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In a romantic encounter, talking about your needs and wants—and theirs—creates some of the most emotionally intimate moments. Getting on the same page is vital, even if the relationship turns out to be short-term. Someone who does not pay attention to what you want, or disregards your feelings, is unlikely to be an ideal partner. And when someone says or shows that they’re not up for it (this time or ever), they too are taking care of their own needs and wishes, and we get to respond in ways that honor their choice.
Melanie Boyd, PhD, assistant dean in student affairs; lecturer in women’s, gender, and sexuality studies, Yale University, Connecticut.
Jaclyn Friedman, author, What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety (Seal Press, 2011).
Twanna A. Hines, sexuality writer, http://funkybrownchick.com/.
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