How to fend off unwanted advances

Overly flirtatious friend

Overly flirtatious friend (ERIK UNGER / Chicago Tribune / April 2, 2001)

Dear Anna,

I’m a single straight lady in my late 20s. I have a lady friend who also identifies as straight whom I hang out with once a week or so. The problem is that when we are out drinking, I feel like she puts the moves on me a little. She makes these comments about how hot I am and gets very touchy, to the point where it makes me uncomfortable. Is she hitting on me? What do I do about that if she won’t come out and say something?

—Too Friendly

Dear Friendly,

She might be hitting on you, TF. Or she might be your garden-variety Inappropriate Drunk Person. Either way, if her behavior is making you feel uncomfortable, you don’t have to wait for her to tongue-lunge at you before you speak up. Just be like, “Hey Susan, you know I love tossing back mai tais with you, but I’m not wild about all the hugs. I’d appreciate if you could respect my personal space more while we’re getting crunk.”

There’s something to be said for being forthright when you think a friend’s interest is more than platonic. But it’s also unpleasant. You don’t want to embarrass her or put a weird strain on the friendship. I had a lady friend several years ago who put me in an awkward spot similar to yours (I like girls though, so it wasn’t entirely out of left field). When I confronted her about her comments, (such as, “if you were my girlfriend, I’d treat you right”) she denied it to the point of seeming insulted, as if I just had asked if there were any spiders in her vagina. But it did mostly put a stop to her overt flirtations, so I guess I kind of won?

If you reeeeally don’t want to have a talk with her, then make sure you go out with a group of people, or at least in a triad, so you’ll have an extra person as a buffer to help ward off your friend’s unwanted gropings. Or, you could, you know, do activities that don’t involve lots of booze. People are much less likely to want to bear wrestle you during a game of bowling, I’m told.

—Anna

Dear Anna,

I read your most recent article about farting during sex. The fact that you farted during sex is pretty disgusting. If I were you, I would be quite embarrassed.

A random jerk on the Internet tries to shame me over a perfectly normal (and hilarious) bodily function story, and I’m the one who should be “quite embarrassed”? Please. Get a life, dude. Or a better hobby at least.

—Anna

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CHICAGO

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