Monday, March 18, 2013

What Part of NO do you NOT Understand Reid Mihalko?

To say I'm livid is an understatement. I'm so incredibly angry that my hands are shaking.

If you follow me on twitter (since my account is now locked, if you don't already, don't bother to look), you'll get some idea of what happened this weekend when I attended a sexuality conference.  

One of the things I rely on as a kinkster is my ability to keep the parts of my life separate. I do not appear in public with my kids as SilverDreams, and I do not appear at kink/sex events under my real name. I have a scene name for a reason. It's my decision and even if you don't agree, you don't have to. I don't ask that you like it, I only ask that you respect my wishes.  

Because this particular conference was a very definite educational setting, and included others who absolutely cannot attend those events under their real names, and because the event had a clear, published and several times-reiterated photo policy, I felt pretty comfortable attending. Was there a chance my photo would be taken? Sure. With cell phones, you can't ever guarantee that someone won't take your photo. But it was a small risk, given that I was with some of the "elite" in sex education.  

To be perfectly clear, there was not one moment I was at the conference out of my room where I did not have my "NO PHOTOS" button on. Not a single moment. 

Reid Mihalko is a self-described "Sex Geek".  To me, he's more of a self-absorbed juvenile asshat, but that's just my opinion. Hey- you have yours, I have mine.  When I attended a conference on the West Coast last year, Reid took my picture in a crowd shot (also wearing a NO PHOTO button) and posted it to twitter. I started getting my twitter friends, who were following the conference tweets, asking me if I knew my photo was on the internet.  I saw the picture, and asked Reid to take it down. That he did so immediately made me feel at least he was responsive to my concerns and that it was just an honest mistake.

But this past weekend, Reid was taking pictures of everything (and by everything I mean, as long as he was in the shot). This time, among several other pictures of crowd shots (many people whom also had no photo buttons), he posted a picture of three people working the conference, ALL OF WHOM WERE CLEARLY WEARING NO PHOTOS BUTTONS. I was one of those people.

Reading comprehension should really be taught in school.  NO MEANS NO.

No means no whether it's in a bar, in a conference, or on the street. No means do not. Don't do it. Stop. Cut it out, and well, just plain NO. (if you're unclear on this concept, I really suggest that you not be around people until you can figure that out).

A couple of things are tweaking my ass right now. The first is that he, a self-professed Sex Educator (but really, read his CV sometime- cuddle parties? Tae Kwan Do? Speed Flirting?) disregarded my explicit NO.  That's right folks, he couldn't figure out consent if it bit him in the ass. And what happens in return? He posts to FaceBook in such a way to garner sympathy from his readers. (read this as "poor me, I fucked up", please cuddle with me?).  He apologizes to me on twitter, using a page from Charlie Glickman's "learn how to apologize" blog post and tells me that he'll give me space unless I tell him to contact me. That's right. A twitter apology. It's almost as bad as breaking up with someone via email.

Fat fucking chance. You deserve every ounce of venom I feel right now. Twice.

One of his readers even go so far on that post to imply that it's the "universe's way of saying EVERYONE should be outed".  (victim blame much?)

Yeah, well fuck you.

Which brings me to my second tweak right now.  You might imagine, I was wondering how the rest of the sex educators at the conference might be all over his ass for his appallingly bad judgment and taking him to task for his continual juvenile behavior when it comes to his definite lack of self-control.

The silence is deafening.

I'm done. There truly is no safe space to discuss ideas. I wish you all well with each other because by your silence, you're all condoning Mr. Mihalko's behavior this past weekend.

And I won't be part of it.