Life Advice



Ask Amy: A woman questions sexual consent

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: I am a woman in a long-term relationship with a man.

We have a good relationship, talking through issues and agreeing on most things. When we disagree, we communicate, clear the air, and move on.

The other night, my partner woke up in the middle of the night and performed a sex act with me that I did not enjoy and would never consent to, had I been asked.

I did not, in the moment, stop it or verbalize non-consent.

I took a few days to process the incident. I then tried to discuss it with him.

He said he vaguely remembers this, but claims to remember none of the details.


He told me he feels bad that this happened, and I asked for time to continue to process my feelings.

He wants to jump straight back into our usual, physically affectionate relationship, but I'm not sure that I am ready. I don't think I want that yet.

I know that he will be disappointed but respectful if I ask him to hold off on having sex, but that can't last forever.

How can I continue to process my emotions about this, and work toward building emotional and physical intimacy with my partner?


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