Dear Creepy Guy on the Internet:
Please stop it.
I realize that I write a (satirical) sex column and blog about my life and you might think that’s an invitation to send me creepy emails, but it’s really not. At all. You continue to try to contact me and I continue to ignore you. You send me strange messages that scare me. I realize you’re probably not aware of how you’re affecting other people but you probably need to seek help. And I’m not the person to help you. Talk to your parents. See a doctor. Please. Because my guess is that I’m not the only woman who you’re emailing. And I’m probably not the only one that you’re scaring.
Let me assure you, you don’t know me, and the things you write make my family and myself very, very uncomfortable. I know that’s not your intention but if you don’t stop, I will contact the police.
A special message for everyone reading this: If you recognize yourself in this letter then you need to look at your actions. If you’re sending numerous suggestive messages to someone who is clearly not responding to you then you’re harassing them. If you find yourself sending emails to girls assuring them that you “don’t mean to scare them” or “would never hurt them” then you’re already over the line. Just stop.
Not every girl is strong enough to confront someone they’re afraid of, and in many cases the person harassing them may be mentally ill and responding to them can exacerbate the problem. If you’re a girl (or guy) being harassed by someone (whether it’s a friend, family member, stranger, or someone online), tell someone else. Tell your parents. Tell your school counselor. Tell your spouse. So often we allow people to frighten us because we’re brought up to “not make a scene” or to brush it off because “some people are just different.” And it’s true that some people are different in wonderful ways, but there are also some people who are different in dangerous ways, and you shouldn’t have to deal with them alone. It’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between a harmless guy who just can’t read social cues versus someone who is truly unstable or even violent, and talking about it to friends and family can help you in determining this. It’s not your fault that this started. I know you might feel like it is, but it isn’t. It’s not your fault. And letting your friends and family know what’s happening is the responsible thing to do and they can help you stop it. If not for you, then do it for the next girl he turns his attentions toward. We’re all in this together, after all.