Photo Source: www.uh.edu
Ronke visits her boyfriend Martins in his residence hall room. They have been seeing each other for a while, and she takes a condom with her.
As the evening progresses, they kiss on the bed and he tries to take her clothes off. She blocks his hand. He persists and she says no. He says, “Hey babe! We’ve gone too far to stop. You cannot stop now!”. He forces himself onto her and they have sex.
Sexual consent is overlooked in many relationships but is very key in building a healthy relationship, even in a marriage! True consent means that both partners want and freely choose to have sexual contact. When someone says no, there is NO sexual consent.
Here are 6 easy ways to make your “no” mean “NO”:
- Be clear about what you will and will not do in your own mind before you even get into a situation – often it’s easier to decide beforehand what you don’t want to do, then you can get a better idea of what is OK for you.
- Think about who you are and what your values are - are there some things you will do but some things you won’t? That’s okay, you decide what is right for you. For example, maybe you don’t want to have sex, but touching and kissing is okay. Put together your own recipe!
- Practice what you want to say, be clear and be assertive. Make sure that your tone shows that you mean business, no means no. Try not to be defensive or aggressive, you shouldn’t need to be and your partner is more likely to respond positively if they don’t feel attacked or put down. Your partner might not have realised that they were crossing the line, so now is the time to let them know!
- Don’t give a 1000 words as this weakens what you are trying to say. Stick to the truth – “No, I don’t want to have sex because I am not ready” is much more effective than “um, sorry I was supposed to cook for my family this afternoon…etc”.
- If your partner keeps pressuring you or manipulating you even after you have said no, this is the time to stand your ground and be assertive. This can be scary if they threaten you or become violent. If they do become violent, you need to find a way to leave the room and the relationship!
- Follow this pattern: No + reason + assurance. Sometimes when you say no, your partner will feel that they have done something wrong. So, for example, if your partner wants to have sex and you don’t, try this pattern and say “No, I don’t want to have sex, it’s not that I don’t want to have sex with you – I love you, but I am not ready to have sex yet”
- To learn more about sexual consent and how to build strong, healthy relationships, watch out for the full lessons of Purple Academy that will be launched on the 1st of June!
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