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Consent (and other social conundrums) When Clubbing

Dylan19 asks:

I am a 19 year old guy and I have a question both about club etiquette and general advice. I have gone to nightclubs/pubs a few times with my friends and on the dance floor sometimes girls seem to stand very close to me and seem to be "inviting me" or waiting for me to make some kind of move (everyone tells me, and I suspect its true). Occasionally they even rub up against me with their bum and such. I usually try to escape or pretend it didn't happen because I just get TOO nervous. Later, I kick myself because half the time it's a girl I find attractive and would be interested in either getting to know or having some kind of frisky contact with on the dance floor. One of the things is I am terrified of moving badly or out of rhythm, of doing something awkward. My friends are all kinda fed up with me as I ask them about their encounters and seem to pass up any potential encounter I could have out of nerves or fear. They think I'm kinda 'living through them' by not doing anything myself. I'm also wondering about consent. If a girl dances up to me and rubs against me, that shows interest but isn't 100% consent, so how can I put my arms around her or dance close to her but ask? It's hard to ask because of loud music, maybe running away as I do is the best option.

Summering Safe and Sound

Here in the hemisphere I live in, we're into the swing of summer. Ah, summer, my personal favorite season. I love the sun, the warmth, everything blooming, the energy, the spirit of the season. As an alternative educator all my life, though, I miss out on that thing where teachers get summers off (though I've also known few teachers in the public sector who could afford to take the summer off, anyway), and as the Executive Director and lead educator at Scarleteen, I really don't get downtime. Summer is and has always been our busiest season. Eh, so it goes.

It's also the time of year when we tend to see the most new users coming to us because they're in a crisis or a panic, or are just really, really feeling down in the dumps. I'm a lot more concerned about those of you in that space than I am about my feeling occasionally ripped off of a summer vacation. We know that the idea of summer as a happy, carefree time for all young people doesn't square with the reality that for plenty, it'

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