When I first talked with Dan, a 41-year-old widower who recently reentered the dating pool, he told me that he had been reflecting on some past behavior with regret in the wake of #MeToo. Now, he says he won't initiate physical contact without verbal consent, and he's trying to be especially aware of whether he's making the women he's dating feel safe and comfortable with him. But he says he's confused about how to navigate consent when women tell him they want to be "submissive" in a relationship. Since we first spoke, Dan has been grappling with those questions in a new relationship that's gotten serious quickly. I called him up to talk through some listener reactions to our first interview, and dig a little deeper into the complexities of consent right now.
All summer, we're following a group of listeners as they date in real time around the country. We're calling this series Hot Dates—if you missed the introductory episode, go back and listen to it first.