The constant game of grab-ass…just being one of the dudes: A boob scoop here, a nut check there, all happening during regular service. Sure, the customers love it. We are showcasing our comfort and camaraderie to the regulars and this, I suppose, makes us a team, right? I suppose I would not mind it as much if I were not currently struggling with my sexual preference. Over the years I have always identified as heterosexual but as of late I have felt a curiosity and a want to explore, in a manner of speaking, the other side of the bar. I completely understand that our society, given the current political climate, is receptive and supportive of homosexuality but as an exploring bisexual, I fear the shaming and remarks I might receive. I have heard stories where other bisexuals have been put down by others in the community for being indecisive or being too much of a coward to commit to a preference. I know they are only words but I don’t think its something I must constantly be reminded of.
Now as I have these thoughts bouncing around in my head, I try to save face during service and carry on with my duties. Meanwhile, a co-worker utters “behind” as if reaching for a bottle but instead I get fondled and the crew has a laugh. I have a laugh as well, but it’s forced. I tense up. I step away as if reaching for another bottle, masking the futile attempt for reaching peace of mind. Off in the distance, I see the others spank and grind on each other. We all laugh because it’s funny, right? Oh my god, two dudes behind the bar! How quirky! How fun! But among this machismo mire I struggle with who I am.
Several jobs I have worked in the past had similar “games”: I recall an establishment (unnamed to retain my identity) I worked at, the dynamic duo, two guys whom always ate lunch together and drank after work together, nearly inseparable, would prowl mischievously about the building during end of shift and would target other male co-workers and proceed to “rape” them i.e. bend them over boxes or pick them up and lay them on a surface and dry-hump them, hollering and laughing and screaming. The recipient of this game would yell at them to stop, punch them in the nuts, maybe even finish off in a headlock, but the laughs were had after. Luckily I was never a part of this but the imagery was haunting. Minutes later, the game was repeated, a new victims, sexual harassment-perpetuated.
I read these confessions and feel a solidarity with these brave women. They are “twice the man” I’ll ever be. I commend all of these people stepping forward and putting the spotlight on the nightmare some of us still endure. And yes, shocker, a man get get sexually harassed too. And dudes, next time you reach for the “two scoops and a sack of nuts” or whatever, just be conscious that there are many like me that live in the shadows of our sexuality.