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You may not think it is appropriate, or that it must be about "the awkwardness and inexperience associated with early sexual encounters." You may also think that, "Part of being in a relationship is being willing to compromise and sometimes do things you don't want to do because your partner wants to do it and you want to please them. Allthough it may be something you don't particularly want to do, or do at that time, it doesn't make it rape."

However, not only do I, and we as an organization, strongly disagree, in most areas, the law and experts on healthy relationships and healthy sexual interactions do, too.

Rape is not only recognized as such when physical force or threat of such is involved. In most areas the law, and also advocacy organizations as well as psychological associations, recognize coercion and other emotional abuses around sexual activity as sexual assault.

Certainly, sometimes some of what is in the cited segment above is NOT about sexual abuse or assault. However more of the time, it is -- particularly if and when anyone involved does not feel able to, or that they have the power or agency to -- say no without fear, and that's not merely our own opinion. Additionally, legally and practically, consent is recognized as being about only doing things someone DOES want to do. And from the perspective of healthy, satisfying sex for everyone, anyone who has had sexual experiences where everyone involved very much wanted to do everything involved, and had those where anyone or everyone did not, usually knows that there is a profound difference.

Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and Col