I’m in my 30s and I’ve had a fair bit of sexual experience. Not much surprises or shocks me, sad to say, but this time I’m stumped. Here’s what happened: I was at a club with someone I’d met a few weeks prior and we were getting pretty steamy. We were off in a corner, watching the band. He placed me in front of him and then freed his “member.” He took my hand and put it on his penis–and this is where you come in, Dan, because questions raced through my mind: Was I supposed to jerk him until he came? If so, where exactly would he come? What if something got on my black shirt?

Have you got any insight into what a guy might be expecting when he does something like this? I feel as if I must be missing the logic somewhere along the line.

–We’re Still Goin’ Clubbing

As a few of my female readers recently pointed out, “[Women are] taught to be passive and nice and intimidated by men.” (In the same column, another member of the weaker sex told me to “shut the fuck up” and called me a “stupid asshole fuck.”) So before I tell you what I think you should do, WSGC, I’d like to acknowledge that acting on my advice will require you to reject everything you were taught about how a woman should behave.

OK, here’s the advice: the next time some guy slips his erection into your hand in a public place, you might wanna screw your courage to the sticking place and ask him what the fuck he wants.

As we’ve seen in the past few weeks in Savage Love, being too passive during a sexual encounter can leave a woman feeling used or worse. So be assertive. You were enjoying what he was doing, but you didn’t know where it was going and you were worried about him spoogin’ up your shirt. Those are legitimate concerns. Yet you failed to ask the simple question that would’ve put your mind at ease, I suspect because you thought a question would shatter the mood. And you’re not alone: a lot of people are convinced that they have to choose between playing along during a questionable sexual encounter or seeming like a bad sport. It’s a false choice. You can ask a question and still be a good sport–provided you ask the question in a sexy way, a way that indicates that the action doesn’t have to stop while you get some answers.

If you’re not uncomfortable with what’s going on but you’re unclear on the details–how far does he wanna go? does he want you to make him come? or is he just messing around?–hold on to his dick like you have no intention of letting it go, lean back, smile, and say, “And just what do you want me to do with this thing, huh?”

If he shrugs or grunts or doesn’t answer, keep holding, keep squeezing, and say, “I’m not gonna let go of this thing until you tell me exactly what I’m supposed to do with it, you freaky boy.” Or whatever. He’ll be in no position to refuse you an answer.

And if he wants you to jerk him off in public, and you’re turned on by the idea, how can you can avoid soiling your shirt? You can point his dick in some other direction when he’s about to come. Or, if the club is crowded, you can point it at someone else’s shirt.

I have a question about etiquette. I was working at my restaurant when a girl-style customer hit on me. I’m a 21-year-old heterosexual male. She waited for me at the bar until I got off work, and we went to another bar and danced until 5 AM. Then I met up with her the next day and found out that she’s a lot older than she looked in dim bar light. She’s in her mid to late 30s. She was giving birth to the first of her two kids when I was in third grade. She’s a recent divorcee. All fine. I’m thinking we’re gonna have a very physical relationship. But all that happened was one night, at her place, we’re groping and making out and I go down on her. After she comes, she gently but firmly moves me up the bed onto my back, and then she cuddles with me!

I’m trying to not let this be. My mouth and hands are all over her. Nothing. No response. It’s clear that this sex session, as far as she’s concerned, is over. She’s called me since that irritating night, and I’ve been “too busy” at the restaurant to see her. Essentially my questions are: How (else) should I have handled the oral sex situation? And am I doing the right thing by, ahem, blowing her off? –What About My Needs?

Jesus, when are you women going to learn to speak up for yourselves? All you had to do was open your mouth and say–

Hey, wait a minute, a closer reading of your letter reveals that you’re a man, WAMN. You’re one of those people who’re supposed to be pushy and demanding and selfish, not passive and nice and intimidated! What the fuck is wrong with you?

My advice for you is the same as my advice for WSGC: All you had to do was open your mouth and ask a simple question. In your case the question was, “Hey, I’d like to get off too. So, uh, howzabout it?” That question would’ve put the girlfriend in the position of having to explain herself or put out. Since she’s still calling, it’s not too late to ask her why she was so insensitive to your needs, and best of all it’s not too late for her to put out. The next time she calls, say, “Look, I made you come and I wanted to come too, and I thought I made that pretty clear. But you didn’t seem interested in reciprocating. A guy who doesn’t care about a woman’s sexual fulfillment is considered a lousy, selfish lover. So if you can offer me some explanation for your behavior that convinces me you’re not a lousy, selfish lover, I might want to see you again.”

Here’s another point of view on “rape,” if you haven’t already received a million responses. I read an interview with a writer (I wish I could remember her name) who recounts being young, somewhat buzzed, and not really turned on by her male host. He made a huge pass at her, and she wasn’t really into it, but she figured it’d just be easier to go along. So she had sex when she didn’t want to. Later, she felt violated–sort of sad and angry and used. She asked an older woman, “Was this rape?” The older woman said, “Yes. You raped yourself.” –Get Over It Everybody

Thanks for sharing, GOIE.