Avoiding Sexual Harassment

It seems that I am lucky to be a mature settled married man. But, there are many other men who seek sex among consenting adults. And, there’s the rub – “consenting adults”. Actually how does a guy get consent without such actions being considered “sexual harassment”? A lady friend of mine, a platonic friend, told me it was considered sexual harassment to tell a woman she has beautiful hair. I was surprised at my ignorance. On many occasions, total strangers, women mind you, have told my red-headed wife that she has beautiful hair.

Movies have been very misleading in this area. I have seen many a handsome leading man use very obvious sexual harassment, such as passionate kissing, only to be rewarded with glorious sex and the adoration of women movie fans. Don’t try that at home. It’s only a movie.

Do you remember that Elvis Presley song, ‘Stuck on You’ :

“Hide in the kitchen

Hide in the hall

Won’t do you no good at all

For when I catch you

And the kisses start

A team of wild horse

Couldn’t pull us apart”


This sounds like flagrant sexual harassment or much worse to me. It should be banned from the airways.

In reality, it seems to me that a guy runs a severe risk in seeking consent for sex of being charged with sexual harassment. Sexual harassment is a very serious humiliating charge. The guy is usually presumed guilty and is marked for life whether he is actually guilty or not. Sex appeal is not sex.

Once upon a time, if a guy wanted sex from a lady, she was expected to put up some intial opposition, otherwise she would be called ‘easy’ and even branded a slut. For many, playing “hard-to-get” enhanced a woman’s reputation. The guy would try to overcome that opposition with a courting ritual using charm and romance. Now, this courting ritual runs the risk of being considered, yes, sexual harassment.

Sex is great but is it worth the risk? A one night stand? Forget it! Until there are some specific written rules of acceptable conduct, celibacy might be the answer.

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About the Author
Michael Irving Phillips has kept abreast of Jamaican and the rest of the Caribbean by his one-man production of Hot Calaloo, a newsletter about Caribbean news and views. From April 1992 to December 1999, it was published monthly and was transferred to the web at hotcalaloo.com since then.

He was born in Jamaica and left home for Howard University in the US where he received MA (Education) and BS (Chemistry) degrees. Previous books includes :"A Jamaica Poor No More", "Boycott Money And Save Your Soul – Launching The Goodwill Revolution:, “Leave the Rat Race To The Rats” and “Poems for Husbands and Other Underdogs

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