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making the first move

Is It OK to Initiate Sex or Should You Let Her Lead?

Relationships

In the #MeToo era, is it better to always let women lead the path towards sex? Niloufar Shafi garners opinion from men and women.

This is a doozy. Most women prefer the man to take charge when it comes to initiating sex, and yet it can be easy to inadvertently cross boundaries. Communication is key, but it can also kill the mood. That’s when signals, not to mention common sense, come into play. Usually a woman shares enough cues for the man to pick up on what she wants.

We asked: In the #MeToo world, is it safer to let the girl lead the way when it comes to initiating sex?

It’s a case of reading the signals and getting the vibe of the situation. I wouldn’t feel like I couldn’t make the first move but that move would have to be very subtle and in no way would I ever want to make someone uncomfortable. Speaking to friends who are single in the dating scene, I think #MeToo has made some guys who’re maybe not as good at reading the signals less comfortable dating. Maybe they get quite nervous. The majority of men are not out to cause harm to women or make them uncomfortable in any way, but because of what’s going on in the news and what’s been reported there is an additional level of anxiety. In terms of making the first move, [men are wondering] how will that be interpreted because there’s now a magnifying glass”. Will, 36

The first time? It should happen naturally. But whatever you do be safe, use protection. I feel like I sound like a mum: ‘Don’t use handcuffs yet, you may not get out of them. You don’t know the guy well!’  But yeah it should happen naturally. I personally like a guy who takes control. It’s different if a girl is very clear that she’s not interested. Then they should back off. That’s the problem with sexual harassment. If women are very clear from the beginning that they’re not interested men shouldn’t touch them. That’s separate. Whereas if she’s in your bed, naked, then I’m thinking she’s clearly giving you signals. I mean, come on!Marie, 33

If you’re talking in the #MeToo context, even if the woman were to lead, maybe she still has a bad experience just because it wasn’t great or whatever it is, it doesn’t necessarily protect a guy if there transpires she was really unhappy and she would like to say something against him, even just amongst her circle of friends. A woman can do more, but I don’t know what it achieves. It’s good to be explicit. Obviously you know if you want to do something and a woman should say, ‘No, I don’t want to yet’ and not be treated harshly or be seen as playing hard to get or as prudish if she chose to desist for the time being”. Hardeep, 28

It depends on the person and the situation. I’ve met very shy guys I like and I try to be respectful. I don’t like sexual harassment toward women and I don’t like it toward men. You cannot force anyone. I’m a very physical person so sometimes I can scare people. But at some point there’s a kind of agreement you both feel. I don’t think there is one person who has to make the first move. At some point you know what you would like to do and what you wouldn’t like to do and you have to get the signs from the other person and see if they are the same. I don’t think one person has to lead and the other one has to follow. It’s about meeting in the middle”. Betty, 39

I don’t think so. No, you have to take control. Because otherwise you’ll just be sitting there. Some guys are very passive. Especially in England, guys can be polite and gentlemanly and they don’t make any moves on girls. They’re shy and nervous. Then the girl thinks you’re not interested and then you’re both just sitting there”. Nick, 31

I would say yes. Guys should be picking up the vibes and letting the girl lead the way on that. I’ve been in a couple of situations where I’m not sure I shagged the guy because I wanted to or he wanted to and I just went along with it. Because it’s us who are getting penetrated. If it was the other way round, if we were going to stick something up their bum then it’s different. Can you imagine? They’d be like, ‘You can’t come near me, no no no no. I say when!’ That goes both ways”. Tanya, 30

Read all 11 new rules for dating

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