The worst part about being a newspaper reporter is writing about rapes. Unfortunately, I’ve had to write about a few of them. The best and worst part of your job as a bouncer is dealing with gropey men — it’s the best because you can kick the crap out of them, but the worst because someone gets touched by a creep.
Instead of trying to teach girls and women how to avoid these situations, I’d like to teach boys how to understand consent. I attended Catholic high school, so I learned that a boy matures, marries a girl and then has children. However, I’ve heard my sex ed teacher skipped a few steps.
According to Planned Parenthood, “Consent means actively agreeing to be sexual with someone. Consent lets someone know that sex is wanted. Sexual activity without consent is rape or sexual assault.”
A lot of people *cough cough* douchebags *cough cough* ask, “How am I supposed to know when somebody consents?”
It’s pretty simple. Ask if the thing is OK. If it is, keep going. If not, do something else or just quit. Stopping might seem harsh, but people will judge you a lot more harshly if you keep going. Maybe your new romance pal wants more than one bedroom experience or two to feel out whether you two are connected well enough.
If they say, “No,” you’ve got to deal with it. Yeah, it sucks. It’s like getting so far in that video game, but then you die right when you’re really getting into it. Guess what? There’s always another time, day and/or person. There’s no cheat code to get past a certain level.
Slowing things down doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be paused forever. Before going all the way, some people just want to trust a guy by seeing if he’ll listen. If she says, “I don’t want to do this right now,” and you flip out and start smashing stuff — that’s a pretty good sign that you’re probably not the one for her. If she stops you, so you stop and instead talk about why you’re disappointed nobody plays “Pokémon GO” anymore, and she laughs at your stupid story, she might see something special in you. But remember, if she giggles at a joke, that’s not instant permission to go further.
How can you tell if she’s not interested or playing “hard to get”? If she leaves without saying goodbye, throws a drink in your face or says “I don’t want to talk to you,” she’s not interested. If she says, “I’m Usain Bolt’s twin. I’ll keep talking to you if you can keep up with me during my 5 a.m. jog,” she might be playing hard to get.
If you kept up with her, and you’re both all hot and sweaty, and she invites you into the shower, cool. If not, maybe go home and do some stretches or something.
Sometimes you’ll go through every single step. Sometimes you won’t. Maybe she wants to skip the exam and get right to the results. The thing to remember is: It’s her decision. Most women I’ve known like being queried about the next thing. So ask questions and accept the answers.