dating

'A man asked for a pic of my armpits. But what he did next was more unnerving.'

We’ve all been there.

The unsolicited creepy DM from a random guy on the internet, the dick pic from your Tinder match, the sleazy comment on how your boobs look in that pic you just posted on Instagram, the stranger who won’t stop spamming your inbox with “Hey”, even though you’re not replying.

“Sliding” into women’s DMs (read: laying the sleaze on, without invitation, via direct message) has become such a phenomenon, Yo Gotti even wrote a song about it, It Goes Down In The DM, and there are gross YouTube clips dedicated to teaching men how to do it. Because, obviously the world needs more male entitlement. *Sigh*

And as a sex columnist who promotes wearing whatever the hell you want, because #mybodymyrules, I tend to cop quite a bit of this.

So, this week I decided to do something a little nuts, and post a video of some of the real (and creepy AF) messages I get from total strangers on the internet. Because, if you actually say some of them aloud, they just sound ridiculous. And yeah, a little hilarious.

I’ve literally had men DM me everything from “Will you take a picture of your armpits and send it to me?” to “What do you think of this dick?” *Insert unsolicited dick pic here*

But here’s the thing that’s more unnerving than being asked to photograph your pits for a total stranger; when I don’t respond to these messages, they often turn nasty.

And this is something many women experience online and via dating apps, regardless of whether they’re a sex columnist who posts sexy snaps on their ‘Gram, or a stay-at-home mum who puts up the odd family holiday snap.

The constant stream of “Why haven’t you answered me yet?!” messages regularly end with retaliatory abuse like, “You’re an ugly slut, anyway!”.

That’s a real problem. Because as women, we don’t owe men anything. Full stop.

Not our time, not our attention, not even a one-word response via Instagram. And I’m tired of having to constantly accept these kinds of abusive messages as part of the parcel of being a woman in this world. I’m OVER being told I should “expect” this stuff because I post sexy images on my social media; that it’s “leading men on”.

I call BS. I dress sexy for no one but myself. For my own body confidence and sexual empowerment, and my clothes do not determine my consent.

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The response I’ve had in the mere couple of days since the video went live is nothing short of overwhelming. Women from all over the world have contacted me to share their own stories of online sleaze trolling and abuse.

“I can 100 percent relate, so many creepy ones” one follower told me.

“I was asked (by a 15 year old boy) if he may masturbate to my pics,” wrote another.

And, perhaps most impressively, I had almost as many men contact me to speak out against it.

“Social media has brought every scumbag out of there holes. People have no morals, no filters, no manners or respect anymore. They’ll say what they want with no fear of reprisals. I see it every day, particularly on Facebook, people just ripping into each other,” one male follower commented.

And he has a point. Because in the online world, the reprisals are few and far between. So much so, that when feminist writer Clementine Ford reported about a troll sending her rape threats to his employer in 2015, it caused mass online controversy and outrage.

As a result of speaking out, Ford suffered even more online bullying, during which she was called called a “dumb c**t” and was told she deserved “to be gang raped by a pack of AIDS infested n*****s”.

And while, thankfully, most of you reading today would never go to horrific extremes like this, we’re all guilty of believing that, if we’re sitting behind a screen, we can’t really be held responsible for what we say. That a real, thinking, feeling human isn’t sitting on the other side of that screen, reading what we’re putting out there.

So I’m here to let you know differently. I’m very much here, and I very much have feelings, just like anyone else who’s ever been trolled or abused online.

Please, keep that in mind next time you go to hit ‘Send’.

Follow more of Nadia’s sex and dating misadventures on Instagram.

Have you ever been sent strange or abusive messages online? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.

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