In a culture of #metoo and evolving dialogues about how men and women can co-exist in a safer and more productive manner, I have had countless conversations with my guy friends and male clients. It seems that there is a lot of fear, especially from my more sensitive male friends, about what it might look like now to take a relationship to the next level, or even just to approach/ask someone out. Tonight, I’m sharing some of my thoughts in hopes that it continues the conversation, educates and provides some practical next steps for you guys out there who are unsure of how to move forward. If you’re a guy reading this, please comment below with any thoughts or questions — I would LOVE to hear from you.
Communication is incredibly important, and women will be thrilled to see that you are open to sharing thoughts and feelings about this topic. Ask questions more than you share opinions. Listen more than you vent. Show her that you care about how this movement has made an impact on her life. It has made me SO happy when my guy friends have reached out and asked me about my experiences or even shared their fears and concerns about what they can do to be the kind of men we need. Walking on eggshells isn’t the goal. We will all evolve and grow closer if we are able to come together, empathize and communicate from a place of deep respect.
If you are approaching a woman/getting to know her for the first time, intellectual banter is a lot more appealing than someone who only comments on what they are seeing in you physically. Don’t rush things. Don’t make assumptions. Remember: ask questions. Create dialogues. I have spent my entire life as a woman being incredibly on guard, on the defense, trying to hide from uncomfortable situations with men. Communicating in ways that show interest in who a woman is rather than what she looks like is a super easy way to start the relationship off by showing that you don’t see her as an object.
This should be self explanatory, I realize. But clearly it is not. Most importantly, prepare yourself for the “no”. One of the most difficult things for me to handle as a woman is when multiple men have looked utterly shocked, or even angry, when I stopped them from kissing/touching me or when I said “no” if they asked. I know egos are real, but you have to realize that her body does not belong to you. The men I have found the sexiest are the men who have made me feel the safest. That’s right — safe sex starts long before the bedroom. Communication is key, and this also goes back to the listening. Sometimes my “no” was coming from me saying “not yet”, “not now”, or “I’m not ready.” But the angry/bitter/shocked/aggressive reaction from the guy created a solid HELL NO.
If she’s looking for one, she’ll ask. Let her ask. Please don’t send unsolicited pictures of your penis taken from super weird angles in poorly lit rooms, and especially from the toilet seat in your parents’ basement. Okay, I was just speaking from some real life experiences on that one, but to clarify, we don’t want your professionally photographed dick pics either. It is such a violating experience in this generation and iPhone/social media culture to be bombarded with something like that. It feels like someone is forcing themselves on you. It has literally ruined my dinner, work, and overall vibes for the day before. In the same regard, if you are in a relationship and ask your partner to send you a naked photo and she says no, refer back up to #3. No actually means no. Putting additional pressure on a woman and making her uncomfortable is not the way.
To wrap things up for now, I just want to encourage you guys not to be afraid to reach out and connect. Just make sure you are putting her pace above your own, asking questions, listening, and paying attention. It really isn’t rocket science. Just don’t be a dick and don’t send dick pics. Communicate with women from a place of striving to better understand. Less agenda leads to more opportunity.