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Man’s saliva request backfires when woman turns it into a lesson about negotiating pay

Take note.


Alex Dalbey


Posted on Nov 30, 2018   Updated on May 21, 2021, 12:28 am CDT

Cartoonist Emi Gennis is no stranger to sexual harassment. She’s been outspoken about issues of consent and is one of 11 people being sued for accusing comics publisher Cody Pickrodt of sexual assault. Gennis told BuzzFeed News the latest instance of sexual harassment for her started with a flirty online relationship, in which the man quickly escalated to messaging her “all of the time.” Gennis said she tried to let him down gently, explaining why this makes people uncomfortable. “I’m an educator,” said Gennis, “sometimes I can’t help myself.”

Gennis said the man replied aggressively, later apologized, but then continued to send her sexually explicit messages for months. Then, he requested to buy her spit.

Gennis said that after initially laughing at the audacity of his request, especially since she so thoroughly shut him down, she realized she had a unique opportunity. Gennis teaches cartooning and illustration students and saw a chance to teach them about negotiating freelancing rates. With that in mind, she began her negotiations.

Using the framework of the spit negotiation, Gennis broke down best practice strategies for negotiating rates, such as laying out the amount of work you’ll have to do for the client, so they can clearly see what their money is going to. She also recommended offering two options, a flat rate or an hourly rate. In her negotiations with the creepy man, she made sure to explain that she can’t guarantee how much spit she would produce per hour.

When he said he wanted it within seven days, she responded, “I’d have to charge you a rush fee to make that timeline work.” She offered him $75 an hour for the spit within a week or $50 an hour for the spit within 15 days. At that point, he stopped responding.

Gennis says she’s teaching a class on self-promotion for illustrators next semester, and will definitely be taking this lesson to her students.

H/T BuzzFeed News


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*First Published: Nov 30, 2018, 10:20 am CST