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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Pushy, pushy

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Author Topic: Pushy, pushy
Heather
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While we often see pressure for sex being addressed from the side of the person being pressured, it's rare to address the other side: of the person putting on the pressure. And at one time or another, all of us have likely done so to some degree.

In addition, there seems to be a societal double standard: a lot of people think only males exert pressure upon their partners to engage in sexual activities the other may not be ready for or interested in, but women are hardly immune from ALSO being the ones to pressure their partner.

Have you ever found yourself pushing a partner to do something you wanted to do sexually, knowing they didn't really want to or weren't ready to? How do you keep yourself from pushing when you *really* want to do something? And can you recognize it when you ARE exerting pressure? Can you take a step back, see what you're doing, and knock it off?

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


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$uMMeR
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This topic is two days old and no-one's replied yet.

Well here I go. (I feel really wierd doing this....)

It wasn't sex I was pushing for...it had nothing to do with sex really...I dunno if you would count what I was pushing for as 'sexual'...

But I liked it when he did it, it made me feel very close to him, and on the telephone, I'd used to tease him, ask him if it was ever going to happen again...it was sort of like a gentle pressure on him and he obviously wasn't into it...it happened again one or two times but that was it.

Then after we were finished he told everyone I'd forced him.

So...

Does anyone have anything to say on this topic?

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Rizzo
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Aww, sure, I'll fess up.

I have pressured my boyfriend into doing sexual things that he wasn't ready for. I had my reasons, but of course it's still inexcusable.

Basically, he told me he was ready for something, but while we were doing it, he asked me to stop. I made him feel bad about wanting to stop. I told him I felt like he didn't trust me/care about what I wanted-- things coming out of my mouth that I, as a girl, have been warned about falling for.

I've since backed off, and he hasn't asked for it again. I'm disappointed, but it's hard to convey that without being pushy. How does one strike a balance between expressing your feelings and respecting your partner's boundaries? I fear that any mention, no matter how gentle, will seem like pressure to him. Any thoughts?


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Heather
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I'll make you feel better, Rizzo.

I can say very humbly that when I was in my teens, I was actually almost ALWAYS very aggressive with my partners -- sometimes to the point of being demanding and inconsiderate -- when I wanted what I wanted.

And I can also say that I think the notion that woman couldn't BE pushy really worked against my favor. In other words, it allowed me a lot of latitude to keep on doing what I was doing in being very pushy.

While I don't know that I was patently manipulative, I do know that there were times when I used what I knew was someone else's physical desire for me -- in spite of their emotional readiness -- by really 'working it" to get them to acquiesce.

And that really isn't okay.

I know for me, a lot of it was simply learning to realize that not only was someone's refusal NOT usually personal, the fact of the matter was that it didn't matter even if it was: I was allowing my own insecurity to override treating someone else with fairness and respect. Once that all really sunk in, I realized what I'd been doing and put a very quick stop to it.

I think it's fine to say, "You know, if you ever ARE interested, I would really like to do X, Y or Z," and leave it at that. because if they are, they will bring it up and remember your interest. I know few people who forget what their lovers would like to do, since we're prone to file those sorts of things away in our heads for later use.

Too, I think there are times when one persons sexual style or degree of readiness just isn't going to match anothers, no matter what time or trust allows. Actually , one of the most profound relationships in my life, where I was really deeply in love with this man and I he, was just an absolute sexual mismatch. He simply was very old school about it (read: sex is about intercourse and only those things leading to it for the guy as minimally as possible), and I simply had to realize that my dizzying love for this man and his for me wasn't going to make a good sexual match.

So, you prioritize and weigh this stuff: in the end of it, aside of some other issues, I simply was honest with myself in acknowledging that the things I wanted were things I needed in a sexual partner, and that was that, and we parted ways. It happens.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

"If you're a bird, be an early early bird --
But if you're a worm, sleep late." - Shel Silverstein


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LilBlueSmurf
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Yuuuup ... I did. I'm not proud of it.

It wasn't something new to us, but he wasn't in the mood. I knew i could get him in the mood, and i did, but then he felt bad about it afterwards. So did i.

But agressiveness scares me. Especially sexually. I try to stay as far away from it as possible.


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Heather
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Is it scary because it is agressive, or scary because it feels like you can't control it?
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Laughs_Wisely
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In response to the original topic, I have tried, with absolutely no success to pressure my girlfriend into doing...stuff...when she didn't feel like it. I quit fast because I didn't like the way I felt about it (and I haven't tried since...).

On the other hand, she's usually willing to try new things (especially to tease me). If some of my friends only knew...


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LilBlueSmurf
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Hmm ... I don't know why exactly that it scares me. It just does. I need to feel in control of myself and if someone makes it feel like their trying to "force" themselves onto me, i freak. My bf knows that tho, so it won't be a problem.
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Moth
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Miz Scarlet Says:

<< Have you ever found yourself pushing a partner to do something you wanted to do sexually, knowing they didn't really want to or weren't ready to? How do you keep yourself from pushing when you *really* want to do something? And can you recognize it when you ARE exerting pressure? Can you take a step back, see what you're doing, and knock it off? >>

I've pushed my partner (I've enticed and teased, etc.), but if he said no I let it drop. For me it's knowing what it's like to be in that position. Cliched though it may be, I think the best thing is to step back and put yourself in the other's shoes . . .

-Moth


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KawaiiGoddess
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Not that I mean to defend coercion into doing sexual things, but what should one do if their partner seems to show no signs of moving on? I have been going out with this one guy for 6 weeks now and we have *never* gone out on a date, and the one time that we ended up together somewhere he seemed to show not a lot of interest in me. His friends say that he's "really into me" and I try inviting him to places, but it doesn't seem to be working. He was extremely passive, and I feel that unless I find some way to ask him to get things going, nothing will happen. How do I subtly hint to him that I would like to be more...how do I put this, well, sexual? There's a fine line between moving things along and being too aggressive, and I have no idea how to avoid stumbling over it. Arrgh!

-KawaiiGoddess

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Rizzo
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How can you be "going out" if you're not actually, um, going out? Haha, just kidding. But seriously, if he doesn't want to spend time with you, are you sure you haven't misinterpreted the situation? Does he call himself your boyfriend?

You don't need to be physically pushy- you need to talk to him and make sure you're on the same level.


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Lin
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Short of throwing him on your bed and having your wicked way with him, I think what's missing here is communication.

If you guys have been going out for some time, it should not be a problem for you to sit down with him and tell him what you want.

I'm kind of confused here. You call him your partner but you have only been on one date? Whatever the case is, you can't go wrong with communicating with him in an open manner.


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KawaiiGoddess
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Thanks! ^_^ I'll be sure to try that.

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~Change is inevitable, except from vending machines


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