In college, there were multiple times when I would either dance with a guy for a long time at a party or go back to his room after (just wanting to cuddle and make out), and then reach a point where I felt guilty, not wanting to come across as a “tease.” I would end up doing more than I actually wanted to, simply because I was worried I would otherwise have been leading him on. I still hear that thought cross my mind today and have to actively fight it. I think maybe it also has to do with assumptions about what other girls are doing: that either they don’t flirt with the guy to begin with if they don’t intend to hook up with him, or they’re all hooking up after.

Now that I’m a few years out of college, I’ve become more self-confident and have come to realize that only doing what you actually want to do is a basic human right. I’ve also seen that any guy who actually cares about you as a person will not be mad if you say you’re uncomfortable or don’t want to hook up. In college, I was also so concerned about wanting to get attention from guys and wanting a bf that I somehow thought that not being seen as a tease and keeping them happy was paramount. In hindsight, it’s silly to me that I thought those were the types of guys I should be interested in anyways or that a decent guy would judge me for saying no. Not wanting to lead someone on or be seen as a tease is not the right reason to do anything sexually with anyone, and is usually not enjoyable because you’re not fully in it!

-26, Boston, Female, Fav. Color: Blue