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October 26, 2016

Decency Trumps Hate

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In this episode of Sex With Dr. Jess, Sexologist and Relationship Expert Dr. Jessica O’Reilly discusses the recently unearthed recording of Donald Trump in which he brags about “[grabbing] them by the pussy.” She shares some the daily messages she receives from her “fans” and discusses the problem with sending unsolicited sexually explicit messages. She also provides actionable tips for chatting & hooking up online.

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Rough Transcript:

This is a computer-generated rough transcript, so please excuse any typos. This podcast is an informational conversation and is not a substitute for medical, health, or other professional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the services of an appropriate professional should you have individual questions or concerns.

Episode 02: Decency Trumps Hate

0:00:00 – 0:00:57

Jessica O’Reilly

Hello. My name is Jessica O’Reilly. I am a sex and relationship expert, and my focus is sexual compatibility because, without it, your relationship just won’t last. I am here to help you become sexually compatible because compatibility is something you cultivate. It’s not something you just find you actually have to work for it. And today I want to talk just a little, not too much, about Mr. Trump, because everyone is talking about the grab her by the pussy comments. And, oh, I’m waking up to a timeline full of grab her by the pussy critiques and memes and nonsense, and Mr. Trump, I believe these comments and all the other sexually degrading and gender degrading comments that you have made are ultimately going to cost you the election.

0:00:58 – 0:02:28

But I also want to talk about the way we approach each other online, sexually, explicitly. In many cases, it really amounts to harassment, because this morning, along with waking up to a timeline flooded with you know the jokes, the op-eds, the grab her by the pussy news, I also woke up to some messages that honestly, these messages, they make me want to stop working in this field. And let me tell you, this happens every single day without exception. And every week, sometimes around Thursday, I… I consider quitting sexology. I just think I’m going to go back into teaching. I’m going to go work in marketing. I’m going to go work in finance, anything, because it’s exhausting working in this field, as much fun as it is, honestly. I have really, in some ways, the best job in the world. I’m heading to Mexico tomorrow, in Costa Rica the next week, and I have Kiev and Geneva and a whole bunch of other fun places on my list. I do love my job, but the harassment, the online stuff is honestly just too much. It is overwhelming. So, every week I think, oh, my God, I can’t take this anymore. I just got to quit. Then I remind myself that I also love my job, and I love the people I’m working with, and uh it’s super fun and exciting, and I think I’m making a difference. But… the harassment. All right, here’s a few I received today. Let me pull these up.

0:02:29 – 0:06:54

Okay, here’s one I got this morning. “Nice tits. Show, naked baby. Babe naked”. Not even really sure what that means. Um… Actually, I guess I know what it means. And you know simply put, I’m just not interested. Another message I received this morning. Uh… This one says oh, this one’s to the point. 4 words, “Sit on my face”. No, I think I’ll pass. Thanks. No, thanks. Here’s another one. “Why don’t you sex my dick?” Hmm… Why don’t you sex my dick? Well, I can think of a bunch of reasons, you know, all culminating in the fact that I simply don’t want to. Umm… Probably wouldn’t like your deck. And then you know this is – this is ultimately the life of women online. We wake up in the morning to unsolicited sexual propositions, and when we don’t respond. Oh, here we go. Today’s an especially bad day. They escalate to um… some of these other messages. So, if I don’t respond, these are the messages I get. Here’s one pulling it up. “Bitch. I pay you compliment. Fuck you,” with no C and fuck. I mean, if you’re going to swear at me, at least you know spell it out so it’s forceful and I’m not sure where the compliment really is there. But… um… All right. I also received oh, this is a nice one. “You cunt don’t reply. Ugly vag”. You cunt don’t reply. Ugly vag, maybe vague. I don’t know. Um… So, there’s no punctuation, so I’m not even sure if it’s – if it’s the imperative. Is he saying don’t reply? You’re telling me not to reply? Maybe it’s the… Maybe it’s asking a question um… or maybe it’s a typo and he meant, your cunt don’t reply. I’m not even sure um… if he signed it ugly vag. Maybe that’s his moniker. I don’t know. So, I don’t know. No punctuation on this one, anywho at least I can have some fun with it. And if I – if I do respond to some of these messages, for instance, I always get messages asking or demanding nude photos, complaining, lamenting, calling me names because I won’t give them nude photos. Sometimes I’ll respond to these requests, and you know ask them to stop sending them. Uh… saying, nope, you’re not getting nude photos, stop asking. So, when I do that, I get called all sorts of names. So, this week I was called Prude. I was called a tease. And last week I got a really terrible one. I mean, they’re all terrible. Last week I was called a deserve-to-be-raped slut.

So being online as a woman, you can see why it’s a bit exhausting. And uh… my experience is probably a little worse because my job entails talking about sex. Sex is a part of my brand. But here’s the thing. Just because I talk about sex doesn’t mean I consent to your sexual advances. The harassment, the photos, the videos, providing information and education. That’s what I care about. I got into this cause I was a teacher and I saw the failing sex ed system and I wanted to do something about it. I want to help young people. I want to help teachers. I want to help couples actually stay together and actually like each other and you know somewhere in there they still want to bang each other. But I provide information and education, and that’s not the same as an invitation. So, I’ll just say this. Trust me, if I’m interested in you, you will know I’m pretty clear about it. Just cause I work in the field as a professional doesn’t mean I’m open to everything. I’m open minded. But I’m really not interested in any of these messages. And I’ve probably gone on long enough with this. I could read pages and pages of messages, probably for hours. But let’s get back to the real subject at hand, and that is – when you send unsolicited sexually explicit or objectifying messages. You are costing yourself relationships. You are costing yourself sex. You’re costing yourself, friends. You’re costing yourself money with the time you take crafting them, copying and pasting them, because I don’t think they’re only sending them to me. They’re going out to dozens, hundreds, maybe thousands of women. And then you reread the non-responses because, no, we’re not replying. And then you reply to the non-responses. This is costing you money. There are much better ways to approach someone online.

0:06:55 – 0:10:15

No one is ever going to respond to sit on my face with, oh, hey, great to meet you. You’re cute. I’d love to meet up for a drink and give it a try. I don’t think and you know I’m… I’m giving you some more extreme examples, but even the message, hey, you’re sexy. Hey, you’re sexy. It’s not really an effective intro either. I don’t know one person who has sent these types of messages, sent nude photos in response to messages that request them. I mean, actually, I can think of one story in which a woman did respond she… to an unsolicited dick pic by sending a bunch of nude picks. So they really weren’t what the guy was expecting. Those you might recall the story. Her name was Samantha Manchester – of Manchester. And what happened was she wrote a positive Yelp review for a restaurant.

So, the restaurant was called the Good Food Place, and she said that she liked it. So, people saw her response, and one guy, James O’Leary, responded with a message and said, “Hi Samantha, check out my Facebook, please. I’d like to know your opinion. So, of course, Samantha thought this had to do with food, and so she clicked on it, and bam. Dick pic. Dick pic. Yeah. Um… So, she wrote a positive Yelp review and in response got a dick pic along with the message, you have pretty eyes. You have pretty eyes. Here’s a picture of my dick. But instead of ignoring him or blocking him, what did she do? This is interesting. She actually responded with her own suggestive pics and sent him back a dick pic. Now. James was not happy. He sent an unsolicited dick pic. She sent an unsolicited dick pic. He got pissed. He called her nasty. He called her a bitch. He said, you know, I was nice to you. I said you had pretty eyes. Oh, what a nice guy. So tired of hearing that. He reminded her that he wasn’t gay. What that has to do with, I don’t even know. Um… And Samantha, when James said to her, come on, I was nice to you, she responded well with another dick pic. And she said, But I’m being nice too. Isn’t sending unsolicited dick pics nice? That’s what you’re saying? And they went back and forth, a while. She kept responding with unsolicited dick pics. He responded by calling her crazy. I think he called her a bitch again. He said the dick pics make him want to puke. Well, I know how I feel every morning. Um… No, dicks don’t make me want to puke. But the idea of someone thinking it’s okay to bombard me with unsolicited messages does make me feel sick. Um… He… And then, in the end, he got really upset. He was really concerned that she would share the conversation. He said, no, this dick pic is just between me and you, my… my Yelp review buddy. And she did. She didn’t share I don’t think she shared the pic. She covered them up, but she shared the conversation with the world, and it went viral. And this may be an extreme example of course it is. But it’s a reminder that, well, first of all, that sending dick pics is more common than I think a lot of guys realize, especially you guys who don’t do stuff like that. And um… we need you to stand up to your friends and say, that’s not cool. Uh… But it’s also a reminder that it’s definitely not okay to send unsolicited sex dick pics. Vulva pic. I don’t care.

0:10:16 – 0:12:01

Uh… When I joined Snapchat. Follow me. I’m Jess O’Reilly. Eight. When I first joined, I didn’t understand how it worked because I’m 100. So, I approved a bunch of requests from followers and allowed them to send me messages. And of course, within 15 minutes, my inbox was flooded, and I didn’t receive suggestive texts. I didn’t receive sex and relationship questions. I wasn’t even receiving dick pics. I was receiving something worse. Another level of I’m going to call it harassment because it made me so uncomfortable, I received a barrage of dick-stroking videos. Um… Now, I have nothing against penises. I have nothing against stroking, um… but these unsolicited videos just made me feel so violated from these random I’m going to say, boys, I guess men all around the world, when I opened them up, um… there was just something so demeaning and even threatening. Uh… I don’t really know how to describe it. Some of them were finishing in the shot, and of course, I blocked every one of them and learned my lesson about Snapchat. And this is what we deal with. This is what we wake up to. And again, I don’t think most men approach women online by sending dick pics or videos. But based on my experience and the experience of hundreds of thousands of other women, it’s still pretty common you know in real life. If someone whipped out their penis to flash someone, I think they’d be charged. But somehow, hiding behind the keyboard makes these people feel as though they can do it with impunity, and it has to stop.

0:12:01 – 0:13:19

So, I’m here to offer a few alternatives as to how to approach a woman online in a way that isn’t creepy or sexual, or explicit. Because, of course, we want to meet people. More and more people are meeting online. Over half of my clients met online, and not always through traditional dating apps if you can call them that. Traditional. Not always through dating apps. So here are some tips. If you’re on Facebook or you’re on Instagram and uh… you feel attracted to someone, you don’t want to start with sexually explicit messages. Most people aren’t going to respond to, hey, sexy. Generally speaking, I’m not saying there are people who won’t, and that’s fine. Good for them. That’s your choice. This is all what it boils down to. You want I think people in the world should feel safe and like, we have a choice. So, number one, you want to approach someone online. Start by engaging with their posts with a focus on their interests. Respond to what they’re saying as opposed to only commenting on how they look. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t pay compliments related to the way people look. That’s fine. But hopefully, you can pay a compliment beyond, hey, you’re sexy.

0:13:20 – 0:14:52

Today I posted a pic of me and my puppy. We were featured in this magazine called Get Leashed, and uh… in this post, I shared some of the health benefits of dog ownership. So, if you own a dog, it can help to lower your blood pressure. It’s associated with recovering more quickly from illness, uh… lower incidence of heart disease, lower stress levels, reduced anxiety, and depression, and all that jazz. Long and short of it, dogs rock. But if you were to comment on this photo because you had some sort of an interest in me, rather than simply complimenting me on how I look in the photo, you could engage with what I’ve actually written in the post.

I mean, how do you feel about dogs? What do you think of these purported health benefits? Do you have a pup? If you’re going to try and engage with me on a personal level, do it in a way that really is personal. That tells me that you’re listening to what I’m saying. You’re not just looking at my body. When you engage with me on a personal level as opposed to a sexual level, to begin with, I’m more likely to consider taking it to the next level. Now, I’ll… I’ll be honest, I’m not in the dating market. I’m using myself as an example. So, uh… no need to go and find that dog pic and comment on it. But if you are interested in someone, look at why you’re interested in them. It’s got to be more than just the way they look. There’s plenty of beautiful people out there.

0:14:53 – 0:18:00

So that’s, number one, find a way to engage with their post. And I’m talking I’ve been talking from a pretty heteros standpoint now, men sending stuff to women, but I think this really applies regardless of uh… sexual orientation or gender identity. And number two, don’t bombard someone with messages. Give them a chance to respond. You… you send one message and then another and another. I look at some of my… past feeds, and sometimes it’s like they’re having a conversation with themselves. If I haven’t responded, I’m not interested. And if someone doesn’t respond, please for God’s sake, move on. You know you might be making them feel harassed. You might even be making them feel intimidated. There are seven and a half billion people out there. So, if this one doesn’t work out, maybe another one will. And number three, I… I think this is such an important one if you’re going to approach somebody online, don’t say or do anything you wouldn’t do in person, okay? If you wouldn’t walk up to this person in a restaurant and say what you’re typing, you need to rethink whether you should actually be typing it. And I mean, these dick pics are the extreme example of this. Again, you don’t go flashing people, so don’t do it from behind your warrior keyboard. Treat the online interaction in a similar fashion that you would treat uh… an in-person interaction.

Obviously, there are different nuances, and you can pick up on body language and facial expressions online. So, use your little emojis. I used to not like the emojis, but I’m in love now. And all this research shows that people who use emojis actually have more sex, more passionate relationships. So, use them. Next, be respectful of people’s relationship statuses. So, on Facebook, it gives us the option to say whether we’re single, we’re partnered, it’s complicated. Whatever their relationship status is, respect it. If it says that they’re not interested, they’re probably not interested. So back off. And if you don’t know this person, if you just want to approach somebody out of the blue, don’t start with flirting. Get to know them a little bit first. You don’t just walk up to someone on the subway and start talking about how much you love their body parts and how you fantasize about them and all you want to do to them. So don’t do that online. Have a conversation first. You don’t have to go straight to the flirting. In fact, if you’re approaching someone cold, meaning somebody that you’ve never actually met, you need to cultivate that relationship a little bit. And you have to realize that women, in particular, receive a lot of messages, and uh… we send a lot of messages too, but we don’t respond to messages that are aggressive or demeaning and generally messages out of blue that are sexually explicit. My husband sending me a sexually explicit message is different because I want that message. And if you can’t respect what other people want, I mean, you need help in a different way that I don’t think I can really help you with. Just be a decent person. Everybody starts being more decent.

0:18:01 – 0:19:44

Uh… another… another option is if you do know one another, just look for shared interests and engage with those interests besides engaging with their posts. You might, for instance, send them an article that’s of interest to them. I actually just worked with a couple last week who met on Facebook. They were connected by mutual acquaintances and ended up connected because they were… they were tagged in photos. And she loves horses. And I think three and a half years ago now, he sent her a piece about, sadly, horse meat at a local restaurant and she responded and they started talking. Fast forward three and a half years and they are engaged. So, if you talk about subject matter as opposed to tits and ass – you’re probably going to get a little bit further.

The other thing you have to consider is you have to move slowly online. And I’m talking about social media interactions right now. If you’re on Tinder, that’s a different deal. You may be moving more quickly and that’s fine, but you can’t just go from hi, how are you? I want to meet up. People don’t generally go and meet up with strangers. Women in particular feel more unsafe doing so. We don’t just go meet random people that we’ve never talked to. You’ve actually got to move slowly and get to know somebody, especially if it’s a contact that’s brand new online. So, take your time. And then here is really the most important thing I can say I believe, and that is – use your online platform to showcase your own personality. Post what interests you. Post what interests you the most. It doesn’t have to be about constantly pursuing other people. It’s not a one-way street.

0:19:45 – 0:20:59

If you only use social media to message people. “Hi,” “Hi sex,” “Hey there,” “I like you.” And then your profile page is completely blank. It doesn’t make you particularly attractive. It doesn’t make you particularly likable. It doesn’t make us perceive you as trustworthy. We don’t even know if your profile is real. We don’t know who you are. So, if you’re going to use online platforms like Facebook or Instagram to meet people, if you’re interested in using these platforms to date, you need to see the duality of it. It can’t just be sending messages to people. You also have to use these platforms to showcase who you are. What are you interested in, what articles interest you? You don’t need to show everything. I… I tend to, and sometimes I break this rule, but I tend to avoid political stuff on my profile. It’s totally up to you. But if you’re into cars, post about cars. If you’re… If you’re following the election, post a funny article about the election. Post what is of interest to you so that you can draw people to you as well. And you won’t have to do all the pursuing.

0:21:00 – 0:23:46

You have so many options – beyond sending sexually explicit and solicitation messages. Stop sending those. Don’t send requests for nude pics and dick pics. And when you send a dick pic unsolicited, it’s really harassment. So, use these options. Use these options I presented to you. You’re awesome. I am sure. Just be awesome. Be the best version of yourself. Showcase your personality. Don’t rush. Look for shared interests. Engage with their posts. Let your comments and your posts reflect your personality and your interest in a person as opposed to just an interest in their body. Don’t say anything you wouldn’t say in person. Wait for them to respond, and if they don’t, back off. Again. 7.4 billion people in the world. If you don’t hear from one or two or three or four or if one platform doesn’t work for you, another will. This nonsense about just grabbing what you want, pussies, or anything else is so offensive and outdated. Outdated. We see it from the reaction to Trump statement. It really is time to dismantle this attitude, really seek real connections founded upon consent. Because I think even people who engage in these – oftentimes nasty behaviors, like sending unsolicited, sexually explicit images, are good people, too. Their behavior just sucks in this moment. So, if that’s you shift it, you can turn it around and find meaningful relationships, sexual relationships. They’re out there.

I’ve given you a few tips, and I would really love to hear your stories of how you met online, because I know so many of you are meeting online, so holler at me. I am at Sex with Dr. Jess on all social media except Snapchat, where I’m Jess O’Reilly, the number eight. So, send me a message. No dick, no Volvo pics, please. I think that goes without saying after this rant. And uh yeah, I look forward to hearing your stories, because I think it’s really interesting even just thinking about that one couple who met over a horsemeat controversy story, and they’re engaged and ready to get married. So, these stories are out there, and they’re having sex. If sex is all you’re interested in, that’s out there, too. But you can’t approach it so explicitly to begin with, because you’re really, again, costing yourself relationships, costing yourself time. You’re costing yourself sex. You can do better. I’ll wait to hear from you. Looking forward to hearing your stories of connecting online and how you did it.

0:23:47 – 0:24:18

That’s it, folks – this episode of Sex with Dr. Jess is brought to you by Desire Resorts, one of my favorite places in the world. This is a clothing-optional, couples-only, adults-only – Yes, experience on the crystal waters of the Mayan Riviera in Mexico. And I believe that Desire resorts really changes lives. It changed mine, and I’m not just saying that. So, check them out via my homepage sexwithdrjess.com. That’s it, folks. I’ll see you next time.