The Hook Up: Is She Leading Me On?


Hi Anna,

In November, a friend came out to me as bi. Since then my friend (who I happen to have a crush on) and I have made out every time we got drunk. However when we’re sober things are awkward between us. Nothing she does sober would necessarily indicate she likes me other than the odd shy smile or awkward hug but after a few beers, she often texts me and is really friendly and flirtatious. I don’t want to fall for her because I don’t know where we stand, but I can’t avoid her because we take the same classes. Am I being led on or is she just shy?—Confused Gay

Dear CG,

She likes you. She makes out with you every time you drink! Of course she likes you. Would you make out with someone you didn’t like? Every time a bottle is popped?

What I think is happening is this: She’s afraid you don’t reciprocate her feelings and needs the “liquid courage” to initiate, but when she’s sober, she feels insecure again, because alcohol is not actually a form of confidence.

The fact that she recently came out as bisexual is, I’m sure, contributing to her fears of rejection. This is new territory for her and she’s not used to courting women.

What can you do? Why, talk to her, of course—in the sober light of day. It’s time to set aside those fears and speak up. Be the brave one, it’s the fastest and most efficient way to get what you want. Here’s a starter template:

“Hey Make-Out Buddy, I have so much fun making out with you. Do you want to do it without first consuming a bucket of Miller High Life? ‘Cause that’d be great too. If not, I think maybe we should put the kibosh on the drunk tongue-twisting because it’s confusing to me. I think you’re awesome. I just want to know what’s up.”

If, on the very slim chance that she doesn’t like you but can’t stop making out with you for some reason, then at least you’ll know and can proceed accordingly.

But by all means, talk to each other. It’s not so scary; you’ll see.

Good luck and I wish you lots more saliva-swapping in the future. Without the angst.

A woman running a spiral highwayvia Getty

My girlfriend and I are monogamous and happy and love each other. So why does the thought of watching her have sex with another girl turn me on so much?—Effed-Up Fantasies

Dear EUF,

Bless yer heart for not even being able to write the word “fuck.”

It turns you on because it’s a fantasy, and fantasies do not have to align with reality (that’s kind of their whole point). It turns you on because it lets you be a voyeur and because you are invested in your girlfriend’s pleasure. It turns you on because threesomes are hot, even ones where you might simply be watching.

There’s nothing to be ashamed of or weirded out by. Enjoy the fantasies! Share them with your partner for bonus points. She might think it’s hot too, and it’ll be something else that’s fun for you to be turned on by. If she doesn’t think it’s hot, then no biggie. You just keep on enjoying them yourself.

Also, you should practice getting comfortable with “dirty” words. Not because I want you to be crass, like, while you’re at work, but because it will help you get more comfortable with sex in general. Articulate your desires, even quietly to yourself, and you’ll have an easier time communicating them to you partner in the moment.

Plus, your dirty talk will soar. “I want to eff you so bad” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.  


I ran into my ex for the first time since we broke up. She looked fantastic, happy, and was with someone I assume is her new girlfriend. (We haven’t been talking, per your break-up advice, so I don’t know for sure.) I felt like I’d been stabbed in the gut at first, but now I feel motivated to move on and get my life back. So, I guess my question is how can I use this gross feeling to start the next chapter of my life?—Moving On

Dear MO,

You already are moving on, and your letter is proof of that. If you need the stabby feeling of seeing your ex as motivation to make some life changes, then so be it, but you are “getting your life back,” make no mistake.

Motivation is fleeting, however, and you may find that once the gross feeling subsides, you still feel stuck. How to turn a temporary motivation into one that last involves:

  • Breaking down your goals into small, manageable chunks
  • Making it a game
  • Keeping it in your mind

Here’s an example of what this might look like. First, ask yourself what your actual goals are. For this, let’s say it means reconnecting with friends you’ve lost touch with. So you’d break this down into small, manageable steps, such as calling or making plans with one friend each week.

Making it a game means keeping it fun and light-hearted. Tell yourself that if you fail to call one friend each week, you can’t watch your beloved Pretty Little Liars show. It helps if you get another friend involved, so you can motivate each other to accomplish your goals. And if they’re small enough, this shouldn’t be too much of a struggle.

And keeping it in your mind means staying conscious of your goals. This can be as simple as sticking a post-it with your goal on it where you can see it each day, or for our example, putting up photos of you and your friends to remind yourself what is important.

Try these strategies and you should be well on your way to creating the kind of life you crave.

Anna is a freelance writer in Oakland. Get overly personal emails and haiku from her at Or Twitter @annapulley. Send her your Hook Up questions at