Sex: Saying “Yes” When You Don’t Want To
Many women agree to sex they don’t want. University of Texas, Austin researchers say the reasons vary. Some consent to maintain relationship. Others think it’s the “nice” thing to do. Some are just doing what they think is expected. A few want to avoid a fight. This can be a problem. Or, unexpected benefits may arise. Today, let’s look at the downside.
Some women are pleasers, uncomfortable saying no. Ironically, one woman’s religion got her saying yes by encouraging passivity and keeping her naïve. “Persistence from a partner, emotional games, alcohol, passivity, and difficulty saying no were all important factors,” she said. “I felt nervous, unsure and confused. I didn’t want to make the other person angry with me. When things didn’t go the way I trusted them to I didn’t know what to do. These experiences all occurred before age 19, after which I got stronger and wiser.”
Some fear rejection. “I had a friend in high school who made it seem like the only way I could be cool was if I shunned everything I thought was right,” one woman lamented. “I would have sex just so she would have more respect for me. I hated every experience I was having.”
More commonly, women fear losing boyfriends. “I was stupid and thought sex would keep my boyfriend around,” one woman explained. “I was 17 years old and it didn’t work.”
Others try to compete with the fireworks of internet porn, which too often brings distress.
A few seem more coerced than consenting. “When I was 17, I dated a guy who was 26. I didn’t want to lose him, so when we made out, he would force my head down for oral. He would hold my head there for a long time, even if I was crying.” Yet she voluntarily continued to see him because she “figured this was part of what I needed to do to be datable.”
Saying yes when we’d rather say no becomes a problem when the motive is avoiding negative or painful outcomes, say the UT researchers. Performing acts that repel us, that go against our values and that create feelings of self-betrayal – damaging self-respect – weigh heavily. Desperation, shame and remorse arise.
These relationships are best left behind.
Posted on August 17, 2011, in feminism, gender, psychology, relationships, sex, sexism, women and tagged feminism, gender, psychology, relationships, sex, sexism, women. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.