Heteronormative expectations and consent on first dates

An afab and amab person sit next too each other on a stone step, their hands side by side but not touching. Photo.
Image licensed through Adobe.

A few weeks ago I went on a date with a cis boy. Or rather, I met him for what I thought was a pre-fuck coffee but it didn’t end with me sucking his dick. While sexting and swapping nudes doesn’t mean that consent is ever a ‘given’, I admit that I was expecting that our first date would end in sex.

Content note for discussion of consent. 

After two months of flirting, I was excited to meet him in person for the first time in four years. When I saw him walking towards me down the street I felt a flash of arousal run through me: this is the first guy I ever had a crush on, but older and nerdier and with a cute scruffy beard. My flirting is always a little awkward in person after I’ve been texting someone, but there was definitely chemistry between us.

I didn’t expect him to say no to coming back to my place so I could blow him.

Society tells us that sex is something men want and women begrudgingly ‘give in’ and give them. I know that this is bullshit. I would never shame a woman for wanting sex on a first date; I know that men’s consent matters too. But my reaction wasn’t thank you for expressing a boundary that it should have been. It was the fucked up what’s wrong with me if he doesn’t want to fuck me? When it comes to the issue of consent on a first date, society has taught us that it’s never the afab person who is pressuring their partner into sex.

So why was I so surprised to have those heteronormative gender roles flipped on me?

I was hurt, even though I knew that wasn’t what a person who preaches sex-positivity “should” feel. In the minute it even felt like he wasn’t respecting my autonomy to be a horny slut. His no doesn’t need justification, but in the past men have told me that they won’t fuck me because I’m too young or too inexperienced. It’s not that I want them to do anything they are uncomfortable with, but it sometimes feels like it’s coming from a place of wanting to “protect” me.

I get angry when people look at me and see a delicate, young afab person that they need to protect. When it comes to sex, I want my partners to see me as their equal. I need to respect my partners’ “no” whenever and why ever they give it. I do respect it, but I also wonder if they’re sometimes saying it to save me from my slutty self. Like placing too much of my self-worth on my desirability, I know that this is my problem. Even if that is why someone doesn’t want to have sex with me, I still need to respect their no.

But every time it happens, I remember that a tiny part of me buys into the idea that cis men always want sex. I hate that tiny part of me.

Later, after we’d established that we weren’t going to fuck, I told him that I would love to kiss him – my voice trembling with arousal and also nerves. By this point I was wondering if I had already stream-rolled over his consent even before our ‘first date’ and I was determined not to do it again. We parted without a kiss, without a hug. I dug my nails into my palm to stop myself reaching for him. I didn’t want to violate his consent, but I also didn’t want him to know how much I was aching for his touch.

When he walked away from me – too suddenly, I wasn’t expecting him to announce that this corner was where he was going to peel off and head home – I felt empty. Empty and sad and more disappointed than I would ever have admitted. I was also horny – not just for sex but for sex with him specifically. His hands and his mouth and his cheeks blushing as I whispered filth into his ear. I went home and jerked off but it wasn’t the same as having a nerdy guy between my legs, striding to prove how good he really is with his hands.

“When did guys stop wanting no strings attached sex?” I texted my friend, knowing even as I typed out the words how wrong they were. (Men don’t always want sex! No is a complete sentence!)

I’m glad he said no. I’m glad he felt comfortable to say no. Nothing is sexier than someone asserting a boundary, and I am beyond thankful that he didn’t fuck me when he didn’t feel comfortable to do so. It does make me wonder, though, whether I had been putting too much pressure on him as we talked about the ways we wanted to fuck. Maybe I was too aggressive all along and I had managed to misread enthusiasm when he’d really been trying to find a way to say no.

Maybe cis boys in their early twenties don’t expect the people they are into to be that explicit about wanting to suck their dick. Maybe I was too direct and freaked him out a little. Maybe he just wasn’t feeling horny on that particular day. Maybe he was more comfortable with the idea of a casual hook up in theory than in practice. However, analysing it has reminded me that it doesn’t matter why: whatever his reasons, I’m glad he said no. I’m glad he was able to say no.

And as much as I hope we’ll fuck on our second date, what I really want is to fuck when he’s ready.

Vulnerability is hard, y’all, and it would mean a lot if you could support my so I can keep blogging about consent and first date sex. If you liked this post, please consider leaving me a tip so I can keep bringing you my confessions about how I’m still unlearning society’s heteronormative sexual expectations. 

Behind and burned out (but still beating myself up)
Body hair: trying not to give a fuck if you care


  1. So interesting to think about this from this point of view! Dya think his hesitancy to touch or kiss had anything to do with the current COVID-19 situation? :O I’m usually a slutty and huggy person but I’ve dialed it back because pandemic and would probably *not* touch someone on a first date unless I thought they were someone I would want to touch a lot in the near future! XD Maybe he is a rule stickler?? Are you allowed to touch where you are?

  2. I like that you thought of it as a learning experiance.
    And im impressed with him, i wouldnt have been able to say no.

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