There is someone I know who is really into kink/bdsm/fetish. He is one of the several organizers at social dances I attend. Note, these dances have nothing to do with kink/bdsm/fetish or anything sex related. This person often acts in lewd ways that makes me feel uncomfortable. For example loudly talking openly about kink and alternative sex. Last time he loudly spanked a lady's bum in front of everyone when she was bending over and then said "it's alright, it was totally consensual".

I'm in my late 20s and this guy appears to be in mid 30s. Technically this dance is for all ages but most people there are in the 20-40 range. It's in a very liberal metropolitan city. I try not to talk to this guy but he's loud enough that I inevitably overhear him.

To me, this kind of behavior just leads to an uncomfortable social atmosphere. I don't think it's fair that he is so open about it in public, but it would be rude if others talked about their sex life.

How can I get him to to cut back on doing this behavior so openly, without sounding prejudice?

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    Your question has nothing to do with Interpersonal skills and is primarily opinion based. This site isn't here to tell you what to do, how to behave or make your life choices for you. I'm sorry, but you will have to figure this one out yourself. – Tinkeringbell Feb 7 '18 at 11:46
  • @tortillamix only comment I would have is that this seems like an opinion-based question, if you could add a question at the end asking how to go about asking him to stop that might bring it more in-line with this SE – Connor Feb 7 '18 at 11:47
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    Also: Are other dancers bothered by it as well/what makes you think the example you gave wasn't just a joke/a reaction to a possible expression of disgust on your face? I'm sorry, but your example doesn't emphasize the point of your question. – Tinkeringbell Feb 7 '18 at 11:49
  • The "is it rude" example question is from the earliest days of the site before we realized that such questions don't really work here. It should probably be closed. – Catija Feb 7 '18 at 13:54
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    The previous question: interpersonal.stackexchange.com/questions/10169/… as a note, we prefer that you edit an existing question to improve it rather than posting a new one. – Catija Feb 7 '18 at 13:59

Let's put this behaviour into context. We are currently in the shadow of a massive shakedown of the TV and film industry where sexual harassment has gone unchallenged for decades. What is and is not 'sexual harassment' is of course determined by the recipient, but uninvited spanking of bums is most definitely in that category. Talking publicly about sexual matters can also fall into this category when someone objects to it but is forced to listen (eg in a workplace).

If it was me, I wouldn't want to be part of anything organised by the guy you describe. It would only take one serious complaint and any 'events' organised by him are going to come under scrutiny.

To directly answer your question of how to ask someone to stop behaving in a way that you find sexually inappropriate - you tell them to stop.

Excuse me, but I object to this kind of talk/behaviour. I must ask that it stops.

This is if you place your personal moral integrity higher than your being welcome at these dance parties. I believe you when you say the parties you attend are not sexual in any way, but everything this guy talks about seems to be that way... I'd be surprised if there wasn't some undercurrent.

In the current media scandals we are seeing loads of people making apologies for turning a blind eye, or for burying their head in the sand, or even genuinely not noticing what was really going on. I wouldn't want to be one of those people.

If this all sounds very judgemental - that really isn't my intention. The dividing line between appropriate and inappropriate in these kinds of matters IS your personal position. Invited or uninvited. Consensual or non-consensual. Comfortable or uncomfortable.

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  • @Raditz_35 No Raditz that is not at all anything like what I said. It is a fact that 'sexual harassment' covers a broad spectrum of behaviour that includes sexual speech. Sex doesn't have to take place for there to be sexual harassment. My answer covers what he can say if he is not comfortable with any kind of behaviour, but I have also tried to open his eyes to the fact that it might only be the tip of the iceberg. Even if he does successfully get him to stop, there is a risk that worse is happening in another corner of the room and he may be guilty by association. – Astralbee Feb 7 '18 at 14:18
  • @Raditz_35 There's always a thin end of the wedge, but you're right, it doesn't always mean a person has gone 'full Weinstein'. From reports I read though a few people DID tell Harvey Weinstein to 'stop' certain behaviours... but evidently it didn't dramatically changed the person he was. I personally would not deliberately put myself in the company of someone who made me uncomfortable. – Astralbee Feb 7 '18 at 15:33
  • Thanks for the advice. I think just because two people consented to something doesn't make it ok, especially if other people are in the presence. For example if two people find a racist joke funny probably still not a great idea to crack it in public. – tortillamix Aug 26 '18 at 21:54

The only real advice one can give here is to talk to this person very openly and talk about how his behaviour makes you feel.

Sadly one can not change a person, and if he values your comfort enough he will stop. If he does not, he most certainly wont stop because noone else seems to have a problem with it (as you stated in your earlier question i read).

Personal advice: If you are the only person in the group that is offended by such behaviour, i would rather reccoment to reflect why it makes you unconfortable and work on that, instead of simply trying to prohibit behaviour that is (seems, as again stated in your other question) socially acceptable by the vast majority of your group und just disliked by you.

Example the spanking: I remember you writing that after he spanked her she giggled and found it funny, and noone else had anything against it. So why make something more out of it than it actually is? It's a joke, everyone else saw it as joke, so i see no problem. :)

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  • "If you are the only person in the group that is offended by such behaviour, i would rather reccoment to reflect why it makes you unconfortable and work on that, instead of simply trying to prohibit behaviour that is (seems, as again stated in your other question) socially acceptable by the vast majority of your group und just disliked by you." __ Extremely sensible advice @tortillamix! – English Student Feb 7 '18 at 14:08
  • Thanks for the advice. I know you mean well but there's a point I have to disagree with you on: if you're uncomfortable but no one else is, you can still try to remedy the behavior. Just because you think no one else is uncomfortable but you are, doesn't mean you should do nothing else about it. Sometimes self reflection isn't the right approach. – tortillamix Mar 4 '18 at 1:29

Well, whether/what to do unfortunately strictly depends on the context:

  1. is there any (maybe unwritten) guideline of the place/club/premise/etc. about the general behaviour that must be followed? I'd say the general behaviour that is suitable for a disco is not suitable for a kindergarten, or a church, or a hospital; if there's some sort of guideline of this type, then you may want to involve the site director/owner/manager to enforce the guideline, if you wish to avoid talking directly to this person.

  2. if there's nothing as per 1., you may want to assess whether you are the only one affected by that behaviour. If you're alone or you're in a minority, well, don't expect things to change for you, and in that case it would be easier to change place; otherwise, if the majority of you dislike that behaviour, you may ALL want to have a word with him/her.

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