Wedding Woes

Should I reject women differently than men?

Dear Prudence, 
I am a straight woman. Recently at a convention, a gay female colleague was started coming on to me at the hotel bar after too many drinks. I did what I’d usually do with straight men who act that way: I called her bluff in a good-natured but not-so-subtle way, which usually puts a friendly end to things. I said, “OK, you’ve been flirting with me all night, so I’m calling your bluff. If you’re serious, then let’s do it. If not, then knock it off.” She acted really differently than most men do, as though I’d somehow offended her by being too aggressive, even though this was after she’d been flirting and making escalating come-ons for hours already. I started wondering whether my response violates some unspoken rule of LGBT culture. Did I do the wrong thing? I didn’t want to offend her.

—No Thanks

Re: Should I reject women differently than men?

  • I think that's an odd tactic to take, especially with a colleague. Also given that she's a work associate I think being that blunt could have ramifications for your career and possible hers as well. Maybe she was insinuating taking it upstairs, maybe she wasn't. Maybe she was just flirting? I think the "let's do this" can lead to many potential problems that the LW should rethink this strategy for both men and women. 
  • VarunaTTVarunaTT member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its First Answer
    edited December 2016
    I don't think the approach should differ based on sexual orientation; LW's approach is weird.  

    And I can kinda of make up a story in my head where it offended the gay colleague, b/c gay colleague knew that was BS or saw it as a curiosity trick or something else playing into the mix.  I don't particularly think gay colleague was in the right either.  I feel like there's more to this story. 
  • I think her template come back is a bit harsh.  Personally I wouldn't call their bluff by "offering" to do things...but that's me I guess.  I've always thought that "Sorry, I'm not really interested" was sufficient to turning down any offers.

    I agree that her comeback is dumb. If you're not interested, say "I'm not interested," but that doesn't need to change depending on the person's genitals.
    Oh yes, totally agree with that fact.  I don't think it should matter the gender/orientation or anything else...its just strange to me.
  • yeah, the 'I'm calling your bluf" response assumes that the person is flirting but uninterested, which seems stupid.
  • Yeah, LW has a weird (and I'm shocked it hasn't yet been ineffective aka blown up in her face) way of dealing with flirting, whether it's responding to a man or a woman.
  • I feel like LW's tactic is designed to push away.  It doesn't make a lot of sense to me.   
  • Oh good!  I'm glad I'm not the only one totally confused by the LW's response.  I would have totally seen that response, whether to a man or a woman, as, "Heck yeah!  We've been flirting.  I've been loving it.  So let's stop with the chit chat and take it upstairs."

    But she started her letter by saying she was straight.  Which infers she wasn't interested in her colleague in that way.  Sooooo...why say something that would only make sense in "opposite world".  Maybe she says it in a heavy sarcastic tone, so her real meaning/disinterest is more obvious?

    Now THAT would be rude.  Especially to a colleague.  I could understand why they would be offended.

    There are a dozen polite ways to do this, especially when the other person is someone you know.

    Just leave.  Don't hang out with her.  Mingle with others.  Go back to your hotel room if she is annoying you.  Be polite, but honest, "I apologize if I'm misunderstanding, but you seem to be hitting on me, and I just want to be clear that I'm straight/I'm married/I'm not interested/whatever."

    It's rare the "thanks, but I'm not interested" line has not worked for me.  If it doesn't, the 2nd step is to say it more firmly and ask the person to leave me alone.  If it persists again, I've literally said, lmao, "I've already told you I am not interested and to leave me alone.  I'm done explaining this.  I will now totally ignore you and pretend you don't exist."  Turn around and/or walk away.  Usually didn't have to resort to it, but it always did the trick.  They bore quickly of talking to the back of my head. 

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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