My best friend, Olga, is bi. She sleeps with both girls and boys. I do neither. I am not interested. Olga says she wants to take our friendship to the next level and sleep with me. I don’t want to, but I don’t want to lose her friendship. What should I do?
Steve: Nothing. Whether physical or emotional, force is wrong. Olga should know this. If she doesn't respect your boundaries, she is not a good friend.
Mia: Asexuality is just as much of a thing as bisexuality, homosexuality, and heterosexuality. The Asexual Visibility and Education Network (asexuality.org) has some good material to point her to.
I work at a very small company — I’m one of only a few full-time employees — and we just hired a new woman I think is spectacular in a part-time role. We have a lot of the same interests — we are both involved in community theater and comedy — and she is single. I think she’s into me, too: We’ve started eating lunch together regularly by her request, and she asked me to come see her in a play, which, of course, she was great in. But the rub is, she works directly under me. If we met in the theater or comedy worlds, I would have asked her out weeks ago, but I don’t want to make her feel uncomfortable if she says no.
Mia: You should not ask her out, and she should make the first move. She is your subordinate, and that puts in her a weird position even if she wants to date you, because there might be a stigma that any company advancement came because of your relationship. But, look, if it's meant to be, it's meant to be. Be a good friend, be supportive, but don't make her feel like she has to date you.
Steve: You are smart, you know the danger of dating a subordinate even if she makes the first move. You might honestly tell her you are attracted to her but your position prevents you from acting on it. No job is forever. Things change.