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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Support Groups » When You Struggle with No

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Author Topic: When You Struggle with No
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Seemed to me we could use a place for people to talk about challenges they're facing or have faced with being able to either say no or accept a no comfortably when it comes to sex (or heck, in general: I suspect much of the time, no in either regard is probably a problem in other areas of life, too).

We see both around here at Scarleteen plenty, and both are things that really, really hold people back from a sexual life everyone enjoys, can feel safe and at home in, and is really about pleasure and fun versus other, crummier, stuff.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Cricket
Activist
Member # 96015

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I suppose that sometimes, for lack of a better phrase, I just feel kind of obligated to give partners a certain degree of access to my body whether it really interests me or not. I have gender dysphoria that ebbs and flows weirdly, so some days zones of my body that I loved having a partner touch the day before become emotionally fraught spaces. Still, I feel bad about cutting off people's access to those areas when I know they like them, even when I don't like them myself in the moment, or am feeling very picky about how I want them treated. I've gotten better about this over time, in large part because of respectful partners, but it still lingers. I think it's tied to all the messages about women's bodies that I've gotten - even though I don't identify as or want to be treated as a woman, I've been repeatedly told that my female-assigned secondary sex characteristics are what people are going to value about me and desire me for. It makes it hard to believe that partners aren't upset or frustrated when I hold back access to those zones even when they directly tell me they aren't, because that's what they are "supposed" to value most according to so many social narratives. I sometimes end up kind of apologizing for having gender dysphoria, which is ridiculous since I don't control it, but I feel bad about it anyway. I feel like I should just be more consistently physically open.
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Sympatheia
Neophyte
Member # 107377

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I've struggled with this a few times, and it was mostly during initial sexual encounters when I couldn't decide "Am I nervous because I don't want this, or am I nervous because I'm new to this?" That was fuzzy, but luckily I had a partner willing to talk through the fuzziness with me before engaging in anything I was uncertain about. I cannot articulate enough how -relieving- that was. I feel like I could very easily have walked into a very different situation there, and I'm so grateful that I didn't.

I do think oral sex was the weirdest part for me. I felt very much like I was doing it as a favor to my SO, as I had no desire to place my mouth on his member, personally. But I liked seeing him happy, and I liked finding new ways to make him happy, so I wanted to try it when he suggested it, even though he seemed way more excited about it than I was. Part of me wonders whether this consent is too forced on my behalf, though. I've lately voiced my discomfort with giving oral sex, so it hasn't ever been requested by him since; I generally am the one to initiate it now, which I think has helped a lot. It's nice to feel in control about things, like nothing is obligated.

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crathes
Activist
Member # 108814

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I really struggle with that, not just in sexual situations.

I've "gone along" with sex before because I just don't want to be nagged or whatever. One time I was trying to rest (I am pretty much always tired), and it kept getting brought up so I just finally agreed to it and I didn't like it. Then of course they want to know if you liked it. It's just easier to say, "Okay" fro, the start even if I don't really feel like it. I'm not saying I've never wanted to or anything, just that sometimes I have gone along with it.

quote:
Originally posted by Cricket:
I suppose that sometimes, for lack of a better phrase, I just feel kind of obligated to give partners a certain degree of access to my body whether it really interests me or not.

I'm sorry, Cricket. [Frown] I feel kind of like that too, sometimes, and like I said I don't practise what I'm preaching, so I'm not one to talk... and I'm just a random person lo... but I think thata person's body is theirs and that a partner should respect that. I am glad that you hav had respectful partners though. It's okay to feel the way you do. No one has a right to your body or to do things to you that you are not comfortable with. It's okay to feel different about it at different times or just not into doing certain things. AGain, I am a hypocrite, but that is what I think. I hope you are doing well.
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Redskies
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 79774

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A gentle note for everyone that being nagged into going along with sex is very different to feeling able to indicate that we don't want to in the first place.

If we don't feel able to indicate in any way that we aren't into it, that's something that we need to work on ourselves. Most people pick up this kind of thing through not being allowed to assert our boundaries or having them repeatedly walked over in the past, so being gentle with oneself is important!

If we indicated that we weren't into it but the other person tried to ignore that or persuade us differently, that is NOT on us. That's coercion, and it's a form of sexual assault. That situation is on them, not on us. It's not a situation where we should be doing something differently to make it better - they're the one doing something wrong. When someone has coerced us before, and later we agree to sex we don't want right at the start, that's also not our fault, because coercion is still in the bigger picture.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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crathes
Activist
Member # 108814

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Oh I think I understand. Like if I didn't indicate that I didn't want to, then they couldn't have known that I didn't want to. Thanks for the post
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