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Auntie SparkNotes: What If My Prom Date Expects HND?

Auntie SparkNotes: What If My Prom Date Expects HND?

Dear Auntie,

Ok so this is probably just me worrying way too much about things (which I often have the tendency to do). But guess what?? IT'S PROM SEASON!!!! The prama is everywhere, dramatic breakups at every corner, and most importantly the constant fear of not getting asked to prom. Now I'm only a sophomore, so I won't be going to prom until next year, and honestly, I could care less if I actually got asked to prom. I'd love going without a date (it would actually be nice to avoid the drama) but what if I actually do get asked?? Let me explain my concerns:

So I'm in an advanced math course (which happens to be a class of all juniors) and for the past couple of weeks all they've been talking about is prom. I absolutely loved to see all these girls dresses and hear about all their plans and the dates and everything, but something has got me concerned. I sit in a corner of all boys (jeez lucky me) and they were talking about prom like everyone else. But specifically about the sexy, sexy part. Now I have absolutely no problem with the HND, I mean have as much HND as you want and as little HND as you want, but it seemed to me that the only reason they asked these girls was because they expected HND at the end of the night. And I mean, if that's what you want to do at the end of the night, that's fine.

But this one guy was really mad because his date rejected him. And now this girl has a horrible reputation and rumors flying around everywhere just because she wouldn't sleep with him. And while I understand that teenage boys are normal teenagers with raging hormones just like anyone else, I'm just concerned that something like this will happen to me. To be quite honest, I haven't had that much HND experience and I just don't know what I would do if something like this happened to me. And the last thing I want is a reputation (of any sort). I don't know exactly what's got me all stressed about this, and I'm pretty sure I'm worrying for no reason, but I don't know. Just give me the best you've got, I guess.

In that case, Sparkler, you might want to grab hold of something—'cause I'm about to blow your mind.

Because many, if not all, of the negative outcomes you're afraid of can be avoided in one fell swoop, by going to prom with someone you know, like, and can rely on to be cool about your boundaries... or, barring that, by just not going with a guy who has shown signs of being a raging, sexually-entitled douchebeast.

You could start by disqualifying everyone in that one corner of your math class out of hand.

And despite those gross displays of braggadocio and the rumormongering fallout afterward, most guys really aren't terrible, soulless jerks whose only goal in life is to find a warm place to put their wieners. In fact, even amongst those bros in your math class, only one of them—the one who retaliated for a sexless prom night by spreading rumors about his date—turned out to possibly fit that description. But the rest of those guys? The only thing they're guilt of is being loud, horny, and obnoxious. And for some of them, that's probably not even a function of their character so much as it is a stupid pretense based on a warped concept of How Dudes Should Be. It is a little-known fact that for every asshat who actually thinks that his prom night should come with a sexual guarantee, there are ten dudes pretending to be that asshat in an attempt to look cool and macho, because they are terrified of girls and have literally no idea how to interact with one.

And one day, in all likelihood, they're going to wake up in the middle of the night feeling really, really stupid about it.

That's not your problem, of course. But it's a good thing to realize: that these guys have their own interior lives, their own hopes, fears, dreams, and insecurities. Even the guy who apparently turned so vicious because his date wouldn't sleep with him: he's not a cartoon villain. There's more to him than that, and let's be real, there's probably more to that story, too. The version you've heard—that she wouldn't have sex with this evil guy, and now her reputation is in tatters—might be a big part of it, but human dramas are rarely so tidy, and the truly ugly ones almost never are.

Which is why, realistically, you don't have to worry about something like this happening to you, because something like this doesn't just happen. Entitlement, humiliation, anger, revenge: these things don't just appear out of thin air, without warning or reason. They're the explosive end result of miscommunication, or dashed hopes, or foolish expectations that somebody didn't have the courage or confidence to correct.

And your eventual prom date, whoever he might be, is not going to be a dude-shaped hole full of secrets and question marks and hormones and danger. He's going to be a person, one you know well enough to want to spend an evening in his company. And when you're going to prom with an actual person with whom you can have actual conversation, then you'll be as safe as anyone can be from misunderstandings or unrealistic expectations on the night itself. All you'll need to do is talk to each other.

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Topics: Advice
Tags: prom, auntie sparknotes, sex, hnd, prom night

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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