Unless you’ve been living in a cave or have been in a coma for the past 12 months or so, you’ve probably become well-acquainted with the #MeToo movement. While the idea dates back further, it’s recently become best epitomized by serial monster Harvey Weinstein. The list of men who have abused their position and forced themselves on women or simply just behaved boorishly extends well beyond the Hollywood power players. The #MeToo movement has unfortunately shown us that this sort of behavior is commonplace for women. It’s therefore inevitable it would have some impact on dating.
As a male, just how do you navigate the singles dating scene? While it seems as though the rules are a little in flux, here are 11 suggestions to help guide you through the labyrinth of dating in the #MeToo environment.
- You’re a manager; she’s not? Don’t go there. This is dangerous. In today’s climate, I would strongly recommend against any manager dating a subordinate. Regardless of situation or circumstance, this is a powder keg that can be lit way too easily. This is what fantasies are for. There simply are no happy #MeToo endings.
- Should you pick her up at her place? If you live in a major metropolitan area, this is a non-issue. If you live in suburbia and beyond, I’d suggest you meet out for the first few dates. On the off chance that she wants you to pick her up, do so, but don’t expect anything. When and if she wants to invite you over, she will.
- Avoid any #MeToo conversation. There is no way you won’t sound like an ass on this topic. Avoid it. Even if you think you’re evolved and identify as a feminist, please don’t go there.
- Flirting is fine. Flirting is expected on dates, but be careful that you don’t cross a line. You’ll want to steer clear of anything explicit. Explicit is wildly subjective and it’s too easy to misconstrue that. Be careful.
- Chill out a little bit. As men, it’s our nature to be hunters and gatherers. In the #MeToo world, we’ve gotta learn to take a step back. If you’ve got ants in your pants and are eager to get them off, you’re going to have to relax. Let the date unfold and see where it goes. You don’t ever want to find yourself accused of something you thought was consensual.
- Do you still have to pay? No, of course not. You can split things. Personally, I think it’s a dick move, but you can do it. I think this has less to do with #MeToo and more to do with just being a gentleman. However, just because you pay, it DOES NOT entitle you to anything. If you feel somewhat entitled, you’d be best to split the check.
- Do you have to ask before you kiss her? Not necessarily. Odds are strong if you’ve been paying attention to her and flirting throughout your date, she’ll send out the vibe, so be sure to stay sober enough for it to register. You could also turn the ask for a kiss into something playful. However, I would argue against getting all aggro and jamming your grill into hers, locking lips and forcing her to play tonsil hockey.
- If it feels wrong, stop. Ideally, you’ll be with someone who wants to be with you. Sometimes that “three date” rule kicks in and there’s some sort of pressure. Don’t let either of you succumb to the pressure. Taking the next step and moving into the boudoir should feel right for both of you and be without pressure. If it only feels right for you, it won’t be nearly as much fun.
- The Condom comes off during sex? STOP. First of all, let’s be clear: yes, you use a condom. Now, you’d think that if it came off, stopping would be a no-brainer, but apparently, it’s not. Frankly, most people agree that condoms kinda suck, but I think we can all agree that STDs or an unwanted pregnancy suck a whole lot more. If you’ve got a cover on your John Thomas and it happens to slip off, as sometimes happens, stop—regardless of how close you may be. If you’re lucky and you have another one handy, you both get a little break and will be able to carry on after you’ve slipped a new penis tuque on. And if you don’t, you may have to settle for the old manual ending.
- Can you take your condom off during sex? Are you a monster? NO! If she asks you to and you’ve both been tested and she’s on birth control, you can maybe consider it, but DO NOT under any circumstances do this on your own. Sheesh.
- She’s not a neophyte. Look, data suggests that an inordinate amount of women have to put up with an immense amount of bullshit harassment day to day. If you really want to win her over, be a respite from the crap she has to fight day in and day out. A little reservation on your part will go a long way. Trust me.
It’s a weird time to be out and about dating. Keep in mind, it’s new territory for everyone, so pay attention to what she’s saying and if you have questions or are in doubt, ask. If you play it cool enough, she’s going to drop enough signs and hints to let you know the way wants to move forward.