Having sex should be agreed to by both partners and it should be a pleasurable and enjoyable experience. However, you can be forced into having sex when you don’t want to which is a problem.
If you do not agree to have sex and you are forced into having sex, that is sexual assault and is against the law. Sexual coercion (forcing someone to engage in sexual activity) can be committed by anyone. In many cases, it is someone you already have some type of relationship with such as a family member, teacher, religious or spiritual leader, or a member of your community.
6 sexual coercion signs to be aware of. Someone may:
- Threaten to break up with you/use your relationship as an excuse e.g. “Sex is a way to prove your love for me”/“If you don’t give me sex, I’ll get it somewhere else”.
- Offer to give you money, gifts or good grades but they want sex in return.
- Send you sexy messages or pictures that you didn’t ask for.
- Try and get you drunk, or offer you drugs.
- Normalise their sexual expectations and continue to pressure/nag you after you say NO.
- React negatively with anger, resentment or sadness when you say NO.
If someone cares about you, they will respect your decision. You have the right to stop any sexual activity if you start feeling uncomfortable.
Sexual coercion is never your fault. If you feel pressured to do something you don’t want to do, it’s your right to say NO. Here’s how:
- Don’t be afraid to lose a relationship or hurt someone’s feelings by doing what you don’t want to do.
- Be firm and direct.
- Be honest and make sure that you are heard.
- Look the person in the eye.
If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong!
If you are being pressurised into having sex or you need advice, contact loveLife:
Find out more about consent here
Dating as a young person can be complicated but it’s important that you feel safe in your relationship. Click here to find out more