“I had a job in a big corporate firm. At a boozy work dinner I was sober, I never drink much at business events. A senior staff member decided that I was “too uptight”. She made me sit down and she sat on my lap and grabbed my cock and balls through my suit trousers and squeezed them. It hurt, a lot. Several others saw what happened but no one did anything. A few even laughed. The next day at work I asked one of them why he had laughed and she explained it was because “I should have liked it”. When I asked a work friend I trusted about what I should do she told me that I could report it to HR but that I’d get blacklisted and “did I really want to ruin my career over “a silly incident?””

“I was young. Six? Seven? I was at a birthday party for a girl a few doors down. She wasn’t a friend-friend, just a neighbour-friend, and the other guests – all girls – were all a year or two older than me. I was wearing my best t-shirt and shorts. There was a game where we drew cards from a pile and each had a prize if the person who drew the card matched the description – if you had blue eyes, if you had the letter ‘O’ in your surname, if you were wearing red underwear. I drew the underwear card. I wasn’t wearing red underwear. “We have to see” said one of the girls. I blushed. “Come on!” said the mother of the birthday-girl impatiently and she yanked down my shorts, except she pulled down my underwear as well. Everybody laughed. “Look at that tiny thing!” Said the mother as flicked my penis which made everyone laugh harder. Her long painted fingernail hurt. I pulled up my shorts, hot tears stinging my eyes.”

“I was at a gay bar. A group of young drunk women came in. They were loud and sloppy. One started grinding up on me. I pushed her away and her friends immediately got aggressive. “Keep your fucking hands off her.” “She was rubbing up against me,” I replied angrily. “You fucking loved it,” one of the women said. They laughed and tried to shame me into kissing one or more of them. I walked out of the bar.”

“I was working for a government agency. I had been lifting weights and for the first time in my life I had put on a bit of muscle. While in the lunchroom a woman from another department grabbed my bicep and felt it. “Nice,” she murmured. “Firm.””

“I was in hospital, I’d had an operation on my groin. I was wearing a gown, but no underwear because that’s how I’d woken up after surgery. During the night I woke up and found a nurse in my room. She had pulled back the covers and was staring at my crotch. When I asked her what she was doing she said he was “checking the wound”. She looked guilty and rushed out of the room. In the morning, a different nurse came into my room and told me that it was okay to put on underwear. She didn’t say but I got the feeling that I was the subject of some joke among the staff.”

“I was working a booth at a conference. After the closing night banquet dinner, I headed back to my room. Just before the elevator doors closed, a hand stopped them from shutting and two middle aged women stepped inside. They reeked of alcohol and cigarettes. They immediately recognised me from the information stand. I smiled politely, feeling their eyes on me, and was relieved when the lift came to my floor. As the doors opened, one of the women pushed me into the corner of the elevator. I politely shrank from her touch but suddenly there were lips on my cheek, a tongue searching for my mouth, and hands feeling, groping, squeezing. I fought her off, only then to discover the doors had closed. I started to panic. Both women leered at me and laughed. The doors opened for their floor and I ran out. I found the stairwell and bolted down the three flights to my floor. I was shaking, the keys jangling in my hands, and it was hard to open my door, but I finally did. I sat down on the bed and just sat there. I didn’t cry. I didn’t do anything. I just sat. Two weeks later I abruptly left that job.”

“I was walking down the street. Someone pinched my bum. I turned around and two women were there, laughing. “Don’t touch me!” I shouted. They just giggled.”

In ONE MILLION DOMS Dominic Sheehan comments about political stuff. These are some of his experiences.

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