Why it’s not okay to assume I’ll sleep with you

I sell sex, I’ll admit that. But, the sex I sell is in the form of the written word. Yet there are many middle-aged men out there who seem to think that because I can write the words ‘vagina’ and ‘penis’, then I must be willing to sleep with them, or at least send them some photographs / videos. Well… No.

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The type of sex I sell can be bought here: http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Howard_Charlotte/index.htm

I’m not saying that all middle-aged men do this, and I’m not saying it is just middle-aged men, who feel the need to contact erotic romance writers and perv on them. But, the majority of icky, skin-crawling, and sometimes downright disgusting, messages I get have the profile picture of a white man who looks to be in his 40s/50s. I have been contacted by a Turkish man in his 30s looking for a wife, but his messages were actually pleasant and flattering – there was no malice, and when I declined, he thanked me for my time, and that was that. I’ve also had simple messages of “You look stunning / beautiful / sexy” from younger men in Britain and America. Sadly, I have also been asked for topless pictures, full-length, full-colour, naked pictures. I have been asked for naked, open-leg pictures. And these, have all been by the middle-aged, British / American man.

The pictures that sparked the messages

Before any of the trolls start telling I’m a stuck-up bitch with a huge ego – that was already a response by one of the Pervs when I told where he could stick it. And if you ask my husband (yes, I have one of those) he will tell you that I am actually quite introverted at times, (is ambi-vert? Is that what I am?) and don’t respond well to flattery. I go one of two ways – either over-the-top, huge ego, “why yes, I am amazing”, or laugh and ask what medication they’re on. I don’t think I’m that great – and no, I’m not fishing for compliments – I know every single one of my flaws, and I use a lot of supportive underwear, make-up tricks, and poses and good-lighting to fix them. Have a look at those two pictures. Do you see the similarities? I’m stood like that and sucking it in for a reason…

Perv1

The first of many. At least this was mild…

But going back to the messages – most of it is just “send pictures”, and I am glad to say that I do not publish my address or phone number for obvious reasons, so I can just delete the messages. Then it escalated and someone called my laptop via Facebook. Did you know that was possible? No, neither did I until a little icon popped up saying this man was trying to call me. I didn’t answer, and he called again. And again. And sent abusive messages. And I blocked him…

Perv2

Sometimes they send pictures to me – attachment unavailable now, but take a guess at what it was…

It might seem irritating – just block them right? But it’s much more than that. I received another message last week, and I responded on Instagram and Facebook:

instagram

And I began to question myself.

I’m trying to organise a new photoshoot to create a new profile picture for my website, social media sites, and book covers. I wanted to do something sexy, but after this latest message, where I was not only propositioned but asked how much I would charge, I started to have a re-think. Maybe I should just be a mum and a writer. Maybe my photo should be of me, in a baggy jumper with a mug of tea. I cried. I huddled into the corner of my sofa and I cried because this Perv had made me devalue myself. But as I’ve mentioned, I’m married, and I thank God for my husband and his opinions and values.

More appropriate photos??

“Why the f*** would you let some dickless wonder with no life, dictate how you should look?” he said. “Of course you should do a sexy shoot! Saying that you’re asking for the messages by putting up a photo of you in a corset is like saying that the girl who got raped in town was asking for it because she wore a mini skirt! Do you go pawing and licking at man just because he’s got a six pack and walked down the street half-naked? No!”

And he’s right… Just because I like to wear a top that shows off my cleavage, just because I like to wear skinny jeans that lift my arse up, does not mean that I am putting it on sale.

So I am going to do a sexy shoot, and a gothic shoot, and a comfy shoot, and the Pervs can all cram it.

I’m a huge flirt, and I love having a laugh. But it is not okay to make me question what I should wear or what I should say.

I sell sex, and it doesn’t matter what form that takes. It is not okay for you to treat me like an object and think that you can be inappropriate.

It is not a two-way street. It’s a one-way street, and you’re going the wrong way if you think that any of that kind of behaviour is okay.

Ask Charlotte

This is a new feature that, for the time being, will be featured on my blog, but I am working on an official site.

Since having Seven Dirty Words published (did I mention that Four Letter Words will be published on 14 January??), I’ve had a lot of people – especially women – opening up to me. I seem to have corrupted half of my friends and acquaintances as well. Lots of people ask me questions about life, relationships, and sex, and for the most part, I seem to be quite good at giving out advice. It’s probably because I’ve lead an interesting life so far and have lots of experience in many departments. From premature babies to post-natal depression, bad relationships to health problems, I have a whole host of experience, advice, and contacts that may be able to help other people.

With all of this in mind (and some gentle persuasion from my publisher), I have decided to start an Agony Aunt column. (That’s advice column to anyone outside of the UK.) Once a week (until a website or an addition to my current website is set up) I will post a letter with the advice that I am able to give, including links and contacts to outside sources that might be available.

EMAIL: Askcharlotteh@gmail.com

**All letters will be anonymous to protect your privacy**

Guest bloggers, interviews, and reviews

Writer / Author friends – please share!!

I’ve decided to start doing guest blogging, interviews, and reviews on my blog. I’ll be doing one a week, which will then be linked to my FB page, Twitter feed, Google+, and LinkedIn, which will get you a whole load of coverage! Unlike some who claim to ‘help authors’, I will not be charging you. All I ask is that you place a link to your guest post on your social media page. (Book reviews will need a copy to be sent to my Kindle.)

If you’re interested send me a message through my Facebook page with your email address and I’ll send you the details.