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I am a trans woman. I began attending college this fall, and, like a lot of students, I immediately began sleeping around. All of the relationships I had were pretty short term, and were mutually understood to be such.

About a month ago, I began hanging out with a girl (who is also a trans woman) who is a pillar in some of the communities I've started to join. We had spent some time together before she eventually asked me to her home, where we had sex. I didn't really want to hook up with her to begin with, but I felt sort of obligated to do so. I assumed it would be similar to my previous encounters, but I don't think she had the same idea. However, she has never attempted to solidify a relationship between us.

We haven't had sex since the first encounter, but we keep bumping into each other at the groups we're each a part of. Every time I see her, she makes plans for us to hang out and get lunch, go shopping, or something of the sort. I don't want to say no because I don't want to hurt her feelings, and I enjoy our friendship. However, during these get-togethers, she is always trying to be romantic with me (she has pressured me to kiss her in public and has also 'jokingly' caressed my breasts). I don't feel comfortable with this, and want to ask her to stop, but I don't want to hurt her feelings (I think she feels like I enjoy her advances). I also want to break it off without damaging my relationship with the groups I'm now a part of (Transgender Support Group & DIY Music Scene). These groups are really important to me, and I don't know what I'd do without them.

How do y'all think I should proceed?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Randolph Carter, sphennings, Alina Cretu, Dastardly, A.Danzi Jun 20 '18 at 7:29

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    Are you sure you're worried about her feelings? It seems you're just afraid of losing your position in the groups by hurting a "pillar" member. And, maybe, moved by self interest, had accepted all of this awkward situation so far just to be in. – dvc.junior Dec 18 '17 at 18:34
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    @dvc.junior I understand where your comment is coming from, but I feel like its possible for me to have multiple motivations. I don't want to lose friends because of this, and I also care about the other party's feelings. – AVA Dec 18 '17 at 20:32
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First off, you're never obligated to have sex with anyone ever. That's worth repeating so, you're never obligated to have sex with anyone ever. Not. Ever. If you don't really really want to, you don't have to, no matter what.

With that said...

Often the best approach is the honest and direct one.

Talk to them. Tell them how you're really feeling. Tell them about not wanting to pursue a romantic relationship, as well as your fear of being ostracized by the groups that are important to you and that you weren't comfortable with some of the public displays of "affection" (publicly groping people who don't want you to isn't a great thing to do, whether it's a joke or not.)

Sometimes the direct/honest approach is best because you're giving the other person a real chance to do the right thing. You'd be surprised how often that actually works. Many people would prefer to do the right thing when given the opportunity.

Try to keep in mind that they don't know how you feel because you haven't told them. They likely think that you're interested in them, and they're likely to be somewhat hurt by the news that you aren't, so be direct and honest, but gentle. You can be honest and still be kind. If you've ever been attracted to someone who didn't feel the same way, try to draw from that experience and be aware that that's how they're likely to be feeling.

It sounds like you're both young and still learning. Sometimes learning is painful. People make mistakes when they're learning, it kinda sounds like you both made some mistakes here. Looking at this as a learning experience, may soften the blow for both of you.

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    We are not here to debate consent. If you disagree with an answer, write your own so that it may be voted on. Debate in comments will continue to be removed. – Catija Dec 18 '17 at 20:23
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While of course you are not obligated to have sex or intimate social-interactions with anyone whom you do not wish to do so with, I think there is a lot more complexity to these kind of situations which needs to be addressed.

No gender tends to appreciates having sexual advances denied, and complicating the situation further, having already had sex with you, she has good reason to believe that you are open to sexual contact with her.

But, what simplifies the situation, is that you do not wish to continue to have sex with her. If you do not wish to take this relationship further, it is very important that you stand firm in abstaining from further sex with her; it will only make the situation that much more difficult.

Now, while it is understandable that you would want to maintain your friendship, from her perspective, this might be difficult. While technically incorrect, you would essentially, from an emotional point of view, be asking her to be friends with her ex.

I would recommend that you formerly break up with her; something along the lines of you not having time or emotional energy for a relationship at this point in time. If she responds that you were not formerly in a relationship, do not try to respond by saying that you knew. Resist the urge to be correct, and tell her that, to you, it is starting to feel like one (which does not seem far off from the truth). Situations like this can be delicate, especially given her high station in a group whose support might be quite critical to your emotional well-being; it is important that you be the one to swallow your pride in all this.

I would also suggest, that you propose that you both take a week or so to keep your distance and process all this; after that you can resume building your friendship. Of course, the main onus is on you here, perhaps skip a meeting or two out of respect for her.

I wish you the best of luck in resolving this tricky situation, and hope you two ladies can work this out in a way that ends amicably.

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One of the best things to do is to just be honest. If you aren't comfortable with being groped in public in a "joking" manner, then you will have to say that. Letting the other person assume that you're fine with their advances like that isn't a great thing to do as it could lead to the relationship being damaged more than actively telling them about how you feel.

While they may be hurt by you telling them, you can always continue to talk to them normally, there's nothing restricting that from happening. However, the other person could end up needing some time to recover, which you will have to accept and give them some time and space, but without completely cutting off all contact with them. Just let them know that you're still fine with hanging out (if you are)

In terms of honesty, once you tell them, they will no longer be left to assume, like I said before. They will know how to act or think next time they are around you and will know that you aren't looking for a deeper relationship than just being friends with them.

It probably won't be easy because that person is a part of some societies, but allowing people to be mislead is more painful than being told the truth. I speak from personal experience when I say that I hate it when people don't tell me when they find me irritating or doing something that they don't like. I'd rather be told the honest truth, even if it will make me feel a bit sad. But I don't let that get to me, I at least know now how to act around that person

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