Milly Morison, a dating coach and founder of Single Events Newcastle, has a message for women in their 40s to 60s: consent goes both ways.
Ms Morison, who has been hosting regular speed dating and singles events in Newcastle for the past three years, said she "had to do something" after a pub crawl and party event for middle-aged singles this month was marred by several complaints from men about women inappropriately touching them.
One of her male employees had to leave the event at the Great Northern, she said, after being sexually harassed by a female participant.
"It has been an escalating problem in that age bracket and at this event it leveled up. I don't have this issue with women under 35.
"The thing about it is that women don't realise what they're doing: sexual harassment is sexual harassment regardless of which gender is perpetrating it."
After the event, which Ms Morison said had around 70 participants, she spoke to a few participants about their behaviour and sent out an email to her women clients reminding them of her events' "no touching without consent" rule.
However, she said she wanted to share the message more broadly because its a phenomenon she had noticed in the wider community.
"The rules of dating and gender relations have changed a lot over the last few years, women have become much more empowered and men are now very carefully minding where they put their hands," she wrote.
"But this does not mean that women can slap, pinch, playfully tap guys' arses or punch their chests, rub themselves against the guys bodies, or grab their hands or arms and drag them to dance when they don't want to. Seriously stop.
"The guys don't like it, they don't think it's funny or cute - they think it's hypocritical."
She also wrote that when she intervened in two incidents of women grabbing and dragging men on the night she was met with comments like he "didn't protest too much" or he "didn't put up a fight."
"Can you hear that statement if the genders were reversed?" she wrote.
Double standards around women's and men's behaviours derived from outdated ideas about masculinity, she said.
"I think it's based on this cultural myth that men just want to get laid and that's not true.
"Some guys are looking for a hook up but most people come along to my events to have a conversation and make a deeper connection."
The member of staff who said he was sexually harassed during the Hit The Town pub crawl said the incident had made him feel "dirty" and "angry". The 27-year-old requested not to be named because he was worried people learning about his situation would "just think it's funny".
"This woman came up to me and kept grabbing me on the arm, grabbing me on the chest, grabbing me on the arse, saying she wanted to sleep with me," he said.
"It made me feel like a piece of meat. I have a girlfriend and I know if someone did that to my partner it would make me feel absolutely sick."
He said that being touched by strangers while going out at night in Newcastle was something he was noticing more often.
"Younger women are not as bad," he said. "I don't know if some women think that's what men like or maybe they think they can get away with it."
While he believes sexual harassment probably happens more often to women, he said it's bad if it happens to anyone.
"Men are physically stronger so that's a difference [for when it happens to women]. But if someone is grabbing you on the nether regions, it's harassment, it's the same."
Ms Morison said unsolicited touching and sexual comments from men was actually something that happened "very rarely" at her parties and speed-dating nights.
"The guys usually come by themselves so they read the emails and if they're not on board with the attitude of the event they don't come."
Ms Morison sends out a message of advice to all ticket-holders before her events and reminds them that "enthusiastic consent" is what to look for from prospective partners.
"I don't think society will get past the issue of sexual violence unless everyone is on board with the message that everyone is to be treated with respect and has rights over their own bodies," she said. "It's not about saying 'no', it's about people giving an enthusiastic 'yes'."
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