As I waited to order a drink, a large man in his fifties sitting at the bar put his hand on the back of my leg, slid it up my skirt and firmly grasped my arse. It remained there for several seconds while I stood, frozen. Shocked. Violated. Vulnerable. I was unable to do anything but walk away. I was frightened, ashamed and sick to my stomach.
I became furious. I wanted to punch his shitty face and smash it into the bar, preferably into broken glass. But I couldn't. Not only was I physically incapable of doing so, I was scared of what would happen if I did. I was unable to defend myself.
I didn't wear anything short again for a long time. Instead I hid my body under baggy boy clothes. There has been the odd occasion when I have dressed up but I always felt uncomfortable. Exposed. In a way I feel like I'm inviting unwanted attention, even '"asking for it". It has not only affected the way I dress. I still hate my arse being touched in any way by anyone; strangers, friends or partners. This has caused some, problems.
But I am lucky. I have experienced very little harassment in my life. Too many people that I have know have not been so lucky. However, even this small, "seemingly harmless" experience left me with lasting anxieties about the way I dress and has messed with my ability to be comfortable with certain physical affection. Maybe I am "over-sensitive" but it is important to be honest, communicate your experience and say how you feel. You're probably not the only one.