For so many years I stayed silent like so many others. Being a well-established company and personality inside the rubber community for some time I still did not speak up for fear of repercussions, whether financial (impacting sales) or friends (since they were also friends with so many of mine, usually for much longer). Finally, I have had enough and need to speak up on this, not only for my own selfish sake but also for those who also fear to speak because they are not as well established as me.
Even now, my closest friends tell me not to speak out, or to not name him. Fear that I will get banned by Fetlife for speaking out. If this is a place that would silence a victim and stop this behavior to others, then I want no part of it. What happened to safe, sane, and consensual? Imagine what someone who is new to the scene or not as established thinks and fears to speak out or react? Most accept it and deal with it out of fear, and that is unacceptable. Why do we allow this? In plain public view? This is not something that happens behind closed doors or in private the majority of the time by him. And after years of speaking in private to many others, I am sure most of you are or know someone close who has a similar story to tell on this individual.
This will be long so I made a summary for those who do not wish to read it all, but care enough to stop this. Should this be taken down, fine. I am lucky enough to have facebook, instagram, twitter and my own well-trafficed website to make sure these words are spoken. I speak not out of my own anger (though that is a better part of it) but also for those who never spoke up because they were afraid, some of my close friends.
This is not a call out for others to speak up. I have accepted that I will finally call him out. No one needs to back me up, no one needs to share their story. I know how hard it is and wish I had spoken sooner. I had a voice, a voice people would listen to for many years now, yet I remained silent. I regret that and I will not be silent any longer.
All I ask if that you speak up when he does it again. Whether you are the victim or the bystander watching a girl looking scared and uncomfortable at his behavior and groping. When his hand slips from their back to grab their ass, crotch, or breasts. When he moves to plant his nasty lips on theirs and stick his tongue in while they try and turn away as best they can. That uncomfortable girl, many of you have seen, that just got introduced to him and became his next victim. Or the recurring girl, who knows him and deals with it, even though you see the discomfort in their eyes and body language. Everyone laughs and shrugs it off like it's no big deal. Stop that, speak up. Walk up to him and tell him that is not acceptable, to stop. To not touch someone without consent and call him out when he makes his excuses. Do not keep standing by watching it happen and giggle and shrug it off uncomfortably when you all know it is wrong, but fear speaking out. It doesn't have to happen to you for you to stop it. I know a lot of you have seen this, I know a lot of you know exactly what I am talking about. Stop letting it happen and speak up if they are afraid to.
The long story:
Most of you will not read this, and I understand. Those who experienced something similar or worse though this is for you. I got off easy compared to the stories I have been told, from the many things told to me in private or I witnessed myself. Part of my anger is not only from the cringing memories of my experience but also from hearing what he's gotten away with others. It's even happened to my closest friends in front of my face, yet we all stayed silent.
I thought for my whole life I never feared anything, and shockingly only discovered there was something I feared yesterday when I decided to write this letter. For 8+ years I dismissed it as: I am too busy, I don't have time for drama, I can't risk it affecting my sales, what if I lose friends because they don't believe me or think I am making a big deal out of nothing, I just don't have time for that. I made excuses, and sadly friends also helped compound those excuses with: he's just a poor old man, he had a bad break up, he has issues with his diabetes and doesn't know better. Excuses... that is all they are, and poor excuses. Unacceptable behavior is... UNACCEPTABLE, period. Today I learned I had a fear, and decided that was also unacceptable.
I say fuck the repercussions. If someone sides with him and chooses not to believe me, then I do not need them in my life. If someone decided not to buy from me because of this post, well fuck them I do not need them as a customer. If I get muted and banned from FetLife, well fuck it I don't need FetLife. Had it been 2 years ago though, I never would have spoken up, I never felt my friends would love and trust me over him until I spilled some of my guts on a drunken discord one night. Also, I felt I did not have enough sales to afford to lose a chunk of my customers if things went south against me for speaking up. Fetlife was also important to me, and I would not risk losing it. Only now that I have nothing to lose do I speak up, I realized that. On that realization, I also came to realize that it took 8 years to get there after enduring years of his shit. What about the people who are not me? That can't speak up because they will get shunned by his friends who side with him or fear no one will believe them because they are "nobody"? This made me even angrier, not only did I hate what happened to me, but by not speaking up I allowed it to happen to others and this to continue. I got angry at all the other people who never spoke up. Why do I have to be the one? Why has no one called him out? Why does everyone tolerate this and not say anything??? Finally, after the anger calmed, I wrote this all down. I never wanted to be the one to speak out. I always waited expecting someone else to do it. No one ever did... I still wonder why this community allowed this for so long?
This is not a call out for others to speak up. I have accepted that I will finally call him out. No one needs to back me up, no one needs to share their story. No one even needs to justify or validate this. I have made my piece and I write this regardless of the consequences. I know how hard it is and wish I had spoken sooner. I had a voice, a voice people would listen to for many years now, yet I remained silent. I regret that and I will not be silent any longer. I hope that you will also be silent no more as well. Whether you are the victim or a bystander seeing this, SPEAK UP. As I said in the summary, speak up. If you are the victim know it is not ok, and OK to speak up. Reach out to me and I will back you up. If you are a bystander and see the uncomfortable girl be pushed and pulled and sexually assaulted say something! Don't just keep walking or pretend you didn't see anything or worse laugh it off like it's no big deal. It is a big deal. Imagine if you were that girl?
My story starts many years ago. In the first 5+ years of my company I mostly focused on making hoods and went to events occasionally and kept a small circle of friends. Eventually, as life changes, I went with my new boyfriend at the time who was from the same area as him and was good friends with him. Up came MFW and we both attended, for my knowledge it was the first time really meeting him since we now had a close connection. I knew a small circle of people, mostly customers who became friends but still very loose connections, but my partner knew him well and introduced us. I will never forget the first meeting. Still being fairly "new" not as a company but as a party goer with a small circle I tried to be polite. The first introduction made me so uncomfortable but I tried to shrug it off. I was approached for "hug" and many of you know what that means. It's that uncomfortable hug where they squeeze you really tight and their hand drifts down to your ass or crotch while he uncomfortably kisses you or tried to kiss you right on the lips and slip in a tongue. I was lucky enough to dodge his kiss the first time as he tried to plant one on me. His grip was long and even as I tried to uncomfortably release the hug he resisted. It was nothing major to me, at least I felt at the time, just weird and uncomfortable especially for a stranger. But I am pretty sexual and relaxed so I didn't let it bother me. I mentioned my slight uncomfortableness to my partner and was told to give him a break because he just got through a bad breakup and was having trouble dealing with it. At first I shrugged it off. It wasn't like anything major happened, it felt more like "weird" and I wasn't really upset. But as time went on, and our encounters got creepier that memory of the first meeting always stuck with me. I heard the story of his girlfriend leaving him, and felt bad. I tried to justify it as a creepy lonely old man who just needed love. It wasn't until the years passed and many inappropriate encounters that that one meeting really started to bother me and all the others. Every time I tried to express my discomfort to a friend or partner for several years it was shrugged off with excuses for him, he was well known and liked and everyone excused it for him. He was old and lonely, he had a bad break up, his diabetes acts up and makes him weird, etc... He doesn't mean anything by it don't get offended. Time and time again I would see him and for the first few years, I would be polite and hug him for the risk of offending him, and offending those who were friends with him. It would always be this touchy-feely groping hug that would make me sick, that I would try to push away with little or sometimes success. Every time I would desperately try to move my face so he couldn't kiss me on the lips, but he was so pursuant that even I couldn't dodge it once in a while. Soon my skin would crawl just seeing his presence. I would stop mid-conversation and make excuses to leave if I saw him coming and quickly run the other way to avoid his "hug". After a while, I even tried to be standoffish and say hi and pretend I was busy and couldn't hug, but he was persistent and would find a way to embraces me no matter the excuse or actions I took. It wasn't like I was running, but I was blatantly trying to avoid him without being rude or disrespectful.
Finally, after several years I expressed to my partner how I felt in a long confident talk, how I felt molested every time he said hello to me and "hugged" me and the things he did during the hug. After talking it through with him he understood and sat him down to talk with him about how I felt, how I felt uncomfortable, and to stop that and just say hi with a friendly quick handshake or hug. This did nothing, again the "hug" came. I tried to give him benefit of the doubt after being talked to, so I walked into the hug expecting everything to be normal. Nothing changed. The moving of the hands and groping, the trying to plant his lips right-center on mine, the resistance as I tried to push away. I damn near lost it, pushed him off, and walked away pissed. I feared I had made a scene and avoided most everyone the rest of the weekend and got shitfaced. I spoke up again and had other friends try and talk to him again. Again he laughed and shrugged it off like it was a joke like they were not serious. Nothing made him stop.
Finally, I had been fed up. I would not tolerate this anymore, but also did not want to cause drama. Every time I would see him I would just shout NO and walk away for the last few years. Years and I still have to do that to this VERY moment. He still tried to hug me and say hi anytime he sees me. He just won't stop and doesn't get the hint. He even tried to show up at my wedding after my best friend explained to him she hates you and doesn't want anything to do with you. He laughed in her face and said oh she's joking and still showed up trying to find us. Time and time again I have just tried to get the memory of him out of my life. Every time he posts a picture of me or mentions me, my phone blows up with my close friends letting me know, and my skin crawls and I just want to puke. He has been told by many people to leave me alone, yet doesn't stop. He added me as a sister on FetLife just 2 weeks ago! And now he's posting my picture on his website and events like we are friends. This is what threw me over the line. It's bad enough I never spoke up and let this happen to me and others, but I will not let him take my name and reputation to be used by him to let others think we're friends and he is ok, because he is not, and he will sexually assault you. I am not, and never have been friends with him and want nothing to do with him.
Stop this. Whether you are the victim or just observe it, say something. Why do we allow this? Just because the fetish scene is sexual it does not mean we need to accept sexual assault and unwanted touching. Make this end here before more people like this infiltrate our rather relaxed community without many creepers.