my new coworker is the guy who naked-manned me on a Zoom date

A reader writes:

Life has given me a cruel and hilarious plot twist and I’m at a loss of what to do or how to address it. Back in 2020, peak pandemic times, I was doing what many singles did and went on virtual dates with people through apps. One particularly memorable Zoom date was a guy who just randomly started taking his clothes off. Didn’t ask, no indication of why, just … started disrobing. He legit was naked-manning me (How I Met Your Mother clip to explain). At no point was the conversation flirty or sexual in nature — in fact, it wasn’t going well at all.

We had made dinner in our respective kitchens on Zoom, and after eating I was drinking wine and he was making himself cocktails while we talked about our interests, family life, the typical early dating topics. Then suddenly, he just took off his shirt out of nowhere while I was talking about my family or friends. I stopped and said, “Uh, what’s going on here?” and he just shrugged and ignored the question, and said he was going to relocate. So I kept talking thinking it was weird, but whatever, people can be quirky or maybe his AC went out. He started walking back to his bedroom and next thing I know he literally dropped his basketball shorts on the camera and plopped down on his bed in his boxer briefs. I made a comment about it not being that kind of date and suggested clothing stay on, he didn’t acknowledge it and started talking about his family, so I pretty immediately after that noped out of there with a “it’s late, gotta go” for fear of my eyeballs being subjected to the full monty without any kind of warning, and never talked to him again.

That is, until the first day of my new job. Two minutes before joining my first team introduction call, I looked at the org chart and saw that not only is he in my organization, he’s on my immediate team. I swiftly played dumb during the team call, and just pretended to have no idea who he is. He seemed to take the same approach for now.

Sadly, I’ll have to work with him somewhat and he’s the most tenured on the team for questions and internal processes.

My question to you is, how on earth would you handle this going forward? Do I tell anyone? Do I address it with him?


I once had a date do this in-person. We were at his apartment for a drink after dinner and I was standing looking at his books and when I turned back around … yeah.


I very much hope he remembers you and is humiliated … but sadly, I suspect he’s oblivious. In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s done this so much that he doesn’t even have a clear memory of doing it to you.

In a world where I controlled all things, he would be mortified and apologize to you and every other woman he’s attempted to push a non-consensual strip tease on and perhaps would voluntarily retire himself from society for his remaining years. In this world, though, most likely he’s either going to pretend it never happened or he’s going to hit on you again at some point. The former is preferable, so let’s hope for that.

As for what you should do … I wish you had better options, but treating him like you don’t recognize him at all is probably your best one. If you pick up on any weirdness or creepiness — if he’s doing anything that makes you uncomfortable or your experience at work less pleasant — at that point it’s reasonable to seek assistance from either your boss or HR, explaining the history. But as long as he’s treating you the way you’d expect from any other new colleague, both of you acting as if the Zoom debacle didn’t happen is likely your easiest path.

Read an update to this letter

{ 564 comments… read them below }

    1. nobadcats*

      Sweet fancy Moses in a muffin tin. Holy tap dancing Jehoshaphat in roller skates.

      I am… beyond words or superlative exclamations at this. Whooo. Whooo and hooeeeeey. Wow.

      I’m sorry he did this to you, OP, this is… WOW.

    1. MEH Squared*

      I can’t even!

      Alison, I’m assuming you just GTFO as fast as your feet could take you from that creep’s home? Yikes!

    2. Jess*

      The explanation I heard – which makes a kind of sense – is that immature men would be thrilled if their date just spontaneously stripped so they think their date would want that too. It also explains why they send unsolicited dick pics.

      1. Kaiko*

        I disagree – I think it’s about setting up a situation where women, who typically have less power and who more often socialized to be “polite” (deferential to men) have to navigate a scene that is a blatant sexual power play without “hurting the man’s feelings” and therefore becoming even more vulnerable to potential violence.

        This isn’t a quirky but ill-informed decision. it’s a form of sexual violence.

        1. Dr Sarah*

          Agree. And I think for some people it’s also about testing the water; it’s about finding out whether the other person is the kind of person who will put up with boundary violations.

      2. Timothy (TRiG)*

        As I recall (and it’s the middle of my workday, so I’m not stopping to check references now), there’s good evidence that Jess is right: most straight men who do this are clueless and thinking from their own perspective, not deliberately engaging in a power play. (Though, not bothering to stop and consider things from the other person’s perspective is its own form of power play, even if unintentional, I suppose.)

        1. Ilima*

          If he were truly well intentioned but clueless, he would have apologized or at least stopped when she expressed discomfort. The fact that he ignored her when she spoke up and pushed past her boundaries shows that this was purposeful.

  1. Falling Diphthong*

    PSA: If you are on a date and just stripped down to your boxer briefs, do NOT start to talk about your mother.

    1. Margaret Cavendish*

      I mean. You wouldn’t think you’d have to explain that to anyone, but here we are.

      1. A Kittski*

        This is so yikes on the entire Tour de France that even Lance Armstrong found it offensive, and that say a LOT.

  2. I should really pick a name*

    Would it we worth it to just give a heads to the manager that the two of you had a date and it didn’t go well (without getting into specifics)?

    Just in the interest of getting in front of things in case he does something weird.

    1. Curious*

      Where would the conversation go after that though? What is the the manager supposed to do with that information?

      1. Trout 'Waver*

        If I was the manager, I’d want to know so I could keep a close eye on the situation. But I wouldn’t fault the woman for not wanting to bring it forward.

        Honestly, if it was up to me I’d fire his ass.

        1. ArchivesPony*

          Why would you fire him? What he does in his private life, as long as it’s not criminal, is his business. As long as he’s treating the co-worker professionally, it’s not a decent reason to fire someone.

          1. Trout 'Waver*

            Anyone who sexually harasses my team members is automatically on my do not hire list, regardless of where that harassment happens.

            1. Blue*

              I get what you’re saying, but he wasn’t harassing his teammate or your employee when these events occurred (several years ago at this point).

              1. ferrina*

                If you knew someone had a recent history of sexual harassment, regardless of who the target was, you’d think twice about having them on your team (read: I wouldn’t hire them).
                Unfortunately, he’s already on the team. And I’ve seen managers look past waaaaay worse behavior than this to avoid firing someone. Especially if they can claim it’s a he-said, she-said.

                1. Wait_For_It*

                  I would also think there could be legal implications for firing an EXISTING team member for something he did (years ago?) that was not in any way related to his position or work. Off the clock, on a date, no police report, etc… We throw around the words “sexual harassment” so easily, but even the LW seemed more “eyewww” about it than traumatized by this weird, gross, one time thing. And thank god she left the call while he was still in boxers. He could always say he was getting ready to put on some sweatpants and has NO idea why she thought he was getting naked. Firing someone for something they did years ago off the clock with no evidence of ongoing behavior is asking for trouble for the company IMHO.

                1. Trout ‘Waver*

                  To elaborate, if you sexually harass someone and I later hire that person, I think you getting fired is the acceptable consequence of you sexually harassing that person.

            2. Wait_For_It*

              But the LW wasn’t one of the manager’s team members at the time. So you’re thinking she should fire any guy who’s been an a-hole on a date at any time that she becomes aware of, regardless of when it happened?

              1. Spreadsheet Hero*

                Perhaps men should not sexually harass women, including by undressing themselves, while they are on dates.

              2. Trout 'Waver*

                I think if someone sexually harassed a team member, I wouldn’t say it’s OK because it happened a year ago.

                There’s a wide gulf between “a-hole on a date” and the behavior OP describes.

              3. dz*

                Couldn’t reply to your earlier comment, but if this is in America, what legal trouble do you think could arise for firing this guy? being a sexual harasser isn’t a protected class.

                1. Wait_For_It*

                  Because there is no “proof” that he was anything but an a-hole. He started undressing while continuing a concensual conversation, and then when the OP realized what was happening she ended the call. He never got fully naked and started .. .wanking or whatever, and it’d be a “she said I was getting naked but all I was doing was changing into different clothes” or whatever. So, they’d be firing him based on allegations with nothing to back them up. Honestly, that’s a slippery slope for BOTH sexes if any person can go to HR and say “hey he/she harassed me 5 years ago and I think they should be fired.” Personally, I find his behavior repugnant, but as a grown up, independent woman capable of clicking “hang up” on a zoom call and knowing I was in no danger, I wouldn’t consider it harassment so much as a-holery and douche canoe behavior of an immature jackass. Especially if it was YEARS before so clearly it wasn’t an ONGOING issue (which is often required for a claim of harassment: a guy asks you out once, you say no it is not harassment. If he continues to do so, THAT is harassment.) We need to use terms the way they are intended to be used.

          2. Boof*

            Disagree that private life can’t / shouldn’t impact work life (see, every person who made a terrible social media post then got fired for it)
            I will agree that while the whole thing is horribly yuck, it was long enough ago and ultimately probably “harmless” enough (I just don’t have a better word for this right now, I am in no way saying this behavior isn’t ok or all the red flags, just that assault/trauma levels of bad behavior might get a different reaction; basically the worse the deed, the longer/harder it follows) that it doesn’t seem to require any immediate consequences.
            That being said, if he’s had a track record of being sketch where he is now, and manager knows about it, this could be the straw that broke the camel’s back. So that would be the one thing in favor of saying something in my mind, in a “heads up this happened once hopefully it’s all in the past” sort of way

            1. Generic Mid-Career HR Person*

              This makes the most sense. If there has already been a track record of him receiving “warnings” then this could set up the final strike. Documenting that he has actually done something to or said something inappropriate about the new employee during her employment could be his exit ticket. This skips the need (and pain) of having to endure and document multiple new infractions.

          1. She of Many Hats*

            Exposing one’s self to someone who hasn’t consented to it can legally be a form of sexual assault. The Zoom location puts it in murky territory but it *was* non-consensual. Depending on the industry, job, & work-site behavior, it could be grounds for firing. If this guy had even a single pre-existing complaint that fell anywhere near harassment and a new employee brought this to me, I would really have to consider the big picture with him and the company’s legal risk keeping him.

            1. Retired Accountant*

              Don’t the boxer briefs also put this in murky territory? I mean, of course it’s creepy and yuck, but this level of disrobement can be shown on 8 p.m. network tv.

              1. Chirpy*

                People consent to watching shows where boxers might be seen on TV, though.

                It’s like going to the beach, where people have consented to being seen in swimwear, versus creeping on someone who is in their underwear. Same levels of clothing, the difference is the consent.

                1. Retired Accountant*

                  “Can legally be a form of sexual assault” is a strong statement when applied to someone in their underwear. I was interested in whether that was true. Still unclear.

                2. Princess Sparklepony*

                  I can’t nest below PPukeko’s comment apparently but check out that ad. It’s hilarious. And good advice. Thank you, P, for posting the link. Although it took me a minute to figure out what togs were. Cultural differences!

          2. Trout 'Waver*

            I’d rather not work with people who non-consensually expose themselves. Regardless of where it happen.s

          3. yala*

            I mean, to me this shows an ASTOUNDING lack of judgment and respect for boundaries, which seems like it could be a problem.

        2. Melissa*

          Fire him for what? Being a bad date? He was on Zoom in his underwear. The letter writer has every right in the world to spread this titillating info around and humiliate him, but his employer needs to stay out of it.

        3. NerdyKris*

          Why would you fire him? The incident happened years ago and she wasn’t an employee. It was gross and weird, but you can’t fire people for things they did outside of work and didn’t involve any coworkers at the time.

          1. Baron*

            I mean, whether you should is a different question, but in most circumstances, you can fire anyone for any reason or no reason.

          2. BatManDan*

            yes, yes you can. And sometimes, you even SHOULD. (Not saying this IS or IS NOT an appropriate case for firing, but it’s LEGAL and sometimes even MORAL to do it.)

            1. High Score!*

              That would make you the judge and jury and prosecutor of crimes outside the office. So if I get mad at Karen then I can just go to you and say that we went on a date and she exposed herself. Then Karen says no and accuses me of being the exposer. Who did it? Is this dude a jerk? Yes. But it happened before he was hired and outside of the workplace.

              1. ShanShan*

                What kind of logic is this? Do you work in some kind of Panopticon where supervisors are watching their employees every working moment?

                Lots of things happen in workplaces that employees don’t directly see. Any workplace that would only discipline someone if a manager witnessed their misconduct firsthand would be a terrible workplace.

                There’s a process for this. You question both people, ask both for evidence, and figure out whose story is more plausible. You don’t just throw up your hands and say “oh, well, I wasn’t standing in the room staring at you when you did it, so it must not have happened.

                1. Netlawyer*

                  No this isn’t it – as someone who has been single and dating for pretty much all of my adult life you run across people you dated in professional situations. It happens.

                  Sometimes you or they were your/their worst selves – but you move on and when the “Oh hey, it’s you.” moment comes up in any professional setting, it’s best to assume clean slate. If the “clean slate” approach doesn’t work – the clock starts over and only actions/issues related to the new environment are relevant to the new environment.

                  This guy was a weirdo on a zoom call with a woman he met on a dating site a few years ago. So, fine, he’s a weirdo. He might do this or something like it to every woman he goes out with. But unless he’s a weirdo at work – those are two separate things. People are allowed to be weirdos outside of work, but if this guy gets weird to OP *at work* then there might be an issue.

              2. yala*

                The dude isn’t just “a jerk.” He sexually harassed someone who very clearly told him No.

                I mean, ideally you wouldn’t go and tell your boss a vicious lie just because you didn’t like someone. But I think maybe if they have the option not to put OP on a team with someone who did this to her, that would be a good thing?

              3. Boof*

                “at will” employment != government incarceration / legal system.
                A manager can fire for any reason that isn’t within the protected classes. Firing someone for being a creep in their free time is A ok.
                That being said, magnitude of the bad behavior, time of the event, current track record, etc all play into whether it’s really warranted. People who once did creepy or even terrible things should eventually have a way forward if they change their ways. They don’t just disappear, they are people too. The point of justice isn’t punishment in my mind, it’s to stop new offenses.

            2. Statler von Waldorf*

              Yes, the US has at-will employment, and firing someone for this would be legal in all but one US state. (Montana IIRC?) Being a creepy date is not a protected class.

              However, there are more countries in the world than the US. In Canada, this would not qualify as just cause for firing and would NOT be legal. I know this for a fact, as a previous employer had an issue where an employee did something that reflected poorly on the company outside of working hours, and we were informed by a very expensive lawyer that it didn’t matter and we still had to pay out his legally mandated severance before we could fire him.

              1. Baron*

                Yeah, I’m also Canadian. I agree with you that this wouldn’t be just cause, but disagree that it “would NOT be legal”. As you say at the end of your post, Canadian companies sometimes have to pay severance when firing without cause…but we can still fire just about anyone just about anytime for just about any reason, unless human rights are involved. We just have to pay them severance. You’re pretty much never safe from being fired.

          3. metadata minion*

            If we were talking something he did as a teenager and they’re both in their 30s now, I’m happy to let him have a clean slate. But “years ago” in this case is just “it probably was more than one year”. Unless we’re talking about recent college grads, I’m going to assume that you’re roughly as likely to sexually harass people now as you were 2-3 years ago.

        4. Portia*

          Trying to make employers the arbiters of their employees’ personal lives (and opinions) is a most unfortunate trend. Firing people based on unsubstantiated allegations* would be a worse one. Anybody can say anything about anybody.

          *Not that I doubt the LW — not at ALL.

          1. Melissa*

            100% absolutely. I believe her too— but I’m not in charge of someone else’s employment. One person telling their manager that Susie did something gross, means Susie immediately gets fired? That’s not a world I want to live in.

        5. jasmine*

          All of the replies to comment….

          There are many things that fall under “what you do in your personal life shouldn’t affect how you’re treated at work” but sexual harassment is not one of them.

          I know many wouldn’t consider this harassment but honestly I’d argue that’s just cause the bar is so low…

          1. High Score!*

            This is sexual harassment but unless she got a screenshot then it’s important to prove. Do we really want managers firing people based on hearsay? Bad idea. Someone could be telling your manager things about you that be they true or false could get you fired.

            1. Sue Sudio*

              Yes, because “I’d better take a screenshot of this in case someone needs proof of this later” is reasonable to expect of someone being exposed to this without their consent. /s

              1. Kara*

                Huh. I guess it says something about how often i was disbelieved as a child that a screenshot for proof would be my -first- thought.

            2. jasmine*

              I don’t think anyone is saying people should be fired immediately based off of one report.

              But if it’s known to be true, it’s absolutely something worth firing someone over and many comments seem to implying otherwise.

            3. The Shenanigans*

              Good thing there are well-understood HR procedures for such a situation. Seriously, bosses who just go, “Oh well,” and ignore it are bad bosses. The managers could simply use some critical thinking skills, and it will be obvious who is telling the truth. But a looooot of managers are lazy, unfortunately. This makes AAM’s advice probably the best for now. Rest assured, LW, this dude will do something else entitled, obnoxious, and sexist sooner rather than later. Then the LW can tell her story and add it to the evidence.

              1. may spring rain*

                I don’t understand this reasoning at all. Using critical thinking skills to see who is telling the truth?


            4. Trout 'Waver*

              Hearsay is when you tell someone what someone else told you. So this isn’t hearsay. This is the OP’s direct experience.

              1. Criminologist*

                Right, this is an eyewitness statement, which is direct evidence (as opposed to circumstantial evidence)

      2. I should really pick a name*

        Nothing hopefully, but if something comes up, there’s context.

        1. Emily*

          I think the other important context here is LW is the new person on the team and creepy mc creeperson has been on the team and has the most tenure. If it were the other way around, I would definitely be advocating for LW to let her manager know, but since LW is still so new, I think Alison’s advice is the way to do. (LW, I am so sorry this happened to you. Just having to exist as a woman can be exhausting at times).

      3. Sc@rlettNZ*

        Exactly. If I was her manager I’d think it was a really odd thing to do – it was several years ago, it wasn’t at work, they weren’t colleagues at the time (in fact did he even work at the company when it happened?).

        Of course if he acted inappropriately at work I’d want to know.

    2. KHB*

      I had the same thought. And I think the answer is, it depends. If you think the manager is savvy enough to read between the lines and realize that “our date didn’t go well” means “he creeped on me in a way that I don’t really want to go into right now,” then yeah, that could be a good idea. But if the manager is an oblivious man himself, trying to loop him in could just get you branded as a whiny troublemaker who doesn’t know when to stop talking about her personal dramas.

      1. Olive*

        But if you’re not willing to be specific, there are a lot of ways that someone could read between the lines, from “I felt a vague sense of unease around him” to “he tried to assault me but I’m not ready to admit that.”

        1. Yorick*

          Unfortunately, a lot of people would interpret “our date didn’t go well” from a woman as “he didn’t call me for a second date.” Some specifics are probably necessary.

      2. Ann Onymous*

        In my experience, most het-cis men don’t understand “I was creeped out/felt unsafe” subtext unless it’s specifically spelled out for them because it’s not something they have to be attuned to in the same way that women and LGBTQIA+ people often are.

        1. Cyborg Llama Horde*

          I once had a conversation with a cishet man coworker, in which we were discussing housing options for an offsite retreat, and I explicitly said, “I am concerned that not everyone, particularly people who are new and don’t know people very well yet, will feel safe sharing a room with a coworker.” … and somehow the conversation wound up being about whether people were comfortable, where ‘not comfortable’ was clearly a bar along the lines of ‘vaguely don’t want to.’

          And I don’t think I managed to really get the point across that when I said ‘safe’ I didn’t even necessarily mean psychological safety, but that I could imagine circumstances where someone would be scared about getting beaten up. I wasn’t worried that that was an actual risk, but if you’ve worked somewhere for less than half a year and are getting dragged on a tour bus to some camp three hours in the middle of nowhere (for some staff, in a different country)? It might be a reasonable concern, depending on one’s circumstances.

          FWIW they did eventually offer a few single rooms, for people who really wanted them, but I felt like we were speaking different languages the whole time.

          1. coffee*

            I wonder if they interpret “I would feel unsafe” as a passing feeling that would go away once you settle in, vs. a constant ongoing feeling until you’re out of the situation? Especially since “pretend everything’s fine” is how we often have to deal with these kinds of things.

            1. rebelwithmouseyhair*

              They just don’t understand that women have to be wary of men at all times. That we have to be wary of all men because the dangerous ones don’t have a warning label attached.

      3. Siege*

        And the other part of it is that LW is the new person. The manager, good bad or otherwise, has zero context to know whether LW is telling the truth or very high drama. It’s not worth it. I would say differently if LW had tenure and he was the new guy, but then a known bad actor is being brought on board, and that changes the dynamics.

      1. linger*

        If he ever does bring it up, that’s a perfect opportunity for the line
        “Oh, I didn’t recognise you with your clothes on.”

        1. OP (So cool I cause Paradoxical Undressing)*

          LOL! I’m extremely tempted to ask “Did you ever get that mole checked out?”

        2. A Kittski*

          Or better yet, “Oh, it’s you! It was such a small thing (*gestures vaguely*) that I hardly even remember you.”

      2. Not Tom, Just Petty*

        I wonder if he remembers her.
        I’m betting she didn’t make half the impression on him that he did on her.
        It was very likely his Zoom date MO. If OP just wrapped up the call, didn’t make a scene, he probably chalked it up to a lame date, moved on to the next person and forgot about her.

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          I’m sure he was applying some POA crap to all his Zoom dates–just strip down! Sooner or later you’ll have a date who’s into it! (Or so paralyzed with horror she doesn’t shut off her camera as you talk about your MOM in your UNDERWEAR.)

          1. Not Tom, Just Petty*

            I agree it was part of his routine. If it works, it works. If not, NEXT.

    3. nnn*

      I’m not sure that “we had a date and it didn’t go well” is informative enough – when I think of a date that didn’t go well, I think of the guy who spent the whole time lecturing me about everything he thought I was doing wrong in my life.

      It might be more relevant if it ever comes up to say “We went on one date a couple of years ago, and based on that experience I’m not sure if I feel safe alone with him.” But it is a really tricky situation and I don’t know the right answer, because it depends so much on how much existing trust the manager has for this guy and how inclined the manager is to take the word of the new person.

      1. Bunny Lake Is Found*

        Yes, I think “didn’t go well” is so broad it might just mean “our personalities aren’t compatible for a partnership” or it could mean “She literally tried to stab me when I tried to leave the room.”

        I think not saying something is the best plan unless and until Naked Man does something that makes LW feel like he is boundary violating her in a work context. Then I think a trip to manager or HR with a “I was just going to chalk this up to ‘It was a lockdown, we all forgot some of our social cues, and maybe this was totally out of character for Naked Man’ but then when he did X on the job, I realized I had to say something because he has a real problem respecting the normal/professional boundaries with women.”

        1. Totally Minnie*

          This is a really good script, but I hope to all the deities in all the universes that LW does r have to use it.

        2. goddessoftransitory*

          I think this is very good way to handle it. You were professional and willing to let it go. If he does as well, okay. If he doesn’t, HR.

        3. OP (So cool I cause Paradoxical Undressing)*

          This is a really great script! I’m going to keep it in my back pocket

    4. Elle*

      Maybe this is helicopter-boss of me, but if one of my reports were in this situation, I’d be glad to know it. I wouldn’t feel entitled to that info, of course, but if someone shared it with me, I would be super glad to have it in mind if something horrid happened later.

    5. Artemesia*

      Nah — hope he stays quiet. IF he does anything hinky then immediately to to your boss and HR with details of his date behavior and that you hoped he would be mortified and not bring it into the workplace but alas your ignoring it had not worked out. You don’t want to stir these waters unless you have to. Women often don’t ‘win’ in these situations.

    6. I have RBF*

      Naah. While it’s one or more of a) bad boundaries, b) clueless about video etiquette or c) bad judgement, or d) borderline sexual harassment, it’s also several years in the past and in a dating context, which lots and lots of people are really weird about. No, it’s not okay in a dating context, IMO, but he was not naked.

      It was not in a professional context, though. It’s not like he was masturbating on a workplace Zoom call.

  3. DEJ*

    As much as I love the advice on this site that has actually been helpful and useful to me in the workplace, it’s the questions like this that I live for.

    1. Wtflurker*

      I don’t work, not even expected to work (for health reasons), and don’t live in the US, so have precisely zero use for any of the advice here; but I read this site for questions like this! (because the ‘coworker stole my lunch, got sick, and I got fired’ article once trundled through my social media and I just had to know…)

  4. mango chiffon*

    folks my jaw dropped…particularly at the sans-pants, talking about his family portion

  5. anon for this*

    My headcanon says that, somewhere, an evil mastermind has created a subReddit that hands out these “dating tips” to men as part of an evil scheme to completely stop human reproduction and depopulate the earth.

    I mean, it’s slightly less awful than believing that guys are just… like this. *sigh*

    1. BatManDan*

      It’s not a new thing. Doing the math, the story I’m about to relate dates to 1981 or 1982. Told to me by a steady girlfriend in college. She was a debutante, and had a “sponsor” (an older male friend of the family that granted access to the social club that holds these sorts of things), and he took her home after one event, followed her into her apartment, and took his clothes off. (Keep mind, this man was her parents’ age, or thereabouts.) That level of patriarchy and entitlement kills me, as a guy. Infuriating.

      1. Yvette*

        So what happened? Did she knee him in the crotch, did she laugh at him, did her father beat the crap out of him, did her mother beat the crap out of him, what?

      2. Jezebella*

        Yep, this has been going on since AT LEAST the 80s. No, wait. My mom told me a story about a guy who dropped trou and demanded, ahem, servicing, on a date when she was in high school. In the 1950s. He threatened to tell everybody she was a slut whether she did it or not. She opted out. Knowing her, she probably also told all her girlfriends what a creep he was.

        ANYWAY: it was the 1950s. So while Reddit can be terrible, it’s not to blame.

    2. goddessoftransitory*

      Unfortunately no evil scientist has yet been able to beat “what random guy honestly thought seemed like a good idea.”

      1. Charlotte Lucas*

        TBH, whenever I see a guy doing something astonishingly stupid/dangerous/ill-conceived, I assume he’s trying to Impress Women.

        What he’s actually doing is waving gigantic red flags to ward off potential partners.

        1. Random Dice*

          I think you’re underestimating their desire to play out a sexual fantasy that revolves around power over a lesser person (i.e. female)… and the sheer hubris of being able to get away with things by being a male interacting with a female.

          1. Charlotte Lucas*

            I am including actions like riding bikes on city streets with no hands (saw one with his feet on the handlebars), acting like they’re a racecar driver, bad singing in public, & other non-sexually behavior that seems to occur mainly when a woman might be watching.

            1. Lenora Rose*

              If his feet are on the handlebars, how is he pedalling?

              Male friend of mine used to bike with no hands all the time, including times he had no reason to think I or any other girl could observe. he was proud of the skill but it didn’t seem to be exclusively about thinking girls would find it “cool”.

              He stopped in high school when he had an unexplained medical collapse while on the bike (like a seizure except it never repeated and his brain showed no signs of it) and broke his arm.

  6. learnedthehardway*

    I would pretend ignorance – odds are, he doesn’t remember who you are. My guess that he routinely does/did this and you’re one of many. Which is disturbing, but probably gives you some anonymity. If he had remembered you, I think he would have blocked you from being hired – probably would have claimed you were a crazy ex or a former horrible colleague.

    I would, however, be wary of whether he behaves appropriately going forward, and would document anything odd/untoward.

    1. Sloanicota*

      Yeah I’d try to avoid being isolated or alone with this person, because he’s sense of both consent and social cues seem off, and he has already lost one strike here (there are only two strikes before I go to HR/my manager/his manager). I’d also document the situation now before anything weird happens, just in case. CYA, OP.

    2. goddessoftransitory*

      I would worry that he honestly thought she “just misunderstood” and would like to go on another date so he could iron things out (in his underwear.)

      I would definitely keep documentation of any odd behaviors, especially anything that seems to be sending feelers in that direction.

    3. Jopestus*

      Yep. One of my mates fell to that kind of idiocy for a while and i would say that he does not even remember. It is a numbers game. Thousand times “EWWW WTF” and one catch means a catch. He returned to normal after he got some weird looks from guy friends who are not in those internet circles.

      I would rather not get into the common reasoning behind the actions tho. There is a method to madness and an incredibly twisted logic as well, but somehow i think those lost souls should be pitied. Not tolerated in the slightest, quite the opposite, and there is a perfectly valid reasoning to be disgusted and wary, i even recommend to, but they are still simply pitiful.

    4. rebelwithmouseyhair*

      I doubt he’d had blocked her being hired, after all he may see this as an opportunity for another chance with her. He probably doesn’t feel anything beyond “damn that one got away”, he certainly has no idea that OP views him as a creep. Nobody ever defines themselves as creeps, and let’s face it, there always are worse creeps to point at.

  7. Hills to Die on*

    Had one whip his cucumber out on a date out of nowhere.
    Had one turn on porn out of nowhere then turn it off after I asked 3 times WTH he’s doing. One of which was when his roommate walked into the apartment and he LEFT IT ON
    and of course the D!ck pics.

    Honestly. Goobers.

    1. singularity*

      I had more than one co-worker get flashed on a zoom call by high school boys during lockdown. They made us record all those meetings and boy, turning those recordings in were a *fun* time.

      1. Moryera*

        No kidding, I’m sure the legal department had a VERY fun time dealing with THAT mess…

  8. Moonlight Elantra*

    Oh wow, I can’t believe someone tried The Naked Man in real life! More than once!

    1. Hotdog not dog*

      Sadly, only the name is new. I’ve had it happen to me, the first time was in the early 90s. We were at a friend’s house for a party, just hanging out, playing darts. I turned around and there he was. He later told our mutual friends that he did it to get my attention. It didn’t occur to him that not all attention is desirable!

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        Getting buck nekkid in front of somebody who’s holding darts? That’s impressive levels of misguided confidence.

        1. RVA Cat*

          Maybe he has a small…target?
          But the dart could miss right into his femoral artery and kill him.

      2. Pam Poovey*

        Seems like a good way to get a dart somewhere you reeeeeeeally don’t want one to be.

    2. Bibliothecarial*

      It happened to my sister too. In person, unfortunately. And now I can no longer go to my favorite coffee shop because he works there and I hate him.

    3. Boof*

      Flashing has a long and storied history, back up to, what, saint paul? Some people for what ever reason think it’s just amazing to force a women to see their junk. It was actually kind of funny how even Paul (?) was like “wtf young me” in his memoirs I had to read in college, even if he was permanently kind of gross towards women.

  9. Sloanicota*

    As a born and bred member of an extremely avoidant, denial-heavy culture, I’m pleased to find there are so many situations where this instinct is still valuable. I would act as if I had never met this person SO HARD. Even if directly confronted by this person I would deny, deny, deny that it ever happened or I had any memory of it. What date. What zoom meeting. It’s nice to meet you, Chadwick, I’m Sloanicota, a completely new person you’ve never encountered before. How about that [work topic]?

    1. Melissa*

      SAME. “Oh Melissa, I just recognized you— we had a Zoom date during the pandemic.”
      “Oh did we? Hm I dunno, I went out with so many guys during the lockdown.”
      “No— don’t you remember? It was going so well that I took my pants off.”
      “Hmm, I’m sure I’d remember that.”

      1. Water Everywhere*

        Or instead of your last line how about: “Hmm, nothing memorable comes to mind” :D

    2. Tinkerbell*

      I would LOVE to be a fly on the wall for a “hi, I’m a completely new person you’ve never encountered before” intro (in literally those words).

      1. nnn*

        It would be entertaining to introduce yourself to actual new people you’ve never encountered before that way! It would leave them wondering!

        1. 3DogNight*

          It has a very What We Do In the Shadows vibe about it! And Naked Man would absolutely have to be Colin (the energy vampire).

          1. WantonSeedStitch*

            It really does sound very WWDITS. But the line sounds more like Nandor to me! But getting naked over a Zoom date strikes me as more Laszlo.

              1. pope suburban*

                Possibly while showing off his topiary in the garden, which is not a euphemism, but no more appropriate for that. :’D

      1. Phony Genius*

        Picturing to myself the Garden of Eden with banana peels replacing the fig leaves.

    1. Presea*

      Banana pants minus the pants is just the banana, after all. (My apologies, I’ll see myself out…)

      1. Presea*

        I hadn’t seen any of the other people making this same joke when I typed and sent this, the page had been loaded for a while

  10. OhHELLno*

    This is not the most professional advice, but…if this were me, I would make sure everyone on my team (or in the org, as is reasonable) knows this story. Shouldn’t be hard, this is the kind of gossip that will spread quickly without you doing much. Then when he inevitably does something creepy to you or anyone else there, it will be much easier to get rid of him. And he will, guys like this don’t just do one specific creepy thing. I’m sorry you have to deal with this at work.

    1. OhNo*

      Honestly, you could bring this up in any worst date story time chat sessions you have with your colleagues. Don’t mention who it was, no details, just tell this wild story about a Zoom date where the guy took his pants off… and hope that he sees and hears all of his colleagues getting grossed out by that behavior.

      Either he recognizes you and thinks you don’t recognize him after all this time, or he doesn’t recognize you and realizes that he’s not the only one doing this behavior. Either way, he hopefully gets shamed-by-proxy enough to stop being such a dang creep.

      1. i like hound dogs*

        YES, I love this idea so much. Wait for a social hour and then tell the story to everyone in a way that implies that the behavior is both laughable and disgusting. Maybe pontificate on what has to be wrong with someone to do something like this. I’d personally make it a little belittling, because I would want to make him feel small and send the message I KNOW WHO YOU ARE.

        [[[[probably not the best professional advice, lol]]]]

      2. mx burnout*

        This is delightfully tempting advice but I would caveat that it’s possible that “Ew, that’s disgusting!” is precisely the reaction this guy wants in terms of what, uh, excites him. Obviously it’s absolutely flipping inappropriate and creepy on every level for him to set up this kind of non-consensual role-play, but it’s disturbingly common.

        1. Kermit's Bookkeepers*

          Oh definitely, but it’s equally possible that his kink is “Haha, nobody knows I’M the masked naked man and no one will ever point their finger at meeeee!” And I think it’s likely that someone with either kink wouldn’t want it to come up, even indirectly, in the workplace.

          LW, if you ever find yourself in a happy hour where the conversation skews this way, I would 1000% bring it up!

          1. RVA Cat*

            I want to be the fly on the wall if this happens when his significant other is there.

      3. Starfleet HVAC Engineering*

        On the other hand, he could be some incel asshole who decides that any woman who embarrasses him like that deserves to be “punished.” Such is our world now thanks to Gamergate and MAGA.

    2. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

      In a social situation, I’m with you. Go at length about how pathetic, desperate and useless this behavior is. But at work, don’t subject coworkers to naked-zoom-date stories. It might actually blow back as sexual harassment on the storyteller, and this is probably the type of dude-bro who would fake all pearl-clutching offense that he was subjected to raunchy “sex” talk at work.

    3. Aquamarine*

      I don’t think it’s inevitable that he’s going to do something creepy at work. People can do what they need to do to be respected at work and still be creepy in their off hours.

      And LW is the new person here – I wouldn’t want to spread a story like this around among people I don’t know well.

  11. FoxInABox*

    I’m not sure if it’s a good or a bad thing that this was the first new post to appear JUST AFTER I recommended this site to my own manager and shared a link…

    1. Lydia*

      It does and does not give an accurate overview of what this site offers, and that’s the magic of it.

      1. Allornone*

        I agree! It’s a relatable workplace problem (having a new coworker you once went on a bad date with), the answer to which could help many readers in similar situations, while still providing the juicy entertainment that sometimes makes this site sparkle. I saw it’s the perfect introductory post.

    2. Anon Today*

      I’m right there with you. A co-worker of mine made a very minor reply-all mistake today… nothing major, no sensitive content, no endless chain…but she was still really embarrassed about it. So to make her feel better, I sent her a link to an old AAM post about reply-all fiascos, with this note: “In case you aren’t familiar with AAM, the site is generally safe for work, but I can’t guarantee you won’t see swear words in the comments”.

      And then I remembered this post.

  12. fanciestcat*

    I wonder if How I Met Your Mother actually helped popularize naked-manning, considering that while some characters express disgust, the whole thing was mostly played as a joke. Also, they kept throwing out that “It works one in three times!” statistic and show it working at least twice. Honestly, a lot of the jokes around pickup culture and dating in that show have not aged well…

    1. Ellis Bell*

      Thank you for highlighting this. I always felt the show missed the mark by miles on just how “funny” indecent exposure was. Sorry, but simply being on a date is not a green light for something that’s a crime in the park.

    2. Allornone*

      A lot of things in that show have not aged well. I used to love it, but now I watch it and am kinda disturbed at times. Ted Mosby is the worst. He’s right up there with Ross Geller.

      1. Daisy-dog*

        Agreed. There are still aspects of the show that were done SO WELL – the constant callback jokes, much of the writing style, certain creative episodes, etc. But too much of it just feels icky that it’s not one that I revisit.

        1. Allornone*

          You’re right- at times, the show was flipping genius, but yeah, it just kind of feels too icky.

      2. Hannah Lee*


        I actually cannot watch that show and I remember loving at least the first season of it.

        Ted is one reason I dislike it, though to be honest he was always the worst. And the pickup culture and dating culture was iffy then and horrible now. But that last season… ugh! So bad, in a way that retroactively ruined the previous seasons.

      3. Modesty Poncho*

        Yeah, I was very sad to realize that I couldn’t watch the show anymore without getting ragingly angry at Ted, knowing that in the end the writers didn’t see how hideously unhealthy his and Robin’s relationship was. Up until that news came out you could laugh at how obviously in the wrong he was…

      4. Dr Sarah*

        I’m fascinated by the fact that people are saying Ted Mosby was the worst, because Barney was truly appalling and I’m wondering what it was about Ted that people think was worse? Quite open to being convinced; haven’t seen the show in years so have probably forgotten all sorts of things about it.

        1. Oska*

          Barney was an obvious douchebag, that was his entire character. While he intentionally misled and used others (mostly women), he never hid what kind of person he was when he was with the other main characters.

          Ted, meanwhile, was presented to the audience as a nice guy, but was a Nice Guy(TM), i.e. actually the kind of everyday appalling dude a lot of women have dated before. It wasn’t shocking that he couldn’t hold onto a relationship. I actually gave up on the series before the last season, so I have no idea how he convinced the titular Mother to stay.

          It’s like comparing Voldemort and Umbridge: Voldemort is the Big Bad, and doesn’t hide it. Murders people, hunts down the “lesser” class, institutes a fascist rule, etc. etc. Umbridge is maybe a lesser evil in terms of number and types of offenses committed, but a lot of people found her more horrifying, because she is more real.

    3. birch*

      YEP. It’s played as a joke but this is some serious consent violation! I’m glad (sad to say) it only happened to OP over Zoom, because this happening in person is terrifying (he ignored OP asking about it as if it wasn’t happening!) and nobody is taking it seriously enough. So many stories start out like this and end up much worse. I don’t even care how unprofessional it may or may not be, I would spread around the knowledge that this person is not safe to be alone with. No need to go into details but just that it had to do with consent.

  13. CharChar*

    As he is on your immediate team, track anything inappropriate and don’t dismiss it as “I must have imagined it”
    He has already displayed inappropriate behaviour, has been getting away with it and hopefully he behaves in the workplace but I wouldn’t bet on it.

    1. GammaGirl1908*

      +100. He has already shown that he’s delighted to storm right up to the line of inappropriateness and hope for the best. Those types don’t keep that confined to Zoom for long.

    2. Observer*


      It’s possible that he compartmentalizes, and so behaves himself at work. On the other hand, you know with great certainty that he can be extremely inappropriate (to be clinical about it). So keep your eyes open.

      1. birch*

        Even if he behaves himself *at* work, what if he tries to date another coworker? Or ends up in a friend group tangential to these coworkers? The line between work and personal life can be pretty thin, depending on how friendly you are with your team. IMO OP’s responsibility to warn people could potentially extend to non-work situations (as a friend, not as a coworker) if they’re close with the other coworkers and know this information about this guy.

    1. Lana Kane*

      He’s a predator. He’s testing the waters to see who will be too uncomfortable to end the date.

    2. GammaGirl1908*

      As a woman… I wish there were way fewer of this guy, but unfortunately there are way more of him.

      1. Lenora Rose*

        I honestly think they’re a minority among men… but they’re a memorable and really nasty minority, and women meet so many men – including, for more women than not, attempting to date so many – that the odds are still very high that any given woman will have met at least one.

    3. goddessoftransitory*

      He’s read too many POA sites and honestly thinks that putrid “advice” works.

    4. Pescadero*

      Right… I literally can’t even…
      Please, everyone… just keep your junk to yourself unless it’s requested.

  14. BJP*

    Ok, I think Alison’s advice is probably the safest bet for the LW but I want to offer one counter-point, which is to let your most trusted woman or gay man in HR know that you “had a date several years ago and it was very uncomfortable, and even if he does not remember the evening, you wanted to make sure to disclose this in advance, just in case it ever became an issue, which you hope it never does.”

    Perhaps Naked Man does remember the LW and is going to play ignorant while making OTHER women in the workplace feel uncomfortable, and if one of those women goes to HR then LW’s initial report may help the next instance with this guy be taken seriously as part of a pattern of behavior.

    1. Csethiro Ceredin*

      I tend to agree. OP can make it clear that she is fine working with him and won’t be telling people this admittedly juicy story. But still, this guy wasn’t showing a normal level of respect for boundaries/consent and while that may have been an outlier, it may also reflect his general attitudes. In which case it’s better that someone know this if anything else dubious happens.

    2. Gaia Madre*

      Agreed. And not just uncomfortable, but “He disrobed in front of me without my consent. I ended the call and never spoke to him again.”

    3. Texas Teacher*

      Except this is a new job for the LW, so there’s probably no one person she can trust yet. I would just watch and wait and pretend it never happened.
      Maybe tomorrow we will get a letter from this guy, reformed from bad judgment on dates and suitably mortified, asking Alison if he should say something and apologize, (does she recognize him??) or if he should pretend it never happened.

    4. Observer*

      In theory, it’s a good idea. I think that the others are right, though, that the OP being new is gong to make is a bit harder.

  15. But Not the Hippopotamus*

    Does anyone else think that it would be good to practice, in the event that he hits on OP, saying something like, “You just weren’t impressive enough in your boxers on that Zoom date, sorry.” With a look of pity.

    Ok, not appropriate, but forgive me — I just had hours of unexpected medical stuff so I am fully of snark at the moment.

    1. TeaCoziesRUs*

      Completely unrelated, but I LOVE your username. I have too many of her books memorized. :)

      1. WantonSeedStitch*

        Did you see the video of the guy who put “Moo Baa La La La” to the tune of Bad Romance?

        1. linger*

          There’s also the “unexpected medical stuff” version titled “Bad Project”.
          Complete with biochem lab-geek versions of La Gaga’s wardrobe.

      2. Lenora Rose*

        My husband noted that But Not the Hippopotamus is a very very good intro to explaining social anxiety. Plus our kids just loved it anyhow.

  16. Hotdog not dog*

    On the bright side, there will be no learning curve whatsoever as to whether your new coworker has good judgment. You already know. (and EW! Why does this happen? PSA to all men, THIS IS NOT A GOOD IDEA! I promise you she will not think it’s cute.)

    1. She of Many Hats*


    2. Sanity Lost*

      On the plus side; I have 2 sons in their early 20’s. Whenever one of these stories pops up, I discuss it with them and when appropriate their tweenage sister.
      1) to ensure they know how certain behaviors are perceived and why they are wrong.
      2) to reinforce it I ask how they would perceive it if someone did this to their little sister

      The d*ck pic discussion (especially regarding reason #2) had them both promising to never do so. The further discussion of what they would do to such an offender was hysterical. (All legal, I promise, the best one was they would submit commentary and not flatteringly).

      I’ve found these “AITA” discussions are very useful in understanding societal rules far better for all 3 of my kids.

  17. Dee-Nice*

    LW, I sincerely hope this works out for you, and he steers clear as much as possible, and causes you no further unpleasantness. I support the Pretend You Don’t Know Him tactic.

    BLESSINGS UPON YOU from all that is high and holy for sharing this with us. I hope something exceedingly nice happens for you this week.

  18. Polar Vortex*

    Sometimes I wish I could hand off my ability to feel embarrassed over everything (and over things that are decades old) off to people who clearly need it more than me.

    Good luck continuing to pretend nothing ever happened LW! And I hope he shows better judgement at work.

    1. goddessoftransitory*

      Oh, what a great idea! “Got some old embarrassment lying around? Need to get some sleep for once instead of brooding over that junior high dance at 3 a.m.? Call 1-800-KLN-SKUL, where operators are standing by! We’ll take all those old blushes and mortifying moments and recycle them where they can do real good in the world!”

    1. Juicebox Hero*

      This is what my late great brother would call “Life’s Rich Pageant.”

    2. BatManDan*

      The one I heard was “it takes all kinds to make the world go ’round,” to which the wise old man said “It don’t TAKE all kinds, we just GOT all kinds.”

    3. Rainy*

      I always say “It takes all kinds to fill the highway”, which I got from my mother.

  19. Veryanon*

    Plausible deniability is the way to go here. If/when he ever brings it up, just pretend you have no idea what he’s talking about. “We had a date? Are you sure? I date a lot of people.” And no, don’t ever ever mention it to him because he might see it as some kind of gross invitation for more come-ons.

  20. Allornone*

    Okay, men, not that you or any members of our illustrious commentariat would do something like that, but do you have any insight as to why these weirdos think it’s okay? I mean, is it that they would (maybe not so) secretly want women to do this and think it must be the same for us? Because, as I”m sure you know, it’s not. It’s really not. Heck, I’m bisexual and I would be horrified if any date, man or woman, did this. I just can’t comprehend the (lack of) logic, tact, and general sense of appropriateness.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      I have thought about this a lot (I find it really interesting!) and yes, my theory is that they would like it if a woman did that to them, and they are so unaware of the world around them that therefore they assume women must feel the same. That, or they think the world works like porn does.

      1. Csethiro Ceredin*

        I asked a group of guy friends about catcalling (different, but some overlap, I think) and they said some men do think women would like it, but others see it as a power move, like “I’m going to aggressively sexualize you and there’s nothing you can do about it”.

        1. Pay No Attention To The Man Behind The Curtain*

          yeah, i think this is like 75% of the reason …they enjoy knowing they are breaking social norms…causing an emotional reaction…being deviant…without any consequences. In fact, try to impose consequences results in a martyr reaction that they are the victim because they didn’t do any harm.

        2. Feckless Rando*

          I think it’s the second one A LOT more often than men will admit to others and especially themselves

        3. AReally*

          Yes! It’s so much about power. I am not a conventionally attractive woman and still get harassed. A lot of these incidents make it clear to me that it’s not really about attraction/thinking they can get in someone’s pants. It’s about wielding power and making a woman feel scared. They enjoy creating fear and discomfort because it reminds them they hold social (and physical) power.

        4. Chrisssss*

          As someone who was catcalled by groups of men as a child, and with child I mean before I hit puberty, it is absolutely about power.

          1. Csethiro Ceredin*

            And when it’s groups they seem to be performing for each other more than they’re really wanting anything from the woman.

        5. Jessica*

          IIRC in the case of cat-calling, there’s actually research on this, and the conclusion was that yes, it isn’t about sexual attraction, it’s about exerting dominance over public spaces and putting women out in public in our places.

        6. Workerbee*

          The latter reason, indeed. Imagine being so weak and small inside that the only way you feel even close to important is to make noise at someone. And this is the sum total of who you are as a person. Ew.

      2. Warrant Officer Georgiana Breakspear-Goldfinch*

        Yeah, I think this is on the money — akin to the way that many men don’t seem to understand the problem with cat-calling/street harassment, because “it’s a compliment! I’d love it if a strange woman told me I looked good!” and they somehow cannot grasp how the power differential works, and how frightening it is for women to experience.

        1. nnn*

          A way I’ve found occasionally useful to explain this to men:

          You (i.e. dude who says “I’d love it if a strange woman told me I look good”) have no issue with catcalling as sexual attention.

          However, it is a dealbreaker for you if the person giving you sexual attention is male.

          I take no issue with the person giving me sexual attention being male.

          However, the specific format of catcalling is a dealbreaker for me.

          Therefore, by saying “I’d love it if a woman catcalled me”, you’re taking away the dealbreaker in the situation and replacing it with a non-dealbreaker.

          To replicate the balance of dealbreakers/non-dealbreakers, you have to think about how you’d feel not if a woman catcalled you, but if the same men made the same catcalls to you.

          (This assumes heterosexuality so it doesn’t work in every case, but it does cover a significant portion of the population)

          1. Jinni*

            I love this reframe! I’ve tried so many times to explain why unwanted advances are annoying at best.

        2. Micah*

          I was working on a group project in college and suddenly one of the guys looked up, muttered “oh, you would be a pig if you didn’t…” and whistled at a girl walking by.
          I was so aghast that I couldn’t speak. You thought you were a pig… if you /didn’t/ whistle at her??? How? What even…

        3. goddessoftransitory*

          I really would like those “it’s a compliment!” guys to get followed down the street, up to their apartment door, being offered money for sex and having the person genuinely looking hurt and bewildered when they scream at them to go away.

          Why yes, that HAS happened to me, more than once. “Flattered” did not cover how I felt, at all.

          1. ferrina*

            Right?! And the weird thing is that when you explain that it wasn’t complimentary, they assume that you are the exception based on….their own lack of experience? People feeling too uncomfortable to speak up? (“well, no one else had a problem or they would have said something!” That’s a sure-fire way to invite me to give a lecture on how power dynamics work)
            Rather than adjust their own standards of how to give a compliment, some (most) people would rather do mental gymnastics to explain why they are actually right (read: not actually right)

          2. Funbud*

            This is all absolutely fascinating. Not a very respectful way to treat a woman.
            On the other hand, as a gay man, if a guy pulled this on me on a zoom date, I’d be thinking “NOW we are getting somewhere!” The endless varieties of human experience…

      3. lost academic*

        I’ve seen some data from long ago that supports this. The other aspect I saw in the same article (no reference available) is the concept of sexual attraction based on desirable secondary sexual characteristics. Emphasis on SECONDARY. The ones that develop after puberty.

        Fellas, you had a d*ck long before puberty. It isn’t turning anyone on.

      4. NerdyKris*

        I think it’s a combination of those two things and the fact that most men don’t understand the power imbalance. To them it’s just “Well why don’t they just say no?” because they’re at the top of the social ladder and anyone that would push those boundaries is either a hot woman they like or someone society would join them in mocking.

      5. Aggretsuko*

        It wouldn’t be considered threatening if a woman did it, since she probably can’t overpower the dude and force him into anything.

      6. goddessoftransitory*

        I’m pretty sure it’s a combination of the two, with a sprinkle of “I go to all the wrong reddits” for good measure.

      7. birch*

        I honestly think that most men THINK they would like this, but if they encountered it in a real life dating situation–with a complete stranger you aren’t quite sure about yet, or on a date that already isn’t going well, or with a person they aren’t that into, with all that accompanying awkwardness–I think they wouldn’t be nearly as positive about the idea. It’s the same way men have got this idea from media that all they need to do is “win” a woman, where the woman in their mind is this idealized and objectified version of a person that is 100% desirable. They overestimate their own attraction because they’re thinking about this ideal and not considering that they won’t be automatically 100% attracted to a real person.

    2. Alton Brown's Evil Twin*

      Could be as you speculate.
      Could be narcissism.
      Could be that they get off on making women feel uncomfortable.
      Could also be just playing the odds. Go full monty to 100 women, and 1 might respond favorably. They don’t see it as 1% success rate, they see it as 1 success.

    3. Baron*

      Man here. Would not do this. For a bunch of reasons.

      But I think it’s the same as showing “gumption” in job applications – socially incompetent men sometimes think they have to do something to stand out. As Alton said upthread, I’m acquainted with one man who does things like this, and it very, very rarely works, but the message he takes is, “it works sometimes”.

      1. Hannah Lee*

        But 1% hit rate in which you skeeve out/scare 99% of the people you come across is not a good thing. They aren’t leaving 99% feeling neutrally disinterested. They are having a giant negative experience because of you. Guys who think that way are actively and purposefully doing a thing that will cause other distress, discomfort and turn a good day bad.

        That puts them way down in the dregs on any “good human being” scale

        1. MsM*

          I don’t think they care about that, because they’re not the ones who have to deal with having their day/week/month/life ruined by it; they just move on to the next prospect.

          1. Observer*

            You’re probably right, except that I don’t think it even gets that far.

            What I mean is I don’t think that they are actually thinking “Oh, I creeped this woman out, but that’s too bad because you can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs you know” which would be gross and fit your paradigm, but would also actually recognize that just perhaps the people he doesn’t “score” with are creeped out. Rather I suspect that it doesn’t even occur to these people that their victims were made uncomfortable, any more than they would consider whether a blow up mannequin were being made uncomfortable. Which is even more gross.

            1. ferrina*

              Exactly. The people I’ve met who would do this kind of stuff don’t think of others as people. They don’t think of others as having lives or hobbies or histories or futures or rich mental/emotional worlds….the other is just a character that comes into their life for a minute, exits stage left and ceases to exist.

              Personally, I’d love to see the creep fired. Can you imagine if it was a client that he did this too??

    4. Sloanicota*

      Sadly, my sense is that they feel the date isn’t going well, so it’s sort of a throwaway move – part hail mary (maybe she’ll be into it, laugh-in-a-good-way as in the show – or maybe they’ll get a thrill out of embarrassing her) – because they don’t think they have good odds of getting a second date anyway.

      1. Weaponized Pumpkin*

        That’s exactly how it’s explained in How I Met Your Mother — it’s a hail mary on a bad date and she might find it funny and go with it.

        1. Charlotte Lucas*

          If you want to make people laugh, make sure they’re laughing with you, not at you.

    5. S*

      I think people who do this know it’s not okay, and they don’t care. OP mentions the date wasn’t going well, and I don’t think that’s a coincidence. The guy saw he wasn’t getting anywhere the normal way, so he threw a hail-mary pass (as it were). By that point he had nothing to lose, and there’s probably an exhibitionist thrill involved as well.

    6. Purple Flowers*

      If you are desperate enough, even negative attention is better than nothing. And I doubt this elbow is getting much positive attention from women.

      Doesn’t excuse it, of course, but I think partially explains it.

    7. DataGirl*

      I also really, really don’t understand moves like this. Same with guys who send d**k pics. I can only assume that they think because they’d love it if a woman flashed them, we will like the same thing? But it’s seriously the ugliest part of the male body (sorry guys). There is nothing attractive about it, just… why?

      1. Charlotte Lucas*

        Agreed! I am a cishet woman, & while I appreciate its function, it is not a thing of beauty.

        1. Mac (I Wish All The Floors Were Lava)*

          As a bi person who genuinely loves looking at all kindsa body parts, I have noticed, with much bemusement, how often hetero folks talk about how they find the genitals of the opposite sex unattractive to look at. I’m dying to know if this is a real (not just anecdotal) phenomenon, and if so, does it have a name? Any scientists out there who know?

          1. Horse*

            Also curious! Disembodied genitals don’t do much for me, but if they’re attached to someone I’m attracted to, I do like to see them.

          2. Lenora Rose*

            I think it’s the way they are divorced from the entire rest of the person’s body and being that makes them especially icky. I don’t find a specific person’s sexual parts, either gender, necessarily unattractive, but the idea I would care about them out of context or before I see the rest of the person squicks me. Plus there’s the layer of taboo in the exposure.

            Someone also noted a study above that suggests we as a whole species are more attracted to secondary sexual characteristics. I can’t say that wholly tracks, as there are people with a weakness for, say, a well-turned leg and legs are around before puberty, but certainly I find a picture of a man’s nicely developed *torso* more appealing than a picture of his bits (I still don’t want one sent unsolicited, but it’s a whole lot of layers less horrible), and well, reactions to a woman’s chest region become a whole essay.

          3. lucanus cervus*

            I think this is just something that varies by individual. I’m bi and I’m not really into looking at genitalia. I mean I’m not out-and-out horrified, but it’s not attractive either. It’s all about function as far as I’m concerned too!

    8. anonanon*

      There’s a scene like this in Wolf of Wall Street…couple goes on a date, they go back to her place, she disappears for a bit and comes back fully naked. It’s really sexy! Maybe go watch that scene if you don’t understand why a man would like sudden nudity. And why it takes a certain level of awareness to understand that most women would react differently.

      1. Allornone*

        Yeah, that’s exactly my theory. They would like it. However, WE (typically) do not. I’m as socially awkward as it comes and still don’t understand how these men haven’t figured that out. Like, do they talk to any women, ever? Same with dick pics- we repeatedly tell these guys they aren’t welcome, yet they’re still disturbingly common (by the way, there might be some truth in the point about secondary sex characteristics that @lost academic references above. If I were chatting with a partner and it (mutually, consensually) turned sexual, I would not mind seeing a pic of a lady partner’s boobs, but a male partner’s penis, no bueno).

        While I admit it’s a generalization, I don’t know a single woman that would appreciate this. Those that exist

    9. Aggretsuko*

      I think it’s like dick pics. From what I hear, that’s perfectly fine for men to send to other men. It doesn’t occur to straight men that women getting them might take this as threatening and pushy and TMI.

      1. Nina*

        … I know literally no straight men who would be okay with receiving an unsolicited dick pic. And yes, this is something that comes up in discussion because I say ‘ew I got sent a dick pic’ and they go ‘oh but women like that’ and I go ‘the fuck we do, would you like it?’ and they haver on about ‘oh but women are different…?’ which, no.

    10. many bells down*

      Someone said upthread that “they don’t realize not all attention is positive.” I get a lot of random messages online (I’m just a weirdo magnet I guess) and invariably the guy doing something weird or gross will say “I just wanted to get your attention.”

      It’s like some people can’t reason out the consequences. They wanted attention, they did a thing to get it… and never considered that they might not actually get what they wanted or that there would be further repercussions.

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        Honestly, you nailed it. They want attention but don’t consider that said attention is coming from a person. Who may react really, really “stab you with a screwdriver” badly! How is random attention worth that risk?

        I mean, I get the odds are pretty heavily against a screwdriver stabbing for most guys, so I guess they just don’t consider risk the way women have to. All the time.

      2. Emmy Noether*

        It’s like they never grew out of emotional toddlerhood. Small children will do this frequently – act out to get their adult’s attention, even negative attention – but one is supposed to mature past that eventually.

    11. Anon For This One*

      Okay, this is right up my wheelhouse. I’m gonna be decently NSFW-ish throughout this discussion, but nothing that feels out of bounds considering the rest of this comment thread.

      Background experience: I am a generally cis-presenting AMAB who has a very high libido. I have sent a couple of dick pics well in my past (think the last unsolicited DP I sent was at 21, 7 years ago, and it was the recipient, my then-and-to-this-day girlfriend, who helped me understand just how out of bounds these behaviors are.) I’m gonna number the phenomena so I can cross reference them, because this does get very tangled up.

      1) Alison is spot on in at least some percentage of cases. Let’s say that I’m in the middle of something else, and my girlfriend drops a naked selfie, super sexually charged line, or literally any other thing that leads me to believe sex is soon. It does not matter if I am at work, at home, on the pickleball court, or in the hospital, my immediate first thought is “when is the earliest I would be free to pay off on this? Are there upcoming commitments I have that I can reasonably move around or try to slip out of to make this happen sooner?”
      NOTHING gets me going more than the idea that someone is into me and wants to do the thing with me ASAP. And once I get going, it is really easy for that drive to jam itself into the only thing my brain is currently prioritizing. And so, when I was younger and less understanding of how other people’s brains work, yes, I genuinely thought that an unsolicited DP would be the best way to get someone else riled up.

      2) A LOT of this, however, goes back into the “prize” theory of relationships and sexual activity. A lot of guys are conditioned by culture to believe that relationships and sex are not the balancing act between two or more people to find a set of circumstances that best fulfill their emotional, romantic, and sexual needs, but instead a reward to be earned by inputting the right sequence of comments, actions, and factors. This is a huge part of what’s driving inceldom – they genuinely believe that getting sex/relationships is equivalent to beating a video game level, and that they are innately playing on hard mode. But what this also means is that when you combine 1 about “this is the best action if someone was into me,” then obviously it must be the last ideal step of the sequence that rewards us our prize.

      3) Next, do not underestimate how much male privilege impacts this. A lot of that is tied up in the phenomenon above – we’re so used to only considering our own emotional impact, that we think our opinions and desires are universal – but also in providing a level of lazy involved. We are SO used to the entire fucking world revolving around our desires, that the math shifts a lot. There’s a real streak in male privilege that leads more generally, to the mental computation not going “I really want this thing, what is the sequence that most likely gets me this thing,” but instead “I want this thing, what is the lowest effort method by which I can get a chance at this thing.” Because if I give myself a chance at the thing, the rest of experiences in my life say I’m pretty likely to get the thing, even when I’m putting in effort.

      Yes, this is a REALLY weird and convoluted combination with phenomenon 2, where we’re simultaneously going “we need to do the correct things to get the prize” AND “take the shortcuts cuz we’ll get the prize anyways,” but most of this processing is happening on a subconscious level where both processes lead to the same behavior, so the cognitive dissonance of the phenomena being somewhat exclusive never forms.

      4) This is the part that I can’t personally speak to as well, because I’ve never felt this phenomenon nearly as much as the others, but yes, for plenty of guys it’s a power dynamics/getting the reaction thing. Even if you get a negative reaction, you’re getting some form of reaction because of your dick/your body/your physical traits. That reaction in-and-of itself can be intensely gratifying. This can especially combine in really deep cases of 3, where any reaction is proof that the girl actually liked it, and so if they get a negative reaction, “hurr durr the feminist is just suppressing her real primal desire to hop on this and ride like no tomorrow.”

      5) Here’s the one that I think kind of gets underplayed in this discussion, because I’ve seen the above 4 touched upon to some degrees already by the commentariat. For many/most guys, our sexual experience exists entirely within our dick. There isn’t really a strong mental component of arousal, and physical arousal is entirely concentrated on that single area. Like…without going into too many details, I am heavily part of a niche kink that deals primarily with mental states, to the point where it can these days be a little tough for me to get excited without that kink being involved, and yet the actual experience of arousal is still almost entirely concentrated in my dick.

      What this means is that in guys with less severe cases of 3 who don’t understand how much more mental female arousal is compared to male arousal, they think that the sensation of women’s sexual arousal will be focused entirely in their breasts and vagina, and because of that will most be attracted at a physical level to a display of physical arousal. And in guys with severe cases of 3, they genuinely believe that a woman’s arousal is mostly felt through awe and desire towards the guy’s dick.

      It’s tough to really untangle this because it can be some percentages of any of these phenomena for any given That Fucking Guy, almost always this is happening so subconsciously that the guy themselves does not really know what the reasoning behind it is, and even if they do, the fragility of so many male egos is the case where they could not deal with thinking critically about why these things are a problem. For me, when I was in my DP stage, it was definitely mostly 1 + the “lazy low effort” part of 3.

      “I just can’t comprehend the (lack of) logic, tact, and general sense of appropriateness.” None of those things are part of the mental computation. Even in myself, someone who has learned just how effective listening, thinking critically, acting tactful, and prioritizing the history I have with my partners and thus the needs and turn-ons they have is to actually being good at sex, that logic and tact gets drastically reduced the moment my own arousal starts booting up. Without direct conscious effort to oppose it, horny gets going, brain shuts down, male privilege starts taking over, decisions are formed without thought.

      A lot of this is based on my own experience with my own arousal, but a fair amount is built on discussions with other guys.

      1. Modesty Poncho*

        This was a fascinating comment so thank you for being vulnerable by posting it.

      2. Seriously?*

        Power dynamics and getting a reaction deserve separate bullet points. They are not the same thing.

      3. Seriousl*

        Power dynamics and getting a reaction deserve separate bullet points. They are not the same thing.

      4. Kayainjapan*

        Thanks for the detailed answer!
        I just wanna check with you (and the other commenters), do you think there’s also a lack of consequenses that may be the cause?
        I mean, for anyone who sends a DP or even for OP’s coworker here, there are barely any consequenses at violating the other person, not even social.
        A guy can send 10 DP a day, there are very very risks to it, especially if he doesn’t have his face on the pics. At worse, the recipient will block him, but that’s it really…
        So it’s a low chance of reward, but no risks at all, so it’s still worth it.

        1. Elbe*

          I think that’s part of the male privilege piece of point #3. Not having any negative consequences when you hurt other people is a privilege that enables the behaviors to continue.

          1. Anon For This One*

            Absolutely this, Elbe. Male privilege is very heavily driven (in the more social and less political and economic dynamics) by this general lack of consequences, “boys being boys” and the idea that women/young girls need to cover up instead of men/young boys controlling their own arousal. This contributes to the “not considering other’s thoughts” by never giving any form of negative consequence for not doing so, AND to the “lazy low effort” because similarly low effort is never punished.

    12. ragazza*

      I had a friend who asked a guy about that after he texted a photo of his, er, banana, and he was basically like “sometimes it works.” BUT WHO DOES IT WORK ON? WHO? I would love to know. I have never heard any woman say “and then he sent me this amazing photo of his genitalia and I knew he was the one,.”

    13. Testosteranon*

      I have to admit that taking testosterone has helped me understand this. Before T, I would have been disturbed if someone started spontaneously undressing during a date, but now I probably would be into it (not while making small talk about family, though). I would never inflict this on someone else without consent, but my sexual inhibitions have gone way, way down. I can see how for some people, the combination of T and privilege is a heady mixture.

      1. goddessoftransitory*

        I remember an old column by Cynthia Heimel, where she wrote about trying a testosterone patch, and how she definitely got hotter and more bothered, but not in real reaction to any one person in particular. “My lust was just there, hanging out in my body, looking for someone to attach itself to.”

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          ETA: She basically said just about every single man she talked to or passed on the street suddenly became a possibility; “The local corner grocer, a weedy little weirdo, took on an interesting vibe.”

    14. nomchompsky*

      Agree with a couple of the reasons people have brought up — the idea that it would be fine for them if the situations were reversed, the perverse delight in crossing boundaries, ingrained privilege all play a role.

      Another potential reason: the idea that any sort of reaction is better than being blandly ignored. A lot of men would rather be actively despised by a woman than just sort of forgotten, and if there’s an upside of “hey maybe she’ll like it” that’s just a bonus. The idea of being completely invisible to somebody (or something) you want is destabilizing to a certain sort of man, which leads to this frankly tantrum-like behavior.

    15. Mayor of Llamatown*

      It’s a power move. It’s the same reason why flashers do it. They like shocking people, making them feel uncomfortable, and knowing that they had the power to do it.

      Possibly some guys actually think women are open to this, but they are delusional.

  21. Angela Zeigler*

    Well, if you ever have to leave that job, you can always just turn to him on your way out and say, “Thanks for keeping your clothes *on* in the office, by the way.” Then leave.

  22. theletter*

    Here’s hoping he’s the kind of guy who never mixes business with pleasure.

  23. Tom*

    As a guy, I feel the need to apologize for the existence of apparently a large percentage of my gender’s population.

    Also, I’d like to repeat Alison’s opening response: “WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MEN”!? Why is this a thing that anyone had to experience? And then even worse, judging from the number of comments commiserating: why is this a thing that apparently many women experienced?

    I see comments from some feminists talking about getting rid of men or creating a society without men, and I think, “that seems a little harsh”. Then I see stuff like this, and I think, “never mind, seems fair.”

    1. Melissa*

      To be fair, I don’t think it’s a high *percentage* of men doing this. (I’m a 40 year old woman and I’ve thankfully not encountered it.). I think it’s a small group but they REALLY get around. A guy who flashes on Zoom can flash like dozens of women a week.

      1. DataGirl*

        You are lucky. I’ve been flashed – out in the wild in real life- at least 3 times that I can remember. One time I had my young child with me. Dude was just walking around the Y, nekkid as a jaybird.

        1. Texan In Exile*

          Three times for me, too, starting when I was five years old. What is wrong with the men indeed?

      2. NeedRain47*

        not this particularly, but there’s a pretty high percentage of men that have done some ill advised stuff ’cause they thought it would make them appealing to women. Some of them learned, some never do.

        1. Hannah Lee*


          IME the men who do stuff like this, or do street harassment at women never ever back down, apologize when women have a negative to it. Usually they do some form of doubling down, becoming aggressive or do that gross sour grapes “you’re not attractive anyway, I was just bored” thing but with more slurs and vulgarity.

          So they don’t seem to give a flying peel-less banana about being appealing to their targets.

        2. Bess*

          Yeah men exposing themselves to unsuspecting women and children…aren’t doing it because they think it’ll be appealing.

      3. TeaCoziesRUs*

        Concur. Not All Men…. but enough to tarnish damn near every man until proven innocent. It makes a lousy system, overall. It punishes the women who DO experience this idiocy. It makes other women hyper-aware (to the extent that teaching my tween and older kid daughters self-defense and getting them set up for some sort of martial art in the near future – even though what harassment I experienced was minor and typically brought on by me teasing / flirting. It helps that I’m large than the average man with a “don’t even try it” vibe that neither of my beautiful girls have) and distrusting in a way that negatively impacts everyone. AND it harms the ~80% of men (in my guesstimate) who genuinely DO treat women well. Bah.

            1. Observer*

              I think it’s more complicated than that.

              For one thing, it can be hard to see it if you haven’t experienced it. Or even if your experience of abuse was very different.

              Also, as with all types of privilege, not all men have the same amount or type of privilege and they don’t always have the kind of privilege to actually be able to do something useful about the ssue.

              I realize that there are people who could do something, that don’t. But it’s far from universal.

  24. Prof_Murph*

    There’s a small part of me that wants LW to call him out – just a little reminder that she knows what he did. HE’S the one that created the uncomfortable situation so HE should be the one to feel uncomfortable. There’s a piece here that women are just supposed to take these things and chalk it up to ‘men being men’. Though I get the reality for the LW – it’s the workplace and she has to work with him on a daily basis. And I could imagine it would take a lot of ovaries to actually say something. (But more power to you if you do!!)

    1. Nay*

      I’m on board with this as I 100% completely agree with the fact that women are expected to just suck it up when men act inappropriately, and as a younger woman I feel like it set me up a bit to not know when I had to stop being polite and tell a guy to knock-it-off!

      Of course that’s still easier said than done. I could totally on board for a post-it that says something ominous like “I remember you, and I know what you did” at the very least. Make HIM uncomfortable

    2. NeedRain47*

      Yep. If he made any indication whatsoever that he knew me, or did anything at all in the workplace that was the least bit disrespectful toward women, I’d be like HEY YOU”RE THAT CREEPY CREEPER. It’s not my job to keep other peoples’ atrocious behavior covered up.

      1. JB*

        And here’s a complete ensemble to go with it. No matter how much he thinks he pulls it off, he should not actually pull it off.

        1. Moryera*

          Oh man, this comment is too good to be this far down. I’m hanging onto this for future Tours de Yikes.

  25. New Senior Mgr*

    Ugh, just why???

    Minus required work interactions, I’d pretend he didn’t exist.

  26. Sturi*

    “WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MEN” is my new catchprase going forward, thanks Alison.

  27. Anne Wentworth*

    Dang, if I was in LW’s place and my org was big enough to have a proper HR, I would go and give them a heads up now. We already know this guy is a creep and I’d hate to get into a “he said, she said” if something happens later on, with HR doubting your story because you didn’t report it immediately. I’m even surprised by people who are suggesting saying “it went badly” because there’s a huge difference between “things got a bit awkward and he was rude” and continuing to strip in front of stranger who is telling you to put your clothes back on.

    1. MsM*

      Let me be clear that I do not intend this as any kind of defense, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he was just so committed to The Plan that he didn’t hear a word she said.

  28. Calamity Janine*

    i have no useful advice because, well, what in god’s honest fuck, but may i offer at least a joke for LW’s amusement that she should feel free to repackage and deploy should it ever become useful to do so because sometimes a glib line does kinda help:

    dang, LW, you’re so cool this dude went straight to the paradoxical undressing stage of hypothermia just talking to you on zoom

    1. Be Gneiss*

      +1 for paradoxical undressing as a stage of hypothermia reference, because it’s a rare opportunity to make one of those.

      1. Calamity Janine*

        just call LW by her new nickname, the Dyatlov Pass Incident, because not only is she cool enough to cause paradoxical undressing, she’s going to be dealing with the fallout from it and people on the internet are going to talk quite a lot about a very strange situation indeed

        …okay fine, this doesn’t work as well, but the rare jokes want their time to shine too,

  29. Twill*

    On a sitcom, happening to a character – funny, if outdated “He took ‘it’ out”. In real live it vacillates between surreal funny and/or gross on a Zoom call, to pretty scary in person ( like if he is comfortable doing this……??) I think the advice to pretend you don’t remember him is the best starting place. Hopefully that will suffice.
    As a side note – W – and I cannot stress this enough – TF!

    1. Charlotte Lucas*

      And IIRC, that was on a date that was going well until that point. If the male characters on Seinfeld are aghast at your dating behavior, you are doing something really, really wrong.

  30. Jake*

    It is genuinely outrageous that this LW has to just… work with this man who sexually harassed her. That this isn’t something she can bring to HR to have him immediately removed from her team at the very least, and possibly fired.

    Like, the bar is on the goddamned floor here. We can’t even impose consequences on men to the point that they can’t GET A JOB WORKING WITH A WOMAN THEY HARASSED?

    Allison is the expert here, so I’m sure she knows what does and doesn’t fly, but goddamn it is an indictment of the society we live in if her advice is just, basically, suck it up.

  31. Aspiring Peanut Gallery*

    So…I disagree with the advice here. Rather, the timing on how to apply it.

    The behavior OP describes is super unnerving. Esp because the dude completely ignored her direct questions. There’s a whooole degree of baggage that comes with doing this to a woman who dates men. Sure, at the time they were on a virtual date, but being physically around someone who treated you that way is a different story.

    All up to the OP’s comfort level, obviously, but I personally would be having that last suggested conversation now. I would never want to be in an office alone with this guy.

      1. Jellyfish Catcher*

        Also tell your trusted personal buddies of the previous incident now.
        You may need back up credibility in a month / year / etc.
        Those kind of guys don’t do that *&^% just once.

    1. Elbe*

      Yeah, I don’t think that going to HR now would be inappropriate.

      I agree that the fact that he kept going after she was visibly uncomfortable and asking questions is a massive red flag. This is much worse than someone just (drastically) misreading a situation.

      If there’s any possibility that she could have to be alone with this guy (business lunch, traveling to a client, etc.) she should contact HR so that they can prevent that. When someone has shown this bad of judgement in the past, there’s really no guessing what he could do in the future.

  32. Phony Genius*

    OK, what if he recognizes her and says something like “Hey! I remember you from that Zoom date,” what, if anything, should she say?

    1. Melissa*

      Depending on her personality, I think she can say “The one where you took your pants off for no identifiable reason?” or “Hm Zoom date?… I don’t remember.”

    2. nnn*

      If he says it in front of people, or by chat where there’s a record, I’d respond first with “Zoom date? I don’t remember any…”

      Then pause for a moment as though it just clicked, and respond (loudly enough to be overheard if there are people around) “Oh! You’re the creepy gross guy who took his clothes off for no reason!”

      (I don’t immediately have any ideas about how to address it if he says that to her privately. Someone more clever than me might be able to come up with a response that would make him feel like she has blackmail fodder)

      1. pally*

        Screen shots of his most compromising moments are cued up and ready to post online?

        1. Nina*

          Yeah, blanket ‘not okay’ for that one. Regardless of provocation, revenge porn (and this would be revenge porn) is wildly out of bounds.

          1. pally*

            Agreed. I’m sure OP did not think to take screen shots. But he doesn’t know that.

      2. SofiaDeo*

        If I got a private message at work referencing the Zoom date, I would respond with something like “I remember, you’re the guy who started taking their clothes off for no reason and wouldn’t stop when I asked you about it, so I ended it” while taking a pic on my phone, to then send to HR.

      3. mlem*

        “Zoom date? No, I … wait … were you the one who got distracted and started undressing while talking about your mother?” Shake head, ramp up pitying tone. “Wow, you really must have had some stuff going on. Are you okay now?”

    3. arjumand*

      I think I would double down on the “I really don’t remember you,” because implying he isn’t memorable at all is the worst thing for this kind of guy. The thing he gets off on is any kind of reaction, even disgust.

      If he then continues with, “Come on! I started taking my clothes off, it really bothered you!”, I’d then start with the why questions. As in “But why would you do that? I don’t understand.” And keep repeating it. Props if OP could keep up a faintly puzzled look.

  33. Anon (and on and on)*

    I agree with Alison’s advice. Proactively telling someone at work about this just seems so risky, especially since women are usually hurt by “drama” more than men and he’s an already established, senior member of the team.

    That said, I’d recommend emailing your self a professionally written description of what happened, like what you would say to your boss or HR, so that you have a _timestamped_ version of version of events in case things get weird later. That way if he acts inappropriately, no one can question why you didn’t brought up the date previously. Something like, “Before I was hired, X and I went on a zoom date where he behaved in an inappropriate and unasked for manner and I ended the call before his behavior could escalate. Since beginning in my role, neither of us have acknowledged these events and I intend to treat him like any other professional, but wanted a record in case he behaved inappropriately in the workplace.”

    1. Anon (and on and on)*

      Holy grammar, batman! Too much reediting on this one. You get what I mean, though.

  34. Brain the Brian*

    I once went out for drinks with an old friend who was visiting town. Said old friend apparently thought it was a date despite my repeated insistences that it was not. Said old friend removed his pants IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SIDEWALK leaving the bar.

    Sigh. Why are men, indeed, like this?

      1. Brain the Brian*

        It got worse, but in the interest of keeping the comment section as trigger-free as possible, I’m refraining from providing more information. Thankfully, I don’t have to work with this man, but we do still remotely volunteer with a few of the same organizations in the location where we originally befriended each other.

    1. Jam on Toast*

      A friend starting dating again after her divorce. On one first date, everything had gone really well and she thought they were definitely on track for a successful second date. They were walking back to their cars when he turned and asked “Is it it alright if I kiss you?” She was flattered by his asking and went to lean in until without any warning, he dropped onto his knees and LICKED! HER! FOOT!!! Needless to say, not only did she deeply regret her choice of open toed sandals that night, there wasn’t a second date. What about men indeed!?

  35. Justin*

    I remember thinking that episode was funny before thinking about how it would actually play out. Gross! (Thankfully you had the zoom barrier.)

  36. Immortal for a limited time*

    If this guy ever does something sh*tty to LW, I hope they drop a little bomb on him, like, “So do you still have that blue plaid comforter I saw on Zoom?”

  37. Usagi*

    Unfortunately, if he was the kind of guy who have the capacity to be properly mortified by this, he wouldn’t be the kind of guy to do it in the first place.

  38. Jacob*

    Let me fix this for you, “WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MEN” becomes “WHAT IS WRONG WITH THIS MAN”. Remember sexism goes both ways. Don’t lump us all in with this degenerate creep.

    1. Calamity Janine*

      i get where you’re coming from, i’m sure it’s very frustrating, but given how the comment section is increasingly full of women who have had this same thing happen to them… and given that the letter’s answer also included discussion of this happening to Alison!… the gender dynamic is part of the whole thing. i know it stings to be lumped in with this guy. but it’s a real pattern that pops up in this gendered way, and is being discussed in part as a way in which the patriarchy sucks.

      we already know that not all men do this. the problem is that you can’t really tell which men ARE going to do this, and how it’s been pulled into pop culture as “a funny thing a dude can do” et cetera. the diversion of ‘not all men!’ tends to be something that doesn’t help. instead it makes the conversation be about, well, women not being allowed to talk frankly about what they’ve experienced because it must instead be about making sure the feelings of dudes are ok and then it becomes quite derailed indeed. let’s keep the spotlight where it needs to be focused on this one, ok? even if you know you’re not a dude who does this, have a little grace and let the people who are frustrated at the way-too-many-dudes-who-do-this express that and commiserate about that instead of seeking to make the conversation about how you feel offended instead. (and ironically, this sort of derailment from women discussing a pattern of misogyny into “but not all men!” tends to be a great example of sexism in and of itself. it’s often used as a silencing tactic to make sure women do not continue talking about problems.)

      1. Jacob*

        First thank you for taking the time to type out your thoughts, non of us get paid to do this. Second I just want to add that I am an ally. I am happy to listen. I want to be a part of that better world we are trying to build. But if you want me to sit, listen, and lend a hand… then that world needs to have a place for me in it. “WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MEN” must feel good to say, but it doesn’t leave space for me in that world.

        1. Gherkin*

          If you want to create a world where nobody says “WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MEN”, instead of telling women to stop saying it, maybe work on getting men to stop doing the shit that causes us to ask “WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MEN”.

          1. Aggretsuko*

            I’d like to note that you pretty much never hear stories like this out of women. When this kind of stuff happens and it’s overwhelmingly dudes who are doing it and think that’s okay….that is where this becomes a reasonable question to ask.

        2. Calamity Janine*

          to be a bit more blunt: sometimes there is not going to be space for you, and that is okay. sometimes the space has to be full of something else.

          i’ve had friends who were very patient with me about explaining why this is a tactic that sucks, in the context of “not all white people”. did it feel bad to see them complain about white people? at first, yeah. but then i had it explained to me that not every conversation needs to be catering to my white feelings and about making my white feelings comfortable. in fact, the default expectation that my white feelings are more important than other people’s realities is just perpetuating the same old ugliness, right? to derail everyone by complaining about how my white feelings need more of a cut is just doing more racism. it can’t be about me all the time. giving people the dignity of some space is to treat them as how i have been treated, and how they should be treated. giving them the dignity of continuing to talk about problems without derailment is an important part of allyship.

          allyship, after all, can’t just be when i’m being coddled. otherwise it’s not really being an ally, is it? it’s just “better be nice to me if you want me to expect your personhood”.

          similarly – and i am again very thankful to how patient my friends have been with me to explain this – if i’m quick to go “well i’m not one of those!”, i’m also stunting my own growth. it’s a way for me to say it’s not my problem and think no more of it. it’s a way to shirk doing the work of examining myself and my own feelings and my own latent racism i’ve picked up from the world. it’s a way to just feel uselessly smug. instead, it’s pretty important that i do the work of antiracism. i shouldn’t need praise and a cookie and a special commendation to do it, right? it is something i need to do for *myself*, too. it feels good to easily sweep aside any worries and then to make the bigger problem be how my feelings felt bad. but it’s not going to help me actually do the work. the work still needs doing, and if i’m serious about doing it, i need to actually do it.

          there are many writers who are far more articulate than i am in talking about how this also applies to ‘not all men’, just swapping around the axis of oppression. but as someone who is working on it in terms of racism… it can’t always be about my feelings. if i make everything about my comfort, i’m not being an ally; i’m being an obstacle. after all, on the topic of racism, there’s a pretty clear call-out for this attitude from a far greater thinker and more erudite writer than i am – Martin Luther King Jr’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. i cannot call myself an ally while wringing my hands and telling PoC that they need to be more polite and should wait for a fairer season.

          recognizing that other people are just as human as you are requires a degree of humility. it is bitter work, but necessary. i would urge you to take a moment and consider the same – if you are okay with people’s existences being more important than your feelings. if you aren’t ready to embrace that humility of recognized humanity, your allyship is going to ring pretty hollow.

          1. Mischa*

            I love this line:

            if i make everything about my comfort, i’m not being an ally; i’m being an obstacle.

            1. Calamity Janine*

              to totally return to my own thoughts like a dog going for a nosh on its own puke, for Jacob and others who might be confused still at this line –

              think of it perhaps in more military terms. to be an ally is to stand by someone through good and bad. if it’s “i will be your ally as long as you keep paying me” – which is what ‘be nice to me or else’ really is – that’s not being an ally, that’s being a mercenary. and being a mercenary who only respects the humanity of others when paid in deference and praise is being part of the problem, not the solution. misogyny already promises (falsely) that women just have to pay due deference and they’ll get treated like a real human. you can’t fight misogyny by doing more of it.

        3. The Gollux, Not a Mere Device*

          If you’re really trying to be an ally, don’t tell the people who need support that they aren’t phrasing their complaints in a way you like.

          Look, if you aren’t one of those men, you can parse it as “what is wrong with those men?” or “what is wrong with lots of men, and how can I, a man, improve things?” If it’s not about you, then it’s not about you. As Calamity Janine says, what you’re doing here is part of a pattern. If you want to listen, and want people to be able to talk about and ideally do something about this particular form of misogyny, take this thread as a reminder of what not to do.

        4. Mischa*

          Saying you’re an ally and behaving like an ally are two different things. Allies don’t demand that space be made for them. They ask how they can help. How they can influence positive change. What support they can lend. An ally who puts their discomfort above the needs of the marginalized group, even unintentionally, is not an ally at all.

          I get it. I’m a white cis woman. I struggled with feeling maligned for a long time. “People of color are making me feel bad and I didn’t do anything wrong,” I would think. “I’m an ally! I’m not a racist, so why are they lumping me in with all white people?” Well, it wasn’t about me. It was really uncomfortable to work through, but I did.

          I hope you choose to work through this, too.

          1. Calamity Janine*

            it really is work! i’m sympathetic to finding it hard, but i’m hoping maybe more than just me saying it will help too lol.

            being white, being cishet, being middle-upper-class – these are different axes of oppression, sure. i don’t know what it’s like to deal with this specifically as a man. but i know that humbling myself and – to be frank – getting over myself made me a better person in all of these respects.

            when you have always been in the preferred group that gets preferential treatment because of bigotry, being asked to not have all the attention and all the deference can feel at first like it is unfair. it can even feel like you’re being attacked. but ultimately, it’s giving to others what society decided you should have by bigotry; it is actively becoming more equal and more just. bigotry is irrational and nonsensical. bigotry is unfair. bigotry is evil. bigotry hurts *all* of us.

            i have only benefitted from sitting down and being made to respect the fact that other people exist and deserve to be treated fairly. kill the ego, save the soul, basically. it’s hard but it’s worthwhile at absolutely every turn.

            i hope this doesn’t put you off doing the work, Jacob. don’t let your discomfort make you complicit to bigotry. it’s the social equivalent of going to the gym to do physical therapy – yes, it doesn’t feel great to have your muscles burning and to get sore from doing exercises, but you do them not because you want to be comfortable all the time in the moment. you do them because you want to be healthier. you do them because you want to be better. and you even do them because you know that the pain waiting for you is far, far worse. all of that and more makes it necessary to do, and i hope you will indeed take it as necessary work.

        5. Nina*

          Allies, as a general rule, don’t have to tell anyone they’re allies, because it’s immediately obvious from their demeanor and actions and saying ‘but I’m an ally’ would get a response of ‘yes, obviously, why have you derailed the conversation to say something so blindingly obvious’.

          You, sir, are not really making it immediately obvious.

          1. John*

            Which is exactly why he said it, because he knew that it wouldn’t be obvious. Regardless if he’s right, you can be allied to a movement and keep every right to question and criticize actions by that movement even if you support its goals.

            For example, I support protecting the environment, but I would question why highway protests of environmentalists are okay with preventing ambulances from reaching hospitals.

            1. Calamity Janine*

              but you cannot claim to be an ally of a movement and then not actually act like an ally, talk like an ally, or be actively against discussions about the work happening. you cannot claim to be an ally and actively, avidly, work for the other side.

              this is equivalent to “of course i’m concerned about climate change and i’m an ally in fighting for environmental justice! but what we REALLY need to be talking about is why is everyone so mean to me just because i roll coal and like dumping toxic waste into the water supply… i just can’t be an ally unless there’s a future for me to do these things being discussed! why is everyone upset? i just said i was an ally! this is very upsetting you know. maybe i shouldn’t be an ally at all if people are going to get so mad at me pouring waste chemicals into these endangered wetlands. you need to not yell at me and be nicer to me if you want me to be an ally you know. i simply can’t work towards a world that doesn’t have me ruining endangered environments in it.”

        6. MsM*

          My dude, women currently do not have the luxury of declining to be part of a world where this kind of thing is so rare that it can be brushed off as the act of an isolated weirdo and not part of a much bigger systemic problem. If you see yourself as an ally in building that better world, the least you can do is sit with whatever discomfort acknowledging you have something in common with someone who did something bad causes you, maybe do some soul-searching as to why you’re getting defensive about it if you truly don’t feel like the complaint applies to you, and then refocus on the task of figuring out what to do about making sure people don’t keep doing the bad thing.

        7. OP (So cool I cause Paradoxical Undressing)*

          I would like to encourage you to look further down at Jaime and Tom’s comments on this. THAT is a true sign of being an ally. They understand incidents, and even more sinister experiences, that women endure are not isolated or uncommon, and recognize that they need to tell OTHER MEN to knock it off.

        8. Rainy*

          So there’s a thing about allyship, which is this: you don’t get to decide if you are or you aren’t. The people affected by the thing are the ones who decide if you’re an ally or not, based on your behaviour.

        9. Lizzo*

          Newsflash, dude: the entire world HAS been built around you. That is the problem. And when you continue to center yourself in this discussion and make it about your feelings, that is the exact opposite of allyship.

        10. Observer*

          Second I just want to add that I am an ally

          ARE you an ally? Really? Then why is the first and only thing you can contribute to the conversation a complaint about how people are expressing their revulsion at something that happens shocking frequently?

          But if you want me to sit, listen, and lend a hand… then that world needs to have a place for me in it. “WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE MEN” must feel good to say, but it doesn’t leave space for me in that world.

          Honestly, this sounds like a more sophisticated version of a child who says “If you want me to behave and not make a mess of the stuff you are baking, you need to give me a cooky.”

          Some comedian once quipped that men are afraid that women will laugh at them, but women are afraid that men will kill them. That’s relevant here. Has it occurred to you that *you* feel like there is “no space” for you because of something someone said – about a thing that happened to them and happens to many women – while *women* are made to feel like there is no space in the world for them because of the things that are done to them and that are attempted against them.

          If you really want to be an ally, do it because it’s the right thing to do, not because you want women to pat you on the head or admire you.

        11. miss_chevious*

          You already have plenty of space in the world, Jacob. If you are actually an ally then more listening, less talking is what I would recommend in this particular space at this particular moment.

      2. Carit*

        Perfectly said. Thank you. I couldn’t get past “flames! flames on the side of my face!”

    2. jasmine*

      We know it’s not all men. 99% of the time when someone complains about men, they don’t mean all men, the disclaimer isn’t necessary.

    3. anna*

      No. It’s enough of them that it’s a problem with men, in general. If 50% of the time a plumber came to your house they robbed you and all your friends had the same experience, it would be fine for you to say “what’s wrong with the plumbers?”

      Why are you focusing on that rather than on how horrible it is that this happens to so many women?

      And if you don’t like that men are known for this, how are you working to combat it in your fellow men?

    4. Nina*

      You don’t know how many men do this kind of shit. It is many. It is many many many many many men. Is that a small percentage of all men that ever exist? quite probably. Will I in my lifetime meet only a small percentage of all men that ever exist? also quite probably. Will every woman who ever goes on a date with an unknown man have in the back of her mind ‘remember, men are usually stronger than women, socialized to believe they’re owed sex (whether they actually do believe it or not) and also have been known to do This Kind Of Shit and get away with it so I should nod and smile and go along instead of screaming and kneeing him in the nuts if he pulls This Kind Of Shit‘? also quite probably.

      All men who do not call out this kind of behavior benefit from this kind of behavior, so yes, all men.

      1. Csethiro Ceredin*

        No matter how good their intentions, if you can comfortably insert *pats her on head* into a comment, someone isn’t getting the tone right.

    5. Mac (I Wish All The Floors Were Lava)*

      Sexism doesn’t actually work both ways. Any system of systemic oppression distorts interactions. A human can step on an ant, and an ant can step on a human, but the two acts are not equivalent, and nobody with any common sense would try to argue that they are.

  39. Nameless Guy*

    Allison, please don’t lump all of us men together with this creep. Most of us are just as horrified by what he did as you and LW were.

    1. Indolent Libertine*

      Then “most of you” need to start doing a heck of a lot better job at calling out the ones who do. Because they are legion. EVERY WOMAN YOU KNOW has a story like this. Every. Single. One. So how rare can it really be? Kindly show yourself and your #notallmen out.

        1. Nina*

          You like, probably do. You just don’t know it because you’re a man and y’all apparently hide gross behaviors from people y’all see as equals.

          Here’s an idea: next time you’re hanging out with friends (or online, or wherever), say ‘oh I read an article online today about how a guy tried the Naked Man thing from HIMYY, that is so gross and unacceptable, I would be ashamed to know any men that would pull that kind of stunt’. Watch the reactions. You don’t have to already know that people are doing gross shit to make it obvious you find it unacceptable.

          1. What?*

            The fact that this was considered appropriate (and funny) to put on prime time tv speaks volumes about our society. And about the men in charge of tv programming. Doing so has the effect of normalizing this behavior as something women have to put up with.

        2. Jellyfish Catcher*

          I bet you know women who are in a women’s bookclub. Ask to attend and ask them to say if they have ever been harassed, grabbed, or worse.
          My club one evening decided to discuss that. The results were not 100% – more like 400%.
          That is the reality.

          1. goddessoftransitory*

            On voire dire for jury duty once, the client’s attorney asked if anyone in the room had had, or was close friends/relatives with someone who had, experience with sexual harassment and assault. There were at least forty of us in the room.

            Every single hand went up. And all the women made eye contact, signaling “you think he wants to hear these stories? Mine are all cued up…”

        3. Chapeau*

          I’m a woman, and I don’t have a dating story like this.
          I do have a story about the creeper who used to go through the drive-thru where I worked with it sticking out the bottom of his very, very, very short shorts.
          We were always yanking a guy out of the cooking area when we recognized his car so they could take his money and hand out his food.
          My (female) boss “accidentally” dumped a milkshake on his lap one night.
          We never saw him again.

      1. Unkempt Flatware*

        Seriously. When I told my best male friends about the date who took my hand and put it on IT, they couldn’t see the issue or why I was upset. And these friends love me.

        1. anon24*

          You are rare. I don’t have a dating story like this simply because I never dated much, but even working in the medical field I have seen so. many. penises. when I don’t have a valid need to. I’ve literally given men blankets and told them to cover up, then covered them up myself, and they adjust the blankets so they are covering everything but their junk.

    2. lucanus cervus*

      Some of you are horrified. Lots aren’t. I know because many of you have grabbed me, followed me, yelled at me, tried to put their hands inside my clothes. One dry humped me from behind in a crowd. One got his penis out in a bar. Once as a younger woman I got on a wrong train and had to spend most of the night waiting on a remote station platform, and EVERY MAN who saw me that night made a pass at me, one got angry when I told him no and refused to leave, and one tried to pin me and kiss me. Lots of you think this is a great idea. Lots. Worry more about that than about policing how women talk about it.

      1. Csethiro Ceredin*

        That sounds terrifying. I’m not surprised, but I’m sorry that happened.

        1. lucanus cervus*

          Thank you, I appreciate that.

          (Also this feels like a weird place to geek out about usernames but DACH’OSMIN CEREDIN HI)

  40. Dust Bunny*

    My brother has side-eyed some of the guys I’ve dated and I’ll admit some of them were pretty legitimately side-eye-able, but definitely none of them were . . . whatever was going on here.

  41. Gherkin*

    I suspect that he remembers you and has framed the experience as you ditching and then ghosting him. I would continue to pretend he is a totally new person who you have just met to your face.

    Think about having a conversation with HR about your concerns that he does not have good judgement in the “keeping his clothing on” area. Ask them to keep it confidential and tell them you just want to get it on the record in case something happens at work. Note–you can ask them to keep it confidential, but they might not be able to. The risks in having this conversation are 1) they don’t take it seriously bc it was outside of work or 2) they start an investigation that you don’t want. You can try tapping into the company whisper network and casually just ask women who work with him, “Hey that Bradley guy, have you worked with him? I have to have to ask him stuff. Is he ok?”

    I am sorry that all the headspace is on your side. You are the victim here, and you are still dealing with it. That blows.

    1. Zarniwoop*

      He might remember her as you say. It’s also possible he’s done this so many times he just can’t remember them all.

  42. GiGi*

    This, THIS, is why I’m no longer on any apps. Imma just go straight Golden Girls and live with a bunch of friends and rescue animals.

    1. OP (So cool I cause Paradoxical Undressing)*

      Right there with you! After the Naked-Man date I actually deleted all the apps. Don’t regret it at all!

    2. goddessoftransitory*

      If I outlive Husband, that is it for dating and me. Just dogs and cats and books.

  43. Wine not Whine*

    …when the Bananapants are no longer wearing bananapants…
    “O, darn, the connection suddenly dropped. Oops!”

  44. Olive*

    Some of the suggestions are funny, but I strongly suggest that the LW do nothing right now that could make her the subject of sex-themed office gossip, even gossip in which she’s a winner and he’s a loser. Going to HR could be an option, but putting around whispers to people she hopes might be allies could really backfire.

  45. Kermit's Bookkeepers*

    First: GROSS. Second, Alison is no doubt correct that playing dumb is the best course of action here, but I do think it’s relevant to consider what you want to have happen next. If you want this to (professionally) never have happened and not effect you in any way, then yep, play dumb. But if your history with this guy is such that you are deeply uncomfortable interacting one-on-one with him in a way that’s inhibiting your workflow, or if he is in a position to influence your growth opportunities at this place due to his seniority, that might suggest it makes more sense to get something on paper now to ensure that you’re not in his chain of command and/or there’s always someone between you, and I worry that waiting to see if he behaves badly might be opening the door to some…well, really bad behavior.

    In that case is your company big enough to do those company-mandated sexual harassment trainings? I don’t know if those are a requirement where you are, but we do them once a year at my company and they involve watching a long industrial video that gives wide latitude on what harassment is and generally ends by implying “if you’re unsure, discuss it with HR who can guide you on what to do.” If you have to take that training as part of your onboarding, that could be a great lead-in to talking to HR. I’d also suggest giving either dispassionate detail, or being detailed about how the date made you feel rather than what happened on it:

    “I wanted to bring something to your attention in case it becomes relevant later. During the pandemic, I had one date with X over Zoom during which he behaved inappropriately enough that I blocked him on all channels and looked forward to never seeing him again. (Optional: he began taking off his clothes in the middle of a non-sexual conversation and did not stop when I asked him to. I ended the call before he was fully naked but it was very much headed in that direction.) He is behaving as if he doesn’t recognize or remember me and I am content to do the same/I am not entirely confident that will remain the case for long, but/so I wanted you to have this information in case it becomes relevant to our interactions later.”

  46. Queen Ruby*

    Oh man, I would be waiting very impatiently for him to set himself up for a sarcastic, caustic, condescending zinger about me being proud of him for keeping his clothes on…or something along those lines!

  47. Colorado*

    I would so call this guy out but I’m over 50 and don’t give AF about most things these days :P

  48. stacers*

    I’ve had a real-life ‘he took it out’ situation (from ‘Seinfeld.’
    (for those who don’t know the reference, it’s not a full naked-manning, it’s just a — the — specific part.)

    I’m trying to think how I would feel if he turned out to be my coworker. I think I would laugh every time I interacted with him. Though, I imagine, that would wear off eventually? I’m sure ignoring it is best, but … that would take some time.

  49. Velomont*

    She really should have gotten a screen-capture of the dude and kept it in reserve for just this type of coincidence. Then she could have posted copies all over her workplace.

  50. SMH*

    I would love if you had said on the team zoom “I hope Dave has learned to keep his clothes on for Zoom. I would hate to have to end another Zoom call.” No reference to a date or anything just calling out the weirdness so he knows you are not going to ignore it.

  51. keyw*

    This is terrifying. I stopped Covid Zoom dates after one guy told me he was sure he was going to marry me… on the first date.

    Honestly, this sucks. I would just keep an arsenal of matter-of-fact, professional scripts ready in case he says/does anything inappropriate. And in the meantime, remain as professional as humanly possible. That will go a long way if OP ends up bringing issues to HR.

    1. Lady_Lessa*

      When I was dating and open to marriage, one man that I dated chose me because I fit all of his check marks: smart (we are both chemists), Evangelical Christian and single.

      I instinctively fled and considering how my life happened since then, I made the wiser choice.

  52. periwinkle*

    Now I feel super old because… this is definitely nothing new. Anyone else remember the episode of the Mary Tyler Moore show in which Mary goes on a date with Lou Grant? It starts off with Mary talking with her date who thinks things are going well enough to start getting undressed. Mary stops him, and talks about her sudden realization that she’s been dating for So. Many. Years. Her date takes this as a cue to try taking his shirt off again. (she kicks him out at this point)

    So naked-manning dates back to at least 1977. Sigh.

    1. Melissa*

      Yesss I remember that! And Mary was a tota bad-ass who was like “PUT YOUR CLOTHES ON.” I was a little girl watching it on reruns and I was amazed that she was so confident/brave.

  53. OP (So cool I cause Paradoxical Undressing)*

    OP here! Wowza so many comments in a very short amount of time! Thanks Alison and everyone for the last hour of hysterical laughter reading comments banana-clothing debate, general “wtf is wrong with men”, and of course very valid advice on what to do here.

    First, I’ll start with a mini update. I managed to avoid scheduling my intro 1:1 with him until my manager said I should prioritize meeting with Naked-Man. So we met on zoom this week, and I went in with the mantra of “I have never seen that man in my life” attitude. He clearly has some sense of self preservation (or doesn’t remember me, or just lives the naked life) because he opted for a camera off intro meeting.

    When I tell you all, it took EVERY FIBER OF MY BEING to not be sassy, that would be an understatement. Naked-Man took every opportunity to tell me about what my job is, and how it’s different from his job (like, sir, I know my job, also have done your job in past roles). Took every bit of strength to not be completely sarcastic in response. I’m very proud of myself for resisting referring to him as Naked-Man, which I’ve been calling him for the last 3 years. I really need to practice saying his actual name out loud before I say something like “Did you get the teacup reports from Naked-Man yet?”

    Anyways, I thought I was in the clear after that 1:1, but nope. Bless my managers heart. He means well. He’s a big networker and wants all his remote teams that are co-located to meet up regularly in person as part of team morale building. He REALLY wants the small group of us located in my city to grab lunches or co-work at coffeeshops early in my starting. There’s one on my calendar already that I am sure I come down with a mysterious illness for.

    1. Random Dice*

      I’m SHOCKED that a non-consensual disrobing man is ALSO a mansplainer.

      I’ll also be shocked – shocked – if you’re female presenting.

    2. Observer*

      Please keep us updated.

      I hope I’m wrong, but this feels like things could get a bit difficult.

    3. JD*

      Couldn’t all this kind of backfire on you, though? The manager doesn’t know what “Naked-Man” did. From manager’s POV, you’re the new employee who’s putting off a meeting with another member of the team and then avoiding team lunches. It’s your right to do that, but as the newest person on the team, maybe it won’t give the best impression?

      1. OP (So cool I cause Paradoxical Undressing)*

        Thank you for your perspective. It’s not apparent to anyone but me that I’m putting off meeting with another team member. I literally just started and have a list of 15 names to meet with. My manager just requested I prioritize that particular introduction.

        In addition, my team is 100% remote. There is not even an office in my city, so team lunches are very much not mandatory, as several others on my team have no peers in their cities.

    4. Not Martha Stewart*

      Bless my managers heart. He means well. He’s a big networker and wants all his remote teams that are co-located to meet up regularly in person as part of team morale building.

      May I remind you that your manager knows nothing of this backstory, and he is well within his rights to ask that remote teams meet in person periodically, or even to cancel work-from-home arrangements altogether.

      I also don’t think you can shun this co-worker forever. Either you need to tell your boss something of the backstory (“we had a bad date,” rather than all the gory details) and request to be re-assigned, or you have to bite the bullet and interact with him normally. You are not going to do your job well if you continually have to snark about “Naked Man,” and it is you who will get the bad performance review, not him.

      Finally, it is normal for existing employees to walk new employees through some aspects of their job, even if some of that will be familiar to new employees.

      1. metadata minion*

        “Either you need to tell your boss something of the backstory (“we had a bad date,” rather than all the gory details)”

        I think you need to give at least a bit more context than that. “Bad date” covers ground from “literally assault” to “well, that was terminally awkward”, and if the boss assumes it’s more on the latter end, they’re going to expect the LW to get over it.

      2. JD*

        Yes, I was a little confused about the LW getting upset about the 1:1. It does seem normal to spell things out that might be obvious…especially if this is all a part of onboarding and learning. The guy does sound like a jerk because of what he did on the date, but if LW sees everything he does as bad or mansplaining because she’s viewing it through the lens of “this guy is the worst,” then things aren’t going to go too well. Especially given that if you’re the new employee, you generally need to be on your best behavior for awhile…

        1. OP (So cool I cause Paradoxical Undressing)*

          I appreciate the perspectives here, and agree to some of it.

          I do somewhat challenge the assumption that how he was showing up to our intro call was just typical basic onboarding to a new company. I’ve on boarded to many companies, and already met with a lot of people here that all treated me as if I knew what the basics of my job are. In fact, during my interview cycle one of the interviewers outright said “Look, I can do the typical thing, or I can treat you like the career professional you clearly are and have a discussion.”

          Think of it this way – say, a company hires a Senior Teapot Maker with over a decade of experience in the industry to make a very niche and specific teapot that they are specialized in. The team onboarding should be acknowledging this person knows how to make tea pots, even that specific teapot, and spend more time focused on how this company goes about making teapots and some of the nuances of that. He was telling me the basics of teapot making anywhere (start with clay, add water, shape it, connect the spout, etc), and how my teapot making is different than his teapot making (you will make the teapot this specific way, where I will make the teapot this specific way) vs the approach being along the lines of “we store our teapot clay here, and we use this clay over that clay because we made XYZ decisions. You’ll want access to these teapot systems, and here are some resources to help you understand teapot making here” which would be more on-boarding centric.

    5. Anya the Demon*

      I am sure NONE of us are shocked that he’s also a cowardly mansplainer. There is something seriously wrong with this man.

      1. JD*

        I don’t really see anything that rises to “cowardly mansplainer” based on the 1:1, though. If someone is a new employee, isn’t it normal to explain the details of their job? The manager even wanted LW to be in this meeting…it kind of sounds like a normal training session to me.

        1. ArtsNerd*

          No one explained to me how to do my job. They explained how my job fits into the team and organization, what tools we use here, and how to access them. I think that’s the distinction LW is making.

        2. Jellyfish Catcher*

          It’s normal to discuss the job at the level of the new but clearly experienced employee, nota condescending lower level (which basically defines mansplaining).

    6. Pam Poovey*

      I’d be tempted to drop stuff slyly into conversation. Like “Bear with me a second here” “here’s the NAKED truth about that” “let’s STRIP that down to the basics and rework it” etc.

    7. Calamity Janine*

      though quite frankly you should probably listen to the more experienced voices when it comes to the workplace here, and not my untamed-and-wild-upon-the-moors disabled self… i think that actually Naked Man’s mansplaining has given you sort of an in to bring this up with the manager if you’d like. the manager is likely going to continue thinking that big happy family is still on the menu. if you refuse to play ball without explanation, it may end up making you the problem that sticks out. so here’s your chance to refocus the problem being squarely on his shoulders.

      i think a reasonable way to bring it up would be to ask that you not further be locked into 1 to 1 meetings with this dude, and explain why. you could even perhaps go with some pretending to be gracious but quite confused as to why he didn’t have his camera on – i’d even outright ask if that was normal for him. (either it’s normal for cameras to be off, which is useful information to you… or it’s normal for cameras to be on and it’s more proof he’s being weird. …or there’s the bizarre 1% chance where this dude simply has some compulsion to always get nekkid when on a zoom call and your boss’s solution was to tell him to do zoom calls with camera off instead of putting clothes on, at which point you will know that this workplace is full of bees and you need to tuck and roll straight out the window to make your escape.)

      you then can go say that you legitimately tried to start over with a clean slate, but you got some mansplaining pushback from him and there’s the oddity of no camera at all whatsoever. it more firmly makes it his problem, and you can say that you did go out of your way to give him a chance. (all of which is pure bullshit that you had to do, of course, but… unfortunate realities are unfortunate and also realities.) going in saying that you did legit try to get along with this dude will make your manager and his dreams of team unity feel heard, but then you’ll have an opportunity to explain exactly why that’s not going to happen and why there is some friction.

      tiresomely, it may be time to get your story out now before he is able to spin it as “well LW’s just a bitch who hates me for no reason, boss! honest!”.

      as a feminist i hate so much that the practical advice is how to manage the delicate feelings of dudes, including the creeper. however i also know that you torpedoing yourself here isn’t exactly going to be justice either. one cannot hate the player but one must hate the game, lol. it is terribly exhausting and i wish we all weren’t here, but alas, we are. and if we’re forced to be so, we may as well consider the best move to do next in this game.

  54. raktajino*

    Welp now I feel better about the time that I got to the office after my winter bike commute and started shedding layers while talking to a coworker. I was used to the area being empty and dark and didn’t think about how it would look to take off my capilene leggings–I had a skirt and regular leggings on underneath, so obviously I wasn’t stripping, it was like taking off a sweater. The male coworker did not agree and everyone was mortified.

    1. Rainbow*

      This is extremely not-weird. My hardcore cyclist friend is always taking off second pairs of trousers outside in public in broad daylight. It looks a little odd, but only for two seconds until your brain remembers the first pair is actually there!

    2. Retired Vulcan Raises 1 Grey Eyebrow*

      Your case sounds fine as no underwear or unwanted skin area was flashed. Puzzling that anyone would be mortified.

      I often strip off 2nd layers e.g. overtrousers in public in shops, offices, street to reveal either knee-length shorts or track bottoms. Noone has blinked yet.
      (but as a woman in her 60s I may be invisible!)

    3. Rainy*

      The most hilarious part of this is to me is that you had a whole-ass outfit on under your winter bike pants and your coworker was still freaking out about it. IMO this says way more about your coworker than it does about you. (I walk to work, and will soon be biking again (I have *ordered* the tube I need and *received* the tube I need but have I actually *put it on the bike*? I have not!)

  55. Jellyfish Catcher*

    OK, LW – here’s the Very First question they may/will ask you if you ever have to report the creep: DID YOU TELL ANYONE AT THE TIME ?
    Did you mention it to any friends / roommates back then?
    If not, tell some trusted friends now about the whole situation, now. If so, remind them and let them know that you may (hopefully not) have to report him and may have to call on them to back up your statements.
    Also, write down everything that you remember, in sequence, and the date or as close as possible.
    As for reporting or not to HR, not my expertise, I wish I could say “hell, yeah”

    1. OP (So cool I cause Paradoxical Undressing)*

      Oh absolutely! I have 3 friends that distinctly remember it happening!

      1. Zarniwoop*

        Maybe ask them to send you emails about what they remember in case the guy gets weird at work and the paper trail would come in handy.

        1. OP (So cool I cause Paradoxical Undressing)*

          That’s a great call. I’m pretty sure I have texts from that time discussing it with friends too.

  56. OP (So cool I cause Paradoxical Undressing)*

    OP here! Wowza, thank you Alison and everyone for the last hour of hysterical laughs, commiseration, advice, and laughs again. I had my intro 1:1 with Naked-Man and I truly can’t tell if he remembers me or not, but he certainly has a sense of self preservation and/or lives the naked life because he opted for a camera off meeting (not common on this team). I managed to stay professional, not refer to him as Naked Man (which I’ve been doing for 3 years, so it’s going to be an ongoing challenge) and mostly kept my snark at bay…. Mostly.

    A commenter said something about the overblown confidence of men, and WOW does this guy have it in spades. He spent his time on this intro call telling me what my job is and how it’s different from his job (I’ve done both in past companies and am one LinkedIn click away from knowing that info). Truly impressive to tell someone more senior in the industry and role about their job. I was optimistic that after that 1:1 I would be in the clear to avoid Naked Man…. However I will not be so lucky. My manager pushes his remote co-located teams to get together in person as much as possible for lunch or coffee etc. So there’s a lunch on the books that I need to work on coming down to a mysterious illness for. I appreciate all the different perspectives, and frankly and desire for men like this to feel some kind of consequence. At the moment, it’s still a very fresh and new job AND a very small industry. I am with Alison on going with a “I have never seen this man, in his underwear, in my life”, at least as long as I reasonably can.

  57. Jedi Sentinel Bird*

    oh my gosh ,what a creepo! I guess the good thing is you know that this guy is a creepo so you can basically just not engage with him with the exception on work related stuff. If he does that to people on zoom dates it makes me kind of wonder what he does to people in person. If I was in that situation, I would keep myself like Hawkeyes and be very observant when you have to work with him. Be safe LW.

  58. narya*

    I’ve had this happen to me a few times in the past, except it was via text, and much more graphic. Like, just having a pleasant exchange, and suddenly *BOOM* d!ck pic! I once spent several hours having a really nice conversation with a guy, just getting to know each other, and out of nowhere, in the middle of discussing our favorite foods, *BOOM* d!ck pic! With a SMILEY FACE after. I sat there for a minute just… so defeated. I didn’t even respond, just blocked him and deleted his number. What a waste of an evening.

  59. Looper*

    I am a psycho, so my advice would be this: pretend to not know him. Be a friendly, professional coworker, all sunshine in his presence, never saying a bad word about him in his absence. Meanwhile, be an absolute SHARK: outshine him at every opportunity, never do anything to protect him while also being careful not to throw him under the bus. Allow him to display his mediocrity. You are just guileless rockstar employee who everyone loves. Then, say 2 years in? At an office function surrounded by all your coworkers, get the conversation turned to weirdest dates everyone remembers. Then when it’s your turn to share, stare him dead in the eyes while you recount the time some creep got naked on a Zoom date without your consent and wouldn’t stop even after you asked him.

  60. Jamie (he/him)*

    Fellow men: speaking as a cis-male… CAN WE ALL STOP WITH THIS, uh, WHATEVER THIS IS?

    It’s downright creepy and we all — ALL OF US, ALL MEN, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US — know full well that it is. There is no excuse and we also ALL KNOW THAT.

    Stop. Just stop. Stop it. Stop. No more. Please stop. Stop.

    LW: I am, on behalf of my 48% of the population, embarrassed for him and appalled at him. I am so sorry you have to work this this pile of…. Anyway, he’s something you stood in on your way to work. Treat him accordingly. He deserves it. I’m so sorry. Please stay safe.

  61. Bess*

    So I would never, ever knowingly be alone with this new coworker under any circumstances, ever. Men who do not listen to women’s protests and objections are very dangerous.

    I would notify HR that you had a date with him and he was inappropriate, made you uncomfortable, and that you need limits put on how much you will work with him.

    Sure, continue to pretend to his face. But you need to notify someone that he is an unsafe individual and protect yourself.

    Anyone who would write this off as just some awkward masculine miscalculation of a winning dating strategy is not seeing the seriousness. She protested and he continued. That’s the behavior associated with all kinds of other crimes, gendered violence and harassment.

    1. ragazza*

      Also the mansplainy behavior OP described in the comments makes me very concerned.

    2. Rainy*

      Yeah, this is one of those dudes that every woman he’s ever worked with knows not to get in an elevator with.

  62. Warrior Princess Xena*

    Ooooh yikes.

    I feel like I’d give the guy a teeny tiny bit of grace – 2020 sucked for basically everyone and I can see how someone’s decision making skills might have decided to go straight out the window. So I probably wouldn’t proactively report him. On the other hand, I probably would approach all interactions with him from the baseline of “this dude has really bad judgement at the best” and would escalate any issues I had to management/HR really quickly. And I would not want to spend time around him alone.

    1. Observer*

      I feel like I’d give the guy a teeny tiny bit of grace – 2020 sucked for basically everyone and I can see how someone’s decision making skills might have decided to go straight out the window.

      Yes, it stank to high heavens for most of the world. Yet somehow, most people managed to NOT do stuff like this! This guy doesn’t need “grace”. He needs a clue by four. More importantly, his victim has ZERO obligation to give him grace. And she has every right to protect herself and consider the likely way he will behave rather than some idealized pie in the sky version.

      Which also means that the OP has no obligation to consider “poor Naked Man’s” welfare when she decides whether to report him. All she should consider is how it is likely to affect her.

      1. Warrior Princess Xena*

        To be clear, I’m not advocating in favor of being nice to someone’s wounded feelings. I’m saying that especially since OP is a new employer it would be good to not immediately go to the new manager and HR and tell them this, because for all anyone knows he was having a psychotic break at the time that management knows about. I DO think it would be appropriate to stay the heck away from him and escalate immediately at the first sign of nonprofessional behavior, at which point bringing up this story would be relevant and necessary.

      2. Warrior Princess Xena*

        Update: having read OP’s addendum, I recant my earlier statement. I still might not immediately go to management since I would not want to be seen as the irrational one but I would definitely consider him a creeper

        1. Workerbee*

          Even without the addendum, we have to remember that this guy CHOSE each moment to become naked man. And continued despite LW not wanting him to. No one was forcing him.

  63. Anya the Demon*

    I RARELY disagree with Alison, but I think the naked zoom man is a much bigger deal. I would go straight to HR now.

    1. Jellyfish Catcher*

      After reading the OP’s above (5:01 pm) entry, the guy is clearly an asshole. A first meeting is when people are usually on good behavior, but camera off, mansplaining, future one on one lunches and coffee meetings….
      He can F her job and future and she’s possibly not physically safe, either.

      Alison – does the OP’s above entry about their first meeting modify your advice ? I totally understand your advice of not lodging a complaint report when you are new – but he’s gonna use that newness.
      Should she report him history now? Wait?
      OP, keep in touch!

    2. Not Martha Stewart*

      What, exactly, would you “report” to HR?

      “I went on a (Zoom) date with this guy three years ago, before I was an employee here. He acted like a presumptuous louse (but did nothing illegal).”

      At best, you could ask to be assigned to different teams. Since OP is the new employee, she’s likely to one who would move, unless they’re dissatisfied with Naked Guy’s performance and are looking for an excuse to get rid of him.”

      1. Megpie71*

        I’d say take it to your (joint) manager, because the manager is going to be the one who is going to have to deal with the interpersonal issues in his team. So, explain the context (“I have past history with Whatsisname, [this is the history]. I’m willing to be professional about this, but unfortunately my first experience with Whatsisname in a professional context didn’t give me much confidence in his ability to maintain appropriate professional boundaries”). Then leave the ball in your manager’s court (or the ticking time bomb on his desk – whichever analogy seems more appropriate to the situation).

        I’d suggest framing the story of your disaster date in a way which emphasises the core issue was that you set a boundary for appropriate behaviour, and Whatsisname ignored what you were saying, and carried on regardless; you enforced your boundary by terminating the call. So he has a past history of ignoring you, and disregarding boundaries that you set – and unless he’s capable of proving he can do otherwise in a professional context, it’s going to be very difficult to work together.

      2. Stuff*

        Report that she was severely sexually harassed by a coworker. Because that’s what happened. Yes, it happened three years before she was hired, but it is still a circumstance where she shouldn’t be working in the same team, and HR deserves to know the very fair reason why their new hire can’t work on the same team as this guy.

    3. Pam Poovey*

      I would loop in a manager tbh. They might not be able to do anything but it’s indicative of some serious stuff to keep an eye on.

  64. Anya the Demon*

    I have never wanted regular updates more than I do from the OP from the naked man zoom.

    1. Workerbee*

      …that strawman would just add to his general incompetence at being a worthy person.

  65. Boss Scaggs*

    Normally I would say just ignore him..but is there ever a chance you would have to go to a client together, or travel to the same conference together? You might want to head that sort of thing off if possible.

  66. There You Are*

    I had a guy do something equally gross on a 2nd date. We were watching a movie at my apartment and his non-dominant was draped around my shoulder while I was tucked up into his armpit and chest. The movie was an action film, I think? And then, suddenly, his pants were unzipped and he… ah… enjoyed himself.

    I was terrified and froze. It seemed like my safest course of action was to act like nothing was happening and keep my eyes glued on the TV.

    When he was done, I did manage to say, “Well, it’s getting late. I have to get up early tomorrow,” stand up and start walking toward the door. He took my cue and left.

    I would flip my lid if I showed up to a new job and found out he was on my team.

    1. OP (So cool I cause Paradoxical Undressing)*

      OMG. I’m so sorry this happened to you. WHY DO MEN DO THESE THINGS?!

      1. There You Are*

        Aw, heck, I went to see a new therapist for depression and to help me find my mojo again because I was unemployed after a Great Recession layoff. He asked how my relationship with my then-long-term boyfriend was. I said, “Meh, more like we’re roommates.” He told me that, with his help, I’d soon be climbing back up on top of BF and enjoying s#x again.

        I said, “But that’s not why I’m here. My relationship issues are secondary to my depression.”

        He insisted that I’d soon have a roaring s#x life and told me that I’d need to send him pics of the proof that things had turned around.

        I said, “You want me *sext* you?”

        He said, “Yes.”

        I suddenly realized that we were in an interior room — basically, a room behind a couple other rooms — far away from the hallway of the the office building we were in. No windows. The only exit was the door behind him.

        So I had to say, “Haha, yeah, I’ll be sure to send you pics.”

        I reported him to my state’s Board and he got a slap on the wrist. Probation for six months and required to take a one-day sensitivity training course.

        So, indeed, WHY ARE MEN???

        1. ArtsNerd*

          Oh no! That is terrifying and a horrifying abuse of power. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that on top of everything else.

        2. Rainy*

          Thank you for reporting him even though nothing happened to him. Hopefully one of the next times someone reported him his board finally acted.

        3. Pip*

          Oh my gosh that is truly awful. I’m so sorry. You absolutely did the right thing by reporting him. Even though he wasn’t disciplined nearly enough, there is now most likely a public record of his disciplinary action, for any future employer or client to see. You did a major public service.

  67. Coffeecoffeecoffee*

    Wow I am so so sorry this happened to you. So not ok in the date and then next level unfair to now have to work with the jerk!!

  68. ReallyBadPerson*

    I’m old here, so maybe I don’t get this? But holy crow. I’m sorry.

  69. Bluz*

    Fate is a cruel mistress. First-ew! Second-what are the chances that you’d be working with this nincompoop??? I think Alison gave you good advice since I have none to offer. It’s things like this that turn me off of dating and I’m content being single.

  70. But Not the Hippopotamus*

    I am part way through the comments and my conclusion is that women, as a group, need to practice either laughing on cue or making like we see a cute baby (high pitch voice in baby talk “oh it’s soo Cuuuute and Tiny! Just a widdle-bitty thing.”) as prep for these creeps. Maybe that would curb the behavior.

    (as per before, I’m on full snark today)

    1. Nina*

      My mother has a wonderful story about her postgrad supervisor.

      Supervisor was fifty-something, a solidly-built, grey-haired, take-no-shit-and-give-no-fucks kind of lady. One day at a department holiday party a younger academic took it into his extremely intoxicated head to ‘take it out’ and show it to a group of female academics and grad students who happened to be talking shop to each other.

      Supervisor takes one look, grabs the arm of the nearest colleague, points at the offender, and with barely suppressed hilarity and the loudest speaking voice she could muster (which was loud, she lectured to 300 undergraduates without a microphone on a daily basis), said ‘oh look Pam, it looks exactly like a penis, only much smaller!’

  71. Sarah*

    A good friend started online dating. She had been conversing with a guy. They exchanged photos.

    Which should have been innocuous – the guy sent her what appeared at first glance to be an ordinary selfie of his face. Until you look at the reflection of the full length mirror behind him $ realize he’s completely naked. (He angled the selfie in a way that it seemed intentional.)

    My friend didn’t even notice initially – she showed us the selfie & asked what we thought. The one astute observer said “oh my god look at the mirror behind him.”

    Anyhow, around this time I was in the final round of interviews for a new job.
    Accepted the job. Told friends.

    Cue friend saying “omg, Ass Man works for that same company.”

    Sure enough on my first day of work, I had to be introduced to the man who’s stealth naked ass photo I had just recently seen.

    Thankfully at least he had no way of knowing that I’d recently seen that photo. It was only awkward for me.

    That was almost 2 years ago. Still working there with the Ass Man. Still haven’t let on that I know what he did.

    1. Kermit’s Bookkeepers*

      I would be so, so, SO tempted to find an opportunity to look him in the eye, suddenly “realize” who he was and say, “Oh NOW I recognize you, you’re Ass Man? Hey, why would you *do* something like that?” As cheerfully and guilelessly as possible.

  72. merida*

    This is a wild post, but the most insane part is that OP is apparently not alone in this, that naked-manning is a Thing, and that Alison is like “yeah, me too!” I just about did a spit take at work. Seriously, WHAT IS WRONG WITH MEN

  73. Clara*

    Maybe I am leaning towards being too open, but if this were me (not that I date men, lol) I would definitely pull my manager aside for a quick word and just flag that you wanted to bring it up in case he shows any other weirdness around informal conversations and interactions with co-workers. Also for the context that you most likely don’t want to spend a huge amount of time working too closely with the guy!

    1. Cee Cee*

      A few years ago, a skip-level manager hired someone that I did not agree on both professional and personal levels. (Fortunately, nothing sexual here.) My skip-level would like to form a new team with me and this person. I knew absolutely nothing about the hiring process. This person and I worked under the same manager a few years prior in a different company.

      I scheduled a meeting with my manager and told him about the irky situations with this new hire. My manager asked me, as a precaution, to reach out to HR for some strategies to deal with such a situation since the job offer has been signed. HR told me to document, including screenshots, about interaction that were NSFW and notify them. This is too much work. I found a new job as a protest.

  74. SJ*

    the way my heart rate SKYROCKETED reading OP’s description of the date! Even knowing it was virtual and she could simply log off at any time! Yuck yuck yuck ew ew ew auuugghghgh

  75. Cee Cee*

    One sec…this new hire has been placed in the same team and OP wasn’t involved in the hiring process. If I were involved in such a hiring process, I’d tell the hiring manager to reject the application without any explanation.

    1. OP (So cool I cause Paradoxical Undressing)*

      Just to clarify, Naked Man was already on the team, and he was not on the interview panel for my role. I am the new hire at this company and found out naked man is on the team upon my first day.

  76. Rainbow Bridge Troll*

    Every time I start thinking about dating again, it’s stories like this (and unfortunately SO. MANY. OTHERS. Usually worse stories.) that make me change my mind. Like, I’m perfectly happy being a single lady! Dating and men don’t seem like a very good use of my time and peace of mind these days, more added trouble than added value. I wish I had more evidence of nice, emotionally healthy men comporting themselves with respect when dating, buuuuuut . . . ::gestures broadly at internet::

    1. Lenora Rose*

      Just remember the Internet inflates the worst of the worst.

      I was the “call and check in after about an hour” person for a friend when she started dating again. She had several dates where she didn’t have a romantic vibe at all, but some of those she found to be good friend material, and the worst of them were at least polite. No horror stories.

      Now, this was pre-Pandemic, but not by that many years.

  77. Elizabeth West*

    I got to this a day late and my first reaction was WHAT IN THE HELL

    When I got to “What is wrong with the men” I was like…. just….too much. Too much is wrong.

Comments are closed.