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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex Basics and Sexual Health » Saying No

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Author Topic: Saying No
Member # 168

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Anyone have trouble with this? It can be easy enough to say no in general if someone you don't like comes up to you and says, "Can we have sex?" and you say "No." But what about when you really like the person but don't feel ready for sex? Or if you are ready for some kinds of sex but not others (i.e. ok with anything but penetration)? What about if you're already half-naked with someone and they don't even ask, but just start doing something you don't want them to do? How do you say no when the situation is more complicated?

*Limes Are Sublime*

Posts: 1101 | From: San Francisco | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Excellent topic!

For me personally, this has been an issue in some ways, and in others it hasn't. But regardless of anything else, the key to it was communication.

I've mentioned before that I met my boyfriend online, and so it was difficult to really discuss our physical relationship seriously because we simply didn't know how we'd physically react to each other. So when we finally really met and things started to move faster than either of us had imagined, it came very close to the point where someone would have to say no simply because we hadn't negotiated that far. This lead to a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding afterward because neither of us really knew what the other was thinking or took the time to ask. But we talked it out and so the second time we got to spend time together, it wasn't an issue.

Communication is the big big big key to all that stuff. The situation automatically gets more complicated when you really do want to be with someone even though you know you're not ready. But for me at least, the fact that both of us know what is and isn't ok assures me that even if one of us suddenly changes our mind on the spot, nothing will happen without a thorough discussion first.


the kittenblog

"Follow me or perish, sweater monkeys!"
~from 'Bring It On'

Posts: 7316 | From: USA | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
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Actually ... I haven't gotten that far yet.

I really haven't been able to say no. To anyone. Even my first time wasn't really talked about ... I wasn't sure about it all, but i didn't say no. Then it was over. It kinda sucks thinking back ...

I'm trying really hard to be able to do that. My bf is really supportive and asks me lots if i want to do sexual stuff b/c he knows i'm not able to say no on my own yet ...

Am i the only one like this?

Posts: 7168 | From: Ontario | Registered: Sep 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Executive Director & Founder
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Honestly, Smruf, if you really cannot say no on your own without coaching, I'd suggest you really give some thought to your sexual readiness.

Not only does making your partner responsible for your permission create a very strange and imbalanced situation for them, it really speaks volumes about your own readinness and how much you can really aprticipate.

Were it me, I would take some time away from sexual activity and work on learning to voice both yes and no before I hopped back into it.

Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

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exit seraphim
Member # 2566

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this is one reason why i love my boyfriend so much.

through rumors and whatnot, before i started going out with him, people were basically like, "he'll only want you for sex."

but i got to know him for a month before we officially started dating, and he has never ever pushed me for anything. he's asked to have sex on a few occasions, but at those times, i knew i wasn't ready and we really hadn't discussed sex at all. he totally accepted my answer and that was it. no, "come on, you know you really want to." or anything like that. it was no, the end of the story. that was something really important to me. it's extremely important that i trust him.

it'll be three months this friday and we've started to discuss, (through me handing him the sex readiness checklist in the hall and going through it somewhat). but if he comes over today (i'm gonna print it out again) we are seriously going through it. i live within walking distant of the local PP and sometime this week i plan to go after test. it's actually right behind the school, but hidden inside a learning center.



Posts: 142 | From: H*Ton, NY | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 2050

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Oh goodness. I am good at saying No.

If I wasn't comfortable doing something or if I didn't want to have sex, I simply told him that. And while I did feel guilty earlier on in the relationship because I felt that it was my duty to satisfy him sexually, I just couldn't bring myself to do something I didn't want to do.

I have friends as well who can't say No. Be it to kissing, oral sex, manual sex. And it upsets me greatly because it is your body and you should have every freaking right to just stand up and say no.

Posts: 2294 | From: Singapore | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gumdrop Girl
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geez, i had trouble saying "no" and it got me in some trouble in high school. "cold," "scared" and "parking lot" don't conjure up the best images.

but now i am quite capable of telling someone to bugger off if their advances are unwarranted. but i usually don't need to.


Posts: 12677 | From: Los Angeles, CA ... somewhere off the 10 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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There were situations when I was younger when I found saying no difficult, but I still said it when I meant it.

I had some high pressure situations (i.e.: me, 14 & the hunky, good looking musical guy I fancied & an invitation to a hotel room; me 13 & the older guy from my school I was seeing who really wanted to finally use his virginity) but still, I never ever thought I couldn't say no, not even when I had already said yes to a whole bunch of things already.
I was always very direct. Always.

Yup, it's not easy, when you just come home from that party and are half naked in bed with this gorgeous person you picked up & want but aren't sure whether you want it right now, but still...if I can't say something as basic as a definite yes or no, I shouldn't get half naked with anyone in the first place. If someone can't utter yes or no, there is no way that person discusses STDs or Safer Sex or be willing to explain how to use damns or explain what really gets him/hwer off. Yes, communicating with someone you just met about sex (you might or might not have later on) sure isn't easy, but really, I just think if you want to loose your clothes (or not) with someone, you should better be able to make up your mind, too, and speak it.

These days, someone who does something I don't want not only gets a no, but a well placed kick somewhere, too, if my no isn't respected. One of the reasons I broke off my first really long & serious 2 year relationship was because my then partner regarded my rare "No"s as "you have to convince me yes"s. Very dumb.

I think being able to say No is essential to being able to have a responsible sex life. As Heather said, otherwise the balance of power gets all warped.
And I guess our kitten said it very well: communication is the key to a good (sexual)relationship. And if I can't even voice a general desire, how can I voice all the other things?

~spanking new Scarleteen Sexpert~

"We must become the change we want to see."
Mahatma Gandhi

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Member # 4174

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For me, it depends/depended on the situation. With some things, like touching my breasts, I've held my arms in such a way that they were shielded, and my boyfriend picked up and didn't touch until the day that I left them "unguarded." Other times, such as below the waste contact, I just moved his hand away, we talked about it later, and he did it when I was comfortable with it. As far as sex goes, he's told me that he feels ready, but I have made it known to him that I'm not ready right now. For me, it's best to know ahead of time how far I feel comfortable going and then trying to stick with that, rather than deciding to just see what happens. As I'm guessing you know, it's really hard to say no in the heat of the moment, which is why I like being able to use body language; it's more subtle and takes some of the pressure off. It doesn't kill the mood in quite the same way either.
Posts: 12 | From: Tennessee | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 2913

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Well, i was practically in the same situation. I was with my boyfriend of 2 years, naked, alone, cuddling, and then we sorta got a little fiesty and he ended up on top of me. Although we both wanted to, we looked eachother in the eye, and ended it right there. I know some people dont have that much understanding in a relationship, or that much time to know eachtoher, but being able to just look, or say something, is excellent, and may end up helping your relationship in the long run.

"There's an old joke, I just made up. How many of me would it take to screw up your life?" --Ben Folds, Kalamazoo

Posts: 13 | From: Austin, TX, USA | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
loveable me
Member # 2915

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Do you want to say, no? That is the first thing to decide for yourself. I also think it can create problems if you make "being in love" a rule for having sex at an early age. When i was a teenager both love and sex were mainly about excitement and so it was not a very useful criteria because i was generally excited when a boy paid attention to me. If you don't want to have sex you shouldn't have to defend your reasons to anyone. It's your body. The same goes for having sex.
Posts: 28 | From: København, Denamrk | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 2709

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I'm awesome at saying "no"... I didn't let my bf of 14 months do anything besides kiss me until we'd be together 6 months (whoa, I don't mean to sound holier-than-thou)... no touching above or below the waist or anything else.. Now I kind of wonder why I made him wait so long, but then, I knew I wasn't ready. Thank god he understood that one word. Lately though, the lines have become blurred with no's and yes's... like Alaska's previous partner, he sometimes take my no's for "convince me" yes's. He figures that since we've done nearly everything already, why not again? But I tell that crazy boy the deal. lol. Like everyone else said, communication is vital. I have a question though.. have you ever found that it's hard to take your partner seriously (if they're male) when they say no? We place such a standard on guys that we think they're always up for sex, so isn't it hard to listen if they tell you no? This hasn't happened to me, but I could imagine the situation.

"Those who don't got it, can't show it. And those who got it, can't hide it."

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Dead Dog
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saying no can definately be difficult sometimes, especially when you are already in a somewhat, erm, compromising position but don't feel comfortable going further.

however, learning how to say no - and making it clear that you mean it - is a valuable skill. you'll maintain a lot more respect for yourself.

i have met many girls who seem to think that you aren't allowed to say no if you've had previous sexual involvement with the other person. i think that is one of the worst mindsets a girl can have, or a boy for that matter - any person. sex is a personal option, *never* an obligation of any sort, and you *always* have the right to not want to be sexually active.

also, i know this sounds trite, but it's true: if someone continues to pester you after you have very firmly and convincingly said no, then they are obviously someone with whom you don't want to be involved. you shouldn't be with someone who doesn't respect you enough to take no for an answer.

Posts: 61 | From: texas - yeehaw, or something | Registered: Oct 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
momma cat
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This reminds me of a little story. My last Significat Other wanted to take things to the next level before me. After a while, I knew that I wanted to also, and that I was ready for it, but I didn't want to do it after he had asked me for it, because I didn't want to give him the idea that he could simply whine or beg until he got his way. One he didn't bring it up, and he got a happy surprise!

I've never had TROUBLE saying "no", but the more I've done it, the easier it is. Same for any type of "relationship-talk", really. Such as, "I prefer this" or "Would you like this" or "so how many girlfriends have you been physical with, and in what way?"

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Member # 3815

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Oooooh, am I ever good! I suppose it stems from having an annoying baby-of-the-family-brother who thinks he can get whatever he wants if he whines and cries about it enough. Case in point: my last semi-significant other tried to grab my arse, using the excuse of "I was trying to get a pen," after he had already signed my yearbook! This was, by the way, the last day we were together, as we split for the summer. Anyway, boy did he get an earful! "Don't touch my arse!" "But I was trying to get a pen!" "Don't make excuses, you already signed it!" "But...I want to sign it again!" "Look, you want a pen, you ask for a pen, I've told you before, my arse is mine, not yours. Kapiche??" So I gave him a pen, and he went back and underlined what he had written before. Aha! Just as I thought! But ya know what? I didn't want his hands there, and so I told him off after being gentle with him about it a few times before. Go Angel! I guess little bro's good for something!


Nobody knows what you know, nobody's seen what you've seen, nobody's lived what you've why let them judge you?
~Personal Quote~

You know, Hobbes, sometimes I think the surest sign of intelligent life elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.

Posts: 176 | From: Middle of Nowhere, PA | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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