint and lay off. But, nooooooo. First of all, I don’t date people at work. Tried it once and it blew up in my face. Second of all, I don’t date personal trainers who work at my gym whether or not they are training me. Third of all, the guy who walks his dog is physically repulsive, and I don’t date men who are physically repulsive.

While I find that ignoring the first type works well, though on occasion I let rip a string of obscenities, I find that I cannot seem to find a polite yet definitive way of dealing with the second type. Why is it that some men behave this way? Cat-calling, incessantly bothering women who show no reciprocal romantic interest? Have these men lost all pride, or are they just stupid?

I don’t have any answers today, so I’m hoping that some male readers can shed some light. Or that other women can share some techniques.

This was a guest post from New York Moments. Her blog is no open but nine years after we first met through blogging, we are still close friends and we meet up when I’m in New York or when she comes to London.

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49 Responses to Guest Post: Unwanted Attention From Men

  1. Fletcher says:

    Wow, interesting post! Being a somewhat cultured guy, I’ve never felt the need to catcall, and have on occasion asked the guys that do, why. I’ve never gotten a cohesive response- more like its a compulsion, that it was a learned instinct from being young, and seeing grown men do it, and assume that was simply the way the genders acted. So, partially, just stupid, with little chance of changing this ingrown behavior, unless you start macing everyone who does it to you… But, keep in mind that if no one catcalled, your post would probably be along the lines of, ‘what can I do to catch the attention of more men’- and it sucks that we never attract those we want to be attracted to us…

  2. OUCH, Fletcher! I mean…thanks for reading & commenting & explaining. However…posting stuff about how I can attract the attention of more men is not my style. I leave that stuff up to Cosmopolitan. And…*sniff* do I sound as if no attractive men are ever interested in me? Yikes…


  3. Brad K. says:

    What you describe at work our lawyers here in the States call a ‘hostile work environment’. And there are laws and legal precedence for getting it corrected. More often that the law allows, however, the person that identifies a problem is also ‘corrected’ out of a job. Fancy that.

    Seriously, talk to your boss in private. For one thing, people hanging around your cubicle should be chastised for shirking their assigned duties, problem is that doing the chastising isn’t your job, and won’t be welcome.

    How about treating them like janitors and secretaries — grab a broom in the morning, then when someone starts hanging around, tell the ‘Hey, I’m really busy — could you put this broom away for me? Thanks.”, or “Hey, I’m busy, would you mind running some copies for me? Thanks”, or “Could you get me a cup of coffee?” or whatever. Once you actually get their attention, you can observe “Oh, I’m sorry. You keep hanging around like you finished your work and wanted to help me. Thanks, anyway!”

    You also have to look at your wardrobe. Anything more fun or appealing than unisex attracts the wrong attention. Shoulder pads, flats, if you wear a skirt, ankle length and plain. Looked at another way, your dress and how you wear your hair — no makeup, or focused on ‘I am interested in business only’. Again, nothing fun. Think, ‘I wanna be Margaret Thatcher’s security double.’ It is a cruel world — sometimes dressing ‘conservative’, ‘boring’, ‘provincial’ can actually help you focus on your work, and be perceived as more accomplished.

    Go to the library. Look for the person with the dullest, most ‘I am part of the shelving’ dress and demeanor. Pick that person as your role model, note how they don’t attract the wrong attention (if they do — pick someone else). That is who you want to be at work. On the streets, that kind of person is probably also going to avoid unwanted attention.

    Any librarians, I don’t mean to imply that librarians are dull — just that most embody a very accomplished service persona, very accomplished at not distracting patrons from their thoughts. These skills are honestly won, and a mark of professionalism.

    Then your supervisor may even be more sympathetic about those lazy shirkers. Oh, and you chat with them, find out their family status — and ask for pictures of their wives and kids to keep in your cubicle. And do post them. ‘Oh, that is so-and-so’s wife, isn’t she a dear?’ Never explain what you are doing with Bozo’s family posted on your walls.

    And do talk with your supervisor before doing anything on your own.


    Brad K.

  4. badgerbob says:

    Of course we’re dumb, and insensitive, and crude and brutish, and shallow, and anti-commitment, and everything else that you women say about us. In summary, we are quite simple, and you ladies waste far too much energy, and time, trying to figure us out. The sensitive, caring, yet self-confident male, is only a myth. Just close your eyes, click your heels, spin yourself around three times, and pick one of us. We aim to disappoint.
    Brad K. has way too much free time on his hands. He seems like a very sensible guy. Maybe he is your future go-to guy Nym?

  5. Brad K.–Thank you for the insight. But I’d just like to clarify…what you’re saying is that by not dressing like a man we’re inviting unwanted attention? I have to say that I disagree. This is the argument also used in rape cases. That somehow a woman deserves to be sexually brutalized because of the way she dressed.

    Badgerbob–You know that you’re the only badger for me!!! And I’ll bet that tough, badger exterior, you’re really a kind, caring and sensitive badger. And if not, you just need a badgerbabe to spank you into submission.

  6. Thanks, Stuck. :-) Looks like I need to be more assertive in some of these situations, and I’ll continue to avoid construction sites.

  7. Stuck says:

    In regards to the cat-callers… they don’t actually expect you to respond in a positive way. They do this to so many women that they are acutely aware that only 0.5% of women will react favorably. So they play the numbers because, eventually, one woman will go to bed with them. Give them a smile and The Finger and move on.

    The Indirect Propositioner is, more times than not, a shy or self-conscious person who simply doesn’t know how to ask a girl out. Before the whole “Nice Ass Project,” I used to be this guy. The key thing about that approach is that if you don’t ask directly, you can’t be rejected directly. And if you ARE rejected directly, you can act like you didn’t mean it as an approach.

    How do you handle it? Tell them something like this: “Look, I enjoy the fact that we talk and all, but I’m completely uninterested in anything beyond that. I say this because I got the vibe that you might be considering that, and I don’t want to encourage you. You have no chance.”

    It gives them a direct rejection. While they might play it off, they will know beyond a doubt that you will not be interested in something more. Any further attempts by them should be met more harshly, and probably taken to a supervisor level in the workplace situation.

  8. Would you be more flattered if you were admired by a pale, brooding type who sits in a dark room listening to emo while cutting himself and staring at photos he’s secretly taken of you? I mean, at least then you wouldn’t know about it. Speaking of which, perhaps you should buy a gun.

  9. Brad K. says:

    NYM, No, I am not saying that dressing as a woman is provocative. What I meant to say was more akin to avoiding muggers. We know they are there, we know there are certain places that are higher risk. We also know that there are things we can do to avoid their attention — not display glittery jewelry, purses, phones, etc.

    Anyway, I listened to Paul Harvey today. He mentioned the vast number of unhappy men in Japan, since the transit systen started labeling cars and trains ‘women only’ and ‘no men allowed’. Seems *someone* over there wants to allow women to escape the casual groping that seems almost the norm. I mention this to agree with your post — unwanted attention is a problem, it is abusive and cruel. For the forseeable future, it seems the best remedies are limited — create women-only spaces (and what does that do to equality amongst the sexes?), or reduce exposure to wackoes looking for sex objects to fantasize over. That is, ‘work dress’ at work, as in ‘plain, boring, conservative.’

    I remember seeing a movie a while back, where a woman advised her daughter to keep a good, long hatpin in her hat. Maybe that is why the long-ago ladies in hats — the ‘upper crust’ — didn’t expect to receive unwanted attention. As the NRA reminds us, ‘An armed society is a polite society’.

  10. Hey MM…I’m not much for men who cut themselves. I faint at the sight of blood. The reason I haven’t bought a gun for protection is because I have a bad temper & would wind up in jail.

    Brad K….Ugh—casual groping on the subway! At least once every couple of months I get into a subway situation where some guy is rubbing his meat against my arse. Disgusting.

    I do understand what you’re saying, however I don’t think that imposed segregation is the answer. I think that there needs to be more of a culture of these kinds of men acting like human beings instead of animals. After all…one of the reasons that women in certain other cultures have to cover their faces, etc is to protect them because men are supposed to be unable to control themselves. We all make choices and society should simply make it unacceptable behavior.

  11. Amused says:

    Is this casual groping on the subway a sport or something? Ew. I’m so glad I have a car with doors that lock.

    Brad K is right, though. If women want to discourage unwanted attention, whether it be at work or anywhere else, they do have to dress down or conservatively. It’s sad.

  12. Cross Dudette says:

    Dress down or conservatively?
    Come on!
    I have had to adjust my wardrobe for work because the men here rarely see women, never mind vaguely attractive ones. I can’t wear short (as in above the knee) skirts or any top which is lower cut than a crew-neck. Vests are banned! It’s stupid, but from the perspective of work, perhaps we should be stricter about what constitutes “smart” for women?
    Trouble then is that if you’re attractive, you still look fantastic in a suit.

    And clubbing! What part of rubbing that there makes you think I’ll snog you? Come off it. I’m not there to pull, but to dance. If I was there to pull, I wouldn’t be dancing with my 6ft male friend, would I?

  13. Richard Bodack says:

    As a gay male, but over the hill, I know what you’re talking about.
    I’d really be curious to know what Miss Manners would suggest.
    My suggestion to all unwanted attention is to deal with it quickly and smartly, and above all without emotion.
    For example: May I help you with those packages? (Babe, Honey, Hotstuff)
    Your answer: No, thank you.
    You don’t pause, you don’t miss a beat. You continue on your way.
    Someone who suggests going to his apartment but doesn’t actually ask you out. You may simply say.
    I’m not going to your apartment.
    You’re my (trainer, coworker,etc.) and I’d like to keep our relationship on a (working, professional, you pick the word) basis.
    Of course this will not work on the first try with creeps. So the next time it happens you give a little glare, annoyed and exasperated and remind them of what you had told them. You might add that you’re beginning to find them creepy. They will hate that. A light touch is best. Never let them think they’ve gotten to you. That’s what they want, no matter what your response. They want to see that fire. Don’t even show them smoke.
    That’s it.
    Let me know how it works.
    Your fan in DC

  14. genegrey542 says:

    I heare you sista. I agree. I’ve gottne so turned off by the whole ordeal I just cross the street and try to avoid it as much as possible. Needless to say it doesnt work. I’ve trying dressing like a man…nope, no go either. I’ve even done the extreme…when i thought people (men in particular) were paying too much attention to my outward beauty…I shaved off all of my hair. lol out loud. I got more compliments than insults.

    So sista…the only thing I’ve learned from this whole ordeal….is 1. doesnt matter what you look like….rude, abusive men who lack class will continue to cat call.
    2. never again will i change myself (outer appearance or inside )to prove a point to anyone….not even my own family members.
    3. open my mouth…yell like hell. express your displeasure….when opportunity rends itself maybe even pull one idiot aside and SCHOOL HIM.


  15. Susan says:

    I agree with what Richard wrote. Just ignore and continue on your way. Do not show smoke or fire, just indifference. Even a little encouragement …like kind smile..or annoyance…will make them want more. I have gained a reputation for being “difficult.” I get snotty…I act exasperated, impatient, annoyed and even give the evil eye to repeat offenders.
    This makes them back off.

    Otherwise, I will be subjected to unwanting groping, men trying to force conversation (even the old ones), men throwing themselves at me.

    Doesnt matter what you wear. If youre attractive, you could wear a potato sack and they’d still fawn all over you.

    Men need to learn respect. If men approach for the simple reason that I look good…and they want to indulge in my sensuality, I have no problem being cruel or kicking them to the curb. (I am a very nice person, actually, but I hate being subjected to this sort of thing…)

    Clearly they have no interest beyond the physical, and if you/I were ugly, they’d treat us like dirt as they are superficial and out for a score or feel, etc.

    Good luck!

  16. Doug says:

    I have to agree with Struck about the “indirect propositioners”. Be direct and honest (even though they are not). Ignore them and they will follow you around with those sad little puppy dog eyes until you want to run them over with a truck. Sarcasm is passive-aggressive and inconsistent. They probably won’t really get it. Being nice and trying to deflect them while preserving their ego doesn’t work. Anything less than a “not in a million years” leaves them that little hope that translates to “patience will preserve” And you will wind up having the same talk, with the same guy again.

    One of my closest friends and coworker has the problem fairly often. Hell, I was one of those guys. In our case, I did come clean and tell her how I felt. She told me that she really appreciated our friendship, but she couldn’t see herself ever wanting to date me. We’re good now. I’m more direct with women as a result and she and I are closer friends for it. She even makes great wing man.

    Here’s the sad truth from a reformed “super nice guy”. We don’t ask because we don’t want to screw up the friendship, but we do want you. We hope to create a situation where we can step beyond friends and are hoping for the sign from you that it’s OK to “be assertive”. We can keep that passive-pathetic crap up for years. So long as you don’t say “no”, there is a possibility. We may even convince ourselves that are doing it to protect our friendship. The truth is we are afraid of being rejected by someone who cares about us. If our friends can’t love us, who can?

    Do him a favor. Be direct. Be frank. You don’t have to try to hurt him, but don’t candy-coat it either. Tell him that you value his friendship, but you just don’t see him that way and never will. I can guarantee you that he’s the way he is because he’s afraid he will freak you out and he’ll get rejected AND lose a good friend at the same time.

    For the cat callers and the like; you’ve got two categories:

    1. “I’m trying to be cool in front of my friends” – these are shaved orangutans. Pay them as much attention as you would an ape who at the zoo who is discovering themselves. They are usually out to establish their masculinity in front of the other apes.

    2. “I learned how to deal with women from Quagmire on Family Guy” –While it is true that you have to face rejection to meet someone, this guy learned that getting slapped 100 times in one night will eventually lead to a Penthouse Letters moment. Respond to this type as you would someone begging in the street for change.

    For the rest of the leering, horny strangers; if you are not gunning for a booty-call, a groin kick is a great consolation prize for them.


  17. K. says:

    I’m a decent enough looking female, 30, and I work with ex-Marines and military contractors (mostly men) in an IT environment. As you can imagine, I’ve had more than my share of unwanted attention from men. There is one in particular who wrote me 2 and 3 page long emails all about his personal life, was extremely aggressive and patronizinig toward me though he has no authority over me at work. I responded (professionally but apparently too nicely) that I’d like to keep our relationship strictly professional, and to please stop sending me these sorts of emails/stop “tasking” me on work when that wasn’t his job. Well, then he got angry. I contacted HR and then forwarded all of the emails to HR. After this, he refused to speak to me at all, which was fine by me I was glad to be rid of the intrusive comments and pointed leering at my chest when he came over to “talk” etc. But then a few weeks later he started up again, apparently after he had given me time to “cool off.” He’s waited for me downstairs after I get off of work to leer at me and try to initiate a conversation. He sits in very close proximity to me and I can HEAR him listening to my phone conversations etc. He is abnormally interested in my personal life. He’s left books for me that are completely unrelated to work on my chair for me to peruse with little friendly post-ot notes attached to the fronts… NOTHING I do (ignore him, am outright rde to him, avoid him) seems to get my point across. Yet he never does any one thing that warrants intervention other than the first time with the emails… I’m going to ask to be moved to a different cubicle as soon as my manager is back from travel. So, I feel your pain. What’s going on here feels like stalking to me .I wouldn’t be surprised if he was driving by my house in the evenings. Maybe *I* should buy a gun…

  18. mid says:

    I had one particular asshole who was married and his kid was in my kid’s school. He knew where I lived, so he’d drop by and drive by almost every bloody day (until I moved away). He’d knock on the door and try to force himself in. He’d stop his family van along the street if he saw me walking. A married asshole–who felt that it was his job to take me on since I was single. Oh, that’s just the more extreme. And I did nothing to warrant it. Told him NO, refused his verbal and physical advances (yes, he even grabbed me, in front of other people).

    Men don’t take NO for an answer unless it is coming from one of them. They have no respect for women because women were traditionally pieces of property. Men have rarely suffered consequences for this shit and so they will continue. Oh, and the guys that aren’t so openly piggish, they are just as bad–only more subtle. The same thing is going on in their minds as those orangutans–women are objects, how can I score with the least possible effort.

  19. Amy says:

    Hi all-
    I have a major conundrum.
    A guy I work with has been pursuing me for almost a year now. It started as friendship and then he let me know he did not love his wife and was getting a divorce. He filed for divorce and since then has been e-mailing me suggestive notes and asking me out. I have said I will not go out with him until he is divorced and maybe never. However, I have been twice bullied by him when I say I do not want to date at all. He gets upset, tense work environment, etc. So, I have rescinded my sentiments twice and to top it off said I wanted to kiss him but couldn’t until he is divorced. I am MAJORLY confused but more so, angry, at myself and him. I do NOT want to date him and now I have confused things. Any advice? (Besides “learn from this silly”!!!!)

  20. JustME says:

    Amy, I am sorry to be the one to tell you this, but learn from this silly is the best advice for you. You are allowing a man to treat you eith disrespect. If you continue to back down you WILL wind up a battered woman. Tell him to *@$! himself and learn to have some respect for yourself. You CANNOT have demand respect from a man until you have respect for yourself as a person and as a woman. Do not allow yourself to settle because you are lonely. Revel in your free time and your friends. You do not need a man you only want one. You can fulfill your life in other ways, and no I am not a lesbian or someone who has chosen not to date because I am a feminazi I am a soldiers wife. My father died when I was nine, my mother has never remarried, not for lack of looking and she went from working at a department store to being a director of a well known company in 14 years. What would you do if THAT GUY died. You have to rely on yourself first.

  21. Vero says:

    Wow, nice article New York Moments! I couldn’t help laughing because of how similar my situation is.

    One colleague at work sits behind me with his back to me, but he keeps STARING at me! Every time I walk by to go to the bathroom, to the kitchen, to get a glass of water, ANYTHING involving the need to pass by him, he always stares. When I walk back to my desk, he stretches himself with hopes that I look, which I obviously don’t. I look at anything except him! Or when he goes to talk to a colleague close by, instead of going into his office, he stands at the door so that he’s closer to me. He even offered many times to pick me up from home and drive me to work, because I didn’t have an office key at that time, and he did. NO WAY! Or he peers over the wall between us, looking at what I’m doing on my computer screen. It’s so pathetic. He in his 40s, with kids, I think divorced, and I’m in my 20s. So far my strategy is to just ignore all his stares and act like he doesn’t exist, except for when it’s necessary that I work with him. I even put so many plants on top of the wall between us to block his stares. However he doesn’t stop staring which bothers me…any suggestions, anyone? I know I need to be more assertive, but he’s very nice too, which just makes it harder. What should I tell him?

    Another colleague also kept hitting on me and pretended that he was competing against my boyfriend for me, calling me baby, honey, etc. He would comment on my body, what I was wearing, and give me tea that would supposedly impregnant me. He told me how we would have such a cute baby together and that we would get married. What also really got to me was how he would observe when my boyfriend would pick me up from work and even told me how he noticed how his license plate changed! After I told my boyfriend all of this, he really wanted to settle it on his own “the manly way”, but I persuaded him that I needed to deal with it on my own. I am someone who is just too nice to people and often the cause of that, is that people take you for granted and disrespect you. So I got the courage to confront him and told him to stop all of his sexual comments and observations, to which he responded was “just having fun”. Since then, he hasn’t done anything yet, however it’s only been a few days.

    It’s important for everyone, especially women, to let people know where there borders are. Speak up for yourself if something bothers you and let men know that you are to be treated with respect.

  22. sarrr says:

    I loved reading your article. Im actually having a similar problem and I googled dealing with unwanted attention and landed on this page. I’m really confused if ignoring is better or confronting is. But I really wish men would get the hint and go away, and no I dont think that women invite such attention in any way. No matter what I wear, or how cold i am or how rude I am, these idiots just don’t get it. This one guy ,I told him off and the next day he showed up at my doorstep with flowers to apologize, but the horrible thing is that he was at it again.
    My question is that is this happening because im only in a relationship (and that my guy is not constantlly around me ) ? or men not even respect the fact that a woman is married?

  23. sarrr says:

    Just to clarify, do men back off if the woman is married, do they finally stop trying then?

  24. 2market says:

    This is a very touchy subject to me. I worked for a boss that was over men and women. The men seemed to tell the boss how the show was going to be run simply because the boss was too busy being the mens’ friend.

    I held a trade job. I had a man of another decent that was always eyeballing me anytime he saw me. One day he came into my dept. and tore off his shirt (tee-shirt on underneath) and yelled something out in another language that I did not understand, look at me and then left. Assuming since no one else was in the room by me at that time that it was directed towards me.

    I told my boss about it, and he filed a report, and being the a**clown that he was compared it to something as simple as a man working on the side of the road and taking off his shirt.

    I was adamant about the report being filed, and told my boss to his face that it was not the same thing. The person that did this was told to stay away from me.
    So he stayed far away from me. It is pretty bad that all of that had to happen due to some neglegence of someone elses bad choice of bahavior.

  25. Brad K. says:

    Sarr, Umm, It takes all kinds?

    Some married men and some married women look for others to have sex with. Some people find a married person ‘unavailable’ – uninterested in anything deeper than a regular sex schedule. Some people find such arrangements attractive, and such shenanigans have been known to persist for hours – or decades.

    To get rid of a guy you have to confront the guy, tell him no, mean it, and get the point home as pointedly as is needed. A courteous and respectful guy won’t need to be told he is an extra wheel – he wouldn’t be there in the first place. That means that someone pursuing where he/she isn’t wanted is, by and large, arrogant to the point of brutality, disrespects marriage, you, himself or all three. You cannot use a marriage to protect you from a sordid individual. Call the police, call a lawyer, call his boss. Ignoring someone that is unwanted encourages them – silence implies consent, to the troubled in mind and lustful mien.

    If you cannot tell a guy to get lost, how is it that you are able to tell a different guy you want to make a family with him? It seems you should be able to choose and follow your choice – whether to dump a guy or pick a life mate. Yes, they are different propositions, but the core, fundamental elements are similar. You have to do what makes your soul grow, you have to choose reponsible, respectful, honorable people to be friends with and to wed. Choosing means selecting good people, and keeping disrespectful people away from you and yours.

    And, no. I don’t think, most of the time, that getting married is enough to keep some guys from continuing to pursue. Certainly, a court order isn’t enough, at times.

  26. Janine says:

    I am currently getting unwanted attention and I dress like a bloke! I even like Formula One and Football (Soccer) and the one day I wore a low cut top, this twat scared at it. He even stares at me whilst making a cuppa coffee!!!

    He checks the bus in the morning to see if I am on it and he does some feaky thing where he stops and has a look!! I am not very assertive (I’ll have to tell him to his face) and I can’t tell what is going on sometimes properly!!

    To top it all off he already has someone!!

  27. Janine says:

    Thank you for your advice……I wear men’s clothes and for the most part wear baggy clothes to hide my shape. And the bus activity, he drives into work and I take the bus and he stops for a moment and checks to see if I am on the bus.

    I have some mates who are lawyers and they are contacting collegues who work with sexual harrasment in the UK, where I am to see where I stand. The REALLY oddest thing is how he suddenly shows up when I am at my most fertile. Can men actually sense this or is it just by sheer chance that this twank is doing this?

  28. Brad K. says:


    The starer is using you as a sex object, a fantasy, a collection of ‘parts’. He doesn’t see you as a person.

    And wearing a low-cut top, anything that emphasizes neck, cleavage, thighs, belly – that is a sexual display. Think about whether your bra is for support or to affect the shape of your breast – the less you emphasize shape the less you portray an image of interest in sexual activity. Hint: Explain to your father that you are getting unwanted attention, and ask whether what you wear is working against you.

    The guy at the bus? Try giving him a straight look, meet his eyes, and tell him, “No.” Don’t make conversation, don’t smile or act out. You want him to understand he has been harassing a neighbor, someone worthy of respect – and that he has been disrespectful. Maybe look up the local laws on stalking and sexual predators, copy onto a 3×5 card and hand it to him. Or take his picture – and explain you want to be able to identify him in case you have to report him to the police.

  29. Brad K. says:

    Janine, “is it just by sheer chance” Oh, please don’t hand me straight lines like that! lol!

    I could go all mystic, and ponder how a lion watches his prey before the attack, his breathing and heartbeat synchronize ..

    More likely, your cycle coincides with his mother or wife. Sheer chance. Or he gets a four-week paycheck, and you catch him on the last days waiting for payday after the money runs out. And, possibly, you pay more attention at that time.

    Or there is a club, and his observance of you is his initiation ordeal, and you happen to be fertile the day before his next club meeting. Maybe it is a club for polo star wannabes.

    Maybe .. But it really doesn’t matter. Point him out to the bus driver, other passengers. He likely won’t like the attention, you get to meet new people, and you become part of a group, rather than a pretty face on the streets. He is likely aware his behaviour is dodgey, and getting others involved may tip the scales for him. Plus, you get more witnesses to his stalking and harassment.

    Take care!

  30. Janine says:

    I was rather hoping that it wasn’t the case regarding him being able to litterly smell me out! As for the bus and him, he has actually raced the bus on one occasion and there were comments made so that time I have got the witnesses.

    He seems to do this odd thing when the bus is at a stop, he seems to just nip in front of the bus and stays there for a minute, (likely to see if he can see me) he also does it when I am walking down he hill from the bus stop to work.

    YES another workplace freak!!

  31. Kat says:

    For all you ladies who are getting harassed on the job…I advise you to keep a daily log or diary of the incidents and start now…record everything verbatim! Write as much as you can remember about whats happened before and keep a copy of every email with headers in a file, and every note. So when you complain to your superior or Human Resource Dept, police dept, or legal counsel you will have something to present to them as a record. This helped me a lot once a upon a time, once I showed my unwanted suitor my log…he backed off immediately.

    Sometimes going public or just threatening to will put a stop to a lot of it. I have loud talked one guy who would leave me alone so that many others could hear me refuse his offer. The guy was so embarrassed he never bothered me again. You should be able to wear whatever you want to work and most of us work to make a living. No one should have to suffer 8-12 hours a day with someone’s annoying and intimidating behavior. Sometimes just pulling the offender aside a stern verbal threat is good enough. If not, be prepared to play hard ball and tell him so, if you want to be in the workplace and survive with men like this…you’ve got to grow a set of brass ones. They will keep doing it if you don’t. I’d rather be called a bitch and have a quiet productive day at work than to be out of sorts, and walking a round a bout and out of my way to avoid a fool who can’t take no for an answer.

  32. Janine says:

    Good news!!

    Since yesterday, he has backed off. The going to someone kinda official in a way seems to have given the message. I just have to have a word with him to clear the air. We somehow seem to have just utterly panicked and we both scared each other silly thinking back to it.

    It’d be a shame to leave on a bad note, I think he realises he had been acting badly in regards to the whole bus thing. As they say, if you love someone enough, you’d give them space and I did give him space…….

    I hated having to be a bit more forceful but in the circumstances, what I wasn’t doing myself wasn’t working….

  33. Janine says:

    He’s left work today early and I think he is laying low……scared me a bit seeing his car gone……Have I come hard to him too harshly?

  34. Brad K. says:

    Janine, the only thing you should worry about is whether he is unsafe – that you need to worry about serious stalking.

    His antics at the bus are antisocial, they worried you – that is not legally protected behavior.

    This is a sick society. Men that harass women seldom face an appropriate legal consequence for their actions. Women are still act as if they are to blame for being attacked – I *don’t* understand why we invent a term like ‘date rape’ as if it were different from ‘rape’.

    Janine, he chose to act outside of polite norms; you chose to report his misbehavior. Consequences are because of his inappropriate behavior, not your reporting him.

    As long as men can count on women to keep their sordid attacks private, they feel empowered to continue (this goes for women, too, but they don’t have as much reputation for deviant reputation .. yet).

    And that is what I find disturbing about companies and supervisors being reluctant to take reports of harassment. This keeps the activity ‘under the radar’ so the company and group don’t have to acknowledge that unseemly behavior goes on around them.

    One bad habit that society still expects is that men disregard minor attacks, pokes, and bullying. They call it ‘good fun’, a ‘tattletale’ is a ‘poor sport’. Getting a company into the habit of exposing and reporting and disciplining bullies and disrespect is change – and change is painful – but usually improves the environment for everyone.

    Which doesn’t help a woman that worries about the consequences of reporting behavior that makes her life more fearful, less joyful, that it need be – because of a bully or sexual predator.

    Janine, this may be a good time to start a diary or journal. Record all your actions, your feelings, your wishes and worries. Getting things down on paper can be a big help to put things in perspective. Especially, think about what has happened, and what you have done. When you list it all out, would you advise your friend or your sister or your daughter that this happened to, to do different? Even better – will you be able to recognize a similar problem in the future, would there be a way to avoid it, and will you be as ready to deal with something like this in the future?

    You haven’t take this guy as a mate. That means that your primary concern is you, and your happines, and your ability to serve your community, your employer, your friends, and your family.

    And, dang, as Mel, the cook on Alice (I actually saw that episode when it aired) says, “The best defense is a good offense.” Acting out at work or in public is *not* a private matter. Remember – use a journal for your concerns, don’t undo what you have achieved.

  35. Janine says:

    I was thinking about it writing in my notebook, (I have filled 3 pages of an A5 book with what he has done so far) He has been almost behaved like a hunting lion….I remember walking to the cafe and I have to pass his office. I seen his blind was left ajar (there was no window open) and he has rubbed up against me with erect nipples!

    The guy is playing mind games!!

  36. Brad K. says:

    Janine, the lion doesn’t play mind games, and this tosser isn’t playing mind games, either. He is stalking, and he isn’t thinking of your best interest.

    He isn’t thinking of you – he is obsessed, he is indulging in sex fantasies. You do have to draw attention to his antics. If you can set your phone or camera to record dates and times, take pictures each time his behavior catches your attention. This will fix the time of each episode. Your notes will describe the incident.

    Because this really sounds creepy. If someone at work should ask about the picture taking, explain you are documenting his pattern of harassment.

    Take care, dear heart.

  37. 2market says:

    Yes…I documented everything, I mean everything. I left nothing out. You don’t know when someone with a sick demented mind is going to go off the deep end. You really do not want to take any chances of what they may do.

    I would not push their buttons, but stand up, when you see them staring at you and ask did you need some help with something. Maybe that will take them out of their sick demented trans they are in. Even with the picture taking, make it known that you know.

    If they think you are a fragile flower, they may never back off. Stand up for yourself, and maybe it will help it to all come to a stop. Let them know as someone else had said, read everthing to them you have documented. If they see that it is all documented they know they will not have a leg to stand on when it all blows up.

  38. Janine says:



  39. Janine says:

    Brad, this guy has NPD!!

  40. Brad K. says:

    Janine – is that Narcissistic Personality Disorder, is it medially diagnosed by a trained professional – or is that Nutty Pudding Dessert? Will he share? Don’t you dare let him entice you with Nutty Pudding Dessert!

  41. Brad K. says:

    Janine – Not even Maple-Walnut-Fudge Nutty Pudding Dessert! .. I wonder if I have any maple flavoring. Pecans would work okay, right? And I should get some fresh milk, and cream, and .. Well, you take care, I think I need to go shopping.

  42. Janine says:

    Narcassic Personality one….. it’s damn freaking on how I relate to the survivors

  43. sharmuta (not anymore) says:

    Man, I’ve dated a couple NPD guys. Oh how I wish it stood for Nutty- Pudding- Desert! If that had been true, I would be happily with them to this day I’m sure! You two are silly :-)

  44. Jake Fosheezee says:

    It’s very hard to read your message and remain objective. You seem to have a very common perspective where you want to control everyone around you and if things don’t go your way, you lash out.

    You want attention but only from men you find attractive? Gee I only want work assignments I find fun and interesting but it doesn’t work that way now does it?

    Women already have the enviable position of not having to approach men at all, they can just sit back and reject to their hearts content without ever having to deal with the pressure of being rejected, insulted, ignored or ridiculed. Even with this position of advantage you still won’t take the responsibility to be clear and direct with people as well as putting up with the rest of humanity who isn’t necessarily interested in making life perfect for you.

    We all deal with things we don’t enjoy, bad drivers on the road, rude bosses and for you, men who don’t meet your standard complementing you by expressing interest. Contrary to some of the comments in here, it is not illegal and it is not “assault” to tell a women she is attractive. GET OVER IT!

    Try the CAT principal:


    You could be so hideous no man would talk to you, you could live in a country where your only worry is food and water. Enjoy your life and try being a bit compassionate towards the men who are forced into this game you hate so much by womankind in general.


  45. Janine says:

    There is a difference between having unwanted attention and you feel sorry to unwanted attention and you have to do something before someone gets killed.

    My unwanted suitor, (baring in mind he has a partner who he lives with) raced the bus a big like cross country coach on a single carriageway road which has twists in it, then he sends his mates to spy on me and he does it himself. Combine that with the increasing feeling of fear I am getting when he on the way in, I seen him parked across from the bus when it was at a bus stop!

    Then he makes sexual advances when I am already wary from seeing him on the road stalk the bus on the way in!

    There is a difference Jake between love and posession! I got a freaky posession guy who is known to behave a bit wierd about women but he case with me is different as he iis a LOT worse than what he usually.

    Imagine you’ve been stalked and you feel you can’t go anywhere as he is watching your every move, then later on he starts masterbating against you (rubbing erect nipples against you) and saying “i want to make love to you” when you are already scared that you are visibly shaking!

    Slight difference between my situation and what you are saying, of course you will get men who are attracted to you, but they don’t try and kill you?

  46. Teik camp says:

    Well to me its sound like you have a spirtual enregy thats mistaken for sexual promistictiru such as the way you look and move in the attire and your appereancr moist men would look at you with the first glance to have only sex with with you, I’m 24 in nature but ahead of my times head last spirt first, anyway it sound as is you are stunborn in some way as the man brad tell you its not the men in gernral its also can be the factaor of the way you dress and what you tyoe of men you are meantally look to manifest in your life based alone on how you dress, by knowing what type of attention you attactc you should start doing some expereimcent on how you can tone down your sexual phycical epressions aslo hit me back with what is your sign Human zodaic I can give you some pointer on too still do you and dress the way you dress but keep thorws men who are menatlly ill and explortive of females because of the lack of knowledge of self and what it means so socialize on a spirtual level with a women, you can still dress the way you dress and walk the way you dress only if you take the time to know who you are deep within so know other human can visual tell or assume other wise!

  47. Brad says:

    Teik Camp, your point that we express our spirit and our attitude and values with the way we dress and the way we conduct ourselves is completely correct. We have to change ourselves, to make a real change in the image we present to the world – and the way the world responds to us. Thanks!

  48. Janine says:

    Sorry Tiek, I have a hard time trying to read your post, forgive if I am wrong, but, I’d say you’re dyslexic at least? I’m dyspraxic and it is hard for me to read what you are trying to say I’m afraid *sorry face*

    Tiek you mention about star signs, Gemini with Cancer raising so I would be introverted as rather to the stereotypical Gemini, he is a Scorpio I think but some sites say he is a Sagittarius and I don’t know his raising sign,

    Now you know possibky why I am freaked a tad……he’s the typical possessive and jealous scorpio male whose reasoning has seemed to have vanished completely!

  49. meg says:

    I’ve read a lot of good responses on here but Brad, you’re completely off about the dress code. Dressing professionally in a business setting makes sense because its good for business. It has nothing to do with unwanted advances. Remember a pretty woman (or any woman) is going to look attractive no matter what she wears among the right men. Maybe some guys only hit on and stare at women who wear low-cut shirts, but trust that there are men out there who are either a lot more desperate or have different tastes completely. At any rate, even librarians get hit on, stalked and so on. Geez… I even had my bank representative hit on me over the phone! He’d never even met me. Did I just sound like I was wearing a short skirt or something? Is there something about ordering checks that’s just plain irresistible?

    Young women are often too nice and too unsuspecting, which is what gets them into these situations. Not their clothes. They don’t understand the obsession quite yet and don’t know how to throw an intelligent man off their scent with just a few words and/or body language. Instant understanding. It’s not wrong to be attracted. But it is lame to not know how to act decently and respectfully. Creeper men need to be dealt with more bluntly.

    I think Richard has the best solution. Turn them down swiftly, leave as little room for doubt as possible. Tell them when their staring is uncomfortable and to stop it. They know what they’re doing. As for the trying to be your friend first guy… my exact words: “Obvious guy is obvious even when he imagines otherwise. I don’t want to date you. Moving on now.” Keep it light, exact, and don’t offer explanations. The only reason why anyone wants to hear an explanation is to rationalize hope. Otherwise, they don’t want to hear it. They really don’t.

    And anyone saying that women only have to sit back and wait is wrong too. If a woman is interested in a particular guy, she’d be a fool to not do something to let him know she’s attracted to him… even if she just asks him out herself.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.

30-Day Project: Dealing With Tricky Family Members

Tired of dealing with family drama or waiting for them to spontaneously combust in to changed people? Need to find ways to step back and take proactive steps to redefine the relationship from your end? This 30-Day project will help you do just that.