Against my better judgment I'm going to do a thread on how to know when the age gap IS a red flag, (bc as I have said repeatedly it is not an inherently predatory thing). I am speaking both as someone who has almost exclusively dated older and also has professional DV training:
I'm speaking to the younger partner here.
1. Are you an adult? If you are under 18, anyone who violates the 'half your age plus 7' rule is a guaranteed creep.

And while I think there are some situations where a 20 yo + 17 yo dating could be ethically ok, it may not be legal.
2. Where do you meet?
Was this person somewhere they shouldn't be (college bar, chatroom for a fandom where most everyone is under 20, etc.)? If you met organically, were they in a position of power over you? If yes, leave now.
3. How do they talk about your age gap?
Do they mention it occasionally to acknowledge your differing life experiences and maybe joke about the references you don't get? Ok. Do they bring it up CONSTANTLY or NEVER? Get out!
4. How old were their previous partners?
Do they exclusively or mostly date much younger people? I'm sorry but leave.
5. Are there other red flags?
Do they insult you? Do they try to isolate you? Do they attempt to monitor your communications or constantly ask you to check in? Have they attempted to sexually coerce you? Pry you with alcohol or drugs? RUN AND NEVER LOOK BACK
This is not an exhaustive list and I appreciate the feedback from others with personal and/or professional experience!
And just to be clear: someone who passes all these tests might still end up being abusive! Heck, the younger partner might end up being abusive (this happened to my friend). There is no 100% guarantee. That said, hopefully this will add some clarify to the discourse.
*should be where DID you meet
Just thought of another one: 6. Are they too embarrassed to introduce you to their friends + family or to participate in normal events for people your age, like graduation? Get rid of 'em. Or, if they're not worried at all because all of their friends are 20: also get rid of 'em.
These are the DV red flags for all relationships regardless of age. Depending on how frequently the first 3 things happen, it may have moved past 'red flag' into DV. And the last two are just violent full stop. Just so we're clear.

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More from @EmilyDWarfield

21 Sep
The best thing I’ve ever done for the people in my life was recognize my own trauma reactions and the best thing I ever did for myself was recognize the trauma reactions of other people.
When you’ve experienced trauma your lizard brain can perceive any conflict as life-threatening and escalate it unnecessarily and indefinitely. Disengaging when I’m triggered allows me space to de-escalate and either apologize if I’m wrong...
...which is never easy but was ESPECIALLY hard for me bc admitting Id done wrong at one point in my life meant real danger for me, or simply disengage if the conflict doesn’t seem like it will be productive, and either pick it up later with a mediator if possible or let it go
Read 17 tweets
22 Aug
Hey maybe since I'm unlocked now I can do a brief educational thread on the history, utility and limitations of the term "sex work"
It was coined by Carol Leigh aka "Scarlet Harlot" in the 70's, in response to the term "sex use industry"-- she suggested "sex work industry" instead, right on the spot, to highlight agency and labor
It's become very useful as an organizing term because many folks criminalized under prostitution laws-- even if they know they are criminalized as such-- don't readily conceive of themselves 'prostitutes.' Also obviously legal deniability.
Read 32 tweets

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