Whether from friends, your significant other, or your new hook-up, at some point you may face some pressure when it comes to sex. And while there’s no magic words that will make that pressure disappear, knowing the following will help you deal with it better, and feel it less.
- Sex won’t make someone fall for you. Yes sex is an intimate act. But it’s not going to make someone fall in love with you, or feel stronger about you than they already do. Anyone telling you they can’t really care about you unless the two of you have sex is totally full of it. Someone should care about you a lot BEFORE you have sex with them, not use sex as an excuse for why they don’t care more.
- It’s not insulting to say no. There is nothing insulting about not being ready to have sex. You can care about someone a lot, even love someone, but just not want to have sex with them yet. Maybe it’s because you’re not ready, you don’t feel like the relationship is ready, or you just don’t want to deal with the responsibility. Either way, it doesn’t mean you don’t care about someone or that you’re not attracted to them.
- Even if you’re experienced it doesn’t mean you have to do it again. Just because you’ve had sex with one person doesn’t mean you have to do it again with every person you date after. And even within a relationship, it’s totally fine to have sex once (or even a few times), realize it’s not for you, and not do it again. Each and every time you have sex it’s a new decision that you should make completely independently of any decisions you’ve made in the past.
- Even if they’re experienced it doesn’t mean they have to do it again. So you’re dating someone who’s gone further than you have. That’s fine. It’s not like because they’ve gone somewhere with someone else it means that they have to go that far with the next person they date. They will be perfectly fine having a relationship that is less physical than their last one. Their past isn’t allowed to force you into a decision.
- Sometimes if comes from a girl. Stereotypically we think of guys as the ones who put pressure on girls to have sex. But girls can put pressure on their boyfriends too, and sometimes for guys the pressure is even more intense. Think about it: culturally we often assume that just because someone is a guy it means he should want to have sex (which isn’t true by the way). So not only does a guy face pressure from his girlfriend, he faces cultural pressure to “man up” and have sex. But it’s just as okay for a guy to say no to sex as it is for a girl to say no to sex. And it’s way “manlier” to stand up for how you’re feeling than it is to have sex because someone else is pressuring you into it.
It sounds cheesy and cliché, but seriously, someone who really cares about you won’t pressure you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable. If you’re with someone who’s pressuring you to have sex tell them: “I like you a lot, but it’s not fair for you to put pressure me. If I feel ready, I promise, you’ll be the first to know. But until then, you don’t have to keep asking me about it.”
What are other ways of telling someone no? Tell us your best ideas in the comments.