If you are in a conflict with this person due to tangled emotions, pick a process and, if you need it, a friend to help.Remember the goal is for you both to feel ok about things, not for one of you to win and one of you to lose. ” Those conversations are not a one-time thing, just as you can’t get one-time consent to touch somebody.

Being responsive to your own needs at the same time as you respond to the real needs of the other in an attuned, emotionally present way is the mature life-skill you’re aiming for.

And this may involve being careful with people’s trauma histories, and that is fine.

say or act like you are serious about someone, make out with them, and then avoid them. If you make out with somebody, you are responsible for checking in to make sure they are ok, not just during, but also after. Casual sex is sex focussed on physical sensation rather than connection, and works best with two people who are both happy to be casual physical playmates and who are equally uninvested in secure emotional connection with each other.

Navigate this honestly and carefully so you do not take advantage of people.

Do not make it their job to ask for a conversation to get you both back to a good place together. Do not run away if things get uncomfortable or you start to feel emotions that confuse you.

If you need space to calm down, pick a specific near-future time in which you will come back fully present and taking a proactive role in getting back to a good place.

This post is in honour of male feminists and their dating rituals.

You’re a straight monogamous cismale who identifies as a leftie. You fall in love with strong, smart, feminist women. Consent requires honesty, and you can’t speak honestly about your intentions unless you know what they are. Just as we teach high schoolers that ‘if you’re not ready for the possible outcomes of babies and diseases, you’re not ready for sex,’ the same is true of emotions. That is just the reality of choosing to engage in sexual relationships.

Try things like this: “I felt this way when I said and did that, but things have changed, and this is how I feel now. I feel bad that I let you down or inadvertently misled you. Between emotionally mature people, these are not in conflict but are interwoven.