ELLE Australia

THE NEW RULES OF ATTRACTION

“WHEN A MAN PUTS HIS FINGER IN YOUR MOUTH, WHAT DO YOU DO?” my friend Sophie, 30, asked as we sat having drinks in a bar. “Bite down?” I suggested. She explained that the context was dinner, date three, and he had, so far, been a nice man. Charming and chatty. They had kissed (no tongues). “He seemed interesting. So I didn’t want to just, you know, bite him.” He’d scooped out some mousse with his forefinger and the chocolatey glob was in her mouth before she realised what was happening.

“I was still chewing other food,” she explained. “And his finger stayed in there a beat too long. Does this count as assault?” She was laughing and so was I, but you do have to wonder what a man who feels comfortable fingering your mouth in public is capable of in private. She didn’t see him again.

I tell her about the time, a year and a half ago, when I went on a date and the man insisted, despite my protestations, on sitting next to rather than opposite me at dinner. We’d gone to a small Korean place near my office; low-key but great food.

“It’s like we’re siblings,” I half-laughed when he sat down beside me. From time to time he’d rub my arm and say, “Your skin is so soft.” Later,

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