Why Is ‘No’ So Hard To Understand?
If she says no during sex, does she mean go harder?
In school I had this boyfriend. Let’s call him N. That’s the alphabet his name starts with. I pray that he reads this and realizes how much he hurt me. He never did understand when I told him. And my friends did not understand either. It has taken me years to realize and accept that a lot of people do not understand that when it comes to sex, you can say yes and then change your mind and say no.
So N visited me after his lectures one afternoon. We had fought the day before and I was still mad at him. But when he came, he begged me and I somewhat forgave. Just a little. Sometimes it takes me a while to forgive someone.
So after our little reconciliation, I went into the bathroom for a shower. When I came back to the room, he had that look in his eyes. I was not interested in the look but he came to me, kissed me and started touching me. I didn’t want to do anything but at the same time, I didn’t want him to know I was still upset at him. Therefore, I allowed him. It got serious and next thing we were on the bed and almost in the act. When I say ‘almost’, he was basically there, just ready to make it in.
But I remembered how he had hurt me and how I felt cheap by just letting him back in. I felt I needed to make things harder for him so he wouldn’t hurt me again. Thus, I put my hands on his chest, pushed back, and said, “N, stop.”
“I’m not in the mood.”
“But I’m already there.”
But he didn’t listen. He pushed in and started doing his thing. I managed to struggle out of his hold and went for the door but he was there before me. He locked it and took the key.
“You want to go outside and make your friends think that I’m raping you.”
I wanted to retort that ‘raping me’ was what he was basically doing. But I wasn’t even sure myself. To me then, the definition of rape had to do with one saying ‘no’ emphatically right from the start. And it would include some force or heavy struggle.
He held me and started kissing me again. Now, here’s a dilemma. How do you push your man away and say no to him without hurting him? He wants you. He’s your man. The thinking is that you’re not to say no to him unless you’re on this celibacy path. But both of you aren’t.
“Please, stop,” I begged. I struggled but I don’t think I struggled enough. He had me on the bed again. I was crying, upset at him, while he raped me.
When he was done, he held me and apologized until I stopped crying. When he left, I went to the next room and told my friends what had happened, because I was deeply upset and I needed support.
“Ehya, sorry,” one of them said. “At least, he’s your guy. It’s not like he was raping you.”
“Rape keh,” the other answered. “You allowed him nau.”
“But I stopped him and he didn’t.”
“That’s how guys are. You know they can’t control it.”
The other one likened the experience to food, asking me if I could stop eating something once I had started. It then turned to something funny. They laughed. I laughed. I became unsure, wondering if I had been forced or if I had consented. All I knew was that I felt like shit. I didn’t have sex with N after that again. I never attended to him in my bedroom and I never went to his. We broke up not long after and I haven’t seen him in years.
It took me being with a real man (my husband) to understand that ‘no’ even in the middle of sex really means no and not ‘maybe’ or ‘yes’. The first time it happened and he immediately withdrew, I was shocked. Like many people, I believed that men cannot stop themselves while in the act. I apologized to him for changing my mind due to a sudden change of mood but he said it was okay. The second time, I did it just to be sure the first had not been imagined – and he acted the exact same way. I was more than impressed. Trust me, that was the last time it happened. It’s either yes from the start or no from the start for me. And I know that even if I change my mind for some reason, my wishes will be respected.
This topic has been on my mind for a while now, and the other day on Twitter, when it was hotly discussed, I followed the trend. For the first time, I heard the term ‘implied consent’. Now, according to those who came up with it and hold the school of thought, it basically means that a girl can give consent without verbally saying it, i.e by not saying anything at all or by giving permission with her body language alone.
Of course, a guy and a girl can both agree to have sex without any conversation between them. In fact, sex, most times, goes in that manner. But the same way a man can read implied consent, he should also be able to read implied or verbal dissent. Sex should be smooth and enjoyable to both parties, and if at some point, there’s an unwilling participant for any reason, then the other should stop.
But why would a woman stop a guy in the middle of sex sef? Well, there are many reasons.
- The guy could be hurting her either by just being in her or doing stuff she doesn’t agree with like choking, spanking and moving roughly.
- She could be having an infection that causes pain.
- The guy could be bad at sex and she becomes turned off.
- She could suddenly feel guilt.
- She could be upset at him (as was my case).
- Past rape experience.
- Other issues.
- She’s a cock-tease.
The best the guy can do at that point is stop and ask what the issue is. Talk to her about it rather than continue. It should be noted that everyone has the right to withdraw sexual content at anytime and the other party is to respect it, no matter what.
It is general belief that men cannot just switch off once they start. I am not a man; I wouldn’t know but I know men who can stop. It’s just a matter of pulling out and taking a breather. Yes, it’s hard but would you rather continue with someone who is less willing and then feel like shit afterwards (that is if you even have a conscience)?
How about rough sex? When does it become rape?
It becomes rape when there is no agreement from both sides and one party starts to inflict pain on the other that they don’t agree with. If you like it rough, please inform her. Don’t start slapping her and choking her in the middle of the act. You must both agree that two of you want that type of sex before you start it.
How about alcohol?
A woman could be so drunk and become unable to consent to or refuse sex. Going ahead to sleep with her, even when she says yes under the influence, is rape. The best is to avoid adding alcohol to the mix with someone you’re just meeting for the first time. The story can change afterwards and you’ll be accused of drugging her to rape her even if she said yes to you. Totally avoid such scenarios.
And then another grey area that is not so grey…
A lot of guys keep begging and pushing until the girl says yes. This is coercion. And it’s technically rape. Sex should be free of pressure and coercion. She may have said yes out of fear of the guy being violent with her or maybe fear of emotional repercussion. Forcing her to perform oral sex or even pushing her into a sexual position she is uncomfortable with even after she begs the guy to stop is rape.
Rape, therefore, is any sexual act where one party does not give their full permission at the start, or withdraws their permission after having given it, or is unable to give consent to it entirely.
Yes, there are women who are cock-teases but trust me, they stop playing such games when they meet men who don’t tow that line with them. If the penis is not readily available for games, the games will cease. I have not known any man who died or had his penis shrivel up because he stopped sex midway. The lies we have been made to believe about sex is responsible for the fast-growing rape culture we have now and the victim-shaming a lot of women go through. Please, let’s stop telling rape victims they enjoyed it just because the definition of their sexual experience didn’t come off as our own definition of rape.
No means No.
Do you have any thoughts on this? Please share.