Everyone’s different. Circumstances differ. We each have our own idea of what is appropriate behavior or suitable language. Unfortunately there is no standard script which outlines clearly what phrases, tonality or body language is going to perfectly fit in with everyone’s idea of what is deemed to be passable.
It is very easy to overstep the mark. When running a Google search on “sexual innuendoes” I quickly came across a website offering sixty pick-up lines which contained sexual innuendoes. This would not be readily available if people did not use them, or if they were not well received by some. But this does not mean that everyone would appreciate them.
When in doubt about how well your planned comment may be received it is better therefore to bite your tongue and back off until you get to know the other person a little better. In the “free world” in which we live, many people’s perspective is clouded by the view that it’s ok to say whatever you might like, and if the other person doesn’t appreciate it, then it’s their hard luck – they are being boring or have no sense of humor and they need to “get over it”.
You may be right. You may be wrong. But is being right or wrong the most important thing? If you have said something which has upset another person’s feelings, albeit unintentionally and unexpectedly, would it not be better all round to simply say “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you” and make a mental note to be more careful with your wording in future?
For the person who has been on the receiving end of an inappropriate sexual innuendo, how should you respond? It’s easy to take it personally, but should you? It’s easy to get tied up in your emotions and feel hurt, affronted and upset, but is this the best response? The question to ask yourself is how do you get this person to understand that you do not appreciate this type of comment and ensure that they do not make sexual innuendoes to you in future?
The answer is usually to look them straight in the eye and tell them in a very clear, concise and polite way that you have, for whatever reason, been upset by their comments or actions and please could they refrain from doing or saying that type of thing again. Personally, I would also begin the conversation by saying something along the lines of “I know you wouldn’t mean to offend me and I’m sorry if I have misled you or if I seem prudish but…” as this is a way of saying that you are not trying to say that they are in the wrong; you are merely saying that you don’t enjoy that type of approach.
This type of phrasing is designed to diffuse the situation, and pave the way to moving forwards easily in a more appropriate manner. As I said, it is more important to achieve the end result that you wish than to quibble about what or who is right or wrong. This is especially true when the sexual innuendo has been presented to you by a family member, colleague or acquaintance. It is easier to get that person to stop by inferring that it’s you who might possibly be in the wrong, but…could they please stop in any case.
Needless to say, the types of sexual innuendo I’m referring to here are those of the milder form. I’m not talking about dealing with what is major sexual harassment, although this is probably a good way in which to attempt to deflect that as well.
Roseanna Leaton, specialist in hypnosis downloads for relationship issues and sexual confidence.
P.S. Please do grab yourself a free hypnosis download from my website.