Dating Safety | Mike Domitrz, Date Safe Project
To wrap up our Dating Safety series, this week we’re talking dating safety in relationships with the founder of Date Safe Project, Mike Domitrz. From verbal consent to broaching the subject with your teens or college aged kids, Mike shares his safety suggestions.
We noticed a theme of ‘verbal consent’ throughout your site. Can you speak to how this plays out in new and/or seasoned relationships?
When you can talk openly and passionately with your partner, sexual intimacy becomes even more fun and sexy. The key is always honoring each other’s boundaries and not trying to change the other person’s mind.
Are there any other specific dating safety tips you often share?
Every partner deserves to have a choice BEFORE you engage in any sexual activity. Asking first is how you give someone a choice. Have fun asking.
If you can’t talk about it, you’re not ready. If you think, “Asking would seem weird”, what you are actually revealing is how “weird” you feel about your own sexual wants, desires, needs, and/or boundaries.
The best approach to sex is mutually amazing intimacy and the greatest way to experience mutually amazing intimacy is sober (when no alcohol or drugs have numbed the nervous system – when you feel everything).
Many of our readers have teenaged and college aged children navigating the dating world for the first time. What advice would you give to these parents for starting a healthy discussion with their kids? Any specific tips their children should know through & through?
As we discuss in our DVD for parents, talk about what an amazing gift intimacy is WHEN everything is present for mutually amazing intimacy (trust, comfort, safety, attraction, KNOWLEDGE, verbal communication, maturity, sober, legal age, and more). Too many parents try to scare their teens instead of educating their teens. Show them the good and the bad that can occur. The more correct information a teenager has, the more likely the teen will want to make a good choice.
TALK. If you don’t provide them the complete picture, they will seek out the missing information from friends and the Internet – both bad options.
Is there anything else you’d like to leave with our readers?
Parents, be willing to invest some time and energy into creating an approach for how you want to discuss relationships, boundaries, natural sexual urges, consent, and sexual decision-making. Read helpful resources and choose which approach best works for you and your child. If you are a parent of more than one child, you know every teen is different.
As the Founder of The DATE SAFE Project, Mike Domitrz has dedicated his life to reducing sexual assault. His work is based on the core principle that every person deserves for each sexual experience to be consensual (requested, wanted, freely given, and received between 2 people of legal age and sound mind).
Mike teaches how-to skills for healthy dating and intimacy, bystander intervention, and supporting survivors through his “Can I Kiss You?” program and trainings, which he delivers in school systems, at universities, and on military institutions around the world to over 30,000 people each year.
Mike is also the author of two books, “May I Kiss You?” and “Voices of Courage.” His DVD for parents titled “HELP! My Teen Is Dating” was recognized as One of the Top 50 Books by RadicalParenting.com.
Today, Mike is considered one of the leading voices for discussing how society addresses consent, bystander intervention, and respect in sexual decision-making. His unique approach is to shift the focus from the stereotypical messaging of telling people what “NOT TO DO” to instead sharing specific what “TO DO” steps everyone can implement instantly and feel good about doing so.
The DATE SAFE Project takes him around the world conducting trainings for the US Military – from Europe to Asia to the Middle East to Guantanamo Bay. Each Fall, he speaks on university campuses across the country and throughout Canada. As news stories are breaking, you might catch Mike on the local ABC, CBS, NBC, or FOX affiliates around the country providing unique insights.
Mike found his calling to create The DATE SAFE Project as a college sophomore, when he learned that his sister had been sexually assaulted. In the years after, he decided to dedicate his life to transforming societies’ views on the importance of asking first to insure each person has a choice.
Have a question on asking first and respect? Let Mike know. After all, he is all about asking!