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Teenage sexual jokes or sexual harassment???

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Teenage sexual jokes or sexual harassment???

Postby Whyamithewayiam » Tue May 14, 2019 6:53 am

Hey again. So basically I've become fixated on some real event memories and terrified that they might actually constitute sexual harassment. I'm pretty sure these happened around 2-3 years ago when I was about 16-17 (I'm 19 now) and it basically concerns two of my then best friends (which for simplicity sake I'll refer to as M and L respectively)

Alright so basically, when I was around that age, me and M were...well, we were kind of playfully referred to as the more 'dirty-minded' of our then friend group, probably because we kind of liked making some crude or sexual jokes? I know sexual jokes between teenage peers is really normal and is usually pretty harmless, but I'm really scared that I might have made some really distasteful ones during this period and actually crossed the line into sexual harassment (I'm a bisexual girl BTW). There's basically 3 events in particular I'm remembering that are really scaring me now.

So the first one I remember occurred over an online group chat that I had with my friend group. I think M was asking me whether she could hitch a ride with me from some place I can't really rmb all the specific details and anyway I said sure. But then I think I wanted to be especially cheeky or smtg, and since both of us sorta had a bit of a history of making crude jokes with each other, I sort of added this dumb comment that was something like 'or do you want to ride me instead wink wink' or something like that (which makes me feel super uncomfortable and cringey now). I remember M's response was similarly playful and was something along the lines of 'what the heck girl, wear a strap-on then!' and then we kinda exchanged similar playful banter afterwards so I guess at the time I thought it was just playful joking between peers. But now I recognize that was really inappropriate of me even though at the time I only ever just intended it as some cheeky joke, i don't know

So this second memory really makes me uncomfortable because it kinda indirectly involved someone I didn't even know. It was again on the same online group chat with my friend group and we were basically talking about this school speech competition we attended and some of the participants and I remember that the winner of the competition was this sort of pretty girl around our age. My other friend L was talking about how she wished she was in the competition as well so she could 'smash all of them (i.e the participants)' and I'm pretty sure at the time what she meant was that she wanted to beat all of them in the competition (she sometimes made unintentional sexual innuendos). So me being me at the time decided to be dumb and cheeky AGAIN and I guess I wanted to tease her for making that unintentional innuendo or something so I said something like 'haha yeah, I want to smash the winner too'. I'm really certain that I didn't mean it and that I didn't wanted to do ANYTHING sexual with ANY of the participants, I just wanted to tease L, but I just feel so gross now. I remember L and the other friends in the group didn't say anything about my comment and I think we continued to playfully tease L until she finally realized she said an innuendo and my dumb comment just kind of got buried and forgotten. Literally no one brought it up, so again that just reinforced in my head that it was just a playful joke

This final memory is basically just me talking with L and I don't remember exactly what we were talking about or how the conversation started, but I remember that I think she playfully referred to me as really dirty-minded sometimes with my jokes and I guess I remember her not being really serious or something so I just playfully replied back with a 'haha yeah, i'm pretty perverted sometimes aren't I' or something (I ACTUALLY used the word 'perverted'). I'm pretty sure we both wrote it off as me being cheeky again but looking back on it I'm terrified that she was actually serious about me being really inappropriate and gross. And I agreed with her! I just feel sick with myself

So right now I'm kind of freaking out that I ever did and said these gross inappropriate things to my friends and I'm terrified that I might have sexually harassed them. I know I didn't do it for any sexual gratification or to try and coerce my friends into actually sleeping with me or something, I think at that time I was a dumb teenager who thought those jokes were just jokes and sometimes just wanted to say shocking things for the sake of saying them. I confessed to my dad and he said I was being stupid and that these incidents weren't sexual harassment because I didn't have malicious intent or anything and everyone makes sexual jokes and does dumb things as a teen, but I don't feel like that's true. Don't some people who sexually harass others genuinely believe that they're paying a compliment or making a harmless joke? I don't EVER want to downplay stuff like sexual harassment by justifying that I didn't know or didn't mean anything bad. The last few times I saw my friends were really positive interactions and we still talk with each other sometimes which makes me feel a bit better but I'm terrified they might actually secretly be affected by what I said back then. I know I should probably ask my friends directly if they're okay, but tbh we kind of drifted apart a bit after winding up in different universities and I really don't know how to bring it up. I just feel like a disgusting pervert. Why did I say those things? Are they really sexual harassment? And if so, where do I go from here?
Whyamithewayiam
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