If a man performs a lewd act in the forest, does anyone hear it?

Thank God I took a Human Sexuality class in college. What I once considered a blow-off class has now helped me identify the fetish act that was performed on me in the subway today.

Crowded subways and strangers touching you sort of comes with the territory of living in New York and there have been plenty of times where I have wondered if I was being bad-touched on purpose, or if it was all ok because it was just a man on his way to the laundromat with a roll of quarters in his pocket at rush hour on a Monday morning. I have never considered reporting any incident where I felt inappropriately smooshed into a train car because that’s the point of public transportation. It exists solely to make people uncomfortable while getting them 3 or so blocks from where they actually need to be. And today was no different – crowded train, me worrying that my bag was whacking someone in the arm, so I tried to collapse my body into a compact unit that wasn’t touching anything around me. The guy behind me didn’t care so much about violating personal space though, he just kind of shadowed me while standing very closely behind me.

So I got off the train not thinking anything had really happened – yeah, I felt his physical presence but it was crowded and I would have been more offended if he had coffee breath or sneezed within such close proximity (such is my respect for myself – violate me, sure, but don’t get me sick). But then a plainclothes police officer followed me up the stairs, showed me his badge and asked if I would explain what I thought just happened on the train. In my head I was like…umm, oh God, why, did you see someone grab my cell phone out of my bag?? But then I realized that what I assumed only happened to women with cameraphones had just happened to me. A lewd act had been performed! Friends, I was Frotteurized. (This is where I thank Human Sex class for putting a name on what would otherwise be called “some dude in basketball shorts grinding me”).

The cop, My Own Personal Law and Order: SVU Detective Stabler informed me that if I affirmed that I was uh, ground upon, he would take the guy in because his partner was holding him downstairs on the subway platform. I said yeah, I definitely felt the guy but that I would never be able to ID him, and it was crowded so I couldn’t be sure what was going on. Stabler said HE could be sure what was going on because he had seen it all. Ew. I was asked to write on the blotter what I felt, so I said “A man’s crotch on my butt”. Which was met with giant disapproval from Stabler, but which I found thoroughly entertaining. “I need anatomical parts and an affirmation that it wasn’t consensual”. I should probably have been taking this all way more seriously, but I was honestly nervous about pointing the finger at a guy who hadn’t physically harmed me.

It’s entirely possible that this makes me a sociopath, this apathetic feeling I have toward the disgusting behavior of others. Roommate Jeff has long considered me a cold, stone creamery of non-emotion, ever since he found out that I threw out the souveneir hurricane glass I got when we had margaritas together at the Caliente Cab Company and took it as an affront to our friendship. But it was big and it had a giant taxi on it, it’s not everyday tableware, I’m sorry. But truth be told, in this situation I was more worried about giving out my name and phone number to the plainclothes officer because I don’t know why.

And even though I was innocent and even a victim in all this, I did what I always do when there’s suspicion of wrongdoing, I start to sweat. So I was literally fanning myself with the police blotter while My Own Personal Detective Stabler of SVU started shouting to His Olivia Benson “It’s a go! We got him!”.

I haven’t heard back from the police, and if I wasn’t with my current Live-in Companion, I would try to fall in love with My Own Personal Detective Stabler and get married so I could submit this story to the Times Weddings page just because this is a real New York story if I ever heard one. I’m happier forgetting all about the situation and going home and cleansing myself of this situation. Bidet, mates.

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    • Becky
    • August 29th, 2007

    If you go to the website: http://hollabacknyc.blogspot.com/ you can actually enter your story of bizarre sexual harassment on NYC public transportation. Next time, get a picture of the guy on your cell phone! Creep!

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