I think I was Just Molested...

At an AA meeting of all places. I’m on probation right now, long story, but one of my requirements is that I attend a few meetings a week and normally they’re no big deal. A bit repetitive maybe, but harmless. But today I’m pretty sure I was molested by the middle-aged yuppie type sitting next to me. “Pretty sure?” I can hear you asking. As in, like, wouldn’t you know if you were molested without having to qualify it? Trust me, I’ve been asking myself the same thing for a couple hours now with the end result heavily leaning toward ‘pretty sure’.

I showed up about 10 minutes early. The meeting room is rather large, with chairs and tables in the center and church-pew type benches around the walls. I sat in a bench towards the back and there was one other guy sitting there, each of us at opposite ends with the entire middle of the bench open. About 1 minute before the meeting started a guy sitting across the room moved over and sat beside me. Not in the center of the bench but actually beside me–maybe six inches between us. No biggie, I can handle that. But then, he rests his elbow along the back of the bench so that the edge of his hand kept grazing the side of my breast. At first, I thought it was my hair which is fairly long just tickling me, that’s how light of a pressure it was. But then I realized it’s this guys hand so I crunch over the 1 or 2 inches I still had until I was as far up against the side of the bench as humanly possible. But he kept doing it. Subtle, and not gropey, but there was definitely contact being made to the point where I couldn’t believe it wasn’t being done intentionally. Then, just when I was about to finally say something, he pulled his arm back down onto his lap. Whew, maybe I was just imagining it, I told myself…

But no, a couple minutes later his hand goes onto the bench between us and it’s the same little game with him just barely grazing up against my ass/hip. Nothing blatant enough to qualify as a stroke, but still WTF? Can this guy seriously be getting anything out of this? Again, I’m trying to think of something firm yet non-crazy to say to this guy (after all, this little voice in my head keeps insisting, maybe he’s really not doing it on purpose–it’s so pathetic) he backs off again. A minute later he’s leaning forward with his elbows on his knees and I realize he’s trying to look up my damn skirt! That was it–I forgot about trying to be polite and I just up and walked over to the bathroom. He was gone when I came back out and I didn’t see him come back in or outside after the meeting.

It’s silly, but I’d almost rather the dude had outright hooted my nipple or something, so that I could vanquish this little “well, maybe you’re wrong…” refrain that keeps echoing in my head. And really, what was the harm? But then I think about how outright, well, just RUDE it was and I get a bit indignant all over again.

So, any opinions? Was this guy definitely a creep? Anyone care to validate my annoyance here?

Creep. For sure.

Yes, he’s a creep. Yes, he tried to molest you. No, you shouldn’t feel ashamed. In fact, since this was an AA meeting, I think it would be appropriate to discuss it the next time you were there. Part of recovery (I am in recovery, BTW) is learning to be open and honest about your life, and learning how to process your feelings in a healthy way.

This guy clearly is very far from that point, but you don’t have to be. If you are really uncomfortable calling him out, just use the generic (i.e. “this guy”). But I would not recommend bottling up your feelings or just playing the victim (of course, venting here is one way to process your experiences in life, so I offer a sincere welcome).

Trust your instincts. The guy was copping a feel.

Not sure if there’s anything you can do about it except arm yourself for next time. The way I see it you have a couple of choices, you can just get up and move or you can look him right in the eye and say “stop touching me”.

I have various experience with 12 step groups and I’m pretty sure that this type of behavior wouldn’t be welcome. The guy probably counts on the fact that his behavior is subtle and will rabidly deny any accusation which will make you look like a looney.

The guy was definitely a creep. In a crowded room/elevator I could understand how that could happen “accidentally” but he was certainly trying to get a cheap thrill from contact with you. :mad:

Do men really get anything from that? Ask my wife. I’m constantly trying to score with her in that fashion. It’s discreet, only she and I know anything is up. And it’s deniable, if anyone suspects anything is up.

Just remember that all men are easy suspects, so if he tries it again, just say “Do you MIND?” in your most outraged voice and everyone will back you up. :slight_smile:

I’d sure mention it to someone in charge there at the meeting so he can be watched should the two of you ever be there at the same time again.

That’s definitely creepy, and I’d be going with “absolutely sure” on that.

  1. There’s plenty of empty bench space available, and the tacit “personal space code” (which, for guys, is loosely related to the “public urinal code”) states that, for any available seating space, one ensures that there is an much space on either side of you as possible. In the case of a church pew with one person on either side, the code suggests sitting directly in the middle, or somewhere in that general vicinity. Sitting right beside someone when there’s a ton of space on the rest of the bench between you and the person on the other side says quite loudly that the person wants to sit beside you, and probably for uncomfortable reasons.

  2. The same “personal space code” places touching as strictly, vehemently verboten, because that’s incredibly creepy. Even in a crowded area where the space next to you is the only available seat, the code suggests that as little touching as possible take place, and that your arms remain firmly in one place well away from anything that could suggest the touching that is going on is anything but that which is necessary for you to fit in that space.

  3. Ask yourself if he, as a presumably straight male, would have sat where he did and acted as he did if you were a guy. You’ll probably have extreme difficulty coming up with any scenario in which that would be a “yes” except for the aforementioned sparsity of seating (wherein he would have broken its rules anyway with the “accidental” touching), which was not the case here.

Conclusion: Pervy molesting creep.

Incidentally, I am going work “hoot my nipple” into a conversation. :smiley:

I agree with lieu.

I’m for stand up first thing and tell the group about this guy, and make sure the head guy does something to stop it.

My creep radar is going crazy after reading your story.

And in my experience (sigh), 12 step meetings are rife with such creeps, who see any girl there as damaged, vulnerable and above all easy. :frowning:

This sounds like I’m trying to be funny, but I seriously doubt any straight man could possibly be unaware of his own hand-on-breast contact. Unless it’s some kind of roughhousing or sport, but even then, I’m 97% sure he knows it, even if he’s too embarrassed to acknowledge it.

Too bad you didn’t have the opportunity to say (loudly and in ear shot of lots of people) “Sir, you must be aware that you’re touching my body in a creepy and unsolicited way. Knock it the fuck. Off.”

Creep for sure.
Heh. “Hoot my nipple”.

I was going to say something simmilar to Kalhoun’s response. Creepy guy knew what he was doing and he needs to be called on it. Don’t just slide over and feel uncomfortable, say something. Even if he didn’t know he was doing it, you should say something. If you think he is fully aware of the contact, then by all means say something loudly enough to grab the attention of the people around you. :wink:

If you don’t feel like actually saying anything, a none-too-subtle glare of evil directed at him will get your point across. If the dude has to resort to such a lowly level of fondling, your evil eye should convince him that you’re not a good target anymore.

He wants you to think you’re crazy and question yourself so he can keep on doing it. And he’s doing it subtly enough (well, in his mind) so that if you had yelled at him he still could have come out looking innocent (‘What’s the problem? You think I’m grazing you too much? You’re imagining things! It’s not like I honked your nipple!’) Sometimes, despite everything they’re taught, women should just take a chance and be rude.

The only disagreement I have to offer is with OneCentStamp. I think he knew goddamn well you weren’t easy, since it’s likely that a new female at an AA meeting hasn’t had a sexual experience with a new partner sober since junior high. He was just a plain old creep, who saw a good-looking chick who looked alone and uncomfortable enough that she wouldn’t say anything until after he’d gotten a little squickiness in.

In addition to raising hell next time the guy tries anything (and it has a name – it’s called 13th Stepping and it’s totally frowned on in any decent meeting), next time go up to a couple of the women beforehand, introduce yourself, and ask if you can sit with them, and tell them why you felt so uncomfortable last time. I’m willing to bet that Creep will be sufficiently warned off by other women that he’ll never come near you again.

Wait, what?

Hey, this is one case where I would be absolutely delighted to be wrong. :slight_smile:

What I’ve observed is that women in the programs I’ve attended have been the target of relentless sexual advances - both overt (propositioning, asking out) and furtive (guys a little too grabby/touchy). I may have been wrong in attributing the reasoning and motives that I did (damaged/vulnerable/easy), but the advances themselves were undeniably prevalent and undeniably gross. :frowning: