Have you ever been afraid to say no?

Have you ever been afraid to say no?

Yesterday, for the second time, I saw a post on social media with screenshots from @jadedxxxdreams, and this time, it really connected with me:

Some women have a higher body count because they’re afraid to say no when they’re put in a situation that involves sexual pressure from a man but I don’t think the slut shamers are ready for that conversation yet

I’ve said no before and they got angry

I’ve said no before and they hit me

I’ve said no before and they spread rumors about me

I’ve said no before and they raped me

Stop telling women to “just say no” and start teaching men to respect women

What makes me really sad is that many women will read this and they will relate to this and many men will read it and think it’s nonsense.

I’m not brave enough to speak on my experience, but for those who are, I believe you.

Before I continue, I think it’s important to note that she specifically said “many men will think this is nonsense,” not all.

(Prefer to listen to the podcast? https://datingkinky.com/pod/afraid-to-say-no)

And that got me thinking.

So, I decided to do a totally off-the-cuff poll on my FetLife feed. Whoever saw it could respond if they wanted to.

I asked:

A question inspired by social media. Have you ever had sex because you were afraid to say no? Simple yes or no suffices. Fear of any kind counts. Please include your gender, if you’re comfortable.

I wanted to include gender for two reasons:

  1. Because I know this does not only happen to women or feminine-identified people.
  2. Because I wanted people who might not believe this happens to know that it does and who it happens to.

As of right now, 16 hours after posting, I’ve gotten 408 replies. One was my own “Yes, woman.”

Of the 322 yeses:

  • 237 were women (or identified as women at the time)
  • 50 were men
  • 13 were nonbinary
  • 10 did not identify their gender (and I did not assume)
  • 4 were gender queer
  • 4 were trans masc
  • 2 were trans women
  • 1 was ftm
  • 1 was agender

Some shared details. Some wrote about their experiences.

In less than 24 hours, a small feed item could pull in that many people that related to this AND were willing to put themselves out there as having experienced having sex due to fear.

Someone said:

I never realized so many people would feel pressured into having sex… wow!!!

I was always taught NO meant NO and never pressure anyone into doing something they weren’t comfortable with

I replied that pressure doesn’t always feel like pressure to the people pressuring.

If someone is known for getting angry easily, for example, their partner might be afraid to say no.

If someone has had a previous partner who DID get upset when told no, they might be afraid to say no to the next person who would never want that.

Of course, there will always be people out there who put their own needs before others. Some people are shitty.

For the rest of us, though, it’s worth thinking through how we pressure, manipulate and scare others with the idea that we might withdraw love or friendship or resources, or whatever…if we don’t get the sex we desire.

And how we might remove that pressure, and assure others that we don’t have to have sex with them RIGHT NOW (or ever, depending on circumstances), and we will still care for them, want them in our lives, and will not, above all things, harm them for saying “no.”

I don’t have the answers, of course, this just made me really think, and resolve to check my own thoughts and actions moving forward (I do tend to be sexually aggressive).

What are YOUR thoughts?

Has this happened to you? Are you wiling to share yes or no and your gender?

Do you think you may have ever pressured someone else? Either intentionally or not?

If you were feeling pressure in a sexual situation, what words or actions would remove that pressure and make you feel safe to make a decision based on your own desires and needs?

Also, how do we help ourselves learn how to say “no” more often and more effectively (in situations where physical threat is not a consideration)?

If you’d like to see the original post, login to FL and go here: https://fetlife.com/users/50648/statuses/29705775

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