Tag Archives: Inappropriate touching



This came into the Captain Awkward mailbox last night.  It seems like we’re all in the mood to Hulk out and get people to stop touching other people, so have at it, commenters.

Dear Captain Awkward,

I have a recurring problem when it comes to friends. It’s been a problem from the very beginning, as far as I know, and I’ve never been able to fix it. For now, it’s gone, but I know it’s going to come back.The problem is, essentially, that my friends will not stop touching me in ways I don’t like. Granted, I don’t like being touched at all.

But these people insist on doing things like stealing my hat every time he sees me (which led to me not wearing my favorite hat for several years until he graduated), poking me every time he sees me (this guy actually admitted that he A) only pokes women and B) waits until a woman puts on her angry voice to actually listen to her; I wish I’d had the guts to punch him in the face), and hugging me even though we’ve had a conversation about how I don’t like it when he hugs me and I want him to please stop AND I’m standing there doing the awkward trying-not-to-touch-you-back-pat. These are three different guys, three examples of people who won’t stop even though I’ve asked them to, told them to, and finally (in one case) yelled at them to. They’re also just three in a lifelong line of people who won’t leave my body alone, and who won’t listen to me.  Read More

The Hulk is Angry

We're going to solve this one with a little help from Feministe's Jill and The Incredible Hulk.

Dear Captain Awkward,

This one might be a little long, and I am frankly afraid there might not be any good solution for it.

My senior year in college, I shared a house with wonderful friends and an additional guy, A., who most of us didn’t know, but he was a friend of one of my roommates and we needed another person on our lease, so we welcomed him aboard. While him and I were never the best of friends, we got along okay for the most part, and developed an inside joke about how much we hated each other. Unfortunately, my “joke” hatred for him has since evolved into actual repulsion.

We graduated two years ago, and I moved out to another city, but I would occasionally see A. whenever I came back to visit other friends still in town, because we are part of the same social circle. It used to be fine until a year ago, when his girlfriend and him split up. Ever since, he has been making me and other women I know extremely uncomfortable. 
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Space Invader Training Session

"First we will make suggestive comments. Then we will escalate to hugging. We will be greeted as liberators."

Dear Captain Awkward,

So, I have been friends with this one person for almost 10 years. She’s my oldest friend. We’ve had our ups and our downs, like anyone does, right?

Recently (well.. in the past few of years) I’ve had a sneaking suspicion that she was attracted to me (and was attempting to flirt with me.) I was only vaguely uncomfortable with the state of affairs, especially since she was all “Nope, I don’t want girls, I want boys. ALL THE TIME!” I know, I missed a red flag here.

Then, strange comments that couldn’t be missed started being said. “I slept with this one girl and I didn’t like it so clearly I don’t like girls.” Turned into “You don’t have a crush on me because I’m not a boy.”

…Which wasn’t true. I didn’t have a crush on her because I didn’t have a crush on her. I’m bi.

It’s getting to the point where I dread any interaction with her. I can’t canoodle with my girlfriend because she’s hugging up on me all the time.

Another problem I’m sensing is some friend envy? For the longest time, she’s said she’s wanted to get married, and have kids. So much so that she had a PLAN FOR SUCCESS where she planned out the time frame for meeting someone, dating them, marrying them etc., all the while I’m sitting here and being ‘eh, whatever happens…’

Now fast foward to present day, I’m happily married, have a daughter AND I have a girlfriend. (No fussing, I’m in an open relationship. Which maybe is also another point of friend envy).

I’m not sure how to proceed. Is this friendship salvageable? Or is it time for the African Violet of Broken Friendship?

Personal Space Invaded

Dear Personal Space Invaded:

Your letter made me feel like I’d just had a very special visit from the TSA, and you didn’t say one thing that you actually like about this woman besides “length of time known.”  If you’re not quite ready to visit your local florist, and you just want to enforce some boundaries while keeping her in your life, here’s a couple of things you can do.

Next time she drops one of her hints, say “You’ve brought up sex with women and whether or not I have a crush on you a few times now.  Is there something you are trying to tell me?

My prediction is that she will freeze like a deer and then backtrack, but if she goes all Mr. Darcy, you can say “Okay, I was wondering.  That must have been very hard for you to admit. I don’t have those feelings for you, but thank you for putting it out on the table in a way that we can just deal with it honestly.”

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