How to Deal With Rejection

Now that I’m dating after a long break, there is a new rule in my household: I don’t waste time dissecting dates’ text messages. The aftermath of first dates used to find me analyzing every comma with my ever-patient friends. I’ve kicked the habit recently, because I’m actively trying to wean myself from self-consciousness around…

A Guide to Respectful No-Strings-Attached Sex

Around 2011, casual sex once again hit the headlines. From sex-friend flicks like No Strings Attached and Friends With Benefits, to vaguely censorious journalistic deep dives and scholarly analyses, pop culture was obsessed with no-strings-attached sex. Young women were, the breathless reports detailed, having more sex without romantic commitment—and some of us were even liking it. 2011 also happened to be my…

How to Say “No” to Sex

It was a perfect day for romance. The birds were singing, the flowers had just opened their faces to the early-spring sun, and I was walking hand-in-hand with a new date. I was midway through a story about a neighbor’s uncomfortable sexual advances when my love interest said something that stopped me in my tracks….

How to Master Affirmative Consent (It’s Hot, We Promise)

“I’ve never been with anyone who talks so much during sex,” he said. I was midway through an R-rated romp when this sexy someone’s comment stopped me in my tracks. What?! I thought. What could be better than alternating oral sex with oral expression?  As a feminist writer, I spend a lot of time talking about sex, and…