October 2017
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Don't put sex jokes in my mouth without my consent. Do not.


icon: "antagonistic (a photo of me in cat-eye makeup with violet hair, snarling with bared teeth and staring intensely into the camera)"

There is this repetitive and predictable act which is passed off as 'humor' where people imply that what someone else said is meant in a sexual manner. Examples: saying 'giggity' or 'that's what she said' after someone says that an experience was really hard.

This always bothered me but I only just figured out why: it's a violation of consent (unless you know for sure that the person doesn't mind). A mild one, comparatively, but a violation nonetheless: you are symbolically forcing someone to talk about sex without checking to see if they would be okay with that. You are assigning meaning to someone else's words that you know they did not intend. You are not engaging in a mutual act of creating a funny moment: you are laughing at someone else's expense.

In fact, most of the people* I have seen do this only enjoy it if it makes the target uncomfortable. More often than not when it is done around me there is an attitude of attempted sexual dominance. If you do not laugh when someone does this to you, they will react as if you have taken something from them. People will react in ways that show this is not consensual and attempt to play it off as okay; they say "I walked right into that." Conversations should not have traps that one has to avoid.

I can't stand it when people do this, to the point that I never use the word hard when I mean difficult unless I trust the people around me not to do this. I will avoid ever talking to people who do this regularly. I will do verbal gymnastics to avoid someone shoving their empty, unfunny, worn-out joke into my mouth for their enjoyment. It's not cute and it's not funny.

From now on if someone steals my words and assigns sexual meaning to them, I will say, "please don't do that" and when they say "what?" I'll say "don't assign a different meaning to what I'm saying." or I may just say, "don't twist my words" depending on how annoyed/bold I am feeling.

*some people just love making people laugh and do this word-twisting in an attempt to be funny without realizing the effect it has. I can understand that. I have made such jokes before, feeling vaguely uncomfortable as I did so but dismissing it because I couldn't figure out what the problem was. Now that I have, I will not be doing it any more.

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Comments
ragnarok_08 ══╣Original ★ feminism╠══
Ugh I couldn't agree more - I just hate that DX
belenen ══╣ewwwww╠══
*solidarity*
davesmusictank ══╣╠══
Totally agree
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
*smiles*
zimtkeks ══╣╠══
I see what you mean.
Personally, I don't mind this kind of thing, as I enjoy sex talk (when it's not inappropriate due to some circumstances, eg. in a professional setting), puns, and mutual teasing. And of course I'm "collecting" people who do the same.
If someone showed signs of being uncomfortable with my jokes, however, I wouldn't dismiss that or try to make it seem like they are wrong. That's some horrible behavior, and I'm sorry you had to experience that. Some people seem to be unable to realize a mistake and apologize.
wildrose ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣passionate╠══
I enjoy sex talk and puns, I just don't enjoy it when it's forced on me.
bobby1933 ══╣╠══
I had never thought about this. Thank you.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
welks!
meteorology ══╣╠══
I had never considered it this way.

I don't find it particularly funny either, but with certain groups of my friends I think there comes a point where we all mutually fall into doing it, for a brief period of time, then it stops being funny so we stop.

I would hope that we would never do it to make anyone feel uncomfortable, or to a newcomer who might not be okay with it, as I've been on the receiving end of that (some people assume that asexuals are naive and that it's some kind of duty for them to "educate" us with constant sexual innuendo, which doesn't make me uncomfortable, but it's very old and boring).

I don't think it's something I would stop doing with friends who do the same, and I wouldn't do it outside that environment anyway since it's not my "real" sense of humour, but thank you for this perspective. Your posts always make me consider things.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
I can understand it as a grey area, so I'm not going to attempt to get people to stop altogether -- I'm just not going to do it myself and not going to permit people to do it to me.

Ugh, that 'educate' bullshit, can't stand it!
sandracaprice ══╣╠══
I had never considered this. The dominance aspect explains my reactions sometimes, so thanks for pointing this out.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
*nods* It took a long time for it to click for me!
mac_arthur_park ══╣╠══
Thank you. This was very timely for me. I frequently say things that come out "dirty" and end up feeling embarrassed, so using it to make a joke just compounds it.

Case in point: this week, we had one of the UNC basketball players come in and order a 12 inch version of one of our sandwiches (they're not on the regular menu, so I've never seen one before). When I brought him his food, I said "I've never seen a twelve inch one before. That's MASSIVE!"

And promptly wanted to die.

Bless his heart, even though he was about as red in the face as I was, he said "Yeah, it's a really great deal. It's a lot of food and I just got done with practice."

I was fully expecting a "that's what she said" comment (I, perhaps unfairly, had him pegged as that type). Instead, we interacted AS HUMAN BEINGS and talked about the massive portion sizes we have at work and our favorite menu items.

I wish things went that way more often.
belenen ══╣overwhelmed╠══
Oh god reading this I got all nervous out of empathy. I'd have been so relieved! *whew*
wildrose ══╣╠══
belenen ══╣artless╠══
*nods* it's totally fine if you have consent, like with yourself and your friend!
the_hag ══╣╠══
My Thoughs on This
are most in line with the third commenter. I've done this sort of thing before and I do tend to collect people in my life that have the same sort of sense of humor that I do...but I would never do this to someone I just met, and definitely not to deliberately make another person uncomfortable. That is not okay, ever. :-)

I think this falls into the range of every group knows ONE person who overdoes this and genuinely thinks they are being funny, but they aren't. This type of joke, even if you like or tolerate it gets old really fast (unless perhaps you are a teenage boy).

I enjoy your posts were you talk about issues like this because they make me really think about what I say and how it affect (or might affect) other people. :-)
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
Re: My Thoughs on This
I am glad that you are cautious about whom you do this with -- I wish all people were so considerate.

glad you enjoyed me sharing my process on this!
medesign ══╣╠══
this makes really good points. Im with you on this. its happens to me alot and makes me feel uncomfortable sometimes so much that i will just not talk. then people think im being rude or uptight because of it. Then I also feel liek a hypocryte since M and I use these comments on each other but maybe thats different as we are laughing together and dont mind the sexual enuendos between us. things to think about.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
Well, when it is with someone you know and you know they are okay with it, then it is different, because you have consent! So that doesn't make you a hypocrite at all.
call_me_katya ══╣Red Riding Hood - solitary╠══
Yes, I completely agree! This used to happen to me a lot, with people I know. It doesn't happen so much anymore, maybe because I'm hanging out with different people, or perhaps 'That's what she said' has simply gone out of fashion over here. I used to smile, but it was probably more of a wince. An uncomfortable smile. Now I just stare blankly, don't react. I won't laugh, and this makes it really uncomfortable for them to laugh. I've found when I do this the person just glosses over what they've said, or changes the subject hurriedly.

The reason I dislike it? Yep, words are being put into my mouth. The fact that someone - usually someone I do not feel sexual about in any way - is trying to make my conversation sexual bothers me. You're right, it feels forced. I feel both powerless and angry, but I try to reassert my power with the blank staring. I don't know how I would feel if it was someone I did feel sexual about though, that's interesting to think about.
belenen ══╣analytical╠══
*nods understandingly* I think that a blank reaction can be just right in a situation like this. I hate that I sometimes laugh nervously, that feels forced too and unfair.

If it was someone I felt sexual about, it would make my desire for them decrease (I have had this happen). I suddenly feel less safe with them and less able to talk about sex with them. Because ultimately, if "that's what she said" is a joke, then how do I know that you will take what I say about my sexual experiences seriously? The whole premise of the joke is negative to me.
call_me_katya ══╣Exploring╠══
I can understand how it would make your desire decrease. Reading what others have written - that they sometimes would make these jokes with a certain friend as the closeness they have means they have consent [or perhaps assume consent] - I think this is almost what I meant, that the closeness of a certain friendship or desire means I would 'let' the person say that, or even like it.

BUT I might be approaching this from the point of view of myself a few years ago. In past relationships I was myself, but sometimes I would become giddy with it, with being in the circle, and so relieved to have someone there that I would laugh at something I usually would not like at all. I think I'm a ...fiercer person now? Less malleable and willing to please. I'm not sure how I would react now if I was romantically involved with someone and they said something about me that I usually would object to. Maybe I would feel squashed, or as if they didn't understand me.
webgirluk ══╣pic#124969441╠══
I sometimes do use sexual puns with some friends but I try and keep them to those who I know are into that kind of humour and don't do it usually unless I know someone shares that kind of humour. If I make an error and someone isn't comfortable though with it or anything else I do or say, I'm very much okay with being able to discuss it, though and not doing it. I like friendships where people can be open and honest with what they enjoy or what isn't fitting.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
*nods* Consent is key! I don't mind it when one friend does this to another if I know the other is okay with it. I just mind when it is done without regard to how the person feels about it.
lovesites ══╣╠══
To make sure the occasion.
It's impolite to put the sex joke to others' mouth. You should always make sure that people are able to get your point of the joke.
raidingparty ══╣╠══
Hadn't thought about it from that perspective before, thanks for sharing why it could be a problem.
belenen ══╣effervescent╠══
welks!
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.