After a film screening at IFC, I went to an after-party at a nearby bar with a group of dear friends. There was an older man there who kept approaching me and flirting throughout the evening. First, it was small talk about the film we just saw, and then it became a more intimate conversation. He was quite charming (and a fairly famous director at least among some circles) and one of the most interesting people I’ve met in a while. My friends kept slipping by to discreetly ask if I was okay, which I appreciated, but truthfully… I was totally enjoying myself. Although he’s much older than I am, and not realistic in terms of a partner, I was having more fun than I’ve had at a bar, with a stranger, in a long time.
Eventually, people started drifting off. After making sure I was happy, my friends also left. 2 am rolls around and we’ve closed down the bar. Standing outside while hailing a taxi, he asked if he could kiss me. OK. Then he asked me if he could come to my house. NO. Then he asked if I would like to accompany him to his hotel.
One cab after another drove by, while I took my time to think about this proposition. I wanted to continue the conversation, but I didn’t want to sleep with him. With a confidence that I’ve never had my entire (sexual) life, I looked at him and said: “I will get in a taxi with you, go back to your hotel with you to continue our conversation, only if you promise NOT to remove any article of clothing from my body.” He agreed, and I made him pinky swear on it.
We go back to his hotel and continued our fun evening… even my boots stayed on.
For the longest time I was GI Jane at a party – if I had been drinking, there was no way a stranger had a chance of coming home with me or taking me to his place. This vigilance goes back nearly 14 years to a horrible drunk night when I was in high school, but that’s a different kind of story. The truth is, it felt good to let loose a bit, set a boundary, and have confidence that we would both respect it. In fact, it felt so good, I was laughing in my 4am taxi home, all the next day and even as I write this.
I wanted to share this success story and feel like I owe much of my renewed confidence to THE LINE Campaign. Thanks for reminding me that boundaries are possible to set, can be respected and can even be pleasurable.