Help Me Write a Primer on Assertiveness for Girls
For three years, from my Freshman to Junior years in high school, I had an intense crush on a particular guy. My high school was huge, yet I would often see him in the hallways, or at lunch, or while waiting for the bus.
I thought he was impossibly cool, with his long hair, dark clothes, and his rock band. He was a grade above me, and two years older. I, on the other hand, was nowhere near as cool. I was a founding member of the science club, I was treasurer for the debate team, and I hung out with the crowd that I now affectionately refer to as the freaks and geeks. They all knew about this unrequited crush, and would occasionally encourage me to talk to him. It wasn’t until my the end of my Sophomore year that I finally talked to him, but it was only because he asked me to buy his band’s CD.
We were friends all throughout my Junior year, but never anything more. I didn’t get the courage to tell him about my crush until years later. We laughed about it, and about my reticence to ever say anything to him about my feelings.
My approach about dating and exhibiting interest in someone has changed drastically in the past ten years. When I was in high school, and for many years afterwards, I would decide I liked someone, and then either pine for them or arrange for a friend of mine to tell that person about my interest and recommend that the guy ask me out. My views on dating became even more passive for awhile, and I just jumped into relationships with whoever came along first. That got me into a couple of really horrible relationships, as detailed in the My Story series. I decided to change all of that after my relationship with David. I decided to be more assertive about my desires to date someone.
Girls are conditioned through our culture to be meek and passive about any of their own desires regarding dating or sex, except primers on how to avoid sexual situations if they are wanting to “save themselves” or remain “pure” for marriage. Waiting for someone to choose you and just passively assenting, instead of choosing someone yourself, can be outright dangerous.
There is certainly plenty of how-tos for men about being sexually assertive. The one article that I found about girls being sexually assertive is directed to parents who are advised to tell their girls to watch soap operas or read romantic books instead of talking to their crushes. In other words, there is a lot of information for girls about how to be assertive in order to deny sex, but almost nothing about how to be assertive when a girl wants to date or have sex with someone.
I’d like to change that, with your help. What are your recommendations for a girl who is interested in getting to know someone, dating them, or just expressing a sexual interest?