Older guy went too far

Originally Published: October 2, 1998 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: April 7, 2014
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Dear Alice,

I am so confused! I went to a movie with this guy last night who I met through my friend and her boyfriend. He is almost four years older than me: I am fourteen and he's almost eighteen. And during the movie, he was going just as far as my last boyfriend did in like three months. I mean he touched me in areas that I wanted to wait for him to touch after we had been going out for a little longer. I mean, we aren't even going out now. And I felt intimidated by his age, because he is so much older than me, I was trying to convince my self that this is what the girls must have to do when they get to be his age. And then after the movie ended, he wasn't even walking beside me, or anything. He was walking up ahead with my friend's boyfriend. He kissed me good-bye when my ride came, but I realized in the car on the way home that he wasn't pressuring me as much as I was pressuring myself to go as far as he wanted. I don't feel too good about going that far with him when we aren't even dating, or going steady. I feel that he might think I am a slut, or something for not stopping him, and not letting him know, that I didn't want to go that far that night. But on the other hand, I like him a lot, and I am scared that it'll happen to me again with him or someone else.

Dear Reader,

Here's something important to remember whether you're fourteen, twenty-four, or forty: silence does not give anybody the go-ahead to touch you sexually. "No" means no, but remaining quiet did not mean yes. What you want to do sexually, when you want to do it, and with whom you feel comfortable being intimate, should always be your decisions — even when you're fourteen. You do not have to do anything you don't want to do, or that makes you feel uncomfortable.  

It's important that this guy and any guy you may go out with in the future, respects you. Respect means everything from asking permission to touch, to being paid attention to when you're on a date. It's also important that you respect your own feelings and what makes you feel comfortable or uncomfortable. Listen to your gut.

Think about how you might respond if you ever find yourself in a similar situation in the future. You can use some of the suggestions below to talk with your recent date about your feelings — if you feel okay doing so. Keep the following communication keys in mind when expressing yourself: be clear and direct, assert yourself, make sure you are heard, and repeat yourself.

"This makes me feel uncomfortable. I'd like you to stop."
"When you do this, I don't like it. Let's do something else instead, like watch TV."
"I need to go, now. Please take me home, or I'll call a cab, now."

It's also fine to end this relationship before it even starts. You deserve to be in a relationship with someone who makes you feel good and positive, and who brings out your best self.

Alice

December 11, 2012

519975
I felt pretty sad reading this post and especially the comments. For the first comment, I don't think it would be that weird to say to someone "Is this okay?" especially if you don't know them that...
I felt pretty sad reading this post and especially the comments. For the first comment, I don't think it would be that weird to say to someone "Is this okay?" especially if you don't know them that well; it doesn't have to be "Do I have permission to touch your X?" For the second comment, while I agree that it's important to know and enforce your boundaries, it seems harsh to say that "there's really no one else to blame." I think the person to blame is the person who put their hands on you without checking if it felt good for you. I read this post earlier in the day but I couldn't fall asleep, thinking of all the times someone touched me in a way that didn't feel right. My first thoughts were, "Oh, I should have told that guy to keep his hands on my waist when dancing," etc. But the truth is sometimes it takes me a while to process a new situation and I don't think going back to that me I would have known what to say. So I am learning how to be more assertive, but tonight I'm also working on forgiving myself.

April 9, 2012

509675
I think you need to be exquisitely aware of body language and interest when getting physical while dating, but "asking permission to touch" is a difficult phrase to swallow. It seems her situation...
I think you need to be exquisitely aware of body language and interest when getting physical while dating, but "asking permission to touch" is a difficult phrase to swallow. It seems her situation was what it was because the guy was doing as he felt with little regard for her. But under any sort of normal circumstances, "do you feel it's appropriate for me to touch you now?" is ludicrous, and an absolute mood breaker. One could suggest that if you think you need to ask the question, it's not the appropriate time, but to require spoken authorization... that's absurd.

February 18, 2000

20342

Dear Alice,

This is in response to Older guy went too far. I would strongly encourage this girl, and anyone else who's ever felt the way she did, to figure out...

Dear Alice,

This is in response to Older guy went too far. I would strongly encourage this girl, and anyone else who's ever felt the way she did, to figure out her limits, define them clearly in her head, talk about them with boyfriends, if necessary, and ENFORCE those limits. There were many, many times in my life when I wish I had told someone to stop doing something. I am a very shy person, and I was often too scared to tell my boyfriends when to stop. I constantly regret not saying or doing something when I was in an uncomfortable physical situation. If this girl (and others) doesn't start making her feelings known, she is going to be left feeling empty and violated. The worst part is that she'll know it's because she didn't speak up and try to enforce her boundaries, and that there is really no one else to blame. It is true that it is the responsibility of the partner to be careful not to violate you, but it is hard for them to know what's a violation and what's not if you don't tell them. This girl (and everyone else) also needs to know that how far she goes sexually should be determined by her own emotions and thoughts, not by what anyone else says. She should not feel as though she "has" to do anything sexual for someone else. And just so she knows, there is not necessarily any "what girls his age do"... some girls who are eighteen have babies and some are still virgins... the same with twenty-five-year-olds I'm sure. I actually knew a girl who went away to college never having been french kissed (she was seventeen or eighteen).

In other words, define what you want to do by your feelings and thoughts and then make those things known to your boyfriends (/girlfriends). If they can't respect your requests, they probably aren't worth your while. Trust me -- I know.

Signed,
Been there myself