Today I’m addressing something many lingerie bloggers face every day: unwanted and unsolicited sexual messages from male readers. For some reason, complete strangers think that—just because a woman wears, writes about, or reviews lingerie—she has an interest in hearing about someone’s sexual fantasies.
Usually, it’s not an issue for me. One of the great perks of being a 60-year-old woman is my invisibility—even to street catcalls. The last time anything even remotely like that happened to me was a few years ago. Some random guy yelled from his passing delivery van, “you’re beautiful.” His non-threatening speech, serving as both the start and end of the conversation, didn’t faze me.
Also assumed I’d outgrown flirty or dirty remarks on social media. To my knowledge, there aren’t any other grandmothers talking about boobs, bras, and bazoombas (the latter term not common with Millennials). When my first book came out, MySpace was just getting off the ground and often felt like an online dating forum. But it’s been years since anything remotely sexual made its way past my inbox spam filter. So, yes, I was super surprised to get one of “those” emails this week.
And there’s no mistaking the message I received. Here’s the funny part: the writer tailored it to my more mature self. Yep, this dude thought I might want to know what kind of lingerie an OLD man wants his senior partner to wear—even down to the cut of her panties. But I guess he couldn’t convey those thoughts to a young lingerie blogger, could he? (“Hun, tell your mom she would look so hot if she only wore….”)
Maybe this person sought me out because he saw the beautiful images from my lingerie photoshoot or read my thoughts about brands featuring older models. Not that either of those things gives him permission to send this type of note. Who knows? I won’t quote him directly because it gives him more power than he deserves. Plus, I know women bloggers battle worse harassment than this on a regular basis. So I feel lucky (?) this incident is out of the ordinary.
Maybe the baby boomer generation needs greater guidance around unsolicited sexual commentary. We are living in the age of the predator-in-chief, after all. The creepiest creepers seem to be the old ones (O’Reilly, et al.). But I’m afraid it may be too late for my aged correspondent.
So, just for the record, let me be clear. I am an expert on breasts, which includes bra wear and care (see my second book), plus things like breastfeeding, plastic surgery, and health. I’m not writing about lingerie and boobs as a way to fulfill my readers’ sexual fantasies. It’s the furthest thing from my mind or purpose. If you have thoughts about what turns you on or off, keep them to yourself. It’s not my area of expertise, and I’m not interested.
P.S. Women, and especially this senior woman, wear lingerie for themselves—not you.
Featured Image: iStock Photo