This week, the Sexist will embark on a series about groping in D.C.’s public spaces—-its bars, parking lots, Metro cars, national parks, bookstores, and sidewalks. So far, I’ve heard the stories of dozens of groping victims—-and one woman who admitted to groping a man. But I have yet to find a man who will fess up to groping a woman without her consent.

Perhaps they’re embarrassed about having sexually assaulted another human. Unfortunately, men who contribute to anonymous Internet forums don’t seem to have that problem.  Tales from gropers abound on the Internet, where anonymous sex discussions regularly fail to register casual sexual assault as taboo. Online, the public narrative surrounding groping is certainly tipped in the direction of the grabber, while testimonies from their victims are few and far between.

My Google alert for “groping” has turned up hundreds of fetish videos, but zero stories from people who have been groped. And the fascination with touching women without their consent is hardly confined to the world of pornographic fantasy. Today, I stumbled across a thread on Panterachat.com, where metal fans discuss their experiences groping female crowd-surfers. Brandon opens the thread: “has anyone here ever groped a girl who was crowd surfing,” he writes—-“admit it.”

The respondents who would admit to groping crowd-surfers provide some insight into the groper’s psyche. Take Izzy. Izzy gropes to teach girls a lesson! “Any girl that goes crowd surfing either wants to be groped or is too fucking stupid to realize that that’s all that’s going to happen and deserves to get groped for her stupidity,” he writes. Here, groping is seen as a punishment for women who have an expectation of personal safety at rock concerts. But which came first—-the man who groped the woman, or the woman who was too fucking stupid to realize that the man was going to grope her, forcing him to grope her? The world may never know.

Other respondents denied groping crowd-surfers, but not because they have respect for women: “The vast majority of girls I have seen crowd-surfing at metal shows are not the least bit grope-worthy,” writes Pfl?yd.

For several of the forum participants, the thrill of groping isn’t in touching a woman’s body; it’s in pissing her off. long4theblur writes: “always like seeing the chicks who crowd surf but then are obviously offended by the groping that occurs. The naivety alone is funny.” BassPhemy adds: “I like when you see a concert on TV or on a DVD or something and the girls crowd surf up to the front. They look like they’re having fun as they go up, then as they make their way to the front of the crowd the smiles turn to frowns. Then when the security pulls them down they just look violated and are usually covering their bodies with their arms.”

Brandon‘s favorite part of groping appears to be rendering her powerless to respond: “there was this one occasion in which i groped a young lady at a danzig show,” he writes. “after screaming ‘you grabbed me’ into my ear and i responded that i couldnt hear her, she gave up.”

I know that there are plenty of men out there who touch women in public and don’t frequent Panterachat.com. If you are a man who has groped someone in D.C., and can explain why, drop me a line.