…Oh fuck.

So…the art instructor from the other night?  The one I clicked with?  I emailed him to book some work for the new year and told him it was great meeting him and stuff.  I also sent him a link to my Facebook fan page because he’d expressed interest in seeing my work.  He replied that it was great meeting me, too, and offered to be friends on Facebook, which I accepted.

He has now asked, via Facebook message, if I might want to use him as a model sometime because he’d get a kick out of my “kink treatment” (meaning that he’s noticed the kinky theme to a bunch of my work and wants to be portrayed as a pin-up boy or sub, I think).

OH GOD NO.  NO NO NO NO NO.  NO.

Oh, and he happened to ask this right after telling me he might buy some of my smaller paintings as Christmas gifts for his friends.  Which begs the question: is this a bribe?  Is he saying “If you interact with me in a quasi-sexual way, I’ll give you money”?

I can’t decide whether to completely ignore his message or to send a gentle rejection.  I guess what it boils down to is: would he have the balls to bring it up in person and put me on the spot (in which case I’d rather nip this in the bud) or does he kind of know this is inappropriate and if I pretend it never happened he’ll just go with it?

What would you do?

Edit: I wrote him back  a message that made chatty small talk about where he can buy my work and then slipped in there that I’m only comfortable having partners pose for me (which is not strictly true; but I’m only comfortable having guys I’m attracted to pose for me, so close enough).  He replied to my buyers’ info and then added “I completely get your modelling stipulation — I think the odd treatments you give your subjects roused my inner exhibitionist, hitherto dormant, for a moment.”  So, okay.  He backed right off without demanding that I justify my decision or “give him a chaaaaance,” and his attitude was mildly apologetic like he maybe realizes he was a bit inappropriate, so I think we’re good here.  I think I can still salvage a good working relationship here.  Maybe a friendship, too, although I’m still feeling a little shellshocked and tentative right now.  We’ll see.

8 Comments

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8 responses to “…Oh fuck.

  1. Juuuuuuulia

    Gentle rejection!

  2. trillian

    Seriously, this is why I’m so hooked on “The Good Wife”. It’s a series of on theoretically what is supposed to be a family life of a lawyer woman. Who is the wife of the State’s Attorney and all.
    (How can you be Canadian and have Netflix and everything we can’t get? I’m so jelous. Watch it.)

  3. trillian

    Oh – and my advice: stay professional. On every level. Meaning you don’t want to make enemies. You want to make friends! You will want to say “I loved you’re offer! But my finances (thisandthis blabla). Learn to be kind, politically correct and still benefitting. Play the game. Play it well. You can do it.

  4. trillian

    In fact, I know you can. 🙂

  5. Brugmansia

    Seconding gentle rejection. So much better for both of you! I’d tell him you’re thrilled at how well you two click, but you want to make it clear that you’re clicking as friends/kindred spirits/whatever, and not on a sexual or kinky level.

    I’m not sure how inappropriate I even see his question. You shared your art, and your art has a kinky theme. I know exactly nothing about the art world, but it seems that there could be a difference between volunteering to model and asking you to dominate him?

    • I’m not sure how inappropriate I even see his question. You shared your art, and your art has a kinky theme.

      …So clearly, I was “asking for it”?

      Yes, some of my art has a kinky theme. But the professional way to acknowledge that (if you feel you must acknowledge that at all) is in totally nonsexual ways – looking at my work and going “I like your subversion of gender stereotypes” or “you’re really good at portraying the chemistry between these people” is good; “OMG your paintings turn me on so much because I’m kinky, too!” is not. At least not from someone who is essentially my employer. And this guy’s invitation to “scope him out and see what I think” (his actual words) the next time I see him and decide if I’d like him to model for me because he thinks he’d “enjoy getting the kink treatment” is waaaaay too close to the latter for my comfort.

      Actually, that’s what it is. It’s not the fact that he asked to model, in and of itself. “If you ever need a model, I would volunteer my services” would probably have been okay (especially since it’s a rhetorical question so I could easily ignore it if I chose). But he basically asked me to physically appraise him and if I think he’s sexy enough, have him model for me…which he wants to do because he’s into kink. Makes my Spider-sense go off all over the place.

      • Brugmansia

        Okay, so it is actually pretty clear that he’d be interested in a sexual connection with you. And I have to agree that that’s inappropriate coming from an employer.

        I hadn’t realized the ‘she was asking for it!’ implications of my comment. I’m just not familiar enough with what ‘professional’ means in industries that require crossing so many of the lines that are considered very ‘unprofessional’ in my own job. Obviously, it should still mean being respectful of others, courteous, honest, responsible, dedicated to high standards of quality and integrity. But it confuses me because I would NEVER accept a boss’s Facebook friendship, or let a boss see me naked, or show a boss my erotic stories. Your situation is way different – getting naked is part of your job description. I definitely, definitely, definitely did not mean to imply that because you are a nude model or because you make kinky art, you’ve somehow waived your right to being respected. I apologize!

        I just feel bad sometimes because as attractive woman, we can make sexual overtures with SO MUCH more leeway before anyone would label it ‘creepy’. But when an older man expresses interest, he’s creepy right away. It’s not really a gender thing – fat old women face the same thing. It’s like the less conventionally attractive you are, the faster we jump to ‘how dare you!’

        So yeah … nip it in the bud, but don’t hate him for trying 🙂 You have every right to feel disgusted by his suggestion. But I do hope that he backs down, never raises it again, and you can be friends!

        • I hadn’t realized the ‘she was asking for it!’ implications of my comment. I’m just not familiar enough with what ‘professional’ means in industries that require crossing so many of the lines that are considered very ‘unprofessional’ in my own job.

          I figured. My situation is a weird one, and that’s why I endeavoured to give you some insight/point out a possible blind spot in your heretofore awesome and progressive feminist thinking.

          I would NEVER accept a boss’s Facebook friendship

          Honestly, I’m not sure how I feel about that, either. But people offered and I wasn’t sure if it would offend them if I said no, and I don’t really post personal things on Facebook anymore, anyway. And in the case of this latest guy, I actually did hope to cultivate a friendship. Albeit a lot more goddamn slowly than learning he had a kinky side on the second day I knew him.

          I told him I’m only comfortable using partners as models, and he got my point and backed right off. So I guess things are good.

          Just for the record, I’m not horrified with him over this whole incident because he’s old and not my type. I’m horrified because he’s somewhat in a position of power over me and didn’t conduct himself terribly well. I’d feel the same way even if I thought he was hot – it’s just plain sketchy to proposition someone the way he did.

          Generally speaking (like, in a less bizarre and unbalanced situation than this one) I see no issue with anyone hitting on anyone, as long as they’re respectful about it and take “no” gracefully. You never know who someone might be attracted to; I don’t really believe in “leagues” (as in, “He is so out of your league”). I’m sad that so many guys are presumed to be creepy or predatory, too.

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