Short but not so sweet today… not one, but two known merverts either friended me, messaged me, asked to join my group for pro merfolk, or a combination of the above in the last 48 hours.

WTF is a mervert, I hear you ask?! Sadly, as in every industry and pastime, there are always a few who spoil it for everyone else – in this case, people who harass mermaids both pro and amateur. Usually starting online, often turning into trying to lure performers into a one-to-one appearance, some of them have police records and some of them are obviously dodgy. Others seem innocent and then turn bad.

Mermaid tails on the sand | Mermaiding UK | ©Photography by Grace Hill

Fortunately, the forum where mermaids from around the world congregate has a thread detailing proven offenders, so when names I didn’t recognise popped up, I did a check.

And then instantly blocked them from my personal profile, page or both. See how to block someone from your page and how to block someone from your profile (including sending you messages and friend requests) or how to block someone from messaging you on Facebook.

What I learned

Though this is a problem that is probably quite niche to performers, I thought it was worth including a list of warning signs.

Red flags, specifically for Facebook groups, include:

  • being a member of a ludicrous number of groups
  • having no profile picture and/or no friends on Facebook
  • not having anyone in common with you
  • having only mermaids in common with you (replace “mermaids” with whatever your industry specialism is)
  • randomly adding and messaging you when they don’t know you. I am always particularly suspicious when it is a random guy messaging me out of nowhere – it happens in my non-mermaid life, too, but my instincts for genuine questions over weirdos adding me to perv over my tail are usually pretty good.
  • repeatedly messaging the same thing, or emailing your (mermaid) business asking if they can visit or swim with you when you have already declined for whatever reason.

My takeaway lesson is that it is totally ok to trust your instincts – and blocking someone who is making your hackles rise is a much better option than leaving them to it on the off chance they become a paying customer. They are definitely not your ideal clients!

Intrigued? Read my series on building a business, based on my experiences with Mermaiding UK as I rebrand and relaunch it.