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When It Comes to Dating, No Means Stop

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When It Comes to Dating, No Means Stop

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OK, I can’t hold back. The Aziz Ansari thing must be addressed.

Back in the day when I had long hair and was rocking stages from Emmett to Mountain Home, I observed a simple rule when it came to making out with women who had until recently been strangers.

No Means Stop.

Simply put, if I’m making out with said lady, kissing, necking, petting, undressing, and so forth in the typically escalating pattern most of us follow, and at any point she freezes up, pushes away, grabs a hand, or in any way verbally or non-verbally indicates that’s a bridge too far, I just stop.

Not “well, I’ll back up two spaces in the Game of Sex and keep rolling the dice to see if I can find another way forward.” Not “OK, I’ve found the boundary, so I’ll just stay right there until she can’t help but let me move forward.’

Just stop. Like, disengage, start re-dressing, prepare to leave.

This is where I stopped writing the last three times for fear that the rebuke would be how assholish I was, just cold-stopping a make-out session because it wasn’t going to go as far as I wanted it to.

But, in all the times I’ve had to follow the rule, it has never been that way. It’s not like “Dammit! Well, I guess you’re not giving it up, so I’m out of here.” It was more like, “Oh, sorry, I didn’t mean to infringe; here, let me give you some space.”

Then what usually followed was some conversation about what was happening and where it was going. Sometimes that led to the end of the evening, parting on good terms. Sometimes that led to falling asleep in each others’ arms. Sometimes the feeling of safety and respect were all it took for her to take the lead in escalating the encounter.

But that was the 1990s. Since then, I’ve not dated. So take my advice for what it’s worth, folks.

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