She Didn't Say No, But She Didn't Say Yes: 28 Phrases Every Man Needs To Understand

She Didn't Say No, But She Didn't Say Yes: 28 Phrases Every Man Needs To Understand

How to listen for signs of consent.

Sexual assault is a complex issue- but consent really isn't. It comes down to reading your partner's body language, responding to their verbal cues, paying attention to how they're feeling, asking them for their permission, and respecting their words.

Even in the smallest of ways.

When we envision sexual assault, I tend to envision a woman being pinned down in a back alley attacked by a masked man. But most of the time, that's not the case. 7 out of 10 acts of sexual violence are committed by someone you know, and more often than not, it doesn't happen in back alleys- it happens in the bedrooms at parties, on sidewalks outside our apartments, in movie theaters when you don't quite know what to say.

Even if your date isn't kicking and screaming, listen- because they still might be saying no. Consent is informed, enthusiastic, specific, and freely given. Listen to your partner. When in doubt, I'll give you some hints as to how to respect us and our bodies. Even if you think you don't need them, you might.

1. "I'm tired" means no.

2. "I have a boyfriend" means no.

3. "Maybe later" means no.

4. "Not right now" means no.

5. "I have to study" means no.

6. "We shouldn't do this" means no.

7. "I don't know how I feel about this" means no.

8. "I like you, but..." means no.

9. "Let's just go to sleep" means no.

10. "Don't touch me" means no.

11. "Please stop" means no.

12. "Stop doing that" means no.

13. "I'm not interested" means no.

14. "Get off me" means no.

15. "I'm busy" means no.

16. "I'm not sure" means no.

17. "We've been drinking" means no.

18. "You're not my type" means no.

20. "I changed my mind" means no.

21. "I'm not in the mood" means no.

22. "I don't know you" means no.

23. "I don't feel like it right now" means no.

24. Even if I say these things laughing, it means no.

24. Pulling away means no.

26. Shoving you off means no.

27. Still, unresponsiveness means no.

28. Silence means no.

In every way, in every language, no means no.

Rape is not respecting NO.

Next time you're in the heat of the moment, remember to check for signs of consent. When in doubt, silence means no.

Make sure to ask your partner how they feel. Not only is it respectful- it's sexy.

Cover Image Credit: The Zine Guide

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Why You Should Avoid Soulmates And Advice from Happy People

3 Things Attached People Should Avoid Saying To Single People

Avoiding Soulmates and Advice from Happy People

I remember telling a therapist why I had married. I married at 38 because I was scared to death I would never get another marriage proposal from a seemingly decent human being and honestly, I thought dating in your late 30’s was about comfort, no fireworks, just pure comfort. My therapist admonished me with a wag of his figure and told me that was bullshit. Fireworks, butterflies, and magic still existed in the world of dating.

Dating up to that point had become tedious but women my age were bombarded by the obvious questions: Are you in a serious relationship? Don’t you want children? Aren’t you lonely? Nope. Nope. Nope. I’ll tell you what I am though, bored, I would say. Bored out of my mind! Bored with online dating, acting flirty at work and definitely bored with hearing about other peoples’ marriages and kids. I was totally bored. However, if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, they say, so I did. I had the most boring 5-year marriage anyone could ever have, we stayed home, we argued and we were two people who were bored together. Five years later, I was done. For the first three years of my singlehood, I was happy. I mean seriously, pajama- wearing, dancing naked in the house, happy. Last year, I hit miserable, rock bottom. Dead alone, with my “Oh my God, I would love to go camping with your husband and kids!” face on. I was a big, fat, phony.

I put the word out; I was networking with friends to see who was divorced or available. I kept hearing three phrases over and over again and I’m here to say, please stop saying these statements to your lonely, divorced, unattached friends:

  1. “You have to put yourself out there!”
    First of all, where is ‘out there’ exactly? I told you people I was lonely and looking, by now you should know what I’m into and have your feelers out there for me, correct? Second of all, am I putting myself on the street corner, is there a specific place where lonely people in their 40’s hang out and why don’t I know of this secret hang out? Or do you just mean online? Been there, done that.
  2. “If it’s meant to be it will be.” What the hell kind of crap is that? So what you’re saying is there is some big matchmaker in the sky, watching me saying, “nope, girl that is not the one for you and I’m not sure when he is going to come along.” This is utter nonsense and smart women like me never take the bait.
  3. “Everything happens for a reason and happens at the right time.” This is just more non-single people rhetoric and a tactic used to avoid supporting lonely people. Once again stating this fantasy that there is a big eye in the sky that genuinely has the time to take care of you and your problems. There is no clock; there are no “soulmates”, only those who you connect with on a heart level.

Look, I love my friends and my family, but instead of platitudes, please give me the support you would want for yourself if you were in my situation. Put your detective hat on and help me search for the ultimate partner or if you just happen to be in that “hangout” that I know nothing about and see a smart, handsome, cool, guy who you think might be up my alley, give him my number, will ya?

Cover Image Credit: Youtube

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I Found My 'Prince Charming' But Messed It Up, And Yet, We're Still Friends

I'd rather have him in my life as something rather than nothing at all.

As young girls, we become familiar with fairy-tales such as Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White. In all of the named fairy-tales, there are numerous tragic trials and tribulations that keep two characters from happiness. In the end, a prince and princess get married and live happily ever after.

Fairy-tales such as these make us believe in miracles and finding true love.

As we transition into adulthood, we discover that finding love, in reality, isn’t how the books/movies made it out to be, but that doesn't mean it is impossible. It is much more difficult than foot matching a slipper and getting married right after or meeting someone for the first time and immediately falling in love with each other.

In the real world, feelings often go unnoticed or are hidden, or love is simply one-sided with one person desperately holding on and another letting go. People lie, cheat, lose feelings, give up, change, betray, use others, take advantage of others and much more.

We learn this the hard way, whether we are a victim or the opposite.

In my case, I'm not the victim, but I was in love and suffered from the consequences of my actions. I would never have dreamed that my ‘Prince Charming’ would be someone I went to high school with, that is overly obsessed with shoes, and drives a Ford. Someone that can be described as one in a million.

With that being said, it is not surprising that I messed it up.

It started out as the usual asking each other for a piece of gum or him sliding up to send a flirty comment on my Snapchat story. There were hardly any conversations between us outside of a classroom.

Freshman year, I was waiting to go back to my dorm after the first day of my classes when he unexpectedly approached me and another person. A conversation began and the rest is history.

From that day on, our friendship got tighter and soon we were talking. We saw each other every Monday and Wednesday, and occasionally, a few other days every so often.

We were never more than friends because I betrayed him two times. My selfish actions caused him to lose faith and trust in me which caused a lot of pain and grief for me.

Despite my almost constant begging, he never gave me another chance. I can't say that I don't blame him because I don't deserve another one. It was then that I realized what I had right in front of me and how badly I needed to change my ways.

I never knew what love really was until I met him, and I never knew what it was like to need someone so bad until I lost him.

After all that happened, I still fell harder for him with every day that passed because we decided to stay friends.

The cliche jittery feeling in your stomach, tingly feeling all over your body, and take-your-breath-away kisses came to life with him. He made me feel safe and secure, as well as cared about and worthy. He was all I could think about.

I loved him and everything about him: his dark and lustrous hair, how deep his voice would get when he laughed too hard, his eyes, lips, smile, and mostly his love for God.

I loved hearing about new shoes that he wanted, even though I acted like I didn't, or shoes that he bought and couldn't stop talking about or showing off. (When he got Yeezy's he was more than annoying but it was adorable at the same time.) I loved how it felt to be held by him. I loved all of his flaws and imperfections. I loved him because he made me laugh more than any person ever has.

I loved him because, for the first time in a long time, I was genuinely happy. A smile didn't have to be faked around him. I loved him because he made me feel like nobody ever has.

I could see a future with him.

Today we are still friends, but that doesn't mean that I don't get the same feelings that I did in the beginning.

It doesn't mean that my heart doesn't feel like it's falling out of my chest every time he is in my presence because I know that he will never be mine.

It doesn't mean that I don't have to fight back tears every time I hear his voice.

It doesn't mean that it's easy being around him or having a class with him.

It doesn't mean that it's easy hearing him talk about his new shoes or hearing him say my name.

It's not easy at all. If I could redo everything with him, I would in a heartbeat. I would do and make everything right.

At the end of the day, I still can't picture myself with anyone else. Trying to move on is a struggle. Being his friend does not help, but at the same time, I'd rather have him in my life as something rather than nothing at all.

I know that God will never give us more than we can handle, and if it's meant to be, it will be when God wants it to be. God has a plan, even if it isn't your desired fairy-tale.

One day we will understand why it never worked out with anyone else. The best thing to do is leave all your troubles and worries for God to handle and have faith that everything will get better.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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