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Author Topic: Having equality in Sexual Encounters
breath
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I had casual oral sex with a person once on second meeting. No preferences etc. were dicussed before hand. I am wondering of the following:

1) Is a man referring to a woman's breasts as 'tits' in an intimate encounter being rude, disrespectful?

2) I wonder how you determine 'equality' in the encounter: both people orgasm , or etc? If I perform oral sex 3 times, and he does it 2 times, is it still equal?

3) Do you think that him not wearing a condom during oral sex was being rude, disrespectful, selfish? I said wear it, he said that it wouldn't feel as good, and that he wouldn't have any protection when he goes down on me, and maybe it was late etc, I felt 'cornerned in a way'and then decided to go with it

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Djuna
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Hi there, breath! [Smile]

1) I don't think the word "tits" is inherently disrespectful - I'm not sure that I have a personal liking for it, however. I guess I'd be cautious about using it, but really, you get to decide what you feel is or isn't respectful to you. So, assuming that this was a word your sex partner used describing your body, if it bothered you, I'd encourage you to say so. It's easy to do that positively, too, as in "You know? I prefer to refer to them as my [insert word]." Really, if you want to use terms to describe someone's body, it's best to ask which ones they prefer, or just steer clear. I know for sure that I struggle not to grimace or laugh at a lot of common terms for male anatomy, words I just don't want to hear in a sexual context.

2) I don't know that "equality" is a meaningful word when it comes to sex. For example, "giving" someone oral sex is something I enjoy doing, so if that's an activity all people involved want to do, isn't that equal? One person's mouth is stimulated, the other person's genitals are stimulated.

I get that a lot of people have a concept of "equality" that is different to that, but I don't buy the idea that, for example, me consenting to taking part in oral sex as the mouth-user might be conditional upon me expecting that the other person later will also consent to another session of oral sex with me, but that time with them as the mouth-user. It only makes sense to me to consent to an activity when I actually want to be doing it, regardless of other activities that may later happen.

Here's a couple articles on that which I think are awesome:
Reciprocity, Reloaded
He gets oral sex from me: what can I do to get him to give me some?

3) If he wants protection when he goes down on you, he can quite easily make that happen by carrying dental dams. What he should not be doing is holding your protection (I assume we mean condoms) to ransom because he doesn't have dental dams. Too, it's perfectly feasible to cut a condom to make a sheet that can be used as a dental dam.

I don't think not wearing a condom is rude if all people involved are happy with that, but I do think that not wearing a condom - putting one's partner at an STI risk, if not such a massive one as with unprotected intercourse - when said partner has said they would prefer protection is a really crappy way for him to behave.

I'm sorry that you felt cornered in that situation, because it sounds like his behavior sucked. I'd really encourage you to go with what you are happy with, and say something to the effect of "it's not happening without a condom" if that's what you want. Again, that can be done in a non-mood-killing way unless the guy wants to be grumpy about it - you can say it in a cheerful tone, you can suggest an alternative activity such as making out or whatever it is you want to do. Equally, you can tell him you're done and he can go now, which is probably what I would have done personally, because I get really squicked out about partners who clearly don't care about my own sexual health choices.

I hope some of that helps? [Smile]

[ 06-11-2011, 07:39 PM: Message edited by: patrickvienna ]

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In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.

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breath
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Thanks PatrickV again for this wonderful discussion.

It was a one-time hook up/ once-time-casual sex situation. I just have not had enough or many sexual partners or been in such situations very often. The last time this happened was a year ago [Smile]


He took off his pants (after i was unzipping them) and I saw: put on a condom or want a condom? or something along of those lines. And he went into his speech/pitch and after that I just sat and started at his penis in my hands and kissed it to see how I would feel about it and went from there. It was part cornered, part not being aware that SOMEONE could say no to condom (due to just being surprised and lack of experience), and part trying out something new.


***I wonder if I should atleast look at his behaviour here as a little questionable and driven by self-gradification right? However, this is different than sexual consent, right? But consent and this seems to be closely related no?****

[ 06-11-2011, 10:35 PM: Message edited by: breath ]

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breath
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I can say something like, well I don't feel comfortable doing it without a condom (which is really in adult polite way of saying I wouldnt be doing it without a condom). I think saying 'I'm done you can go now' is kind of too rude if you want to have sex with this person and trying to successfully negogiate? although i have known to be being rude/harsh

[ 06-11-2011, 10:08 PM: Message edited by: breath ]

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September
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Whether or not this is a consent-issue depends on how strongly you felt about using condoms. If you'd have very much liked to use one, but felt unable to voice your concerns, then I'd be weary of the situation. As PatrickVienna said, not wearing a condom isn't a big deal if both partners agreed to it. But it is potentially a big deal if one partner refuses condoms and the other just goes along.

I also don't think it's rude to tell someone you're not going to have sex with them after all and ask them to leave. At the very least, it's not as rude as refusing to help protect your partner from STIs. I have to agree with PatrickVienna here: I wouldn't want to have sex with someone who says no to condoms. Even if I managed to convince them to use one, I'd still feel very uneasy about their level of respect for my health and my body (as well as for their own!).

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Johanna
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breath
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Thanks September for helping me figure this out.

Keep in mind that I have not had a lot of sexual partners or one-night stands. The other men had no issues with the condom (even though it wasn't intercourse). So with this person, I never thought that "NO condom" was an option.

Can you help me figure out what happened here?

He took of his clothes (I helped unzip etc), I said 'put on condom/want a condom?" something along those lines. He says no or shows resistance. I said "I have a strawberry flavored one" and that's when he brings the 'ransom' argument, which may be fair(?). I stand in silence with his penis in my hands, and kiss it to see how it would feel. Sure, I'm a bit reluctant about what to do from here onwards. I kiss it, then say its' too dry. He says that the saliva would take care of it and asks me to lick it etc. I feel fine about this. I mean it's the first time I have done it without condom but I felt fine, not unpleasant or anything in anyway.

I guess, it's hard to 'gauage" consent if i am not really sure or unaware? sorry if this is too confusing!

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breath
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PS: patrickV, thanks for the links to the write ups. The reciprocity link was AMAZING!
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Djuna
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No worries! Happy to do it. [Smile]

I don't think his argument was fair to you at all. If you'd insisted on protection when your mouth was in contact with his genitals, and also insisted on not having protection when his mouth was in contact with your genitals, then you would be guilty of a double standard. But I'm hearing you say that it was him voicing a desire not to have protection involved both times, and arguably trying to guilt you into thinking that you were the one being unreasonable, which is not okay from where I'm sitting.

I'm not super sure what it is you're asking here - but I'm hearing that his insistence on oral sex without a condom put you outside of your comfort zone, so maybe in future it might be worth identifying when you are feeling uncomfortable and then, with that information, deciding if you're doing something YOU want to be doing.

I don't know if you've come across this article yet, but it's a doozy:
10 of the Best Things You Can Do for Your Sexual Self (at Any Age)

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In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.

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breath
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Thanks PatrickV for all this.

I'm just shocked and amazed at how people can be such douche-bags (for the lack of the better word).

Thanks for putting into words when I felt but could not see.
I am asking: Is this still consentual? I mean I once I tried it without a condom I have no hick ups as i just in the moment and didn't think twice about the condom after I put his penis in my mouth.

I guess this observation just feeds into a bigger observation I made and felt about this person when I first met them. I noticed that they may be egoistical/narrisstic because the first 10-15 mins of our meeting # 1 was all about HIM talking about HIMSELF and giving selected details about himself. What I now see is that this person 's those traits I saw may be just carrying over here too? (potentially) even though they are well-mannered, etc.

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Heather
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I'm wanting to make sure we're not taking any leaps here.

A I correct in understanding that you asked him if he wanted to use a condom, so he said no, and you didn't? Or did you make clear you DID want to use a condom, then he refused, and you chose to have oral sex without one of your own choosing?

Or, something else...?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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breath
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I had oral sex without condom.

I had decided to have oral sex with his penis. When he wouldn't / put forth his argument for no condom, I just sad there with penis in hand and felt cornered, but decided to try it by kissing it as I was holding it etc. I would say that I did feel his resistance and didn't quiet know or didn't feel comfortable saying, this is OVER. I felt fine after the kiss, and went for it. the thought of condom did not really enter my mind again.

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Heather
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So, let me ask this, then: when you went into this sexual encounter, did you feel like you were entering into possible sex with someone feeling like you would be able to assert yourself when needed?

For instance, did you feel like -- before anything happened -- that if someone wanted to do something you didn't, you'd have no problem declining?

Can I also ask this: did you feel like you ONLY wanted to have oral sex with a condom? If so, do you have a sense of why you put using a condom or not kind of in his hands, asking him if he wanted one, rather than making clear that was what you wanted and needed?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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breath
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Yes, definately. I felt that if he suggested something I didn't want to do, I had no problem declining. After all I read/learned about consentual sex, I didn't have this issue.

I told him on the way to the room that I didn't want to do vaginal, only oral. Then, in the room, during oral sex, I said 'no' firmly without any hesitance when he asked me to lick his balls, etc. During the encounter, later on, he said something about trying vaginal and I had no problem or hesitancy saying 'NO' firmly and confidently. The matter was dropped then.


I haven't had much sex and was therefore bit limpY/weakish in how or when or who puts on the condom so maybe that's why I acted so nervous/uncertain initially about condom. I also assumed that (based on the other partners) that he would put on the condom without any issues since no one else I had been before gave a second thought to condom. They put it on immediately, as soon as I would imply or weakly mention condom.

I now that assuring condom usage is MY responsibility, even if it actually physically only goes on his genitals.

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breath
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Yes, definately. I felt that if he suggested something I didn't want to do, I had no problem declining. After all I read/learned about consentual sex, I didn't have this issue.

I told him on the way to the room that I didn't want to do vaginal, only oral. Then, in the room, during oral sex, I said 'no' firmly without any hesitance when he asked me to lick his balls, etc. During the encounter, later on, he said something about trying vaginal and I had no problem or hesitancy saying 'NO' firmly and confidently. The matter was dropped then.


I haven't had much sex and was therefore bit limpY/weakish in how or when or who puts on the condom so maybe that's why I acted so nervous/uncertain initially about condom. I also assumed that (based on the other partners) that he would put on the condom without any issues since no one else I had been before gave a second thought to condom. They put it on immediately, as soon as I would imply or weakly mention condom.

I now that assuring condom usage is MY responsibility, even if it actually physically only goes on his genitals.

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Djuna
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Assuring condom usage isn't just your responsibility, though. I agree that if you're the one who wants a condom, you have a responsibility to yourself to stand up for what you want. But I think, too, that he had a responsibility to honor the sexual health choices of you, his partner, and it sounds like he didn't.

Now, I'm hearing you say that perhaps you weren't as firm about the condom issue as you would like to be, and maybe that means you want to phrase differently telling a partner it's time to put a condom on if that's what you want. That way, what a partner would hear is that you want them to put a condom on, while in this situation it sounds like it's possible your partner may have thought you were happy for him to choose. I'm glad, though, that you say you felt comfortable saying "no" to other things you didn't want to do.

I don't think that this was limpy or weakish of you, at all. In this situation, it sounds like for a little while, you were uncomfortable with what was happening, even if those feelings then went away. But maybe what you can take from this is knowing how to stand up for your own choices about what you're happy to do, and knowing that for you (this is the impression I'm getting), part of whether or not you're really happy (ecstatic! aroused! sexy!) to do fellatio depends on there being a condom on the penis to prevent the STI risk.

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In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I dont know what I am. I dont know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.

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Heather
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breath: I asked what I did because I was trying to get a better read of the dynamics that went on.

What it sounds like to me is that, indeed, being right in that space with him, you felt much less assertive than you did walking in, especially around condom use. It sounds like there may have been a few reasons why that happened, including you, as you say, feeling unprepared to negotiate condom use. Or, more to the point, to draw a hard limit with condom use and decline sex if the other person refused or declined to use condoms.

It does sound like this was still consensual, because you seem to express choosing to engage in oral sex without a condom rather than declining.

Mind, I don't know this person, so it may be he was in some way coercive. I'd say this is a toughie.

But it's less of a challenge for me to see how to move forward from this and take some things away from it I think might be helpful for you.

For instance, you say that within even a few minutes of talking to this person, you had a negative impression of them. To me, that usually would have be a signal not to move forward and be sexual with that person, or, if I did so, to know that whatever behavior I didn't like before sex would probably happen in sex, too.

It also sounds like you might not feel so ready to negotiate casual sex just yet: in my mind, it can be trickier and more challenging than negotiating sex in an ongoing relationship, so I kind of think of it as advanced-level sexual negotiation for a lot of people, and certainly in some situations. What do you think about that, and how do you feel about your readiness with this?

I want to also make clear that just like with anything else in life, sometimes we learn the things we do by overstepping our abilities at a given time. or find out what we like by finding out what we don't; find out what we need by realizing we don't have it in the moment. That's all okay: it happens, it's part of living.

Same goes for winding up with a dud of a sexual partner sometimes: they're not all going to be winners. But I think we want to try and be as equipped for that possibility as we can, and figure out if we feel able to deal with it or not.

Lastly, though, I don't want to make any assumptions here. It may well be that you cared less about condom use in that moment than you usually do, felt curious about going without, or, after a little while without, decided like you didn't care about it that much. If any of those things are true, you have a right to make those choices, I'd just add a reminder that they will also carry risks.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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breath
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Thanks again for putting it so aptly.


I think personally, I just haven't really reached the point where I feel completely secure. I knew that what I felt around/about this person origionally and when he invited me again, I wasnt' sure what possible scenarios could occur and how I might want to act BEFORE i actually entered the situation. It's not that hard to figure out yet I felt crippled.

I think it's just a general confidence thing that I need to develop over all in my life.

Another thing that I realize after reading the Immodest Proposal here is that my desire and orgasm is JUST as important as the male's , even if i don't assert it as aggressively or don't always make the first move ( I often do and like to take initiative). And that my actions should not be in response to someone's desire, but rather in response to my own desires, even if I'm the only person who understands and supports those desires.

While I'm happy about the oral sex I received and gave, I realize that I cud have been more assertive saying what feels good to me. I realize that I wasn't happy about this partner's TOO forward approach where I felt neglected. I dissed him and said rude/impolite things to him before/during as a way to assert 'power'.

Reading many articles and links here were VERY helpful to me, esp the once that talks about reciprocity. Unfortunately, too many wrong ideas about oral sex receprocity still around in our culture.

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Heather
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We're all in process! All of us: you, me, everyone. And sometimes, part of our process is feeling things out as we go.

And it sounds like you took away a LOT of use from this; some really excellent stuff and some really astute observations.

We just had reciprocity stuff around oral sex come up in a recent advice column, too, if more info help you out: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/he_gets_oral_sex_from_me_what_can_i_do_to_get_him_to_give_me_some

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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breath
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Thanks, Heather again. You all explained this very well, esp. the part when we all are in the process and have to jump in the water sometimes. =)

Again, amazing and I'm so happy to have access to all this.

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