Dear Straight Talk: As a certified "babe magnet" at a large high school, for all you girls interested in guys like me — and there are a lot of you — could you please be a little harder to get? When a girl lets me have it too early, it is actually a turn off. I know you get mixed messages, but I assure you, most "bad boys" find it exotic when you say no. If we like you, it gives us a challenge. If we don’t, we respect you for standing up to our charades. Despite what might be said, we do not think you are lesbian or prudish if you say no, we think you are interesting and strong. Saying no will also save you a broken heart. — “J,” Anderson, Calif.
Editor's Note: Girls: When in the snake pit, avoid the snakes. They do bite — yes, even, and sometimes especially, those charming ones. Our culture is largely a snake pit. To be safe, you have to learn where, how, when, and with whom to hang out, walk, go on a date, say no, etc. America may be farther along than India, as revealed by India’s recent self-examination following the horrific and fatal gang rape in Delhi last December, but we are miles from being a non rape culture.
According to National Institute of Health statistics, 20-68% of teens and 13-27% of college-aged women in America are date or acquaintance raped. Many such date rapists and their victims go on to be in long-term co-dependent relationships with each other. Much of the domestic abuse in our society is such a sick interlocked system between abuser and victim that law enforcement and society turn the other way, not knowing what to do about it.
So listen up girls: If you’ve been bitten by a snake somewhere in this pit during your teen or college-age years (or anytime, that’s just when it is most prevalent), seek help. If you keep getting bitten, seek better help, and don’t put it off. Obviously, something happened to you as a child to make you attract abusers.
And those abusers really aren’t snakes, just human men who were damaged also during childhood.
Guys: The date rape statistics cited above mean that equivalent numbers of you are rapists. You clearly have suffered childhood trauma, otherwise you wouldn’t need to be on a power trip, using force, alcohol, "roofies” (memory-erasing date-rape drugs), or even just charm to knowingly break a girl’s heart in exchange for “empty sex calories.” You need help, too, and I urge you to seek it. Those of you who harm the girls who refuse you — or the others, who stand loyally by your side and ‘take it’ — you have had even worse childhood trauma. You need help most of all. Please don’t put it off. —Lauren
Readers: If you have been helped by reading something in Straight Talk, please write us and let us know!
Straight Talk TNT.ORG is a 501c3 nonprofit. Thanks to donations like yours, our acclaimed column reaches over 1 million people a week. Please donate now by hitting this link!