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Monday, April 10, 2006


Is it possible to be kind of flashed at? Because I was kind of flashed at.

He said he was far from home and desperate for a wee. But he had been able to see me approaching for several seconds, he deliberately drew my attention to his penis, and he made no attempt to hide or cover it or move himself.

Was he having a piss, or was he waiting round a corner for a woman on her own, to flash at?

Does the answer to that question affect how I am supposed to feel about it? Are we supposed to be traumatised by the deliberate flashing, and not by the accidental? What if we just don't know if it was deliberate or accidental? What if we feel threatened by his presence there, and his ability to do what he did, regardless of whether he was needing the toilet or needing a power trip?

If you think he is having a piss and are not traumatised but then later you find out he was flashing deliberately, do you become traumatised?

If you think he was flashing deliberately and are traumatised, then later find out he was actually having a piss, do you then stop being upset??

I guess I'm wondering if it is the experience of seeing an unexpected penis when you walk round a corner that is frightening or offensive, or whether it is his motivation in having the penis on display that makes it scary.

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Anonymous said...

What a fuckwit. I've been caught short before, and unless you're three sheets to the wind, you're well aware of who and what's around. You find somewhere away from passers-by, and if someone does come by, you make some attempt to turn away and/or cover up.

Whether this guy was genuinely pissing or not, by continuing to expose himself when he knew you were there, he was intending to shock or harass. Report it to the police; this sort of thing is just the first rung on the ladder of sex offenses, and he could progress to more violent crimes. I know one report of flashing might seem not worth the bother, but if there have been other incidents reported it could make the difference in getting the police's attention.

In terms of whether it's the act or the intention that's most upsetting, it's difficult to say. On the (mercifully) few occasions I've been the victim of someone else's aggression, I think that although the short-term adrenalin burst caused by the initial incident was pretty nasty, it wasn't half as bad as coming to terms with the idea that someone fully intended to do me harm. That was quite a headfuck for me, it unsettled me, and it took a while to feel safe again.

Anonymous said...

That got a bit serious, so here's a joke:

Q. Why did the flasher cross the road?
A. To retrieve his tiny, severed penis.

Well it made me laugh

Anonymous said...

Does the naked rambler count? Or the streaker Jonathan missed at the Grand National?

The Goldfish said...

I agree with Slow about intent and think you would be entitled to make a complaint to the police.

However, as far as your reaction is concerned, I imagine that - unless there was aggression or menace at the time - I would find the whole thing rather pathetic. Not funny pathetic, but just a bit sad.

It certainly wouldn't have been a personal thing. And whilst there is a connection between flashing and worse offenses, I think the fact he felt the need to deny what he was doing suggests that you weren't in any danger.

Not very nice though. Try not to let it disturb you or effect the routes you take in the future.

Melissa said...

I just sorta came across your blog and I really enjoyed it. Sorry about the flashing...really. You just reminded me about an odd flashing incident (ok, two) and now I have the heeby-jeebies.


Garry Nixon said...

Slowdown's said it all perfectly.

It must have been upsetting. He's probably a very sad man caught up in some personal nightmare of his own.

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vapid ness said...

I'm sorry you were upset by this.

I have developed a tendency to respond to things like this in a way that isn't the expected response.

I haven't been flashed at for a whiley, but I remember bursting out laughing last time it happened, and having the presence of mind to mutter 'oh, you poor little man'in between giggles. The bloke had been hanging around at the end of our street on and off for a couple of weeks and he disappeared after that.

I also am maliciously nice to unpleasant people because it winds them up wonderfully, as does laughing at angry people (as long as that's not at work, when I resort to malicious niceness again to make them look like wankers). But that's me.