Arden’s additional thoughts:
I have no problem with: an individual person approaching me with an invitation for sex, even if they are not available for a relationship with me. I have no problem with this because I believe that asking is not inherently coercive, because I believe I have the right to say no. In fact I love it when people ask for what they want! Then I can say yes or no and we can proceed.
I DO have a problem with: being bombarded with invitations for sex from people who are not available for a relationship with me while receiving few or no invitations from people who are interested in exploring sex as part of the process of intending toward a primary relationship. This pattern, which has persisted strongly throughout my time as a single person in LA (so since early 2015), has been, as I’ve described, a death by 1000 papercuts leading to a breaking point this weekend where I have had to violently reclaim my self-worth as a relationship partner and not just as a sex object.
No one is individually to blame for this. But the collective 50–100 people who made these invitations and who did not show up in relationship space for me are what resulted in the pattern. I’m not going to tell people to stop making individual invitations but the collective pattern has been damaging beyond belief.
For my part I’m going to own my share of responsibility and get better at intending, holding space for my self-worth, asking for my needs to be met, and holding up my personal boundaries around sex.
But I want to hear from others as to whether there is a solution to this not becoming a collective pattern that damages people.