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(The original first writeup in this node was the text of a pamphlet titled "Avoiding Date Rape" which focused on tactics for women to keep themselves safe.) Though I agree with most of this pamphlet, I have a problem with part of one sentence: 'Many women have been socialized to believe that ... they can "make out" and then decide whether to say "yes" or "no" to sex later.'

What is wrong with that? It seems to be implying that no one is ever allowed to stop -- that you can't kiss someone without being willing to have sex with them right then and there. (Reminds me of a former boyfriend who seemed to think even a good-bye hug on the way to class was an occasion for crotch-grinding and body-part-grabbing -- one of the reasons why he's a former boyfriend.)

It seems to me that everyone of any gender should be brought up to believe that you can make out without any obligation to go any farther than both people are comfortable with. That someone who sets limits is not "sending mixed messages" but truly means that up to a point is fine, but not past that point. Sex is not a slippery slide -- it's more of a car ride where you can pull over at various points.

Be it worry about pregnancy, a flashback to an incident of child sexual abuse, or just realizing that they've forgotten something they needed to take care of, there are a lot of reasons why someone's mood may change in the middle of sex. Only a jerk would force someone to go on with something they're no longer comfortable with.

-- Segnbora, a survivor of child sexual abuse who's dealt with too many jerks in her past.

Just as important as avoiding the receiving of date rape, is avoiding giving it.

Main idea: However awkward and unromantic it may seem, ask her first. Listen to her answer. She is not being alluring and difficult, she is being honest.

If you think she's coming on to you, you still need to ask her explicitly. Really. In every case.

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