Dear Grace, You Are Wrong

Aziz-Ansari

This may not be a popular opinion, but let me say as someone who has:

  1. Been sexually assaulted
  2. Went on dates with guys who ended up wanting nothing more than sex
  3. Own a vagina and a brain

I don’t really care. So let’s begin….

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By now I am sure just about everyone has heard about the accusations being leveled against Aziz Ansari. “Whistleblower” Grace shared a detailed account of a date gone bad via a babe.com article that shaped her as a hapless victim with — apparently — the communication abilities of a young Helen Keller. She repeatedly leaned into something called a “non-verbal cue” to prove her point, which left just about anyone outside the mime community scratching their heads.

I was watching a clip from The View in which Whoopi Goldberg and Meghan McCain openly discuss their concerns about the way this story has been framed, and the damage it could do to women who have actually been victimized. They really wanted to know what consent means.

To me, it’s not difficult to define.

If you go one a date with someone, it means you are open to the idea of developing a romantic relationship (in either the near or distant future – up to you). It may only take you a few seconds into the first or a few dates to realize that you are no longer open to a romantic relationship, if this is the case, at that moment – you should end the date. If you choose to continue the date(s), you are implying you are still open to a romantic relationship (still in the near or distant future – your choice). Excellent, now assuming you are still on this date, you are now actively dating this person.

When two people are actively dating, they are bound to progress their relationship sexually (in the near or distant future – 100% in your hands)

When this moment happens, here are the steps to consent.  You MUST select A or B for each number, but at any point you can change your answer from A to B.

A. You are comfortable with this, go for it.     
B. You are not comfortable with this, move away and tell him NO!
  1. Date leans in for a kiss
  2. Date moves his hands toward you to touch your body
  3. Date moves his hands towards your bare skin
  4. Date begins to take off his/your clothing
  5. Date begins to engage in sexual acts

If at ANY POINT you answer or change your answer to B and your date ignores you – FIGHT, RUN, AND CALL THE POLICE you have just been assaulted.

The fact is, non-verbal cues don’t stand up legally or among species that are able to understand basic commands. I have three well-behaved rescue dogs and spent a lot of time training them – they want nothing more in life than to make me happy and do good so they can earn treats. But, they still like to jump all over me when I come home. I can “non-verbally” push their little paws off of my legs, sigh heavy and tell them they are being annoying but this does not stop them. All it takes is for one loud “NO” and they all three move away and sit still. I can’t even ask that the dogs I’ve spent years with to learn to read my mind, but you expect some random guy you don’t know to understand you’re non-verbal cues?

Grow up.

Dating, Noah style

Between settling into a new career, planning my upcoming nuptials and slowing taking another swing at my novel, I’ve been off the bloggy multiverse for a bit. I recently found myself in a fun discussion about dating – one that was generated by a cheesy “ain’t that just typical” pun about single men that I found HIGHlarious, but in reality was actually met with a blank stare and perhaps the sound of crickets by my audience of one. It took a slight jogging of my memory before I realized that, said conversation companion, had been in only one relationship since high school and didn’t have the entire Mencyclopedia Britannica it seems every single female in L.A. claims to have authored.

Silly me, since moving to Georgia, “this isn’t California anymore, Toto” seems to be my mantra.

As a seasoned, professional dater with 29 years experience (less the first 16, unless you count practice kissing with my pillows), it seems that I may just be somewhat of an authority on the matter. I mean, at the very least if we are using the same standards of “authority” say a show like Married At First Sight uses when they pick their “matchmaking experts,” that are little more than new-wave hippies parading around like psychotherapists (I’m sure you didn’t get your “sexology” degree from Harvard, buddy). So yeah, I guess I can call myself a bit of an expert on the matter. By the time I was done covering the basics of modern-day passive communication styles, sexpectations and  the disturbing rise in ghosting techniques, I had amassed a few more participants in the conversation.

A pretty fair suggestion emerged that this perspective was likely due to the type of man whom I had dated in the past. As I sat there and thought about it, I concluded that I didn’t actually have “a type” at all. Spinning through the rolodex of former suitors, I could see a wide range of everything from race, background, income, physical qualities, it was all over the place. And then it hit me, I was the Noah’s Ark of dating, I think I have dated two of every kind!  And no, not in the slutty way, as a matter of fact I was most adamant about one thing, if you are dating someone and don’t sleep with them after three dates, there was a 90% chance you would never hear from them again. In my experience, a guy who thinks you’re just okay is willing to put up with you for a max of three dates before they move on, to which I will raise a glass and toast to not having any precious time in my 20’s wasted by the ill-intentioned. Nope, I wasn’t going to be fooled by any husk pretending to be boyfriend material, if I was going to make lousy decisions I would do it willfully, with two eyes open and a middle finger pointed straight up to the air. Yep, my mistakes were my own and I love the fact that I was able to share little moments of my life with such a variety of people. I like to think about all the evening’s of deep conversation, good music and laughs and about the ones that got away, but mostly, I love to think about the one that decided to stay.

Being single was two sides of a coin, there were ups and downs but when it comes to my personal chronicals of dating and knowing how it led me to the path I travel today, I wouldn’t change a thing.