“What The F Do I Do Now!”
A guide for men in the #metoo era:
First, do not follow Donald Trump’s example, in any capacity. If you must choose a president to follow in these situations, choose Barack Obama or Jimmy Carter. Only sin in your heart, as in the latter case.
Second. Continue complimenting women, in non sleazy ways. Winking at a woman at work while complimenting her is sleazy. Winking at a woman at a bar while complimenting her can be done if mutual flirtation has begun. Winking at a woman while asking her out is both sleazy and scary.
Winking at your partner? Encouraged.
Third, think clearly about the difference in what you can do with an established partner versus what you can do with a co worker or stranger. They are decidedly not the same.
Fourth, do continue to ask women out. We actually do like the attention, as long as it isn’t sleazy. (See above).
Fifth, While on a first date, don’t assume it will end in sex. It may or may not, but assuming that it will is offensive, and may cause you to be more handsy than is prudent.
Sixth, Remember your date is a person first, and a sex object later. I know that’s been backwards for most of us for a very long time, but it’s the actual preferred order. This can get lost by all genders when chemistry is strong. Get to know your date on a person to person level, and sex may follow naturally.
Seventh, notice if they just aren’t that into you. This can be confusing because generations of women have been taught to be polite and cooperative. If she lets you take her clothes off, as in a recent publicized situation, it might be understandable to think she is into you. However, if you notice a lack of enthusiasm in any level of foreplay, be the one to back off. Walk away. Put your clothes back on. If they follow you and persist in sexual activity, then ask, “are you sure?” And get a clear yes. Are you listening Aziz?
Finally, We will all get more respect and very likely get more and better sex by treating each other as people first.
Disclosure: I am an older woman and a therapist who has been sexually harassed. I also have an amazing son who knows women are people first, and fully capable sexual beings second.