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Consent is Sexy! How to Connect with Women in the #MeToo Era, Part 1

Featuring NYC Dating Coach Connell Barrett
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Dating coach, Connell Barrett, shares how consent is sexy and 15 tips to help you connect with women so you can be respectful while staying out of the friend zone.

The #MeToo era has made dating more confusing than ever. As a good-hearted guy, you’re caught between two extremes. On the one hand, you don’t want to do anything inappropriate. On the other, you fear that doing nothing will land you in the Friend Zone. And you’re just not sure… Can you still approach, or is that harassment? Should you ask for her number? Can you go for a first kiss, or is that creepy? It’s confusing!

In this episode of the Dating Transformation podcast, host Connell Barrett shares 15 tested tips to help you flirt with charm and total respect for women, as the gentleman you are. The good news? Dating today is easier than you think when you put these tips into practice. Listen now, to make sparks fly with class, heart, and empathy.



"What makes you a man is not how good you are with women, but how good you are TO women."

-Connell Barrett

"Women appreciate pursuit, but respect boundaries and prioritize consent."

-Connell Barrett

"Focus on creating connections, Let romance unfold naturally."

-Connell Barrett

Featured in the episode

Connell Barrett
Founder and Executive Coach of Dating Transformation


00:00 - Introduction

02:13 - Empowering Men in Dating

06:45 - The "Lunch" Dilemma: Making a Move with Respect

10:20 - Embracing Me Too: Empathy and Awareness

14:05 - Understanding Flirting, Misconduct, and Harassment

17:30 - Decoding Flirting: Respectful Approaches

19:52 - Balancing Interest and Respectful Consent

20:45 - The Art of Persistence: Respecting Boundaries

23:52 - Success Stories vs. Harassment: Lessons Learned

27:10 - The Rewards of Respectful Persistence

30:15 - Dating Successfully in the Me Too Era

30:55 - Conclusion

Listen To Part 2 Here.

This podcast is produced by Heartcast Media

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Connell Barrett:


All right. Welcome back to the Dating transformation podcast. I am your host, Connell Barrett

I'm a dating coach for men. Basically, I'm Hitch.


if Will Smith was a skinny Ginger who looked like the lead singer for Weezer. I help guys learn to flirt, gain confidence, and find a great girlfriend. And Today's topic is really near and dear to my heart. It's actually the first of 2, a 2 part episode or 2 part podcast, part 1 and part 2 about how to date in the Me Too era. an area that a lot of men struggle with. And if you're like a lot of guys, chances are you're not sure if it is okay to go for the first kiss. Is that creepy? How do I flirt without being harassed? How do I make moves, or can I make moves? but we're gonna cover that in this episode and also in part 2 coming up. But first, I wanna start with a story. I wanna go back, gosh, over 10 years ago, when I was first working on my dating life. and it's a data head with a woman named Stephanie. So let me take you back in time. Basically the date was winding down. And Stephanie and I were walking to the subway station and I could hear that little voice in my head saying, kiss her, it's now or never. And it was a first date and we'd gone to a sports bar, had a couple drinks, and watched the Yankees play the Red Sox. We're both baseball fans and then I'm walking here to the subway. And when Stephanie and I stopped at a crosswalk near the end of the date, I went for it. But she had been checking her phone. So when she looked up my incoming lips must have seemed like a sneak attack, and she actually recoiled because she didn't see the kiss coming, and I caught the corner of her mouth, her purse smell. And I I felt clumsy and creepy. And I said, oh my god. I'm so sorry. She said, it's okay. but it got very awkward and she basically vanished down the steps to catch her train. Just said good night. and there was no second date. And now looking back over 10 years later, I now realize my rookie mistake, and I call it lunch. What's for lunch? It happens near the end of a date. usually dates 1 or 2. And what happens is sensing that maybe you've been playing it too safe . You might feel the pressure to make a move, to keep from getting friend zoned. Excuse me. But you don't want your day to feel uncomfortable. especially in the Me Too era. And so what happens is you get stuck between feeling the need to do something to stay out of the quote zone, but then also wanting to go for the kiss. And what happens is you don't make any move You don't you don't collaborate with her to escalate towards something, towards the at some point on the date, and you don't do anything And then at the end of the day, you might go for a kiss, sort of like out of desperation, sort of like a quarterback throwing a desperation fourth down pass. And then what happens is that surprises the woman and she either pulls back like Stephanie did or the two of you endure an awkward lip lock. So that's the launch. We wanna avoid the launch. So for many men, The Me Too era has made dating seem more confusing than ever. And since you're listening to this podcast, you're a good hearted guy and you might feel caught between 2 extremes. On one hand, you don't wanna do anything inappropriate. Yet on the other hand, you might fear that doing nothing will lead to hearing, hey, I'm just not feeling sparks. Let's just be friends. So what's happened in the last several years with the me too movement is that new dating lines have been drawn, and you're just not sure what they are. Can you approach during the day? Is that harassment? Can you only approach at night? Should you ask for her number or do you give her yours? Do you need verbal consent before sex, before foreplay, before kissing, before even touching her? So basically in these 2 podcast episodes, I wanna address the biggest problems that guys face while they're outdated in the Me Too era. And the great news is that for guys like you with integrity and good intentions, dating is easier today than you might think. And, also, in the second half, I'm gonna share a very personal story about how A woman who I knew who is actually the survivor of sexual assault helped me to open my eyes to the importance of the me too era and how she really helped me to become a better, more empathetic man. So let's get into it. Let's talk about the Me Too era. And let's also talk about then I'm gonna take some common questions, the most common questions I get from men so that you can date, successfully, effectively, but also with respect for women. So first things first. As I tell my clients, The me too movement affects men but it's not about men. It's not about you, it's not about me. It's about awareness of the widespread mistreatment and the abuse of women and girls over history. It's also about empathizing. with survivors and sufferers of that mistreatment. And the third thing it's about is the Me Too movement is about doing our part as men to make women's lives better. So the Me Too movement is a cultural shift that's welcome and long overdue, and was and is much needed for society. So yes, men are understandably afraid of dating missteps, but you don't wanna miss that point. The main point is empathy for women and what they've gone through. So don't be that guy. who because of the me 2 era tells us date, oh, well, you have to make the first move now because it's the me 2 era. women hate that mentality because it shows a lack of understanding about the meaning of the movement. And plus, I have great news. Women still want men to be men. They still want men to be men. We can still make moves. You just wanna understand it first, it's about empathy, and it's about making the right moves. Now, when it comes to making the right moves or and not making the wrong moves, let's get into it. I'm gonna run down 8 or 10 of the most common two questions I get. and give you some tips so you can date as an evolved guy. So here we go. One question I get is what's the difference between flirting and misconduct? Well, it's pretty simple. Flirting is showing romantic interest. in a woman in a charming light manner and behaving appropriately based on how she responds. So if she likes your romantic interest, keep going. If she doesn't, you wish her well and move on. So you did not harass a woman by flurrying with her, you simply took a shot at romance and there's nothing wrong with that. In my view, misconduct or harassment is when a guy or anybody for that matter, but when a person pursues or imposes their sexual interest. often in a vulgar, deceptive, or manipulative manner when a woman is clearly not interested. That's my view of harassment, I should make a little legal disclaimer here. I'm not a lawyer, so I'm not giving you legal advice about what is not harassment in the eyes of the law. I'm just giving you my personal viewpoint. Okay? So in other words, flirting in this conduct are 2 different things. You're still allowed to flirt with women. That's very good news. Next question. Can I be persistent without being harassed? I get that question from guys. Yes, you can if you're elegant about it. Here's a simple rule. If she's obviously not into you, move on. If you're not sure if she's interested in you, try to find out in a respectful, charming, but clear way. And just know that the proper amount of persistence is sometimes rewarded. sometimes. In general, persistence will be rewarded but you also want to know when to stop because persisting when there's no interest from a woman Now that can become harassment. So for example, let's say you matched with a woman on a dating app, and she does not reply to your first message in a day or 2. Now, she's not necessarily ghosted you. She may just be busy. She may just not be on the app. So feel free to feel free to send a second playful, positive follow-up message. Right? Like, sort of like a fun, short p s to your opener. I don't know. Maybe your second message is, oh, hey. By the way, I loved your skydiving photo. How many jumps have you done if she had talked about skydiving on her profile? So this approach will serve you really well over time. And I've had multiple women actually say to me, hey, I really liked your persistence. Okay, so you can be persistent as long as there's charm and good intentions involved. If she doesn't reply after 2 or 3 messages, let it go. What you never wanna do is allow yourself to get upset or negative or judgmental. that can verge on harassment. So you wanna keep it cool, keep it really cool. Most guys either give up too soon. Like, they send one message, no response, and they assume they get ghosted. That's not getting ghosted. it takes multiple messages that do not get a response to consider it ghosting. Or other guys do the opposite if they send 12 messages and get all butt hurt and harassed and say, why don't you get back to me? Why did you match with me if you weren't gonna respond? You don't wanna be that guy either. Neither of those guys are gonna do very well on the dating apps or with off the off the apps in real life. So find that sweet spot. So take a chance, persist with charm and then move on sooner rather than later, but be a little bit persistent because women do like and appreciate that. generally. Next question I get. Is it okay to date someone I work with? No. I'm not a fan. I am not a fan of office romances. Even if you and your crush are of equal status at the company, quoting a woman you work with, it's a courting disaster. A smarter strategy is to use the tools that I teach here in this podcast and in my book and with my coaching and excuse me, and build an abundant dating life outside of work. Keep your office a romance free space if you can. Now if you do decide to date somebody you work with, then absolutely do not date, or pursue a woman whom you supervise, the manager has power over at work. it's just wrong. And it can lead to a hornet's nest of problems for you and for her and for your company, it can lead to harassment claims, accusations of unfair treatment by other employees, litigation. Just don't do it. No way no. Okay. Excuse me. Next question. Should I wait for a woman I like to ask me out? I get that one a lot. Well, hey. If a woman goes all Saddie Hawkins's day on you and asks you out, hey. Be flattered, but don't wait for it. don't expect it. In general, you as the man want to be the one moving things forward. There's a psychology study today that revealed that about 9 out of 10 women prefer to be asked out rather than doing the asking. So don't wait for her, you can still ask her out. It's not harassment. Similarly, here's a tangential but related tip. Similarly, don't generally don't give her your number and leave it for her to contact you. Unless she specifically says that's what she prefers, in which case, fine. But don't do that. That puts her in the feminine I'm sorry. That puts her in the masculine of here's my number, call me, generally women want to be the one who are pursued and asked out. So you're the man. It's up for you to ask. or it's up to you to ask and it's on her to say yes or no and either answer is totally fine. Next question, I get a lot. Can I still make romantic gestures on dates? Absolutely yes, by all means open doors Pick up checks, walk her to her car while, of course, always noticing how she's responding. You always wanna watch and try to get a sense for how a woman is feeling, not just because that's good strategy, quote unquote, because women like that, but also it's just being a human. It's just being a person. notice how you're making somebody feel. So get out of your head. Stop focusing on how you're feeling and whether or not she likes you and focus on how Not the indicators of interest but focus on how you feel like you're making her feel, right? Now but in terms of romantic gestures keep them small. So no lavish gifts, no flowers, no love poetry. At least early on in those first several dates as you're moving along in a relationship and moving toward being a couple, okay, we can relax that rule. but you don't need to win her over, okay? Keep in mind that you are enough as your authentic self. So keep that in mind. No love poetry. I had a client once who was a great guy named Kevin, who's now married with children. He did amazing. But I remember when Kevin first came to me, he had a big crush on a woman he literally had one date with. your coffee with, and he sent me a text message of a, like, a 20 line poem he had written. about her and said, hey, Conner, what do you think of the poem? I'm gonna send Tracy. I'm like, no. Don't send her a love poem. You've had one date with her that just reeks of neediness and being way too into a woman. So be aware of those big romantic gestures. They made big romantic gestures. They're great in John Hughes movies. Not so good. on dating. Keep that boom box at home. Okay. Oh, and then Yeah. Okay. Yeah. No, no big gestures. I think I made my point. Can I go for the first kiss? yes, absolutely. Just avoid the lunge, okay? Avoid my lunge mistake. Here's a great mindset. not mindset. Here's a great way to kinda here's the mechanics of that first kiss. Think of a first kiss as being a top step on stair steps, and you're walking up other steps together toward that first kiss on the date that 2 of you. So take stair steps of that first kiss, right? If you're on a date at the beginning of the date, you might greet her with a warm hug. You might playfully tap her on the shoulder or arm as you're talking, expressing yourself, holding eye contact. You're also opening up and connecting more emotionally. climbing up these steps together. Maybe you hold her hand. And of course you're noticing. Is she enjoying you? Does she initiate touch? How does she respond to your touch? Is she holding eye contact back? And so what happens is You're escalating I should say walking up these stair steps together. And then toward the end of the day, you're noticing, hey, I'm leaning in. She's leaning in, holding my eye contact, she's been touchy and flirty back, then that's when you go in for the first kiss. So you've walked up the stair steps of romantic connection together. No lunges. Save your lunges for the gym. Next question, should I ask her permission to kiss her? Only if you're a time traveling knight from medieval Europe, looking for love in the present day. Actually, that's not a bad screenplay idea. The working title could be 1 night stand. knight. Listen, I'm all about getting verbal consent for any sexual acts, as I'll talk about. but asking a woman for permission to kiss her, it might sound chivalrous but it's just not sexy. A woman likes it when a guy can read her signals, build some romantic tension and then make that first kiss feel like it just happened. at the perfect moment. If you wanna say something before the first kiss, just to make sure you have that nice green light, instead of asking can I kiss you? Tell her what you want to do. Look her in the eye and say, maybe look her in the eye, look at her lips. and look her back in the eyes and say, I wanna kiss you with total certainty and commitment And then she'll either say go ahead or she'll make it real easy and obvious that she wants you to, which is great. Or if she doesn't, she might say, oh, well, actually, I don't like to kiss very early on when meeting a guy. And that's fine too. You've shown that you've shown that you're paying attention to how she's feeling. So feel free to tell her you want to kiss her. But don't generally, I don't want you to ask for permission. Next question, is it okay to approach in the daytime? Absolutely. Yes, when done with charm and a confident vibe. Now, you might be surprised by how many women like this and respond to it when you do it with that charm. I was at an outdoor mall 1 afternoon. And I saw this woman who turns out her name was Maggie, And at the time, I was still really battling approaching anxiety. And I think she could sense it. And after I got her number, She said to me, but it was as if she was speaking to all single men, she said you can come right up and talk to us. It's okay. We like it. So yes, it's okay to approach in the daytime. My little bonus tip here is keep it g rated. Keep it very g rated and innocent. Don't approach some heavy duty pickup artist, alpha male, sexual comments, that's stupid, don't do that. Think charm, think g rated. If you wanna be direct you can say hey, excuse me, miss, I just saw you You're adorable. I wanted to say hi to you. If you wanna be more indirect with those first lines, you can just break the ice about something happening in the environment or maybe compliment something she's wearing or something she's doing. You know? Oh, hey, excuse me, miss, you might say, in the bookstore. It's nice to see that people still read actual books. What are you shopping for today? So yes, it's okay to approach in the daytime. Next question, any tips? Hold on. Let me clear my throat. Excuse me. Okay. Next tip or next question. Any tips for getting her in the mood when she's at my place? Yes. So buy a heart shaped bed and give the mirrors on your ceiling a nice shine. Just kidding. Don't do that. Sex may be on your mind, but don't make that the primary goal. Okay? Make your goal her feeling comfortable. That's your goal when she comes over to your place. So now what do you call it? A virtuous aspect of making women feel comfortable is it can absolutely make romance and sexual contact more likely, but we're not doing it for that reason. We're just doing it because it's the right thing to do. It's what a good solid empathetic man does. So make her feel comfortable in your place. Here are some tips. First time a woman comes over to your home, For the first 15 or so minutes that you're placed, give her space. Don't try to touch her in any romantic way. Don't start trying to make out with her, she's just let her get comfortable being in your home. Even if you were hot and heavy, at the bar or at your previous location, don't try to kiss her right away, probably, unless she gives you giant signals. but offer her a drink, put on some music, and give her a tour. The last time I was single, I would bring a woman over and give her a little tour of my place. I show her the cool view. I show her a piece of art. maybe go to the rooftop, see the view. And yeah, once now once she's comfortable, then yes, you can pick up where you left off. if you were kinda getting a little bit hot and heavy at the bar. But again, always pay attention to how she's feeling. So give her that space, give her that space. And if you do start to kiss at your place, you might be surprised. Some women will eagerly amp up the escalation on you just because for the first 15, 20, 30 minutes, you helped her feel comfortable, and she felt safe and comfortable with Okay. Excuse me. Next question. If she comes over, should I expect sex. Absolutely not. Getting intimate is possible, of course, but don't expect it and never pressure her for it. First of all, it's just wrong. 2nd of all, it's highly ineffective. And if she feels pressured, she may never wanna see you again. She might even leave right then and there. So just keep that in mind. Yeah. And when a woman comes over to your place, there are so many good reasons she has to now have sex. Okay, there's so many good reasons, right? Fear of pregnancy, fear of assaults, fear of STDs, not wanting to seem so called slutty. Not knowing you well enough, not feeling comfortable with you yet. Some women wanna wait until they're in a relationship before they have sex Some women want to wait for marriage, everybody's got, every woman has her own blueprint. And of course, sometimes the reason is just because it's totally fine. So every woman, keep in mind that every woman has her own rules for when she's ready for intimacy. be 100% cool with that and paradoxically if you put 0.0 pressure on her, she's gonna trust you more and grow more comfortable, and then getting physical may happen sooner rather than later. Next question, should I get verbal consent for sex? PS, doesn't that ruin the mood? No, Hell, what word is sexier than yes, when said by the right woman. Always get clear enthusiastic verbal consent before engaging in a sexual act. And here's a helpful tip to actually make it more fun for both of you. Ask for that consent in a sexy turned on way. rather than like you're an attorney deposing a witness. So think Barry White, not Barry Scheck. Barry Scheck was OJ's lawyer. You wanna be very white, not very sheck. Here are some of the sexy ways to seek cons to seek consent. and here I'll break it down act by act. By the way, some of these come from a woman named Amber Amor. She's a sex educator and the founder of creating consent culture. Some of these are hers, some of these are mine, so shout out to Amber for some good tips here. So here are some things you can say when things are getting hot and heavy that allow you to get consent if she says yes, but also let you keep that romantic tension and sexual vibe. and nice and hot. Can I go down on you? Do you want me to keep going? asking a woman, hey, how about we go into the bedroom and I and then insert sexual things you want to do with her. How about saying I want you? Should I put on a condom? asking do you want it from the back? Do you like that? How about morning sex? nothing wrong with asking for these things, as long as you're doing it with good intentions and of course as long as you're totally fine with her saying no at any point. And so if a woman says no at any point, stop immediately. Actually there's a great quote from I wanna say her name right, from Amber, Amber Amore. She wrote an article in the Huffington Post quote, there are many ways to accept your partners, not including okay, no problem, I respect that. And Amber also adds, quote, peacefully accepting rejection could potentially increase your chances of getting laid in the future. Well said, Amber. So all great tips. By the way, feel free. Whatever her answer, yes or no, feel free to ask her to stay over. some women need a little time and to basically sleep over and not have sex. in order to feel safe enough to hook up the next time. When I was beginning to see a woman named Christie who later became my girlfriend. And Christy and I kept it very PG 13 the first night she came over. And she actually spent the night, nothing happened, actually say, we didn't go all the way, kept at PG PG13. She spent the night and the next morning she rolled over and she woke me up and then things got NC17. So far from being a mood killer, the more trust you build with the woman you're dating the more that you'll both enjoy the intimacy whenever it happens. Whether it's the 2nd date, 1st date, 5th date, 10th date, Consent is sexy. Okay, a couple final questions here. What if we've been drinking? Can we still have sex? Use your best judgment, but bottom line being buzzed is one thing. But a drunk woman cannot truly consent. So don't do anything sexual if she seems more than just a little tipsy. and This is to protect the woman as well as yourself. Next question, when we have sex, How do I play it the morning after? Oh, good question. Be sweet, spoon and pillow talk if she likes that, offer her breakfast and coffee, either drive her home or order her a rideshare. And also text her something really sweet that day. Now make her feel great about the choice she just made. Here are some messages to consider. Here are some text messages I should say. You can text her anything, any of the anything I'm about to share. Quote, these are all quotes. My bed smells like you. This is a good thing. Oh, by the way, add all the heart eye emojis you want to these entities' text messages. My bed smells like you. This is a good thing. You were amazing last night and you're making it very hard to concentrate at work. Next, hey. This is my casual chill way of saying that I had so much fun with you, and I'd love to see you again. I can't stop thinking about you and the way you fill in the blank of something she did. I just wanted you to know. I've never been so glad to be so tired, hashtag totally worth it. Here's one more. Two words, mind blowing. I can't wait to see you again. How about and then insert the day you'd like to see her again? Bottom line is She slept with you. She just did something pretty scary and powerful and emotional and heavy duty for a lot of women. She hit the sheets with you. She hit the Egyptian cotton with you. I think it's our duty as gentlemen to help her feel great about her decision and just know that it was really special for you. It's just good karma and that's how a radically authentic man should be dating. Okay. That is the end of part 1 of the how to date in the me too era 2 part podcast. Check out the next one coming soon. And until we speak again, remember, Women out there, beautiful, incredible, smart, bright, wonderful women. They already like you. They just have to meet the real authentic you. until next time.


Produced by Heartcast Media

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Dating Tranformation with Connell Barrett

Welcome to the Dating Transformation podcast. I'm coach Connell Barrett, and I help men build confidence + connect with women by being their own authentic selves.

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NYC Dating Coach Connell Barrett

106 W 32nd St, New York, NY 10001

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