Comfort Zone

Taunusstr to Elbestrasse

I have an idea. A cure, if you so will, for the common misconception. You’d have to come visit me in Frankfurt, Germany, but it’ll be worth it.

You see, for years now I have been reading these brotastic little rants against comfort zones. The assertions that “this makes me uncomfortable” is just a whiny assault by some womenfolk to keep the man (or, as it be, “boy” might be a little closer to the maturity level involved) down. All those “men’s rights” blogs and, sadly, some of the Facebook streams of guys I consider at least acquaintances, have those rants. How “hey cutie” doesn’t hurt. Or a compliment, a light touch, isn’t so bad and it’s all just whining.

But, alas, as I said, I have the cure. Come visit me in Frankfurt. We’ll go downtown, exit the subway at the train station, and head north. Up Taunusstrasse, the area best known as “Europe’s biggest Red Light District”. We’ll go walk. The houses here are called “Laufhäuser”, “walk houses” because they’re essentially multi-storey one-room hotels. Up the stairs, into a hallway of sorts, six to twenty rooms. Each occupied by a working girl. Prices here go from around $15 (middle of the week, upper floors) to $280 (weekends, lower floors) for the “usual”. And the “usual” they sell. Some will hoot and holler, “hey cutie” or something to that effect. Some will whistle, wink, or flash. And some, the desperate or brave ones, will touch you, try to pull you close.

All this happens for one reason, and one reason only: Sex. Quick, anonymous, no strings attached, sex.

As the average American boy or man I guarantee you, you’ll feel uncomfortable. You’re not in control, you will be the rag doll, the pinball, bouncing from trying to avoid one grasping hand to trying to not make eye contact with someone else, lest you signal interest and will be followed by her down the hallway, hootin’ and hollerin’.

A long time ago, more than a century back, these houses were hotels which, through slow migration, became brothels. Today’s red light walking houses are designed to corner you, designed to bring you, the quarry, close to the girl, which, as one of roughly 1,000 working every day (~3,000 on weekends) around Frankfurt, competes for your attention. An attention you, likely, do not want to give, fake affection you do not want to acknowledge or return.

We can leave. We can head down Moselstrasse and disappear into the night, leaving barkers who try to pull you into strip clubs (“hey, hey, you, one question…”), prostitutes with bad teeth and track marks on their arms who offer you their services, and shady guys, behind. We can have a drink and laugh about the weirdness, the discomfort.

But for the women whose discomfort you challenge as fake or exaggerated, for the girls who grow up being hooted and hollered at, being propositioned, being complimented shallowly in the pursuit of sex, for them there is no Moselstrasse. That’s what being a girl is like, from early on in life to late. Don’t be the hooker. Don’t hoot, holler, touch, pull, proposition, or use any of those idiotic pickup lines. You’re better than that. Your counterpart is better than that. And, most of all, you’re not a red light hooker.

If my depiction of sex workers in this piece offends you, please have a look at Walkers where I explain my stance and the realities in Frankfurt ]

19 Comments

  1. This blog shows what a faggot you are. You are a pussy whipped whiner who snivels at the feet of fat and dumb feminazis who can’t get real dick and have to make it bad for everyone. Grow some balls and learn how to pick up 9s and 10s and you won’t have to snivel anymore.

    Reply
    • Dear Intel Portland employee. I tried to find a line I am not disagreeing with, but I can’t. You’re not a real man, a man, or even real. You’re anonymous and fake. Despite your language and insults I will let this stand. Why? Because I don’t generally censor and because you make my argument for me, much better than I could. Thank you for that. Not much else, though.

    • Spot the over compensating faux alpha male who’s drinking pua kool-aid.

  2. Dude, thank you for this. Hope you know that you’re up in r/feminism as an example of a decent person, btw.

    Reply
    • Oh, seriously? Now, that’s nifty. Thank you for that :)

    • That’s where I found this :).
      Loved it and shared it on Facebook.
      I get groped by “friends” of mine and I hate it. I get tickled and I ask them to stop… Nothing.

      I’m forwarding this to those guys.

  3. This is awesome.

    It has always been frustrating to me that there are men that believe that a random compliment when I’m out in public minding my own business is somehow them doing me some sort of favor and many get all upset when I don’t bat my eyelashes at them and giggle. Screw that.
    News Flash: I don’t care what you think.
    I especially hate people who think that they can just touch me if they please. Hell no.

    Reply
  4. The way you see things isn’t always the right way, or the truth. You all see a compliment as an approach. You all see an approach as an affront. And, at odds with common sense, you see an affront as an attack. It’s, simply put, stupid and backwards. Realize that no one really give a fuck what you think.

    Reply
    • you realize that your first sentance also applies to yourself. the problem with unsolicited compliments is that it enforces the idea that a woman’s body is not her own – that it is public property to be “admired” and “complimented”, and the fact that you find her appearance visually pleasing is supposed to mean something to her, that your approval should make her feel good. it perpetuates the objectification of women at the leisurely pleasure of men.

    • A compliment is a generally unsolicited and useless attempt at interacting with someone.

      You want to compliment someone? Do it. But be mindful that NO ONE GIVES A FUCK ABOUT WHAT YOU THINK.

    • Dude, no one gives a fuck what YOU think.

    • Ack! Wrong person.

  5. Ah yes, we’re so much better than sex workers. Because we sell something else than sex. Like our souls,k most often. Or our health. Or most of our living time. Gob blesses us. But not the dirty hookers though, they are obviously going to hell, you’ve made your point clearer than a thousand suns.

    Reply
  6. You know what the difference is? You’re expected to pay them, not the other way around. I’d love nothing more than for guys to stop paying attention to women full stop, stop inflating their sexual egos and let them fall on their ass in life until they learn the grass isn’t so green on the other side.

    Nice of you to subtly disparage sex workers though, like most feminists. I’m sure there are homeless men out there who would love to make a living eating women out.

    Reply
    • I’d love to see men fall on their asses when they realize that their opinions aren’t that important to our sexual egos. God how could you be so conceited as to believe that women’s egos would deflate just because men stopped paying attention to us? Nobody cares about your opinion on women’s bodies. The world doesn’t revolve around you. It sounds like you’re the one with an ego problem.

      I also disagree with the writer’s handling of sex workers, though I haven’t seen any feminist disparage sex workers themselves. Usually they’re either pro-sex worker or anti-sex work, but neither, I’ve found, takes issue with the individual sex worker.

    • Actually, I don’t want to disagree with some of the things you say, but I do. First, we all care about what others think about our bodies. We don’t want to be told every second, but things such as body-shaming, body-pride, positive body image movements, exist – because everyone cares and we do care about what we’re being told. If we didn’t, we didn’t need to fight as hard and would not be justified in fighting body shaming.

      On the sex workers, there is a follow up. As I said multiple times, if I had known that I would invite this kind of viral exposure I’d have dotted my Ts and crossed my Is and been aware that nothing is more dangerous than ignorance of specific realities mixed with a writer’s presumption to the contrary.

    • I saw your follow-up and I understood to begin with what you meant. Further, you made a clear and solid point, even if your methods were problematic originally. I was disagreeing less with you and more with the other commenter’s claim that feminists regularly disparage sex workers.

      My point, and here is where I could have been clearer, is that women’s egos wouldn’t just shrivel up and die just because men stopped making their opinions our business.

  7. I consider myself a feminist and proponent of equality, that being said I don’t understand the problem with a compliment or a light touch. As long as the person doesn’t persist despite rejection these are normal and healthy parts of human communication. While crude cat calling and gropes are obviously unacceptable what is wrong with complimenting someone on their smile or a light touch on the arm?

    Reply
    • You may not mind and that is totally okay, but to invade someone’s personal space uninvited is wrong. Compliments aren’t inherently bad but when you have to invade someone’s space to do it, they are bad because that often makes the recipient uncomfortable.

      The problem is people (usually men) who invade women’s space and/or shout at/to her rather than approaching her in a nonthreatening manner and then call it a compliment. It’s not that compliments are bad, but rather that many men can’t see the line between compliments and harassment and defend their assholery by calling it the former.

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Hi. My name is Jonas. I write.

My novel "Fulcrum 3" should be available in December. It's a pretty dark but not dystopian story set in the very near future. It has sex, drugs, murder for hire, and the curious case of the dead traveling salesman. And sex. Did I mention murder? And sex. Buy it. It'll be released (is this the book version of "straight to video?") as eBook because dead trees are so 2012.