50 Hot Ways to Ask For Consent

Amazing images via my fantastic Twitter followers @KiaFlausch, @FuusPrivateArea, @Galia, and @LouJanae

In the wake of all the recent discourse around #MeToo, assault, and harassment, many questions have been raised about consent.

Some folks on social media shout that they don’t know how to interact romantically or sexually when there’s a perceived rape accusation around every corner, that they’re terrified to make a move now, or that – *melodramatic gasp* – the human race will surely die out as a result of this increased focus on consent.

Nope! The truth is, and has always been: asking for consent is neither optional nor difficult. And though some people whine that direct consent-asks “ruin the mood,” they’re really just demonstrating their own lack of finesse and creativity when they say that. There are dozens of smooth, fun, and hot ways to ask for consent.

I recruited some of my sex blogger friends – Taylor J Mace, Mx Nillin, Sugarcunt, Taryn, and Suz – to help me brainstorm 50 hot ways to ask for consent. I hope these give you some ideas!


1. “I’d really love to…”

2. “How would you like it if I…?”

3. “How would you feel if I…?”

4. “May I?”

5. “Can I please…?”

6. “What do you want?”

7. “Do you like…?”

8. “What would feel delicious to you right now?”

9. “It’d be so hot if…”

10. “Would it make you happy if I…?”

11. “Does that feel good? Do you want more?”

12. “Is this okay?”

13. “I can’t stop thinking about [kissing/touching/spanking] you…”

14. “How can I make you feel good?”

15. “Where would you love to be touched right now?”

16. “Have you ever…? Would you like to?”

17. “Lately I’m curious about…”

18. “What’s your favorite [sex position/way to get off/way to be kissed/etc.]?”

19. “How do you feel about…?”

20. “I bet you’d look gorgeous/hot/cute [kneeling in front of me/pinned against a wall/holding my leash]…”

21. “Right now I’m wondering [how you taste/what you sound like when you get spanked/how hard you like to be fucked/etc.]…”

22. “Could we try…?”

23. “What do you think about [spanking/swallowing/etc]…?”

24. “Where do you like to be touched?”

25. “Call me _________. What do you want me to call you?”

26. “I really love it when you…”

27. “How hard/rough do you want it?”

28. “I have this fantasy where… Would you want to try it?”

29. “What are you in the mood for right now?”

30. “There are so many things I want to do to/with you that I don’t know where to start. Thoughts?”

31. “If you want me to ____, you’re going to have to beg for it.”

32. “Show me how you want to be touched.”

33. “It doesn’t seem like you like this, should I stop?” (If they seem uncertain but are at least partially sending “this is good” signals)

34. “Do you want me to ____ before ___, or ____ and then ____?” (e.g. “have you suck my cock before I finger you, or should I tie you up and then spank you?”)

35. (Teasing tone) “Hmm, what should we get up to first/now/tonight?”

36. “We could do [thing the other person suggested], but I’m really fantasizing about ____…”

37. “I was thinking about buying/bringing a [type of sex toy]. Would you like to try that with me?”

38. “I would really like to ____ right now, [if that’s okay/how does that sound to you?/if you would enjoy that].”

39. “How do you want to get off?”

40. “Tell me what you’re fantasizing/thinking about.”

41. “What do you want to do to me right now?”

42. “You know what really turns me on?”

43. “So, I had this really hot dream the other night…”

44. “I found this sexual fantasies checklist; want to fill it out with me?”

45. “What are your limits/boundaries?”

46. “Are you ready for another [finger/spank/slap/flog]?”

47. “I have this [sex toy], can I show you how I like to use it?”

48. “I really wish I could [kiss/make out/sex act] with you right now.”

49. “I’m not interested in [X sex act] tonight, but I’d really love to…”

50. “Wow, you make me [wet/hard], would you want to [feel/taste]?”

What are your favorite ways to ask for consent?


Contributors to this post (ordered alphabetically), all of whom are rad as fuck and whose writing you should check out immediately:

Mx Nillin is a queer, non-binary, non-monogamous kinkster who blogs about sex, gender, relationships, and much more. Their “Mx Nillin Fucks” series of blog posts is a hilarious and fascinating adventure where they attempt to stick their girl cock into various inanimate objects, ranging from a warm apple pie to a pool noodle to a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and review the experience.

Sugarcunt is a non-binary, kinky, queer switch who is legitimately one of the kindest and funniest people I’ve ever met. Their review of misogynist instructional book “Jack’s Blowjob Lessons” is the stuff of legends, truly. They also recently wrote about how to enhance a hookup with pre-sex sexting and it’s excellent advice.

Suz is a queer femme who blogs about sex toys, dating, consent in the age of social media, and more. She’s one of the foremost Tinder experts I know, so her online-dating advice is top-notch and actionable. She also recently wrote about defining casual relationships for Elite Daily.

Taryn is an asexual and biromantic sex blogger who writes about sex toys, asexuality, and (usefully for anyone interested in getting into the blogging biz) SEO for sex bloggers. She does important work, busting myths about asexuality while also providing balanced, entertaining reviews of sex toys.

Taylor J Mace is a genderqueer trans boy who teaches informative workshops about kink and communication, makes super hot porn, and blogs about sex toys, kink, and more. They’re also really, really good at planning group sex, which we discussed with them on The Dildorks podcast.

Links & Hijinks: Flirting, Crying, and David S. Pumpkins

• Ask Polly has some advice on what to do if you want to date men but also you hate men. “Dating, like all arbitrary, tedious, pointless social exercises, requires a higher level of Zen. Surrender to the excruciating nothingness of the task at hand, and try to enjoy it. Yes, most men are shit. But you are not taking an exhaustive survey of most men. You are looking for one good, kind, exceptional man. They exist.”

• These tools for recovering from sexual trauma are neat as hell!

• Not exactly relevant to my blog, but oh well: I enjoyed reading this oral history of the David S. Pumpkins SNL sketch. It made me think about how we’re drawn to silly, meaningless entertainment in times of sociopolitical turmoil, and also about how fucking great Tom Hanks is.

• You can use the teachings of Aristotle to get someone to go on a date with you. Hmm!

• Luna told the story of moving her massive sex toy collection when she moved houses. “The thought of a box of fantasy toys tipping over and disgorging its colorful contents in the back of my dad’s SUV is the stuff of nightmares.”

• Girl on the Net wrote about crying after sex and it was so beautiful and relatable that I cried, too.

• What does it mean to be a “kink lifestyler” and how do you know if you are one?

• Here are a bunch of stories about dicks getting stuck in things.

• What can you do when your social media addiction is curbing your creativity? This article is chicken soup for the creative soul, truly. “Sometimes the most skilled, unique, emotional writers are the ones who struggle with feelings of inadequacy the most,” Heather writes. “Refuse to imagine what will impress other people. Seduce them into loving exactly what you have to give instead. Savor your craft and enjoy yourself.”

• Here’s how to prepare your bed for sexy guests.

• Sammi’s Satisfyer review includes a cool sex toy hack that will be of particular interest to transmasculine folks. Gotta love the ingenuity of sex nerds!

• I shrieked with laughter watching this video of Jeff Goldblum reacting to tattoos of himself.

• Would hiring a sex worker help predatory men (e.g. Weinstein, Spacey, CK) work through their fantasies? Experts weighed in. And then Alana Massey weighed in. Lots to think about here.

• Miles Klee makes a case for period sex. I think I’ve reached a point where I can no longer date folks who are squeamish about the crimson wave…

• I’ve been fascinated by fear play lately so I loved Taylor’s post about why they love it.

• I loved reading about this vibrator that tracks your orgasm statistics. Sex nerdiness, activate! (Also, why don’t I own this toy?!)

• Where does the slang term “fap” come from?

• If you’re a dude who flirts with women, or would like to flirt with women, read this guide, please. It’s very good.

Interview: Alexandra Franzen on Break-Ups, Hope, and Surviving

Alexandra Franzen is one of my favorite writers on the planet. Her voice is relentlessly upbeat, incisive, and clear as a bell. She’s inspired and uplifted me countless times, whether she’s writing about how to say no, how to achieve a goal, how to become a better writer, or anything else.

So I was heartened when I saw she had a new book coming out called You’re Going to Survive. It came along at a time when I needed that exact message, badly: I’d just had my heart broken and was figuring out how to feel better and move forward. (I don’t know why I wrote that in the past tense. I’m still feeling that way, honestly.)

You’re Going to Survive is full of stories about real-life people and their real-life problems – and how they kept going, even when it seemed like they couldn’t possibly. In this book, authors, chefs, lawyers, musicians, web designers, and Broadway performers (among others) describe one of the worst moments in their entire career – moments when everything went catastrophically, heart-poundingly, mood-ruiningly wrong – and how they got through to the other side. Spoiler alert: they all survived their hardships. And you can survive yours, too.

I wrote to Alex to ask her a few questions about the wisdom of her book as it pertains to break-ups. Here’s what she had to say…

What are your best tips for surviving a break-up?

My last break-up was a little over four years ago. It was pretty intense. I’ve had about five major break-ups in total, including breaking off an engagement with my college sweetheart.

In the past, here are some things I’ve done after a break-up:

– Call a friend while hiding under my covers in bed.
– Cry until it feels like my eyes are going to fall out of my head.
– Write super intense poetry.
– Thwack a punching bag at the gym.
– Get a hair cut.
– Get my cash washed.
– Get a Tarot card reading.
– Get a new vibrator.
– De-clutter my home.
– Buy myself some flowers.
– Flirt with people just to remember what it feels like.
– Pack all of my possessions into the back of a VW beetle and move to another state.

Every person is different, and every break-up is different. So, I would say, do whatever you need to do. There are no rules.

Personally, I’ve tried to view each break-up as an opportunity to clear space in my life—both physically and emotionally. Bye, old clothes! Bye, old commitments on my calendar! It’s a new beginning.

We often hear that “time heals all wounds,” but is there any way to speed up the process?

There’s a woman named Christina Rasmussen who studies grief, loss, and reinvention. She’s written books on this topic. She says, “Time doesn’t heal. Action does.”

I totally agree. To heal and move onward, we can’t be stagnant. We have to take action.

After a break-up, I’ve found that really small action steps—like making my bed, or getting nice bath salts, or opening the window to let in some fresh air—can seriously improve my mood. Small, loving actions can make a big difference.

Any tips for dealing with feelings of unworthiness, undesirability, unloveability, etc. after a devastation like a break-up?

Once, I went through a break-up that totally rattled my ego. I felt like I wasn’t interesting or attractive enough to hold his attention. Even though I’d been the PERFECT girlfriend—I mean, I cleaned his entire damn house and bought groceries and tolerated his cat even though I’m seriously allergic!—somehow, it wasn’t enough and he wanted to date other women.

I was crushed. I felt so rejected and confused. I remember feeling like, “I want answers. I want him to explain why this didn’t work out. I need him to explain why I’m not enough. I need to hear this from him. That’s the only way I will feel ‘closure’.”

I told all of this to a friend of mine. She said to me, “But what if he never gives you the closure that you want? What if he can’t explain, or won’t explain, or refuses to meet up with you to talk? Is there some way that you could give a feeling of closure to yourself?”

I’ve never forgotten what she said. Because the reality is, with many break-ups, the other person can’t—or won’t—give you the answers that you crave, or the feeling of closure that you crave. You need to create that feeling by yourself, for yourself. This might mean doing a ritual (like burning old letters) or re-writing a story you’ve been telling yourself inside your head about what happened and why. Ultimately, the only person who can really give closure to you… is you.

Also, let us remember the wise words of Dita Von Teese: “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”

It’s so true. Just because someone isn’t interested in being with you, that doesn’t mean you are undesirable! It just means you’re a delicious peach and they happen to want a banana or a pear. They’re allowed to have their preferences—just like you.

How can you be brave enough to “get back out there” when your heart’s been broken?

I know a woman who was single for a really, really long time. She was really frustrated, and she was beginning to wonder if she would ever meet someone.

One day, she got invited to meet up with a few people and have brunch. She was going to say “no,” because she’d already eaten breakfast that day. But she felt this funny intuitive feeling that urged her to go, so she decided, “OK, I guess I’ll go anyway even though I’m not hungry.”

She ended up meeting her husband at that brunch. It was totally unexpected and out of the blue. They’re madly in love and have the sweetest, most amazing relationship.

I think about my friend’s story a lot, especially when I’m feeling discouraged.

The truth is, whether you’re searching for love, or searching for something else, like a new job, the path to getting there might be really surprising and unexpected. A spontaneous gut decision—like getting brunch, taking a road trip, or making an online dating profile—might lead to something incredible. Personally, I feel “braver” when I remember that the possibilities are truly limitless, and today is always a mystery, and anything can happen.

So, get out there, and keep your eyes and ears and heart open, because who knows what tomorrow might bring? Or what today might bring? Today is not over yet!

What do you wish someone had told you after your last really awful break-up?

“Hey, guess what? You’re going to meet the love of your life about two months from now. Just hang in there. You won’t believe what’s coming next.”


Thanks so much to Alex for her words of wisdom! If you’re craving more, be sure to check out her website and preorder her new book, You’re Going to Survive. (And remember: you are going to survive.)

Review: Hot Octopuss Queen Bee

Imagine you met a guy at a party and, after a few minutes of cordial conversation, he kept loudly insisting on his brilliance as a cunnilinguist. “I have a supremely talented mouth. I can get anyone off,” he would sneer, with just enough enthusiasm that maybe you’d believe him a little bit, especially if it was late and you were a bit intoxicated and perhaps it had been a good while since anyone had even attempted to get you off.

Imagine, then, that you took him back to your place, removed your clothes, and set him loose on your junk so he could prove his claim. And he then proceeded to blow raspberries all over your vulva – making a loud and ridiculous noise, barely even grazing your clit, and certainly not getting you off. Imagine how you would laugh, as he continued to smile up at you in that unwarranted cocky manner.

This is more-or-less how I feel about the Hot Octopuss Queen Bee. It makes a whole lot of claims it cannot support. And, to add insult to injury, it makes a noise the likes of which cannot be ignored.

The Queen Bee is a new clitoral stimulator roughly the shape and size of a hairbrush. It uses “PulsePlate technology,” whereby the one of the flat sides of the “hairbrush” pounds in and out quickly, creating oscillation rather than vibration. “Although oscillators are commonplace in the medical world, Hot Octopuss is the first to bring this technology to the sex toy market,” the company’s website brags, though this flat-out isn’t true; the Eroscillator has been doing the oscillation thing, and much more effectively, for many years.

Oscillation’s claim to fame is that it supposedly produces deeper, stronger orgasms than vibration, and doesn’t tend to cause desensitization the way vibrations sometimes can. These claims, in my experience, are true of the Eroscillator – the orgasms I have with it are legitimately like nothing else I’ve felt – but with the Queen Bee, not so much. Its PulsePlate is too broad for me, kissing my entire vulva rather than zeroing in on my clit – and while I sometimes enjoy this broadness with, say, a wand vibrator, it doesn’t work so well on an oscillating toy. I have to focus hard to even detect that my clit is being stimulated. I would imagine this would be doubly true for folks with smaller clits and/or fleshier labia than mine.

This problem is exacerbated by the fact that the Queen Bee’s oscillation significantly slows and weakens as soon as any pressure is applied to the toy. I’m used to this with my Eroscillator: I tend to press it against my body early in a session and then ease up as I continue, allowing it to oscillate more intensely when I’m ready for that. But the oscillations in the Queen Bee are dampened to an almost laughable degree when the toy encounters any pressure. Unless you like holding your sex toys so they only graze your junk with the most feather-light touch, you probably won’t get much out of the Queen Bee.

On top of all that, this toy makes an egregious, unforgivable amount of noise. It’s so loud, I hesitate to use it past 9PM lest I wake my neighbors. It’s so loud, I can’t bring myself to use it when my roommate is home, even if she’s across the apartment listening to Beyoncé at full blast. It’s so loud, I have to turn the volume on my porn way up while I’m masturbating with it, or else wear noise-canceling headphones. It’s so loud, I can’t imagine using it with a partner without both of us dissolving into intractable giggles. It’s so loud, turning it on for even a few seconds makes me feel embarrassed to exist.

Are you getting the picture yet? The Queen Bee is very fucking loud. And it’s not an inoffensive, vague whirring either. It’s a rhythmic, mechanical pounding that seems to scream, “I am using a VIBRATOR!!!” I am reminded of a prank my dad once pulled at his office where he emailed a surreptitiously-named MP3 to some colleagues which, when they opened it, shouted through their speakers, “Hey, everybody; I’m watching PORNO in here!!” The Queen Bee rivals that for its embarrassment-to-amusement ratio.

I have more complaints about the Queen Bee. The buttons that are difficult to locate and press in a hurry. The unnecessarily gendered name and marketing. The claim that the non-pulsating side of the toy is in fact a feature, ideal for “gentle warm-up massage,” rather than the equivalent of holding the handle of a wand vibe against your clit for shits and giggles. But really, my main sources of beef with this toy are its false claims of originality, its tendency to give up the ghost under pressure, and that godawful, inexcusable noise.

If I wanted to eke an orgasm out of something that neither lived up to its ostentatious claims nor complied with noise bylaws, I’d just fuck that guy from the party whose loud and ineffectual cunnilingus was his proudest achievement.

 

Thanks to Hot Octopuss for sending me the Queen Bee to try! Should you want to buy a Queen Bee, you can find it at Peepshow and SheVibe.

Tegan and Sara and My First Sort-Of Love

Tegan and Sara’s album The Con came out ten years ago, in the summer of 2007. That was a year full of significant events for me: I turned 15, came out as bisexual, and dated someone for the first time, that someone being, notably, a girl. And all of it is linked inextricably in my mind with The Con, because it was the soundtrack of my year. The soundtrack of my first real romance.

This was the era when someone’s taste in music seemed to say something about them, when MSN Messenger away messages and Facebook statuses were peppered with oblique song lyrics, when I’d creep someone’s Last.FM page alongside their LiveJournal if I wanted to know their heart.

That fall, I had the burn-your-life-down kind of crush on a purple-haired girl I’d met the previous semester in English class. I hadn’t really noticed her until, early in my sophomore year of high school, she confessed to me via Honesty Box that she loved my writing, and then revealed her identity to me, sheepishly, but wanting me to know. She was only the second girl I’d ever had tingly romantic feelings about, but I still recognized them immediately. Oh shit, I am in trouble, I thought one day when our eyes crossed from across the hall and I saw her blush as I felt blood rush into my own cheeks.

“I think I have a crush on her,” I confessed to my best friend, the first person I’d come out to earlier that year, in the girls’ bathroom.

“You should ask her out!” my wildly brave and confident bestie suggested. “I’ve seen the way she looks at you. She likes you too.” I feel a certain kinship with 15-year-old me, because a decade has passed and I’m still that girl who refuses to accept anyone could be interested in me until they tell me in their own goddamn words. I just don’t see myself as worthy of that kind of revere.

As I pined over her, summer hardened into autumn and I listened to The Con on loop. It jibed appealingly with my fledgling queer identity, giving me an image of gay women who were neither fully butch nor fully femme, and who didn’t quite fit the stereotypes of effusively romantic women nor stonily reserved men. They existed in an in-between space that felt familiar to me then. And though their love songs were ambiguous enough that they could’ve been about anyone of any gender, I felt the specialness of these being love songs written by women about women. If there is a particular aesthetic or mood unique to sapphic infatuation, I felt that in the songs of The Con.

One day we had plans to meet up at lunch, but my crush had earned herself a lunch detention, probably for being late to class – she was always late. She told me she’d be stuck sitting on a bench in the office at the time we were supposed to meet. I vowed to come visit her. At the appointed time, she snuck out under the guise of using the bathroom, and we chatted awkwardly and grinningly outside the bathroom door. “Kate! Your face is so red! Are you feeling okay?!” a friend of mine asked when she walked past and spotted us. I blushed even harder. No one was supposed to acknowledge my obvious massive crush on this girl; we weren’t at that stage yet, I felt. I just wanted to luxuriate in the pretense of mystery for a while.

Weeks of coy flirtation elapsed. She called me a “pretty girl” in a Facebook message and I squealed with delight as I read the text to my best friend over lunch. I saw the way her friends eyed her knowingly when she talked to me between classes, like they knew the significance of this because she had told them. We rode the subway together after school and a sudden movement of the train threw me against her as we were hugging goodbye, igniting a million fiery sparks in my nerve endings.

I don’t remember how exactly I decided, but one night I came to the conclusion that I needed to ask her out and I was going to do it by writing her a letter. Tegan and Sara are as likely an explanation as any; there’s a verse in “Soil, Soil” that goes, “I feel like a fool, so I’m going to stop troubling you; buried in my yard, a letter to send to you. And if I forget, or God forbid, die too soon, I hope that you’ll hear me and know that I wrote to you.” I wrote several drafts of the letter and eventually gave it to her at the end of a party. To my surprise, later that evening she called me and said, “So… We should date.”

We had talked many times before that night about how “Call It Off” may have been our favorite track on The Con, an especially perfect jewel on an incredibly perfect album. I even quoted it at the top of the letter I wrote her: “I won’t regret saying this, this thing that I’m saying. Is it better than keeping my mouth shut? That goes without saying.” But it’s a song about a break-up, and I didn’t see the dark prophecy of that at the time. It wasn’t until later that I recognized the foreshadowing as foreshadowing.

Our relationship only lasted five weeks, ending in a tearful phone call where she broke up with me for somewhat vague reasons: “I’m not in a good place to be in a relationship,” “I feel trapped,” “I don’t know what I want but it’s not this.” She cried more than I did. It was a small trauma that has informed every other relationship I’ve had since then: whenever I’m dating someone, I live with a constant anxious fear that they will suddenly decide they don’t want to be with me, and will break up with me for reasons I can neither predict nor understand. That was precisely what happened at the end of my last relationship, almost ten years after that initial blow, and it felt almost exactly the same: a shattering and a crumbling and a sense that I would never adore someone like that again. Like O, like H in your gut.

The break-up was compounded by the fact that we remained friends afterward. Immediately afterward. This is the sort of mistake I doubt I would make now; I’m an emotional masochist in many ways but I also know how to set boundaries and I know what will make me miserable. Remaining friends with my first sort-of-love after she dumped me made me miserable. She told me over and over again, in many different ways, that she regretted the breakup, wished it could’ve gone differently, thought we were a good match, wanted to get back together with me eventually, and didn’t want me to see other people. She was 15, so I forgive these ridiculous manipulations now – but at the time, they felt like knives going in.

“I may have done the upbreaking, but to quote ‘Call It Off’ in its entirety, well, I won’t do that because that would be weird and you probably know the lyrics by heart, but you get where I’m going,” she told me in a loquacious Facebook message a month after the break-up. “So really I’m the heartbreaker for breaking my own heart, except not quite to that crazy heartbreaking angst-ridden extent. And then I had a good thirty-six hours of physically restraining myself from attempting to grab the phone and call you and shout, ‘JUST KIDDING!’ or something to that degree but less comical.”

I listened to “Call It Off” in bed every night, sometimes crying, sometimes just numbly staring into space. “Maybe I would’ve been something you’d be good at,” Tegan warbled. “Maybe you would’ve been something I’d be good at.” It was my first introduction to the idea that sometimes what you mourn after a break-up is not the relationship that was, but the relationship that could have been. The idea of the romance you wanted, moreso than the romance you actually had.

It wasn’t until many months later that the spell finally broke. In July – more than seven months after our break-up – I told my ex-girlfriend about the new girl I was seeing, who absolutely, fully adored me and treated me well, both emotionally and sexually. I was excited and wanted to share the news with my ex, who was also one of my closest friends at the time: I’d just had sex for the first time, and it was great! But I worried she was anti-my-new-relationship, and told her as much in the message.

Her reply came back sooner than expected. “I am not, repeat, not anti-you-having-sex. This is because I am very much pro-you-being-happy-and-doing-whatever-you-want-and-not-giving-a-rat’s-ass-what-anybody-else-thinks,” she wrote. “The only reason I tend to shudder and vocalize rude things at points such as these is because I also happen to sometimes be pro-my-own-sanity. But really, who needs sanity? And anyways, do I really have to go into why I don’t like picturing you having sex with people, when honestly you can probably guess?”

It occurred to me then, as an uncharacteristic blinding rage swept over me, that she was holding me prisoner in a relationship that was never going to be a relationship. Seven months after breaking up with me, she was still moping like it had been anyone’s decision but hers. Still acting like she had any right to withhold love from me, even love from other people. It disgusted me. I couldn’t believe I had been stuck on her for so long.

I stopped clinging to the fiction that maybe we could get back together someday. I stopped hoping against all logic that she might someday be the girlfriend I needed. I stopped obsessively checking her Last.FM page to see if she’d been listening to Tegan and Sara, with the assumption that her musical nostalgia would signal romantic nostalgia about me. We remained friends, but I refused to continue “walking with a ghost.” I had better things to do.