First, if you don’t approve of unmarried women having sex, I respect that, but I’m just saying this article probably isn’t for you. Second, I don’t recommend this for any family members (particularly male ones) who don’t want to picture me in compromising situations. However, this is not about some steamy seduction taking place between two willing adults. This is about horny boys manipulating and guilting young girls, and it is far more common than you would think.
I’ve debated writing this because one: it reveals a lot of my sexual history, and two: it reveals a lot about the characters of some of the guys I’ve associated myself with. I once read somewhere that if people don’t like what you wrote about them, then they should’ve behaved better.
I was a pretty innocent kid by today’s standards. I didn’t get my first kiss until I was fifteen and didn’t make out with a boy until I was closing in on sixteen. When that boy tried to slip his hand up my thigh while we were kissing in the backseat of his pickup truck, I asked him to take me home. The next week he showed me he was done with me by standing me up on my sixteenth birthday.
That experience hurt, but honestly I wasn’t emotionally invested enough in this boy to care how he felt about me denying his sexual advances. However, soon enough I was falling in love for the first time. When this boy slid his hand down my pants while we were kissing, I said no. He said, “But I want to make you feel good.” He kissed my neck, put his other hand under my shirt (at this point I was cool with second base). I said no again, but less certainly this time. “Are you sure?” I wasn’t sure, so I stopped saying no and he took that as a yes. I was ravaged by guilt because so much of my identity was built on being a “good girl.” Yet I failed to see until much later that I hadn’t actually been complicit in the act.
Fast forward a few years to nineteen-year-old me, having sex for the first time. It was painful and bloody, but I had been warned the first time wouldn’t feel good. I gritted my teeth and hoped it would get better. Unfortunately, my boyfriend (a different one from the last scenario) was solely focused on his own pleasure and not at all concerned about my pain. Sex hurt so much that I began to worry there was something physically wrong with me (spoiler alert: he was just bad at it). I told my boyfriend it hurt me, but he would continue to beg me to try again. If I said no, he would grow distant and mopey until I finally gave in. I would lie there, completely still, crying while he jackhammered inside me. When I told him it was too painful, he would tell me, “Okay, just let me finish real quick.”
To every young girl, I want you to know that a boy who truly loves you will take the first “no” as your real answer. He will not try to punish or persuade you into doing something you don’t feel ready for. If a boy truly loves you, he will not willingly hurt you (physically or emotionally). I know so many girls my age who are just realizing their first boyfriend sexually assaulted them. So many people view sexual assault as coming from a stranger who you have to fight every single moment for it to be valid, but sexual assault can come from someone you love who thinks you must be enjoying it just because you’re not running away. Dating someone does not give them unlimited rights to your body and participating in sexual acts with someone at one point does not entitle them to those acts any time they please. Any boy who threatens to break up with you just because you aren’t willing to put out, deserves a long exile alone with his hand.
Boys, if a girl says “no”, it means “no.” It does not mean “ask until she says yes.” And if you ask her twenty times and she finally says yes, that also means no. If she looks terrified, upset, or in pain, this is not what she wants. Consensual sex is not difficult to recognize. Just look for the same enthusiasm you have and that’s the appropriate reaction. Besides, it’s way more fun (and, ya know, ETHICAL) if you’re both into it.