This is a blog about running, but today there won’t be anything about running. My “consultant” has directed me to write about a different topic.
In my last post, I mentioned how I must often go out in public dressed in a sexually suggestive manner. Near the end of this post are photos of myself showing what this looks like. There is no tradition in American culture for this, so when I started, I was worried about unpleasant things happening to me.
I’m required to go out on the town often and usually alone. On days off from work and often after work, I go to coffee places, stores, nightspots, and take care of errands dressed this way. When I first started in 2006, a woman employee of a nightclub who I’d come to know well, asked me if I was all right.
Though I’ve crossed paths with people I know numerous times and attended functions where there were many acquaintances, no one within my social circle has remarked about my style of dress. It’s such an awkward topic for discussion, and I’ve never written or talked about it specifically until now.
Sometimes I’m directed to go to the mall, downtown or certain stores and pretend to shop. I’m not much of a mall person, and I don’t buy many things. But I’ve spent lots of hours walking through malls and in and out of stores while dressed in this sexually suggestive way. Sometimes I’m directed to walk from place to place along busy arterials, facing traffic. In the early years, I sometimes had to work at calming myself because I was shaking with nervousness as I was about to enter a busy place.
One summer, I was directed to go to shopping malls quite often and visit numerous young women’s clothing stores and pretend to look for an outfit for my teenaged daughter’s birthday. I absolutely did not want to do this. I’m positive women in these stores sometimes had doubts about my motive.
I’ve been tailed by store personnel, given cold stares, and a few times, store personnel bee-lined to me to interact and head off what they likely perceived as suspicious behavior.
At a bar where I was instructed to frequent often one summer, the bouncer said there’d been a complaint and told me not to come anymore dressed this way.
I was instructed to return a few days later and challenge his authority. I’m a fairly compliant and cooperative person, and I did not want to confront the bouncer over something I was being compelled to do against my will. But my discarnate mentor would not let up.
The only way I could get the nerve to do this was to get a couple drinks in me first. Even then, I was ridden with anxiety when I approached the entrance.
Three times I went there, dressed like always, but I never saw the bouncer again.
Since this has been going on for nearly nine years, I’ve become a little more comfortable. The negative reactions have decreased, and the positive reactions, which were very infrequent in the early years, have become more common, especially among women.
On occasion, women smile instantly when they see the way I’m dressed, and receiving visual attention is not unusual. Sometimes women position themselves to get a better or longer look, and occasionally there’s short conversation and flirting. I do not shy away from these situations because I very much enjoy the attention. I really appreciate women who approach me or use body language that invites me to approach.
I’ve never used this to do a hook-up, however. Even if I tried, my mentor would thwart it. As I’ve mentioned before, though I’ve dated women on a few occasions, this program has prevented me from being in a relationship since I got divorced nearly fourteen years ago.
I’ve explained why I’m doing these things, and if you missed it, a shorter post, My Daily Stress, gives you the details.