Wait, WHAT? You Did NOT Just Call Me THAT.

I can not imagine being a mother in this day and age; where I have to teach my daughter self-respect and boundaries and what it means to stand in her power. Because in the year 2017, I am being called names like “stupid”, “slut”, “twat” and “cocktease” for a decision I made about my body.

Of all the posts I’ve written, this one gets the most hate mail. Almost entirely from women. The story is one where I recount the night I went to a concert, met Billy Idol backstage, spent time with him and his entourage, and ended up back at his hotel room. It is a story of a real life woman–with mixed feelings and emotions–navigating a crazy situation and learning some important lessons along the way.

When I write, I allow my readers into my world. I share my inner dialogue and how my choices play out in the decisions I make and the actions I take. I do this because it is in sharing what’s really going on with me that I hope to encourage other people to notice and explore their own experiences, choices and decisions.

It is how I connect with my tribe.

My night with Billy Idol seems to infuriate some of his biggest fans. I have addressed some of these haters. Other comments don’t warrant being posted and so I delete them; they are too hateful. I’ve been called a slut. A liar. Someone who is using my story for financial gain. None of them are true. I share my stories to share my life.

But because this woman has taken her hate one step further by writing an article about me, I would like to share my side here. Might I begin by pointing out that this woman doesn’t believe in rape culture and also believes there is no such thing as the wage gap.

This woman is not my people.  

And that’s ok.

I will not condemn or criticize her for her beliefs. She has every right to them. But what she does NOT have the right to do is call me names for a choice I made regarding my body.

This woman–who has never met me or spoken with me–claims that whether or not my story about my night with Billy is true, the problem with me is that I am a “cocktease”.

In the year 2017, I am being called a “cocktease” because after telling a man (and his friends) repeatedly that I had no intentions of sleeping with him, he continued to spend time with me, hoping our night would end in sex.

She believes that I should have slept with Billy simply because I had the opportunity to do so. In fact, she starts her article with, “the story quickly went from admirable groupie who wants to have sex with Billy Idol into some tale about how he TOTALLY tried to take advantage of her…”

For this woman to admit that she would admire me for having sex with Billy is telling of her character. Are we seriously at a time in history where we admire people for sleeping with strangers?! And to state, in CAPITAL LETTERS that I claimed Billy tried to take advantage of me tells me she didn’t understand the point of the article.

Not once did I elude to Billy “taking advantage” of me. Did he try to use his celebrity to bypass any traditional social norms when it comes to having sex?

Of course he did.

Did Billy Idol do anything but be Billy Idol in order to feel justified seeking sex?

Of course he didn’t.

And do I feel that this makes Billy Idol a misogynist (as the title of her article suggests)?

No. I do not.

I believe Billy Idol is a man. A man who happens to be a celebrity and who is used to getting what he wants. I believe he is an opportunist; not a misogynist.

This woman believes that I asked for it and then turned it down. And this infuriates her.

As I wrote about in the original post, prior to leaving the house, I visualized meeting him that night–very different than “asking for sex”—and I share that I don’t even really knowing why I want to meet him other than I have been practicing manifesting and it had been yielding uncanny results.

This woman purports that if I asked for it, I must accept it.

But no matter what, this is simply not true. 

As women (and men), we have the right to say no. At ANY point. Even if we have thought about being with someone. Even if we have spent time with that person. Even if we have gone on several dates and had dinner with them and met their families and even if we are back at their place and the expectation is to finish the night with sex. Saying “no” at any point doesn’t mean we are “cockteases”. We are people making decisions that feel right for us now.

We are allowed to make decisions regarding our bodies in every single moment. Period. No matter what. And I won’t allow someone else to tell me what I should or shouldn’t do with my body, whether or not my decision infuriates them. Because it is none of their business what I choose to do with it and I didn’t write the post asking for validation.

For most of my life, I did not love and respect myself. I felt my body was for others to use and enjoy; it was not my own. But through my transformation in recovery, I am no longer that girl. I have grown and evolved and changed the way I see myself–and my body–and it has made all the difference. Treating my body with dignity and respect–through food, exercise, mindfulness, sobriety and through my choices around sexual partners–has allowed me to hold myself to a higher standard.

As a drinker, I wouldn’t plan on going home with a guy, but by the end of the night, my behaviour–and my morals–often changed; my judgment clouded by an elevated blood alcohol level. But as a sober woman, I had my eyes wide open and my morals in check. As the night carried on, my resolve only became stronger, which I expressed to Billy and his crew several times.

Should I have just left Billy and his posse at the bar and gone home? Maybe. But I believe that the entire situation taught me more about myself than any weekend-long meditation retreat ever could. Life is like that. There is a lesson in every experience.

Looking back, I still wouldn’t change a thing about that evening. As I expressed in the original post, as strange as the whole thing was, it taught me valuable lessons about myself, my worth and my values.

It reminded me of how I wanted to feel about myself. I realized, during the events of this crazy evening, that I wanted to feel proud of myself. I knew that sleeping with Billy Idol would make me feel ashamed. And putting myself in another shameful situation was not something I was actively practicing. I had barely started working through much of the shame of my past to make yet another bad decision.

Not now.

Not him.

So, maybe I did use him to help me learn a lesson. But isn’t that what all of life is doing all the time? Isn’t that the whole point? To make decisions, learn lessons, change minds, create meaning–out of our experiences? And how else do we gain experience if we don’t go out and experience things?

I am sorry that there are people out there who still believe that women are only good for one thing. People who truly believe that because I didn’t have sex with him, I am a bad person. People who use the word “cocktease” to describe a woman who says “no” to a man’s advances.

Just because I went to a concert with the intention of meeting Billy, and then just because I was asked backstage and DID meet him, and even though we went out afterwards, this was not a guarantee of sex.

He knew that. Which is why he kept saying, “That’s not what this is, darling!”

I knew that. Which is why I wasn’t afraid that we’d end up in bed together.

So we didn’t.

And I left.

End of story.

I just filled in the gaps with some details and my feelings, that’s all. Because that’s what stories are.

Here’s the bottom line: We have got to stop imposing our values onto others.

What is right for me may not be right for you, but you are not allowed to tell me how to behave in a situation just because you would have behaved differently.

We have got to stop name-calling and trying to hurt others through our words. I am not a “cocktease” or a “slut” or an “idiot” (“maybe this woman is just exceedingly stupid?“) and if Billy didn’t like what was happening, no one was holding a gun to his head. He could have moved on, but I believe he liked the thrill of the chase just as much as I enjoyed the electricity of the evening. It was an exhilarating night, one I will always remember (and one Billy likely forgot by lunch the next day), but one for which I will never, ever feel ashamed.

Because it gave me experience.

Because it showed me more of who I really am.

Because I create a life I love through the decisions I make.

Because I want the same for you.

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.

P.S. Are you in recovery from something (depression, cancer, divorce, addiction, PTSD, etc.) and have a desire to write about your experience? Last weekend, Roger and I launched our online Writer’s Retreat that will teach you how to write your story–from start to finish–and self-publish your book, the way I did, in order to heal yourself and help others. If this speaks to you, click here to register!

P.P.S. Let’s be friends! I’d love to connect on Facebook , Twitter and Instagram. Plus, if you haven’t already subscribed to my blog, you should! That way, you won’t miss anything. For joining, you get my personal meal plan, shopping list, and a week’s worth of easy, tasty recipes. http://sarahtalksfood.com/

4 Comments

  • Nicole

    Reply Reply September 20, 2017

    Sarah,
    You are truly amazing and inspiring. I believe the woman attacking your character is truly attacking herself for things she has been ashamed of that she hasnt even begun to deal with.
    Your writings are that powerful and she will likely look into her mirror at some point and see the reflection of a woman who thinks very little pf herself.
    Keep on being you. We all need to have such courage. Xoxo love to you !!!

    • Sarah Roberts

      Reply Reply September 20, 2017

      What powerful insight. Thank you for sharing it with me. And thank you for your kind words. I couldn’t stay silent on this one and I am glad I spoke out. Sending you big hugs! xo

  • Pat Durant

    Reply Reply September 22, 2017

    I wonder if Oprah ever had anyone bash her…. seriously. Of course she did! I’ve been reading her Biography and she did some pretty gutsy things, said some pretty gutsy things that soon catapulted her to stardom. Many people couldn’t handle her forthrightness, honesty, and the public forum she chose to work through her childhood sexual abuse. “It just wasn’t the place to do it!” Because of her public exploration, she helped millions of people come to terms with their own “secrets.” They no longer felt alone, or as ashamed. Forget the naysayers and bashers. They are a hurting, shortsighted, judgmental minority – but they will always exist. Turn a blind eye, and march onward. Your words, reflections, and actions help many!

    • Sarah Roberts

      Reply Reply September 22, 2017

      Thank you so much for your comments, Pat. And I agree wholeheartedly. Honestly, I am getting more and more comfortable with people “hating” me. I realize it says more about them than me. And yes, I know that what other people think of me is none of my business. But I am so glad to have this conversation, where we can be reminded that no one but US gets to decide how we should live our lives. As long as we are making choices that move us closer to who we really are–choices that are aligned with our values, our beliefs and–frankly–our mood in that moment!–then, it should not matter what others would have done, had they been in our position. And I totally agree with you about helping others through our stories. I receive countless messages from people who feel less alone, knowing the path I have walked. Those are the voices that matter most to me. But I did feel this was an important conversation to have. Because we live in a time where we can feel such strong negative emotions towards people we have never met that we can forget how valuable it is to try to see another’s point of view. Thank you again for being here and for getting me. Sending you big hugs! xo

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