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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Ethics and Politics » Saying No

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Author Topic: Saying No
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 94

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Here's something that I think would be good to discuss. I often see people in situations where they feel they can't say no, ranging from going on dates to having sex, even if they don't want to. I made a pact with myself that I would never, never fall into that trap. After all, if you can't say no, you're not interested at the date stage, then the problem could escalate if things develop.

Still, it can sometimes be hard to know the right way of going about saying no. I once had a guy tell me that after he asked me out I made him feel like I would rather be attending the opening of my email! :P While I didn't regret rejecting him, I've tried to be a bit more tactful since then.

Anyway I thought it might be a good topic for discussion here- we should always say no when something doesn't feel right to us- how do you guys go about doing this?

Posts: 2710 | From: Australia | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 76

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The strenght to say "No" comes long before we have to face the real battle. I believe we have to exercise our nerves starting to say "No" to little things. Like, "No" to adult-sites, "No" to adult-movies, "No" to date exclusively in a private place, etc.

I used to counsel my friends. Gay guys like me. I never involved any personal feelings to any of them. Many times I have to meet my friends personally, and listen to their problems, then give them the advices and affection they need. Not seldom they then felt like wanting to hug me, then kiss me, then "do it". Having decided to stand firm, I always say "no" to them without embarassing anyone.

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Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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Great topic, Beppie.

One of the issues involved in the whole matter of "consent" and consensual sex, is not only giving consent, but really being able to. For instance, I just read a pretty detailed account of that 34-year-old schoolteacher in WA who got sexually involved with her 6th grade student. Sadly, she apparently has a very large group which rallies for her while she's in prison, because they feel it is unjust given the young boy "consented" to the sex.

However, in that example, even if he said "yes" I don't really feel someone of that age, in that position (student-to-teacher) is really able to give informed, unpressured consent.

Ultimately, I think saying "no" to things is usually twofold: we need to be able to say no, and we need to do what we can to only be in the position to say no to people in an environment that is safe and pressure-free, and unfortunately, it's the second part that can be really difficult.

Usually, my rule for myself is always this: if someone is really paying attention to where I'm at, who I am, and I've communicated clearly my needs and limits, I shouldn't ever really HAVE to say no. In other words, if you ask the right questions of the right people, few people say no. Those who can't swing that, usually (but not always) just aren't apying attention, aren't listening, or just don't care about your needs, in which case we should feel able to say no if we want to clearly, and politely, but not make ourselves nutty about making them unhappy.

You know, I need coffee. I just woke up. More on this later lest I trun into a tower of babble.

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 105

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Well in my experience, when it comes to saying no to sex, you REALLY have to make it clear! Some people take no to mean "not right now" or "not for a little while" or "maybe soon" or even "yes, but I'm just trying to play hard to get". I think it's best to sometimes discuss the whole issue even before you go out on the date, rather than to wait untill you are both heated up and then try to put up that stop sign.
Posts: 384 | From: Malibu, California, USA | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 854

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I'm a teenaged male.

I can't do it. That's basically the reason for my nick.

Obviously, I won't let people blatantly take advantage of my nature, but sometimes...

I often find that I simply can't say no to things I really don't wanna do. And it becomes more hard to deal with when it goes into my sex life...

I guess I'm just submissive by nature, and I don't have a problem with it really (neither does my girlfriend), but I know it's not really healthy.

I've always been that way, you know... A giver more than a reciver. I and everyone around me always thought that was a really great quality.

I've tried to make a 180 turn. It didn't work...

With my girlfriend, in bed, I always focus on the stuff that she likes, and we've talked about it and she says she likes it and always encourges me to ask her when I feel like a engaging in a certin activity.

I always try to more actively request that she'll do stuff for me, but... I just can't change it. I don't really think I want to change that thing about me, because it's really who I am. Still, I'm afraid that if I don't change I'll just live a shitty life with everyone trying to take advantage of me.

Any advice please?

Posts: 11 | From: Haifa, Israel (Ain't that where all the war's at?) | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 573

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Well, ... not being able to say "no" isn't the best of things. You should really get into the habit of not doing things that others want you to. If you can't say no now to little things what are you going to do when you're older and in the work force? You'll be walked all over by people you work with and people around you. You just have to really think about what could end up happening if you don't obtain the skill of saying "no" to people and analyze if you're ready to be dominant.

When you care about someone it's hard to say "no" to them. But you're right, it's not healthy. Of course saying "no" all the time isn't very healthy either, but you can't let people control you all the time, not even your girlfriend. Sometimes you have to put yourself before others to make you happy. To put others ahead of you is a good quality to have, but it can't happen every time. Your life won't be bad because you can't say "no." Do what makes you happy and if you being nice to everyone all the time doesn't make you happy, chance something. It seems you're happy with your girlfriend and you're probably becoming more comfortable with her, which is good.

My advice: Stay the way you are ... if, of course, you're happy with how and who you are. If you become unhappy again do something to change whatever in your life is making you that way. Learn how to say "no" to people. Be dominant sometimes. Do what makes you happy and what you enjoy. I hope that helps a little bit.

"Growing older is MANDATORY, growing up is OPTIONAL."

Posts: 91 | From: Michigan, USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Member # 233

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I'm very happy with myself....i'm "hangin out" with an 18 yr. old and i'm 16 and so i know the consequences and i have said no when i feel that i'm not gonna be seeing him..and i've been very glad with my desisions BUT he put a lot of pressure on me the last time we went out and he knew i wasn't comfortable with him going down my pants, but he kept on trying and trying and soon i gave up....if we are going to start going out out more often instead of every couple of months i will not regret giving in, i still said no to other things...he wants sex but i refuse and he KNOWS i'm not gonna give in to that and certain other things...he told me he wasn't gonna use or hurt me so i THINK that means we will be goin out more often but i'm not sure...but if i don't see him again for a while i plan on talkin to him and will deffinitly say NO with out a problem....the 1st few times he tried stuff though i had NO PROBLEM saying took a few times to get it through his head but he finally got it and gave up...i was feelin really good about myself....NO GIRL SHOULD EVER BE AFRAID TO SAY NO it's not hard at all, and if he forces or dumps u cuz u say it he's not worth it!!! bye!!!

I tried to find the perfect line to make you mine, sweetheart, but after searching all i could come up with was this look in my eyes, your hand in mine and the words "will you be mine" pick up line ever!!!

Posts: 161 | From: Kenosha, Wisconsin, USA | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 94

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More than that, no PERSON should be afraid to say no if they're getting near a situation that they don't want to be in. Guy or girl, it doesn't make any difference.
Posts: 2710 | From: Australia | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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