Dear Nestor: Puzzled Paces Prude

Dear Nestor,

When a guy invites you back to his room after getting it on at Paces, does he expect you to sleep with him? If you aren’t planning on going all the way, should you clarify before leaving the party?

Sincerely,
Puzzled Paces Prude

Dear Puzzled Paces Prude:

To be honest, it is very hard to know what to expect in a situation like this. There could be a variety of reasons for why he wants you to go back with him to his room, whether to have sex, to talk, etc. (assuming you guys do not really know each other). However, what we can deduce is that he probably is looking for privacy sans the loud music and big crowds accompanying a Paces party.

If you are not interested in going back with him, regardless of his intentions, you can say some form of the statement: “No thanks, I would rather stay here.” In the case that you are unsure of the vibe he is giving, and you want clarity, you can ask him some form of the question: “What do you have in mind?” Once you get an answer to this question, you can determine for yourself what you would like to do. If the vibe is, “I want to become sexually intimate with you,” initially or after you have asked him his intentions, then you have to decide whether or not you want to go back with him and how far you are willing to go sexually. If you don’t want sexual intercourse specifically, then I would definitely clarify this before leaving the party, using some form of the statement: “I would like to go back with you, under the condition that we don’t have sex.” He may take your saying “no sex” as merely everything but the act of sexual intercourse. As a result, if you mean no penetration at all, then I would definitely say that: “I would like to go back with you, under the condition that we stay kissing/making out,” or “I don’t want us to move physically any further than we have been.”

It never hurts to be too clear in stating what you feel comfortable doing. I know it may come off as a turnoff, but it will be a lot easier to set the boundaries early on than to have to discuss them in his room. And oftentimes, the way in which he responds will be indicative of how he will treat you when he takes you back to his room and after. He may ask you: “Why?” At that point, I would be completely honest. There is no downside in saying some form of the statement: “I don’t feel comfortable,” or “I don’t know you well enough.” By stating this early on, in no shape or form are you leading the guy on. You have stated your comfort level, and now he needs to respect that.

Ultimately, though, in the case that he chooses to take you back after you have voiced how far you feel comfortable going, you still run the risk of not knowing if he will respect you and your wishes. You should also always consider the effects of drugs and alcohol. If he is under the influence, he may be less apt to respect you, and more prone to being impulsive. And, if you are under the influence, you may be more easily coerced into doing more than you are comfortable with. With drugs and alcohol having a presence in the Paces party scene, it is best to err on the side of caution with regard to how you approach this decision. Even though there is excitement in getting that one on one intimacy, the downside is the lack of security one can get from not being around other people.

When all these factors come into play, the best you can do is trust your gut, regardless of all external pressures. At the end of the day, safety comes first. After that, you should just evaluate what the consequences are of making your decision: the pros and cons of going back with him. I oftentimes don’t like to think in terms of regrets, but there is a widespread view that the “better” decision for you is the one you would not regret the next day. And if under the influence, the “better” decision for you would be the one you would choose the next day in a different state of mind. Again, though, if you made a decision you wish you hadn’t made, you at least learned that you don’t want to feel that way next time. As a result, you will be less prone to making that decision again, and more likely to voice exactly what you are comfortable doing.

I hope this gave you some insight.

Best,

Nestor

P.S. Don’t call yourself a prude! “Prude” is a label or judgment. This is a decision for you, and only you, to make.

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