When we are younger or inexperienced, we can be ambiguous about what we want to do. We want our partner to like us, we want to be agreeable, and girls in particular can find it hard to say no – we are programmed all our lives to say yes. Learning how to say no to sex you don’t want can be hard, because pressure to do it is strong, for both guys and girls. We want to fit in, we want to do what we think everyone else is doing, but sex is so individual and personal.
Yes, no, or maybe?
- Yes means yes
- No means no
- I don’t know means no, or at least, not yet (so back it up)
- Silence means no
Never, ever do anything you are uncomfortable with, that is hurting you or the other person, or that you feel pressured to do – this applies to guys and girls alike. This is not what sex is about. If you don’t want to have sex or do sexual activities, even if you start doing something and then change your mind, you are allowed to say no. Anytime. In a nutshell, don’t be a dick and it will all work out just fine.
Sex is not anyone’s right – being close to someone else in this way is an honour and a privilege. Even if it’s behind a bush at a show, never forget it.
Watch this super short video that uses the now-famous cup of tea and consent analogy. It’s funny, and true.
Guys, if she is saying nothing at all, you need to stop and figure out what’s going on – a deafening silence from the lady camp probably means she is not enjoying herself, and you need to talk more, poke around less, and try something different. Additionally, if you feel like you are being pressured or are uncomfortable with something, ask her to stop and/or try something else. This goes both ways.
Girls, be as clear as you can about what you want or what you might like to try (or not as the case may be). When you touch him, if you aren’t sure if he likes something, ask. We all have to start somewhere, and learning about sex and how to be good at it means talking about how it feels. Talk more, then touch. Talk, touch, talk, touch. Eventually you’ll learn what each other likes and you won’t have to talk about the same things all the time, because you’ll know!
What to do when someone keeps doing something you don’t like, but won’t stop when you ask them to (err… when it gets rapey)
If someone you are fooling around with continues to touch you after you have asked them to stop, then get away from the situation. If they don’t respect your request, it could escalate, so cut your losses and get out of there. Be firm, be polite, and if that doesn’t work, run for your life.
Find someone who respects your body and wants you to feel good, not just wants you to feel good so that they can feel good. Don’t stick around to be punished.
Am I frigid?
Not wanting to have sex or fool around does not make one frigid. Frigid is an old-fashioned word to shame women who didn’t want to have sex with men, which makes it a non-word, really. You only find people using this word in a derogatory way towards women who are not doing what someone else wants. It can be thrown around by women as well as men, and it’s mean.
It’s your body, and you can do whatever you like with it, so don’t let anyone throwing this dumb word around make you feel bad. Your sexuality is your own business.
It pays to be very clear with your intentions (even if that is “I don’t know for sure what I want!”), choose partners who care whether you have a good time or not, and learn about your sexuality in fun ways.
Sex is supposed to be fun, not frightening, humiliating or painful.