How Sexual Coercion Happened To Me

How Sexual Coercion Happened To Me

Everybody deserves a happy relationship, but sexual coercion and manipulation is an insidious form of emotional abuse that can destroy a relationship.
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When people think "coercion" when it comes to a sexual relationship, they often describe it as nothing more than veiled threats and statements like, "If you love me, you'll have sex with me." When I was a young teenager, nobody focused on it that much, except to tell young girls to keep their virginity until the "right man" was around, and that they were "weak" if they gave in to the pressure.

However, the reality is that sexual coercion is far more insidious and far more complex than you're told in sex-ed. Sexual coercion is more subtle form of emotional abuse, where a partner will use manipulation tactics to try and convince someone to have sex with them. The best to truly explain this is with personal experience.

A little over a year ago, I was sexually coerced in a short relationship that was manipulative and emotionally abusive. What had started as a simple request for sex turned into constant manipulation and an insidious attempt to get into my head so I would consent to sex. The worst thing about it? For most of the relationship, I didn't think anything was abnormal. After all, guys just naturally want sex, right? It took months for me to realize something was wrong, and it wasn't until long after we broke up that I fully realized how unhealthy my relationship was. So, here we are. I can't stop my ex from repeating, and this post isn't meant to go after him at all. However, I hope that by telling my story I can make others aware of what sexual coercion is like, and show you what to look out for. Here are the things that indicated that I was being coerced.

A constant nagging for sex and a lack of respect for the word "no."

The very first day of my relationship, my ex asked to have sex with me. This, in and of itself, isn't abnormal or unhealthy. I said no because I wasn't ready to have sex for awhile, and I wasn't sure when I'd be ready. This was respected...until the next day. Throughout the next few months, my ex would ask me to have sex with him every single time we hung out (which was a lot), and it got really annoying having to say "no" every time. There were even a few times I considered saying "yes" to shut him up, which you should never have to do in a relationship.

Subtle, and often insidious, manipulation.

When trying to convince me to have sex, my ex would bring up one of his past girlfriends, who he says he had sex with the first date. The insinuation was that I should do things like her, be like her to satisfy him sexually. I never really cared at first because I'm not her and I'm not a fan of changing to be like others. But then I started getting upset. Why be with me if you want a version of me that I'm not? The goal was that I be sexually appealing and have sex with him when he wants. He even brought up his mom about a month into our relationship, saying that she was surprised that we hadn't had sex yet.

Soon, the manipulation became insidious and emotionally abusive. He would start doing things that he knew would turn me on, just to turn around and tell me "that's what it's like for me." Over winter break, he told me that I was incapable of pleasing him and that I needed to learn how to be more sexually appealing. He wanted sex, and he would say whatever he needed to get it.

Victim complex and denial.

Eventually, I stood up to my ex. When I found out that my relationship was unhealthy I slowly started telling him to stop trying to manipulate me, to which he'd always respond with; "But I don't mean to!" His excuses would be that men want to have sex, that I was making things hard on him. A few days after I put my foot down, he broke up with me. The more I learned about the true nature of my relationship, the more he learned to deny it. He ended up telling my best friend that it was my fault that I was coerced, and he even went to joke about it at a stand-up event. He never thought that he was at fault, and I'm not sure he ever will.

The point of this story wasn't to trash my ex, or to make him "face responsibility." It's my hope that this hasn't happened to you, and that it never will. My advice for young people starting a relationship is to just look for warning signs and stand up for yourself if you're not happy. In a healthy relationship, your partner will listen to you and make sure that your sexual agency is just as important as theirs is. If this has happened to you, know that it's not your fault and that it is emotional abuse.

Everybody deserves to be happy in their relationship. Mental stability and communication is the first step.

Cover Image Credit: Medical Daily

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While I'm lucky enough to have two out of the three at the same school as me, my "low maintenance" best friend goes to college six hours from Baton Rouge.

This type of friend is special because no matter how long you go without talking or seeing each other, you're always insanely close. Even though I miss her daily, having a long-distance best friend has its perks. Here are just a few of them...

1. Getting to see each other is a special event.

Sometimes when you see someone all the time, you take that person and their friendship for granted. When you don't get to see one of your favorite people very often, the times when you're together are truly appreciated.

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This person knows you best, but they probably don't know the people you're telling them about, so they can give you better advice than anyone else.

3. You always have someone to text and FaceTime.

While there may be hundreds of miles between you, they're also just a phone call away. You know they'll always be there for you even when they can't physically be there.

4. You can plan fun trips to visit each other.

When you can visit each other, you get to meet the people you've heard so much about and experience all the places they love. You get to have your own college experience and, sometimes, theirs, too.

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Cover Image Credit: Just For Laughs-Chicago

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Poetry On Odyssey: Some Days

A poem that reminds you that you're not alone.

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Some days,

You dread the sound of your alarm. You snooze and snooze and snooze and snooze.

When you finally pull yourself out of bed, pressed time forces you to throw on stained sweats

you find yourself chugging a cup of coffee.

You sit on the couch and contemplate calling out of work

You caught the stomach bug,

Or perhaps the flu,

Maybe you broke your collar bone

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The endless list of excuses repeats through your head as you sit on the couch, wishing you were still in bed.

It takes every ounce

Every breath

Every fiber of your being to pull yourself off the couch

And into the car

And into the building where you work

Some days,

This is just how it goes

You are not alone.


Some days,

You awake to the beautiful sound of birds

Chirping outside your window

The sun sneaks its way into your room

A smile creeps across your face as you realize you are awake to see a new day

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