I read about your date with Aziz Ansari on babe.net. There were parts of it I had a problem with -- namely, your total major lack of sexual and personal agency and your feminine passivity. I went ahead and fixed it for you, so you can see how a slightly older and more mature adult woman would have handled the situation. (My edits are in bold.)
She approached him because she recognized his camera flash — Aziz Ansari was taking pictures at the 2017 Emmy Awards after-party with a film camera, not a digital one. “I stood up, and I'm like tipsy at this point and feeling really confident (I don't need alcohol to feel brave enough to talk to a man, but I'd definitely had a few drinks). I’m in a gown, and I walked up to Aziz and said, ‘What’d you just shoot with?’”...
They flirted a little — he took two pictures of her, she snapped some of him — and then she and her date went back to the dance floor. “It was like, one of those things where you’re aware of the other person all night,” she said. “We would catch eyes every now and then.”
They ran into each other one last time, right as Grace was leaving. At Ansari’s suggestion Since she'd had so much fun chatting with him, she offered to put her number in his phone.
When her plane landed back in New York the next day, she already had a message from him. They exchanged flirtatious banter over text for a week or so before he asked her to go out with him on Monday, September 25.
Before meeting Ansari, Grace told friends and coworkers (seriously, Grace? You bring your sex life to work?) about the date (without dropping names, of course -- no one like a braggart, and celebrities deserve privacy, too). She consulted her go-to group chat about what she should wear to fit the She picked out her favorite “cocktail chic” outfit to match the dress-code he gave her, because she was an adult who knew how to dress herself. She settled on “a tank-top dress and jeans.” She showed me a picture, it was a good outfit.
After arriving at his apartment in Manhattan on Monday evening, they exchanged small talk and drank wine. “It was white,” she said. “I didn’t get to choose and I prefer red, but it was white wine.” "He was super generous, and went to open a bottle of wine right away. 'I prefer red, if you have it,' I told him, since I knew he wasn't magically aware of my wine preferences. 'But white is fine, too, if that's all you have! Just not chardonnay, unless it's one of those super crisp, not very oak-y ones!'" Then Ansari walked her to Grand Banks, an Oyster bar onboard a historic wooden schooner on the Hudson River just a few blocks away.
She said it was a beautiful, warm September night. They discussed NYU, comedy and a new, secret project he was working on, but she says she did most of the talking.
Grace says she sensed Ansari was eager for them to leave. "Are you in a rush to leave? Oh, no! You have to poop, don't you?! And you're afraid to do it at the restaurant!" Her joke made him aware of his awkward behavior, and perhaps helped settle whatever nervousness he'd been feeling.
“When the waiter came over he quickly asked for the check and he said like, ‘Let’s get off this boat."’ She recalls there was still wine in her glass and more left in the bottle he ordered. The abruptness surprised her. “Like, he got the check and then it was bada-boom, bada-bing, we’re out of there.” But Grace raised her eyebrows at him.
"Umm... could I maybe finish my wine first? Kthanks. Also, let's not waste the rest of the bottle. Let's put a cork in it. I'll take it home and finish it off tomorrow."
They walked the two blocks back to his apartment building, an exclusive address on TriBeCa’s Franklin Street, where Taylor Swift has a place too. "Hey, I'm pretty full from all that lobster roll," Grace told him. "And I just read this amazing book about how important it is for you to walk after you eat. Plus, isn't this the warmest, most amazing night ever? Let's night hike!"
So began phase two of their date. Grace playfully grabbed Ansari's hand, then abruptly asked, "Is that okay? That's not weird, right? I mean, handholding is a little intimate..."
"What? No. It's fine. I like it," he answered.
Grace used the moment to introduce a quick little aside about the importance of enthusiastic consent.
"Unwanted sex is disgusting -- don't you think?" she asked, in an I'm-not-really-asking sort of way.
"Definitely. I'm such a feminist, and I talk about feminism all the time on my show," Aziz told her.
"In my opinion, it's okay for a guy to try something once. And if the girl says no and he tries again, he's a total creep. It's 2018. I think women are empowered enough to initiate and/or ask for what they want."
"Oh, of course! It's only fun if you're both having fun."
"I think this is fun!" Grace responded as they approached a grassy playing field. And with that, she burst into song:
Ansari recognized the song and joined in -- throwing in a few swing dancing moves. Pretty soon, the two were full-on Danny Kaye/Vera Ellen.
Breathless and giggling, they eventually collapsed onto the grass.
"Oh, my gosh. It's so wet and dewy. My whole back is drenched!"
"Mine, too. Do you want to head back to my place?"
"I'm happy to walk you -- I'm a modern, chivalrous woman and all that. But I should head home. But we'll definitely hang out again soon, right?"
"Yes, definitely! We could go upstairs and have more wine -- that would count as a second date, right?"
"Nope. That definitely would not. I hope that was a joke..."
When they arrived at his building, he invited her to come upstairs. "Part of me really wants to," she told him, "but I've got a call early tomorrow."
"Are you suuuuuure?" he asked. She gave him the benefit of the doubt -- he was probably just flirting. But it rubbed her wrong. She didn't like feeling forced. So she answered curtly, "Yes. I'm certain. Asking me a million times won't change my answer."
She felt a little bad -- but boundaries are important. "Point taken," he said.
He waited outside with her for the Lyft (he'd wanted to use Uber, but Grace had ethical objections to the way Uber does business). When it arrived, they hugged goodnight. As she pulled away, Ansari went in for the kiss. Grace let her lips linger in front of his for a moment, deciding whether she really wanted to kiss him or not.
She decided no, it was too soon, and she liked him too much. Gliding past his lips, she gave him a soft kiss on the cheek and said, "Goodnight!"
In the Uber Lyft home from Ansari’s apartment, Grace texted a friend: “I hate men.” She continued: “I had to say no a lot. He wanted sex. He wanted to get me drunk and then fuck me.” "OMG SOO MUCH FUN. I legit really like him!" She texted another friend after she got back to her apartment, “I’m taking a bath I’m really upset I feel weird.” because the dew is drying and it's making me chilly."
Her friend replied, "?????"
"I'll tell you tomorrow at lunch."
Grace says she spent the next day groggy and miserable energized and giddy. When they asked, she told her coworkers that the date had gone poorly amazingly. She also reached out to her friends, who helped her craft She even began crafting a message to tell Ansari how she felt about the date -- she didn't believe in bullshit "dating rules" that dictate the man has to message the woman first, or that you have to wait a certain number of days before reaching out. But he reached out first.
“It was fun meeting you last night,” Ansari sent on Tuesday evening. “Last night might’ve been fun for you, but it wasn’t for me,” Grace responded. “You ignored clear non-verbal cues; you kept going with advances.” She explains why she is telling him how she felt: “I want to make sure you’re aware so maybe the next girl doesn’t have to cry on the ride home.” "Me too! And guess what? I'm going to this karaoke thing tomorrow, and YOU CAN BE MY DATE if you want! And remember: you're allowed to invite me to your apartment ONCE. (That was the only bad part of our date last night.) If I say no, don't ask again. Okaaaayyyyyy??? :P"
A few dates later, Grace decided she was ready to move things forward sexually. They'd already kissed (okay -- made out in a bold display of PDA). She was ready to do more.
When they walked back in, she complimented his marble countertops. According to Grace, Ansari turned the compliment into an invitation.
“He said something along the lines of, ‘How about you hop up and take a seat?’” Within moments, he was kissing her. “In a second, his hand was on my breast.” Then he was undressing her then he undressed himself. She remembers feeling uncomfortable at how quickly things escalated.
When Ansari told her he was going to grab a condom within minutes of their first kiss, Grace voiced her hesitation explicitly. “I said something like, ‘Whoa, let’s relax for a sec, let’s chill.’” She says he then resumed kissing her, briefly performed oral sex on her, and asked her to do the same thing to him. She did, but not for long. “It was really quick. Everything was pretty much touched and done within ten minutes of hooking up, except for actual sex.”
-- but Grace stopped him. Taking his hand in hers, she said, "Hey, so here's the thing. I am so not ready to be naked with you. That will change in the near future. But before we're naked in a bed together... can we spend some time not naked in a bed together? I promise it'll be totally worth it!"
They spent the next hour exploring each other's bodies, above the clothes, and sharing a physical, intimate space together. Grace started to think she might want to go to the next level -- she was so turned on. "Let's both take our shirts off," she suggested. "But leave our pants on." She didn't want to send unclear messages, so she was explicit about what her limits were. She reminded herself that if she felt disrespected or pressured at any point, she would get up and leave. She'd been perfectly clear about what she wanted, and she didn't "owe him" anything.
Soon, Ansari tried a new move. “The move he kept doing was taking his two fingers in a V-shape and putting them in my mouth, in my throat to wet his fingers." because the moment he’d stick his fingers in my throat he’d go straight for my vagina and try to finger me.” Grace called the move “the claw.” The first time he did it, Grace didn't say anything. That's just what happens when you're with a new partner -- you try new things. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. She tried to send nonverbal signs that she didn't like it, but she wasn't sure if he picked up on her meaning...
Until he tried again. Clearly, her meaning hadn't been conveyed. Taking his hand out of her mouth, he placed it back on her breast and whispered, "Keep playing with my nipples. It feels so good -- it's almost like I could come just from that."
Eventually, Grace looked at the clock. "Oh my gosh. It's so late. We have to go to bed!"
Ansari offered to let her sleep over -- he said he had an old pair of shorts and a t-shirt she could wear.
"Just for sleeping and cuddling, right? No funny business?"
"Just for sleeping," he said.
"Okay. Because sleep is important to me. If you try anything or wake me up or anything, I'm going to yell at you. And then I'm going to storm off, and the only way to win me back is by taking me to Hawaii. In separate rooms."
Sharing that space and feeling as though her clearly-stated boundaries had been respected made Grace feel more comfortable around Ansari. So on their next date, she asked him, "Do you think we should have sex?"
"Yes. I mean, I definitely want to."
"I do, too. But sex is actually a big deal to me. So I feel like... I don't know. Like I want to know this relationship is going somewhere, first? But I also really, really want to. Like, really want to."
This sparked an honest conversation about each of their priorities, and ultimately Grace decided that she was comfortable sleeping with him.
"But first. Like, obviously. You've been tested for STDs, like, super recently, right?"
The conversation was, surprisingly, way less awkward than Grace had expected it to be. But it was important to her that she respect herself, and that Aziz respect her, too. That meant being clear about what she expected from him, and how she planned on keeping herself safe.
She was, after all, a sexually liberated adult. A feminist with sexual agency. And, of course, a proud preschool graduate who had learned how to "use her words" a long time ago. She told babe: “I believe that I was not taken advantage of by Aziz, because I refuse to let myself be I was not listened to and ignored. It was by far the worst experience with a man I’ve ever had. ”